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How to best spend $$ on Garmin eTrex Venture HC?

Started by Kennh, August 24, 2009, 07:44:29 AM

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Am a newbie to gps units and gedocaching, so would appreciate advice, suggestions, recommendations from those of you on this site. I can get Garmin HC alone for $100 or bundled with Map Source U.S. Topo dvd added for $75 more.
If I got just HC unit, are maps with features similar to Garmin's Topo dvd avalable on this site? Would they work as well as Garmin's Topo dvd? Any real advantage to spending additional $75 for Garmin's Topo dvd as opposed to downloading from here?
Thank you for your help.

Indrid Cold

Hi, the maps here are generally more detailed than the Garmin 100K US TOPO set. Several of the map pages have images that compare them. What area are you interested in? For $175 you are better off getting a Legend HCx and using the maps from this site.

Also (removed duplicate crosspost thread)


A unit with a memory card is well worth it.  It does not take long to want more detail and to extend your area of interest.


I have this eTrex Venture HC. I can only get about 25% of my state (Virginia) map into it because it has a small amount of internal memory. This is OK if you only hike in a portion of the state, or if you want to keep loading in different areas (which oveweites the over areas). I find it a pain in the butt. The unit does not accept any kind of expansion memory so I am stuck with this. I actually roam all over the state with my outdoor activities so am frequently swapping different maps into it.

Still, it is a cheap unit and this may be all you need. The free topo maps are pretty good.


I would really give some serious consideration to your GPS choice. That is the bottom of the line unit and it is missing many features. Personally I feel the small memory size is a deal breaker. This was the norm on GPS'es 7 or 8 years ago, but today it's absurd, seeing as you can buy 2 GB SD memory cards for a couple bucks.