Folk that know me will know that I’m proud of my map and compass reliance that has seen me seriously lost in the Highlands only er, a few times…
But new is good, freelance stuff is demanding that I move with the times and I must admit that sometimes it would nice to know just exactly where the hell I am in a cloud or blizzard. So, in for test from Garmin UK is their Oregon 450.
I was initially a bit intimidated, electronics just isn’t my thing, but I did find I could get it up and running very easily which was something of a relief. It came with Scotland on OS Landranger 1:50,000 on a mini memory card which was easy to stick in and nicely familiar on-screen.
The screen is nice and big, and apart from the on/off button all the functions are controlled from the touchscreen display via simple scrolling pages of icons and sub-menus.
First time I used it was out in the street and it took a few minutes to find me, which it then did very precisely. The second time was on Beinn Fhada where the screen briefly showed home and then changed to my camp site after a couple of seconds which impressed no end.
On the recent trip to Loch Quoich I compared notes with Phil who had a similar model and that helped me change some of the settings (the one downside of not having a wee manual to carry about, it being a downloadable affair), and I’m now comfortable with the information it’s giving me.
I’ve still to use most of the functions, recording routes and the like, I’m being methodical as it really is all completely new to me, literally “Baby’s First GPS”. There’s a bunch of stuff on there that looks kinda “enthusiast specific” as well, it’s interesting that the GPS has become more than just a tool. I really am lagging behind.
Anyway, I’ll be updating my progress with this as I go, I really hope I’m not the only one out there starting at ground level with this stuff.
I do wonder how it’ll compare to my own built-in nav, I walked right to that cup-marked stone last week with a grid-ref in my head and a map in my hand, will pride will have me arguing with the wee box in times to come when it tells me something I wasn’t expecting?