You can create waypoints and a track which you can easily upload to Google Earth. You can also for example mark a start point and waypoints as you hike and then follow them back so that you don't get lost. Unfortunately, the basemap that comes with the GPS is too large and will not show the detail of a typical topo map. It is quite easy however to download free topo maps that work quite well on the eTrex 20 or 30. Just google "topo maps for Garmin etrex". It is not difficult to do.
Sort of. It works for tracking and elevation. However it doesn't come with any topographic or trail maps. You will need to load maps if you intend to use them, which you probably do. There are free maps available to download online. I think the best site is GPS File Depot.
yes, you can. It has a U.S. map. Pick an area and zoom way into it. Then mark your position where you are starting. Be sure to have the Garmin in track mode. As you move, it will track you. If you need to go back to where you were, just turn around and follow the Garmin. It will track you as you are moving. If you want to download trails, parks, ect. you will need to purchase the eTrex30.
Yes and no. Yes, just put batteries in it and you can track your path on the trail, right out of the box. If you are expecting trails to be already marked on the built-in map, no. For that, you'll need to download or purchase additional maps.
I used mine to go out some walking trails out from my house. They are not marked in any way. Use the trex to walk out and followed my same path using the trex for the trip back. I love it. Have not taken out for many trips but had no problems following my return trip on a trail that I was not familiar with. I played with it a little around the neighborhood just to get use to it first.
Yes. Just put in batteries and it will power-up and you can start hiking. You may have to play with it while you are hiking to figure out how it works, what screens do what. Follow your path on your Current Track map, make sure tracking is ON if you want a track. Reset trip log before you start to calculate length of each hike.
Yes. You won't have any detailed Topo maps loaded on the GPS, but you don't need those. Turn on the map and you can follow the track back to wherever you started. It's best to practice around your neighborhood before venturing into the wild unknown. Alaskan Hunter