Hi, I know there are many Garmin reviews here and I’ve searched those as well as this forum, but can’t find much on either the Garmin ETrex 25 or 35 (the touch-screen models) or the Garmin Oregon 600 (also a touch screen).
I want a GPS for use on day-paddles on Sarasota Bay. I know it’s not a huge area but, as my son says, I can get lost just getting out of my car! Also, all the islands and shores look similar (just Mangrove-covered islands and banks) and I have found it difficult to find specific islands or find my way back to my launch point.
I’m hoping for four bits of advice:
- Will the Garmins work for me? The only GPS I’ve ever used is Google Maps Navigation on my smart phone. So I’m used to being able to see where I am on the screen, see surrounding features, see the direction I’m going, and see where I SHOULD be going. I’m also used to voice direction (which I know I won’t get on these GPS systems), but I’ll need SOME way of knowing when I’m on course and when I’m not. My “course” will typically be different sets of islands in the bay, and then back to my starting point.
- Which of the three (ETrex 25, ETrex 35, or Oregon 600) would be best for me?
- Has anyone used any of these 3 devices in bright sunlight and, if so, are they viewable? The ads say they are, but I’ve yet to find a store in my area with one I can take out in the sun for a demo.
- Since I’ll only be in the Sarasota Bay and not out on the open Gulf waters, will I really need the BlueChart (water nav chart) or will the 25k Topo map for my area show me the water, islands (by name), bridges (by name), canals, etc., well enough for my purpose?
Any other info or advice is also very welcome!