There are too many high-end GPS handheld devices out in the market today. The average price, however, can be very daunting. It makes you wonder if you’re paying for a lot of fancy features that you won’t care about. If you’re just a typical weekend traveler, then you don’t have to spend around $500 for a GPS handheld device. Or at least you don’t have to if you’re just starting out. In this case, you can consider choosing the Garmin eTrex Venture HC which is a good entry-level GPS device for the casual hiker or traveler. Better yet, it’s relatively cheaper than most GPS handheld devices.
Of course, you have to worry that this brand falls short of everything that you require for a good expedition. Let’s enumerate the device’s features so you can have a pretty good idea on the basic features this device has.
• Built-in Geocaching
• 1.4×1.8-inch Colour Screen
• Highly responsive Receiver
• Built-in Base Map
• Capability to Handle Additional Partial Maps
• 24 MB Internal Memory
This review is going to discuss these basic features in full detail as we go along. As to the device’s appearance, it looks sleek enough. Its yellow color and snug casing provide just the right mood for trekking. It’s easy to carry with you as well.
The 1.4×1.8-inch color screen looks out-dated, but it does the job. The device uses a little joy-stick that you can navigate using your thumb, which is intuitive enough for you to point to a specific destination. This destination tracking is supported by the MapSource software, which also comes handy with geocaching.
Some basic additional features are the hunting and fishing calendars, the calculator, and an app that gives you information about the sun and the moon. These are applications that make you feel more assured during long trips.
If you’re traveling to a new city, the Garmin eTrex Venture HC supports the City Navigator. So no matter how confusing the city roads are, the device can provide a digital trail that you can follow. If ever you find something interesting off the beaten track, there’s the option to set waypoints as well. This makes it easier for you to find that interesting spot again in case you get to travel in that section of the city in the very near future.
The built-in geocaching mode is also sufficient for those who are just getting into geocaching. The navigator can provide you some “hidden treasures” shared by other users.
Of course, given that the Garmin eTrex Venture HC is cheap, you have to expect that there are certain drawbacks that you have to contend with. For one, navigation can be confusing at first. It can get pretty wieldy using the joy-stick navigation during first use. Fortunately, it gets easier as you keep on using the device.
One major drawback is the lack of the barometric altimeter feature. This means that you don’t get accurate elevation readings. In the long run, you don’t get an accurate record of your trips, especially if you have traveled to many locations. You won’t be able to predict weather trends as well.
Overall, the Garmin eTrex Venture HC is the perfect device for the casual hiker or traveler. It doesn’t have the advanced features found in many high-end GPS devices, but you can make up for it with supplementary devices. It’s also very cheap, and it certainly doesn’t hurt having one of these in your pocket when you’re about to go on a weekend trip.