Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the bush. Walking. Bushwalking, I guess you’d call it. But back in those days, all you had was a map and compass and maybe – if you were lucky – some skill in using the two. These days, there are gadgets like the new Garmin Dakota and Oregon 550 to help you work out which way is north…
The Dakota comes in two flavours: the 10 and 20, which cost $349 and $449 respectively. Both units have 850MB of internal memory, which is enough for 1000 personal waypoints, 50 routes and a tracklog of 10,000 points and 200 routes. The 20 adds a MicroSD slot, a digital compass and a barometric altimeter, plus wireless for sharing all that outdoorsy-info with other Dakota 20 packing friends.
Garmin’s also released the Oregon 550, which is the high-end bushwalker’s companion. It’s waterproof, has a 3.2MP camera built in and won’t drain the battery at all when not in use apparently. It can take all different types of maps, from turn-by-turn street navigation to topographical and marine, and costs $749.