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by kN87fromPerfect for me.Quality piece of equipment. Fast to set up. Easy to use. And, it's really lightweight and easy to put in a pocket or pack. I use it hiking and marking waypoints.
Date published: 2012-04-25
Rated 5out of5
by HikerMikerfromWho me,get lost?I bought this Garmin eTrex 20 Topo GPS primarily for hiking and camping and exploring places I hadn't been before,even with the help of a topography map.The whole idea,in my way of thinking,is to prevent you from walking in circles and eventually getting lost.To me,it was a good investment for a person(s) like myself to get in and get out of the woods and canyons in as short a time as possible.
Date published: 2013-04-17
Rated 5out of5
by DebbieCMfromThere is a learning curve, but GREAT GPS!This is the first GPS I have owned so there was quite a learning curve on how to work it. The owner's manual is poor to okay, you have to figure most of it out on your own. An REI worker gave me a great tip - buy the Garmin bundle so that you get the 100K maps by Garmin. Then buy the Nat Geo/All Trails Map Kit which comes with 24K maps for all of the US (very cheap compared to buying the CD-ROMs). The Nat Geo maps will not work on the Garmin, so you can export/import trails from your Garmin onto a 24K map and vice versa. It took me 2 solid days to a grasp on how to figure most of it out. The Nat Geo maps work with Alltrails.com, which is an amazing resource.
The eTrex 20 does not have the wireless sharing feature of the eTrex 30, but I don't feel that is necessary for me. I "track" most my hikes and create waypoints. The batteries are doing great (longest I've done is a 2 day back pack). The case keeps it from getting too dirty. I keep it clipped to a front buckle on my back pack so I don't have problems with buttons getting pushed accidentally like I've read on other reviews.
Overall, this is a great product! It does the basics well without spending a lot of money. I recommend it!
Date published: 2014-07-18
Rated 2out of5
by gee69fromuseless 100K topo mapI like the device but am still learning how to use it. This is my first GPS unit and it's definitely not intuitive. I got the bundle thinking it had everything I needed. I expected the 100K map to be better than the base map that was provided. My mistake. I can't search for addresses. I can't even see popular trails of my state park and city park, which is only the largest municipal park in the country. Yosemite National Park search gets stuck so only part of the map appears on screen and if you go into details, you get a blank screen. Searching for a national park takes forever to find. In my opinion, don't bother with the 100K map. I called in thinking it was a software malfunction when none of my searches resulted in anything useful and learned that I should get the regional map 24K because there are not enough details for address searches and trails of my area with the 100K topo map. If you want the etrex with expandable memory and don't need the compass and two other measurements, then get the etrex 20 and the 24K map. I regretted not getting the etrex 30 during the sale. I'm thinking of returning the etrex 20 bundle b/c the map is just not worth the extra bucks when I will have to replace it with the 24K map.
Date published: 2012-06-04
Rated 4out of5
by NM Zombie SquadfromGood price, good unit.This replaced my old yellow eTrex that finally cratered after 15 plus years of hard use. This unit is a nice upgrade. My only complaint is the extra I paid for the topo map version that doesn't cover much of the Southwest region I am in. It's also hard to read in direct sunlight. The area calculator is an awesome addition. For the price, the extras make it a great little unit.
Date published: 2012-09-26
Rated 5out of5
by dorkwad75fromThis unit works for me...Why the eTrex 20? I began with the notion that I wanted a handheld that I could use with Topos, but also on the water. This meant to me that I wanted to be able to have SD card as an option. I considered the GPSMAP 62 series first, then the Colorado 450T and finally I decided that for the money, the eTrex 20 did everything I wanted at a price much less that the others and did not have a number of reviews about how hard it was to read the screen in bright sunlight, etc.
So, having decided on a unit, why the bundle?
I needed the cable, to upload 24K topos, the case provides protection from scratches to the screen, the 100K topo shows roads other than major state routes (unlike the built-in map) and for trips in the car, shows all of US. The belt clip may or may not be a plus.
I plan to use the 24K topos for travel in the Olympic Nat'l Park/Forest. These are on a disk while the 100K Topos are on a micro SD card. The maps from the disk are easily selected and loaded onto the unit using the BaseCamp program, free from Garmin. The 100K map is downloaded from the unit to a computer using the same program. So the deal on maps and units ( as I understand it) is: if you download the map/chart, it gets tied to a single GPS unit. If you have the chart/map on a SD card, you can move it between units but in order to display the map on the computer screen, the GPS unit must be connected to the computer. Since maps/charts that come on a disk are already on the computer before they get to the unit, this connected requirement goes away.
Things I learned in the process of getting used to the unit: 1) more than once I got confused because I forgot that there may be many more menu items available than are visible on the unit screen. ( well, duh is appropriate here).
2) My house is at an elevation of approximately 12 ft but one morning the GPS booted up with a first
fix showing an elevation of 395 ft and it took the better part of 30 minutes before this initial fix was diluted away. Positional error was also great initially ( the whole road was 500 ft off to the left, e.g. I attribute the lousy initial fix to an unfortunate constellation of satelites and the long period of correction to "pinning" which is usually a good thing but on the odd moment can make it a pain to get back to better fixes.
3) The initial download of the 100K Topo map from the unit took ca. an hour. Why the download seems much longer than uploads is beyond me but it was so slow that I did not notice that the good people at Garmin put a blue line by the download label which is supposed to show you about the progree of the process. You have to be patient in this day of gigabyte transfers before the blue line changes enough to know something is happening. Just my poor expectations. There are many thing I lkie about this combination of maps and hardware, it works for me.
Date published: 2012-04-01
Rated 5out of5
by db3fromExcellent Multipurpose UnitI always carry a GPS on my hikes and occasionally on bike rides. Last year I started researching a replacement/upgrade for my older Magellan Explorist. I took the REI GPS class, which was an excellent introduction to the newer GPS models. In the class I used used the high end Garmin 62 model. An excellent unit, but overkill for my uses and way over my budget. The Garmin 20 model is perfect for me; small and light enough to clip onto my Osprey GragBag, has excellent battery life, easily mounts to a bike handlebar, and has all the features I need in a GPS at a reasonable price. On the trail the joy stick and side buttons work well using only one hand. The 100k Topo card gives adequate detail, but I carry 24K paper maps when necessary. The street information is adequate for my bike rides, but does not replace a dedicated auto unit. The bike handlebar mount works quite well and I have no problems reading the display while riding. When I get home I can map my hikes and bike rides using the BaseCamp program, which works fine on my iMac. I'm still debating on whether to purchase the expensive 24K cards for future hikes; the 100k card with 24K maps has been working well for me.
Date published: 2012-06-05
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