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Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Review

Garmin Oregon 300 GPS – Versatile and affordable.
Call me old school, (or dumb. or cheap), but although I am an avid backpacker and outdoor enthusiast, I have yet to purchase a GPS unit. Especially after hearing about hikers recently getting lost on Mount Hood near my home in Portland, I’ve been checking out different GPS units, and in particular, the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit.

The two things that caught my attention about the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit is that it is small and uses a touch screen–something iPhone lovers will be happy about. The Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit features a touch screen that is easy to understand and super easy to use. The “buttons” are large enough that you don’t have to struggle to push them, which is always a plus on touch screens.

If you are into geocaching as a hobby, you might find the particularly interesting. The Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit supports GPX files from These files will give you all the information you could want for a geocache; including hints, descriptions, difficulty, and more. So if you are looking at getting into geocaching, the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit can help you get started fast!

The quick & dirty:

Where you can get one: $402

Why they rock:

  • Large, sunlight-readable screen offers crystal-clear colors and high-resolution images
  • Easy, intuitive touchscreen operation is fun and simple to use
  • Waterproof MicroSD card slot for storing additional data; accepts Garmin MapSource and BlueChart data cards and software
  • Built-in electronic compass and barometric altimeter provide additional navigational aid
  • Supports GPX files for downloading detailed geocache descriptions, terrain, difficulty and hints directly into GPS unit
  • Groundspeak’s Wherigo Player application comes pre-installed and includes an instructional tutorial; learn more at
  • Basemap with 850 MB built-in memory stores up to 1,000 waypoints, 50 routes and 20 tracks with up to 10,000 points; Digital Elevation Model shading enhances map view
  • Enjoy effortless sharing of waypoints, tracks, routes and geocache locations between Oregon and Colorado series units with ANT wireless communication function
  • High sensitivity receiver and HotFix satellite prediction provide rapid first fix and help maintain signal, even in urban canyons and under dense foliage
  • WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) enabled receiver delivers accuracy to within 10 ft. in North America
  • Offers configurable profiles for end use—auto, marine, recreation, fitness or geocaching
  • Operates on two AA batteries (sold separately)
  • Rugged, waterproof construction protects unit from bumps, dust and moisture; meets IEC 60529 lPX7 standards (can be submerged 1m for up to 30 minutes)

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 9 out of 10

After looking at all the features of the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit I thought it was cool, but expected to see a pretty hefty price tag. After all, the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit is compact, has a color screen, and uses a touch screen. One would expect to pay top dollar for that sort of thing, but the Garmin Oregon 300 GPS Unit only costs around $400. Not to shabby eh?

Looking to Buy? Check out these sites: $402