Garmin Oregon 300

To continue my trend of Geocaching related articles, fuelled by a recent interest in the sport, I have managed to get my hands upon a Garmin Oregon 300 hand-held GPS.

The Oregon 300 is very much like the Colorado 300 only it boasts a rugged touch screen as the one and only method of interaction (aside from the power button).

Outside of those in mobile phones I am new to hand-held GPS units so my perspective should be similar to many Geocachers and potential buyers. Hand-held GPS units are a clearly different class of device to automotive GPS units, are geared towards walking rather than driving and, on first impressions, seem to be more accurate and far, far more feature packed.

Myself and Rob just took the Oregon for a brief stint in the city. After some struggling to get it to pick up a GPS signal (because we utterly failed to read the instructions) we were finally quite impressed with the result.

Anything that’s pocket sized and can lead us to the nearest pub or restaurant in countries all over the world scores big brownie points; and the Garmin Oregon 300 can do that without needing a data connection like the iPhone 3g. Although separate, detailed, map data must be purchased for each area of interest.

The UI isn’t particularly slick and the screen is a little small but the Oregon 300 is clearly designed to be a rugged, functional and water resistant device rather than a flashy one. It serves this purpose well and actually manages to look quite attractive.

I will be using the Garmin both at home and abroad over the coming weeks. Amongst other things I will be trying to squeeze some home-cooked maps onto it, attempt to find some Geocaches and find the shortest possible route between every pub in Norwich.

A full review will be coming soon!

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