After evaluating both the eTrex Legend H and the eTrex Vista HCx, I decided I prefer this, the basic non-mapping eTrex H for outdoor navigating. The main reason is the simplicity; the menus are simple and straightforward. The mapping features of the other models are not necessary for backpacking, and the added menu complexity is distracting. Don't get me wrong, I am quite tech savvy and own and use many more 'complicated' devices, but if you are in an emergency situation, or lost and scared, the first thing to go is rational thinking. If you are on the verge of hypothermia in whiteout conditions trying to get off a mountain with your GPS, ask yourself if you want to be dealing with a bunch of buried menu functions.
In that regard the eTrex H is beautifully simple. Battery life is very good (with Lithium batteries), it has excellent reception even in dense forests, and is bright yellow. In other words, they really essential functions of a GPS--receiver sensitivity, battery life, simplicity, and waterproofness are all excellent on this device. Anything else (mapping, compass/altimeter, etc) are fun/expensive accessories, but not essential.
I've tried many GPSs, from full-mapping PDA phones to fancy outdoor GPSs, but for times when my life may depend on it, I'm sticking with the Garmin eTrex H. Plus, you can't find it for cheaper than through WalMart. p.s. you can get a usb cable for this online for about $11 US to manage your waypoints and routes.
If you absolutely must have a mapping GPS, the price point on this would still make it a great backup GPS or a GPS for someone else in your group.
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