For easier navigation, you should get a GPS.
If you’re going to go kayaking at sea and you’re going to be following a map, you might want to think about getting a GPS (Global Positioning System). You can, of course, always just get a compass, but those are generally harder to read. This is especially the case if you are going to be on rough water – some people have found it completely impossible to get a compass reading due to rough waves.
GPS is a little more expensive than a compass, of course, but if you are going to be doing a lot of sea kayak touring, this will almost certainly be worth the extra money. You’ll never be able to get lost on maps again once you’re able to pinpoint exactly what your latitude and longitude are. Plus, even though these are generally more expensive than compasses, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to pay too much money for them.
In fact, in recent years, GPS has been getting cheaper and cheaper. If you want a Global Positioning System for your car or kayak, you should be able to actually find one that is affordable for you. Also, while some people may still find that they prefer to use a compass, most people have discovered that the GPS is a convenient and quick way to make sure that you’re not off course.
Another benefit of having a GPS is when you’re injured or if you ever need to radio out for help. If you have a GPS hand held or kayak-mounted system with you, you’ll be able to tell the search crews your exact latitude and longitude – which means that they’ll get to you right away.
You can get GPS hand helds for a hundred dollars now, if you want a simplistic model. However, if you’re looking for something a little more in depth, then you should look at the $300-$400 range. No matter which type you choose, however, you should find that it is not very hard to keep on track at all once you have one.
If you’re worried about being able to hold onto your hand-held GPS system while you’re paddling, don’t worry! Some companies are already selling kayak-mounted GPS so that you’ll be able to check your location easily just by looking down!