etrex 10 GPS Handheld by Garmin or Jarhead Survivor Goes New School

Recently Mrs Jarhead and I packed the kids up and headed for the big city of Portland, Maine for the weekend.  We took our boy to Jokers (kind of a souped up Chucky Cheese for those of you with kids) and then off to a hotel for the night and we even ordered dinner from a nice restaurant.  This amounted to a huge vacation for us because we never do stuff like that.

As a side note we walked through the Maine Mall and I’m here to report that consumerism is alive and well in this section of America.  There were hundreds of people walking around with fancy cell phones and bags full of plunder taken during their weekend shopping excursion.  We didn’t buy anything at the time, but I felt like a bumpkin walking around all wide-eyed staring at the shops and marveling at the number of people in the iStore looking at Mac gadgets.

Anyway, after the kids were in bed I headed over to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods with Mrs Jarheads blessing as I’ve been wanting to try out one of those fancy GPS units everybody is talking about.

After chatting with the guy behind the counter for about forty-five minutes I walked away the proud owner of an etrex 10 GPS hand held device.

If you have read this blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of depending on electronic gadgets for several different reasons:  what happens when the battery goes dead and you don’t have any extra on hand?  How do I know this device won’t lead me down the wrong path?  Think of your car GPS saying, “recalculating!” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  And will dependence on such a device cause me to lose my skills in map and compass reading?

Well, I’m going to put it to the test.

But first, the guy behind the counter assured me that he uses his in conjunction with his map and compass, which simply makes him more accurate in the wilderness.  Ok, I can live with that!  Second, I’ll be using this device to set waypoints, so it won’t be leading me anywhere.  And last, since this is used in addition to and not instead of my map and compass maybe I’ll sharpen my map skills even more.  How’s that for ambitious?

In the next few weeks I hope to get out and play with my new device and hopefully learn a few things that I can pass on to you readers here at SHTFblog.

One thing I have learned so far is that this is considered an entry level device and thus you can not download maps for it.  I almost paid the $57 dollars for the nonrefundable download and then decided to wait and talk to tech support when I didn’t see my device listed under the compatibility section.  Good thing too, because this device isn’t meant to use those maps.

So in the next few weeks I’ll RTFM (Read The Freakin’ Manual) and see if I can figure this rig out.

Anybody out there have experience with handheld GPS units?  Thoughts?  Experiences you’d like to share?  Hit me up in the comments section.

-Jarhead Survivor