Garmin etrex 20 or 30


Old 02-03-15, 03:47 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NW. Ohio
Posts: 67
Garmin etrex 20 or 30

My garmin etrex legand quit working. Want to stay with a garmin so I can load my topo Canada maps on. Reviews I read like the 20 over the 30 mainly because of the price and the 30 only having a few more features. I found the 30 on sale for only $20 more than the 20. Anybody have either of these and have any input?

We go on a fishing trip every year in Canada. I used to use my legand then bought a boat with a gps in it. We are renting boats this year on a new lake, so I want to have a gps to mark spots and not get lost.
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Old 02-03-15, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,563
If the only option is between the two you mentioned then... ooh, I don't know. If just using it on a boat marking spots than the 20 is fine. But I hate to say I really find having a magnetic compass very handy.

The difference is when you're not moving. The 20 will tell you where you are but only knows what way the unit is oriented when it is moving. So if you are close to your favorite fishing spot and not moving the GPS will tell you you're 100 feet away, sorry 100 meters (I forgot you're Canadian). If you're not moving the 20 can't tell you what direction you need to go. You can stand on your non moving boat and twirl around in a circle while holding the GPS and the display will not change. It will only tell you if you're heading in the right direction if you start the motor and move which allows the GPS to determine a direction.

With the 30 you can be stopped in your boat and hold the GPS. It will point to your fishing hot spot. As you turn while holding the GPS it's pointer will turn, always pointing to your waypoint. On land it's really handy if you're in a strange city and emerge from the subway. Both GPS will know where you are but only the one with the compass will know the direction you're facing. With the compass model you can immediately turn and walk in the correct direction. With a non-compass GPS you'll have to start walking and after a while you'll see that your track is in the wrong direction and have to turn and walk in a different direction.

Now, if you are willing to pony up the money for a eTrex 30 I'll try to get you to spring for a Oregon 600. It won't do any better at finding a location but the screen is a whole world better. It's viewable outside during the day and the map resolution is actually useful. If you think the map on the eTrex is good enough you'll be blown away with the Oregon. The downside... Yea, it's getting really up there in price and that wonderful screen consumes batteries faster. I don't find it's battery consumption a problem consider it a small price to pay for a mapping screen that can be used in the sun.
Old 02-03-15, 06:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NW. Ohio
Posts: 67
Thanks Dane,
The etrex 30 is on sale for $179, $ 20 more than the 20. The Oregon 600 is over $300, out of my budget. I think I will go with the 30, I had the legand so I know what you mean about not knowing direction unless you are moving.

Also, I'm not Canadian, just go up,there fishing.

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