12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great Product But High Learning Curve,
This review is from: Garmin eTrex Venture HC Handheld GPS Navigator (Electronics)
Garmin makes a great number of high quality handheld GPS devices. I particularly chose this one for hiking and remote camping uses. Specially, I purchased a 2 GB mini memory card (SanDisk) and then the Garmin US TOPO 24K (National Parks East, for starts). I was able to pick specific quadrants from the US TOPO CD software and download it to my Garmin handheld through my PC (MAC also works). It worked perfectly. I will admit that the learning curve is high on this and I tend to get excited about electronic devices in general. This took taking the instruction manual and going step-by-step to learn all the functions available.
For starters, I simply went outside and turned it on. Within a minute I had several satellite acquisitions and was immediately shown where I was (in the world). The basic map included on the device is not that particularly detailed, so I purchased additional software data. You can read all about the functions that are installed on this unit here at Amazon. Some are marking a waypoint, finding a position, tracking, highway plans, a calendar, alarm clock, calculator, stopwatch, sun and moon schedules and various games. You also have access to its compass and a driving set-up that will tell you your speed, distance reaming (to your destination), estimated travel time, etc. If you were hiking and got lost, you would be able to backtrack your steps, as if you had left markers or `breadcrumbs'.
The unit itself is extremely well made and could survive several `drops' and is waterproof. The display (approximately 2" X 1.5") is plenty for view-ability. The screen actually changes from a bright daytime screen to a nighttime mode. Every function is verified by a slight "beep". Unfortunately, you do need to buy Garmin maps to download to the unit, as the one included is not very detailed and for additional data input, you really do need a mini memory card. But for the price and the number of functions, this is really a good value. Nothing beats a map and compass, but this is a great addition to any hiking that you may do. Also, for driving directions, the only thing lacking is the voice response. I highly recommend you research other Garmin models and all the accessories you might want to purchase for your personal use.