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Hand Held Hiking GPS - Garmin eTrex Venture HC

Updated on March 13, 2011

Garmin is a prolific GPS company. They manufacture GPS units for the vehicles, for the motorcycles, for the bicycles, for the boaters, and there is also those for the hikers. One of Garmin's hand held GPS receivers is the eTrek Venture HC. The Venture HC would make a great gift for anyone that enjoys hiking in the great outdoors - a gift for someone or a gift for ones self.

Hiking is a popular sport and pastime for many outdoor type people. I admit that I am not so much - Skiing in Colorado is about as close to outdoors trails as I've been. But, if I were to set out on wilderness trail I would want a hand held GPS receiver.

Garmin eTrex supports US Marines in Baghdad


If I bought the Garmin eTrex Venture HC what would I like about it?

  • Small - it is - 4.2" x 2.2" x 1.2"
  • Display type - 256 color TFT (sunlight readable) - Unfortunately it is only 1.3" x 1.7" so could I really see the maps very well? I know - it goes with the territory - small unit so small screen
  • Weight - only 5.5 oz.
  • 2 AA batteries - I like that I could recharge the unit with just a couple of extra AA batteries especially since each set would get me another 14 hours of use.
  • The Venture HC is waterproof - YES! But it does not float.
  • High Sensitivity receiver - I like this feature because I want the security of knowing that I would get a signal no mater what the area or conditions
  • USB interface is good for adding maps
  • The Base Map is included but there are no preloaded maps. Unfortunately the Venture HC does not accept SC cards so maps have to be purchased and loaded over the USB port. Depending on the version Basemaps include Americas Recreational, European Atlantic Highway or the Pacific Highway. The Basemaps will show lakes, rivers, cities, major roads, interstates and highways. You will also see railroads and the coastlines.
  • Geocaching-friendly is absolutely a feature that that I would be interested in. I love to take digital pictures and this would allow me to display them as on overlay on a map such as Google Maps.
  • Waypoints are great to remember favorite spots and the Venture HC has 500 of them. Entire routes can be remembered as well up to 50.


Features that the Garmin eTrex Venture HC has that may be great for a real outdoors person is Outdoor GPS Games, Hunt/Fish Calendar, information on the sun and the moon and Area Calculation.

I can see where the Garmin eTrex Venture HC could be a world of fun as well as a safe way to navigate the outdoors. If hiking is not your thing there are several other Garmin GPS units. If you a bicycle rider you may be interested in the Fitness Edge 305 or the Edge 705.


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    • profile image

      Bob 8 years ago

      Yeah Garmin are very good. I use mine for hunting alot.

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 8 years ago

      I love my eTrex I have used it all over the west from the desert to the mountains and it has never let me down.