Saturday, 29 January 2011

Long Term Test: Garmin Etrex-h.

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I bought this a couple of years ago, because i wanted a simple fall back in case I got lost. As it turns out on that particular trip we ended up in the middle of nowhere, with everything covered in snow, making Nav very tricky. I have taken it every trip since. I’ve never had any problems with it apart from one overnight camp where i forgot to turn it off that night, but it was still running the next day, although with low-ish batteries.

28012011574 It has always impressed me with it’s accuracy. I tried Geocaching when I bought it and the route to the cache was found by first finding a clue on an information board.. The Garmin got me so close to the information board that I could have reached out and touched it. Of course, it’s not usually that accurate, but it’s usually within a few meters. I recently bought a lead so I could connect it to the PC. This means that I can add routes easily and get Tracks back from the unit easily. It can display your location in a choice of several different formats and if you switch the display, it will convert any you have added to whatever format you now want to use.

It’s also handy if you go for a break to a place you’ve not been before. It’s simple to mark a waypoint at your hotel. Slip the unit in a pocket or bag and if you can’t find you’re way back, just turn the unit back on and it’ll point you in the right direction till you get there.


Pro’s: Battery life is excellent (quoted as being up to 17 hours), Small, easy to use, simple interface, accurate, easy to find (being bright yellow), waterproof, shockproof, easy to change the batteries, price (currently around £75.00)

Con’s: Cannot display maps, Not as flash as other unit’s out there, to connect to a computer you need to buy an additional lead.

Overall: I like this unit over other possibilities I’ve tried (and could afford). It blows every Phone GPS I’ve tried out of the water when you use it in the hills due to waterproofing, toughness and longer battery life. If you don’t need bells and whistles, or just don’t want to pay for them, This is perfect.