During testing, we did find that the Oregon was susceptible to losing GPS lock when tree cover occluded the sky a little. But it was also very quick to relock when we entered a clearer area. This might make walking in deep forests slightly hit-and-miss, but we didn’t find any difficulties when navigating light woodland. The Oregon 300 will last for 16 hours of continued use on a pair of AA batteries, too, so it’ll have plenty of juice if you do go off track, and the use of standard cells means you can always have replacements handy just in case.
The Oregon 300 isn’t just for serious hiking, though. You can also download Geocaches to the device and then use it to find their location. You can also play Whereigo location-based games. A tutorial comes preloaded with a relatively amusing sci-fi exploration theme, and you can download further cartridges or create your own via the Whereigo website.
You will need to be relatively serious about your hiking to spend at least £300 on the Oregon 300 plus Ordnance Survey maps. However, the Oregon goes well beyond what a basic handheld GPS can offer, or indeed any handheld GPS before. The Oregon has a much larger map screen than previous outdoor Garmins available in the UK, too, making it a viable alternative to paper maps.
There is a cheaper 200 version with less memory and no wireless link, and a 400t model which comes with European Topographic maps preloaded. But the 300 is only slightly more expensive than the 200, and the 400t is £60 more, making the 300 best value overall. With the fun location-based gaming additions as well, it’s an ideal gadget for those who love the outdoors life.
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