I like to make maps in my kayak, so I need to know how far away I was from the last point, so the only way I know of is dead reckoning, and being in kayak its not that accurate.

So my question is: Is there a better way to judge how far I have traveled, something better than Dead Reckoning (without gps)?

  • 3
    Do you have a compass? A topographical map? A rangefinder perhaps? Jul 16, 2015 at 1:26
  • yes I have a compass
    – that guy
    Jul 16, 2015 at 10:44
  • I think this question might be badly worded. do you mean Is there a better way to judge distance traveled?
    – user2766
    Jul 16, 2015 at 12:25

1 Answer 1


You need to do some research on the area that you are traveling on. Google maps or the NOAA maps using seaclearII.exe will allow you the ability to make a map guide, that you can annotate as you travel. mark off 100 yard and point to point track measurments. If you are going to dead recon from point to point on a river as an exercise or recreation you might take along a golf range finder. It is a small pen sized telescope thing that will allow you to range 100-400 yards pretty accurately and is non electronic and waterproof. I do suggest you make a kindle 3 or other eink display reader waterproof with silicon seal and place your itinerary on it in pdf docs. They are pretty bullet proof and stay charged for a month. use a sharpie fine point with your notebook. Once you get a feel of distances on the water you will find your estimates will get you with in 5 yards in time. What you are going to do is a great pastime, and will take you back to simpler times, like those of lewis and clark. Keep good notes and maybe you can make water colored maps when you get back. it is fun. enjoy

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.