Garmin Etrex Venture


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Mar 13, 2001
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After months of indecision, I decided to go cheap and get a Garmin Etrex Venture ($170 from Cabela's)  It's suspose to be the same as the Etrex Legend except no maps.

I aready have a Magellan 4000 ($250) and it did everything I wanted really, except too slow to lock on and not near as accurate as the 12 channel models I compared it with  (borrowed from friends for a few days:  GPS III, Magellon Color Track, and an Etrex Map)

The 2 that had maps were interesting but I didn't think I'd ever use the maps much, I mostly want one for hiking in the woods type stuff.  It was neat to pan across the USA from MO. clear across to Oregon where I used to live with the GPS III tho. (it didnt' show County Rds, BTW)

I've only played with the Venture one w/e but here are the things I like about it:

WASS capable (for when they get a few more satelites up)

When you get near a "Waypoint" the distance displays FEET automatically

The Main Navigation Screen has everything I want displayed;  Direction Arrow, Bearing, Speed, Distance
(better watch GPS direction arrows, they'll get you lost when hiking, always use a compass with the Bearing to get back)

Pretty fast to lock on (but pretty fast to lose satalite signals too)

Easy to read the screen, the background is almost white with black text; the Magellon 4000 and Color Track were dark green with black text, etc on it, hard for my old eyes to see.  The Venture screen is hi-resolution and some of it's text is real small (but clear) but I also had trouble reading some of it, even with my reading glasses on, it was so small.

My wife told be once I should get an external antenna to stick on my hat so the GPS still tracks when It's in my pocket......This GPS is so small, I could stick it on my hat, ha ha, it's about the size of a pack of cigarettes and pretty light. (no external antenna conn tho)

which brings me to my biggest complaint....... Why does Garmin insist on putting those weak "Patch" antenas on most of their units? ! ? ! ?   both Magellons would lock on inside my house, (as did the Garmin GPS III) but the Venture & Etrex Map would not even lock on when placed on a pix window sill.  Also, I can't even lay it (or the E-Map) on the car seat with out it losing signal (unlike the other 3 units)  I don't know if the Garmin GPS III has the better antenna or not but almost bet it does.  I did squeeze in under several cedars all covered with snow to see if the Venture lost signal and it Did NOT so it maybe ok when the leaves are back on, don't know yet, about that....

Okay, I'm done rambling.


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