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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Style Name: With Compass and Barometric Altimeter|Change
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on 24 April 2012
Bought solely for the purpose of geocaching; we now wouldn't be without this. It's a great piece of equipment for the price.

I immediately updated the maps on talkytoaster as advised by other reviewers (very straight forward, "if I can do it...")

I love that it takes batteries as opposed to rechargeable so it's never going to die on us mid geocaching-adventure. The screen is perfectly viewable in the sunlight.
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on 15 May 2010
I bought this mainly for hiking and geocaching.

The possibility to add your own custom map is very appreciated ! With that, I could add the map I wanted etc. Perfect !

My previous GPSr was a Garmin eTrex Summit. The Dakota catch more quickly the satellite, and this is also appreciated (eTrex could take 10 minutes, Dakota only one or two, when it is long ! ;) )

The main drawbacks of this device is the backligth : the screen is not lighten enough and it could be hard to see something, some times...

Very good product !!!
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on 28 January 2011
I knew hardly anything about GPS for walkers, but thought it'd be a good idea to jump on the bandwagon......

Boy, am I glad I did.

First, the best advice I can give ANYONE who is NEW to GPS for Walkers is to purchase the Pathfinder Book - GPS for Walkers (by Clive Thomas) it explains GPS perfectly GPS for Walkers: An Introduction to GPS and Digital Maps (Pathfinder)

I must admit, I purchased my copy AFTER I'd purchased my Dakota 20 but that didn't matter because I knew I'd purchased the right device for me. But to be safe, I'd suggest reading the book first (it's really brilliant, not expensive and can be read in a couple of hours).....

Anyway, the Dakota 20 is a fantastic device and yes, the Basemaps are very BASIC and unrefined. I'd be very surprised if you'd not load up your device with something else.

For me, I knew I wanted to use the OS maps so I bought the 1:50000 for FULL Great Britain (Garmin map) and am totally satisfied.

So, my advice to anyone contemplating buying a GPS device (for walking) is to know what Maps you will want to use BEFORE you purchase your device (not all maps work with all devices).

If there is anything I'm concerned with about the Dakota 20, it is the battery life. I am aware of how to make the most of the battery life and not to wear them out prematurely, but *definitely* when out walking, you'd want to take with you a couple of spare pairs of batteries just to be safe.....
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on 6 January 2010
Bought this for geocaching. It is OK. I would say that a few things detract from it.

a. menu system

In geocachng mode this is very cumbersome. To view the clue you have to quit the map and go to the man menu, then go down a level to the clue. A "fast show" button woudl be great.

b. battery life

I am finding the battery life is OK, BUT you cannot put the screen on its brightest setting when the battery life is even 80%. This is a weak point to the entire process.

c. backlight

The screen is very dull in just about all circumstances.

None of these are enough to make me hate the unit, but I am sending it back to try the oregon 300. This is only £10 more and I am sure that as its slightly bigger and has a better backlight this may be a better unit for me. Thanks to Amazon I can try both and keep the best one.

Pluses of the unit are:

a. Signal - gets signal quickly and efficiently

b. Size - superb size, easy to carry

c. Maps - I dont use the "pay" maps, but its easy to load the opensource ones - and they are fantastic.

My guess is that as garmin refine the software this unit will move from 3* to 4* and possibly even 5*.
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on 21 December 2014
Nice GPS system - probably double the number of features I would ever use, but surely all useful to someone. Would have given it 5 except for 2 tiny niggles - battery life is poor and the user guide and screen are far from intuitive and some features are not at all obvious (eg putting GPS coordinates on the map).
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on 6 May 2012
It does more than I expected it would!

It's not only very accurate - right up to the known accuracy limitations of the GPS system itself - but picks up the satellites very quickly after switch on.

But it's the extra abilities that impress me. Plug it in to the Mac, fire up the Garmin BaseCamp software (you have to download this yourself, doesn't come with it) and there are your routes and tracks clearly shown. You can click View in Google Earth against a track, and there it pops up. You can see every little hesitation and meander in your last walk in the woods. My old GPS, a few years ago, didn't like the woods, lost its signal, but not this one.

But I was flabbergasted yesterday to see it match my walk to the photographs I'd taken on the walk, and show me a Google Earth view complete with little flags matching each picture. One picture, of a fairly small ground feature at Greenham Common, was shown in the exact perfect place. Furthermore, it will go in to the pictures themselves and actually geotag them (my camera doesn't have GPS built in.)

A good 5 stars worth.
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on 1 January 2015
For just over £100 I guess I can't really grumble - it does pretty much everything that I would expect at this price point. However, with hindsight I may have been better off sticking to the built in GPS on my smartphone.

This unit is tiny - the screen size is significantly smaller than a typical smartphone. That said, it makes for a very portable and light unit that fits comfortably in your pocket.

Good points - cheap, functional, well made

Negatives - the quality of the screen is poor by today's standards - it is very grainy. The supplied maps are worse than useless - you will need to get either the full map package from Garmin for £100 plus, or use some of the free / cheaper alternatives that can be found online.
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on 29 May 2010
An excellent item. As a geologist a GPS is often vital. This ticks all the boes Quick to aquire a signal, accurate at nearly all times, even under tree cover. Paperless Geocaching is easy to use and effective. Battery life is variable and the meter is slightly iffy often going from full to emergency in an hour so a spare pair of batteries is often a wise investment. Lack of accessories and their high price is also a pain but its a case of choosing wisely. Overall a really great little item and highly effective for price
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on 17 June 2014
We purchased this primarily for geocaching with a secondary use of hiking having never used a stand alone GPS before (I have used geocaching apps on my phone before).

I easily set it up within a few hours of opening it, I personally found it pretty easy to set up and anything I was confused regarding (importing pocket queries to it mainly), I just quickly looked up online and found step by instructions on how to do it, saying that I know my OH would have had issues setting it up as they are not quite as tech savvy.

I find it lightweight, comfortable to hold/wear on a lanyard, the keypad is rather small so when typing it is easy to hit the incorrect letter, but this just gets easy the more you use it, I find the screen easy to read and there are various display settings. I personally do not like the lanyard that comes with it and I had purchased in advance a wider lanyard to use with it, which I find more comfortable.

When out geocaching with it I have found it to be accurate (it easily picked up the quota of satellites for us in remote west Cornwall), you can easily view the details, difficulty, type, hints, logs, waypoints (parking/stages etc.) for each geocache.

As other say the maps are not great, but there are numerous to download free so that is not an issue for me.

Overall in my opinion it does exactly as it says on the tin, it is a basic entry level GPS system that for us is ideal and I personally wouldn't pay the much higher price tag for the higher level GPS systems, as for us the extras they come with are not worth the extra money.
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on 20 August 2015
This was an upgrade from the the etrax which I loved and was very accurate but it was time consuming.
So for a new geocaching experience I bit the bullet and ordered this well! It's better than I ever expected :-) I now geocache with ease. I upload the caches to the GPS and off I go, alongwith the full description, hint and previous logs just in case. The GPS is always spot on and eventually gets there even with tree coverage, can't believe I didn't do it sooner.
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