The day looks perfect. You’ve got your boat, your paddle, and maybe a few of your favorite buddies. But you found yourself lost. Fortunately, though, you’ve got your GPS with you…or do you have one with you?
If you’re going to buy a GPS for your kayaking trip, it has to have one of these features, at the least:
It has to have a ready camera with a clear view, but this isn’t your normal ‘selfie’ camera. This is to make sure you have a clear picture of every last location you were. Geotag actually makes it possible for you to retrace your steps or for others to find you in the event you get lost.
• Knowledge of your Surroundings
Surroundings here doesn’t mean nature, it means the lay of the waterways—currents, tides, the like. If the software has these ready for you to look at, it’s already a big help. It also gives you an idea if it’s a good day for going onto the water or not.
If your GPS has software that lets you organize your maps and routes, then you only get lost on your own decision. Routes, waypoints, and maps are a good way of keeping yourself from getting lost; marking familiar points on the map which can help you find your way back.
• SOS signal
Only to be used in extreme cases where you find yourself absolutely lost, an SOS signal would pinpoint your exact location for rescuers to find. Even if you drift away from your last location, having it ping your location would lead rescuers right to where you are.
• Coordination with a Group
Having a group is a good way of avoiding becoming lost. If, however, you find yourself alone, you could use the GPS to find them. You can also coordinate a meeting point for the whole group, in case one of you gets lost.
It’s not a bad thing to go kayaking if you’re ready for it. However, safety measures will ensure you focus on the fun and not worry about anything else.