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Of course there's a whole lot more you can do with the Oregon than any paper-based map. Apart from the rubber on/off button on the side, the entire interface is operated via the 3in, 240 x 400 pixel, touch-sensitive screen. Thanks to the transflective display, the Oregon 300 is readable in bright sunlight. We were lucky enough to be testing on a rare sunny April day and found that a bit of hand-shielding was sometimes required, but the screen was never illegible.
Basic navigation involves creating waypoints to steer your hiking. You can then use the Compass screen to direct you to a waypoint. Multiple waypoints can be defined to create a route, with room for up 1,000 waypoints and 50 routes in total. But you can also record tracks of your favourite walks as you travel, then use these to guide you along the same path at a future date. You can store up to 20 tracks comprising 10,000 points in total.
The 300 can be set for different profiles, ranging from recreational to automotive, marine and fitness. This primarily changes how information is displayed on the main route screen, but with an appropriate map set you can also enable turn-by-turn commands.
There are numerous handy extra features packed inside, too. Calendars including rising and setting times for sun and moon and the best times for hunting and fishing are built in. There's an alarm clock, calculator and stopwatch. A trip computer provides an odometer, average and maximum speeds, plus elevation. You can use the 300 to calculate an area with a built-in widget. Just walk round the perimeter of the area, and Garmin will work out its size for you. There's a wireless link for sharing waypoints, tracks and routes with users of other Oregon and Colorado GPS devices.
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