Sunday, 20 September 2009
I pretty much have my gear sorted now as far as weight or preference is concerned but there are a few items still on the wants list. One item that always looked too heavy was my GPS, a Garmin Etrex Summit. I don’t use a GPS as my primary navigation tool for a variety of reasons, for a start there’s no mapping software for N.I. and although I use Memory Map software for trips to Scotland I’m not keen on using the GPS without the visual aid of a map, add the issue of batteries and I tend to only use the GPS as a back-up.
The Etrex Summit has a barometric altimeter which I like so I wanted to make sure that any GPS I bought also had this feature. I looked at the Geko range which is fairly basic and lighter than the Etrex range. The Etrex Summit weighs 170g including pouch and 2 x AA Lithium batteries. The Geko 301 has all the features of the Etrex Summit including the barometric altimeter but with 2 x lithium AAA batteries only weighs 86g. I managed to pick up a refurbished one from a seller on ebay for £54 plus postage. The unit came next day and looks like a perfect solution for my needs, it’s quite a bit smaller and I find the buttons on the front easier to use than the side mounted buttons on the Etrex. So far I’ve only messed about with it, getting it set up and so on but I’m pleased with it so far. I haven’t tried using it with Memory map but I think it should work with the data lead that I used with the Etrex. I think the battery life is better than the Etrex and as it uses AAA batteries rather than AA any spares I carry will be lighter, in addition my head torch uses AAA batteries so the cross compatibility is useful.