Garmin eTrex Venture Waterproof Hiking GPS
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- Worldwide database of cities
- 1 MB memory
- Stylish, green translucent case
- Package Includes: eTrex Venture, City Point Database, PC interface cable, Wrist strap, User's guide, Quick reference guide
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- Size (LWH): 8.5 inches, 6 inches, 3 inches
- Weight: 1 pounds
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The main menu. View larger.
Current position display. View larger.
Point of interest information page. View larger.
The Garmin eTrex Venture provides easy-to-use GPS navigation in the palm of your hand. View larger.
Text was very easy to read--highlights are discernible and menu bars and clickable objects are well defined. The unit also has an excellent backlight, which illuminates the whole screen with a white light, giving excellent contrast and viewing capability at night.
The Venture's interface is split into five different pages, each providing different functions. The main menu page gives you access to your saved routes and tracks, as well as setup for using WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation Service) reception, unit measurement, time, and display. These are all quickly rotated through with the click of the Page button on the right-hand side of the unit.
The map page displays the basemap included with the Venture, and for outdoor excursions it provides all the basics you'll need. It automatically tracks your movements and you can save individual tracks for later viewing. The map is zoomable from 500 miles to 20 feet depending on your preferences. You can place waypoints and places of interest on the map and name and change the icons of each to create your own personalized maps. If you decide you want to go somewhere, press the Find button and you'll get quick access to waypoints, your favorites list, and nearby cities.
The Venture features 1 MB of memory for downloading points-of-interest data--including lodging, business services, banks, and more--from optional CD-ROMs via the included PC cable. Unfortunately, for more detailed mapping you'll need to look to the Garmin eTrex Legend or Vista, both of which have larger memory capacities and the ability to download detailed maps.
Reception was, of course, best outside on a clear day, but the Venture retained most of its functionality under limited cover like small buildings or thick trees.
All in all, the Garmin eTrex Venture is a nifty little GPS tool and is ready to roll for your outdoor adventure. However, if you're looking to use more detailed map data with your GPS, the Garmin eTrex Vista or Legend would be a better choice. --Matt Deffer
What's in the Box
eTrex Venture GPS receiver, City Point database, PC interface cable, wrist strap, user's guide, and quick reference guide.
Top Customer Reviews
It did take some time to learn how to operate the unit. The instructions were not as clear as I would have liked but trial and error is a great teacher. I had a friend who got me interested in geocaching and that really helped me learn how to use all of the Venture's features. It is easy to upgrade from the Garmin website and to also download maps from the Mapsource CD-ROM's. It is kind of like learning to use a computer. Don't be afraid to try something. You won't hurt it.
I usually average 18+ hours on a pair of batteries. I also purchased a power cord so that I could use it in my vehicle. I just plug it in and wedge the GPS between the windshield and dashboard and follow the arrow to the next geocache.
I have been impressed with the toughness of this unit. I have dunked it in the river, dropped it, and generally given it a rough time. I would recommend this to someone who is interested in a GPS but does not want to invest a lot of money.
I only have a couple of real beefs with it -
1: the unit eats batteries like candy if it's constantly on, _especially_ if you use the backlight. Invest in rechargeable batteries.
2: the display plate is thin ABS plastic and I'm worried about a sharp object or a good crack shattering the glass;
3: The LCD display is also hard to read in poor light (specifically by car dome light at night), but there is a backlight;
4: It is complete BS that you can't enter your own data via a PC interface without buying that Garmin map software.
None of these beefs are particularly troublesome. I chose the Venture because it seemed the best compromise between price and functionality. I would recommend it for anyone as a first GPS, I think the mapping functionality is great for travelers.
For starters, it only took about two minutes to locate a satellite for the first time (supposed to take up to five) and averages about 30 seconds to locate one in general. The screen resolution is easy to read and the options for customizing the map make it even easier if you have trouble reading small text. The waypoint markers are easy to define and edit. The compass seems to be very quick in picking up your movements. Almost everything is customizable giving you endless options for your specific use for the GPS unit. The unit is comfortable in the hand, although some of the buttons are a little stiff at first.
My satellite reception is excellent. I took it hiking in 40°F rain and hail (obviously very overcast) and only lost reception once while walking under heavy tree cover. On the way home I placed it on the dashboard and it tracked me 33 miles home without losing reception once. This was in 500 ft visibility fog on a one lane curvy mountain road. This unit definitely gets the job done.
My only gripes are there's no beep or sound when it loses reception and you have to press enter to acknowledge you have lost reception, thus it begins tracking you again. So if you hike by turning the unit on and placing it in your backpack, or even on your belt, you could have lost reception and not known it, and because you haven't acknowledged the unit, it's not tracking you anymore (as far as I can tell).
Other than that, this unit works perfect for getting you in and out of areas where there's no trails and finding that perfect spot to spend the night or fish and hunt.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't receive an instruction book about how to use this product and after finding one on the net, I still can't figure out how to use this.Published on April 19, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This version does not preform takes forever to find anything in the sky. I would suggest you look for something else.Published on December 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I bought this refurbished and it was extremely inexpensive (compared to other units as well as new units). Read morePublished on May 24, 2013 by Robert
Well, after one day of getting water on my Garmin... it stopped working. Everything was sealed and locked up tight, but it got mosture inside the screen and stopped working >:[Published on April 30, 2012 by Ryno
This is a great GPS for the person just getting their hands on one. It has few "bells and whistles" , just the basics, but gets good support from Garmin. Read morePublished on March 15, 2012 by Mort
The eTrex Venture was purchased to replace a much older Garmin unit that was lost at the airport. The Venture is a disappointment in every respect. Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by Mountaineer
Ordered for the telecom crew to use. Seems to be working great.Published on May 15, 2007 by Patricia Moore
I have used GPS for years for flying to driving, but a lumber man turned me on to this inexpensive gadget as an invaluable tool for calculating acreage for fertilization or liming... Read morePublished on September 29, 2006 by Found the Truth