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Garmin eTrex 30

Garmin eTrex 30

3.0 from 4 reviews



4 reviews

Good GPS but with a Serious Undocumented Flaw



  • 57 reviews

Ok when it works



  • 4 reviews

Generally good unit except ...


Typical quality Garmin unit except ... If you're into geocahing - great. If not, it's very difficult to hide the geocahing points from the map. Also, the startup screen is so dim it can't be read. Registered my unit with Garmin and accessed their product support service who confirmed the shortcomings, but wouldn't acknowledge them as such. No solution available. Will never again assume that Garmin guarantees a well refined product.
Generally typical Garmin quality.
Incomprehensible shortcomings.

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The Talent

The TalentQueensland

  • 9 reviews

A good unit that won't lead you astray.


I use my etrex30 for geocaching and hiking. I like it. It's accurate and keeps my tack we'll. I have a few criticisms though. It's a bit difficult to work some of the functions. It's too easy to reset your settings accidentally, but impossible to change some other things. The toggle stick is kind of annoying. Maps process really slowly, especially if you have lots or very detailed maps. The compass isn't very accurate unless it's rested for a moment.
I'd rather save a little longer for a monterra.
Sturdy, accurate, rugged.
Confusing OS, Poor compass response, slow processing maps, interface is fiddly.

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Questions & Answers

Peter S

Peter Sasked

eTrex 30

Jab mine for about 6 years now , love it . But all the rudder housing is falling apart can this be fixed?

3 answers

sorry peter s I have no idea if the rubber housing could be fixed?!?!


I called Garmin Australia regarding this problem, they offered me a refurbished same unit for about half price, with 12month warranty but what's the point if the same thing will happen again in 4 or 5 years time, so I just stuck some grey gaffa tape over the buttons works good as gold, for now, anyway. just don't drop it in water. great unit apart from the rubber deterioration


Yes, the rubber will perish, generally over the side buttons most used, it is possible to purchase a silicone cover on Ebay for a few dollars (ex China) that protects the original rubber if used early, or if the buttons are already damaged, will protect the repair job quite well. My first unit (now a spare) has had this treatment.
Note that with the silicone cover on, the unit cannot be fitted into the RAM holder (if used).

Geoff N Beth

Geoff N Bethasked

eTrex 30

Can I use a hard copy map to mark out our path with way points, then enter the way point coordinates into the gps device so that the device can still give us a distance between way points, and/or a compass bearing from one point to another? Can the device still give us our current gps coordinates so we can mark our current position on a hard copy map (with out an electronic topo map of the area we are in at the time loaded on the device). In short can we use the device in conjunction with a hard/paper map to navigate our way if we do not have electronic topo maps of certain areas loaded on the device? Sorry it’s a bit wordy, just trying to be clear.

Kind regards.


1 answer
The Talent
The Talent

Hi Geoff,
You sure can use a hard copy map and physical compass in conjunction with your Etrex 30, or almost any other hand held GPS. You might be able to find some great maps for free that you can install onto your etrex. I had a topo map that covered all of Australia that I got for free that someone had created from the Australian government geospatal data. it was a 2gb file so i needed to add removable storage (micro sd card) to my etrex.

the etrex range will always be able to tell you exactly what your position is. the co-ordinate system may be different to the system used for your map, so be sure to do a few test runs using street corners and places you know first so you know you understand the difference between what your map uses and what your GPS will tell you. You may be able to set the GPS to display the same system that the map uses, but most maps only provide one type of coordinate system.

The etrex 30 has a built in compass. I found that it wasn't as reliable as a standard compass, but it worked good enough mostly.

you can input a bunch of waypoints into your GPS and sort of make a route, but the easiest way to do what I think you are talking about, is to open the garmin basecamp program on your computer, plot out a route and upload it to your gps. There are 3rd party ways of doing this through google earth and then converting it to a file type that garmin will recognise (i think this is .gps), then putting it into basecamp and uploading it to your computer. This is how I usually do it because basecamp can be a bit cluncky. There may be better ways to do it that someone else can explain to us how to do. I'm not hugely tech savvy, but I can usually find my way around a problem.

good luck! Happy trail hunting!



eTrex 30

Is base camp worthwhile downloading I will be using my etrx 30 for hunting.just brought it not happy with the maps what map would you recommend don't want to pay to much?

1 answer
The Talent
The Talent

I use basecamp for geocaching, and while its not the main program that I use, it does have its uses. I'm sure you may find the same with hunting.
In terms of maps, I have used the free Shonky Topo maps which are free and pretty good. You can also get free road maps from http://www.osmaustralia.org/garmin.php
There are other maps out there that are sometimes better, but these ones are free and easy to use.

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