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Garmin ETrex 10 Handheld GPS - Product Review

Product picture of the Garmin E Trex 10
The Garmin E Trex 10 - image courtesy of

Prior to our trip to Ogoki Lake in 2018 we were a little apprehensive about fishing such a big lake. Ogoki Trip Report) At 16,000 or so acres Ogoki was much larger than the lakes we had previously fished, on Ogoki it seemed like it would not be all that hard to get turned around. Since there would be no cell service at the lake, I decided to buy myself a handheld GPS. Enter the Garmin ETrex 10, a basic handheld unit that has limited internal storage and was cheap – perfect for someone like me lol.

The Specs

The ETrex 10 is Garmin’s point of entry into handheld GPS. Its very small, runs on 2 AA batteries (for a long time) and has 1 base map preloaded onto it. While it does not have many of the bells and whistles of other units it does manage trails and waypoints which is in line with what I desired. Here is a brief overview of the specs from Garmin’s website Garmin E Trex 10

“eTrex 10 retains the core functionality, rugged construction, affordability and long battery life that made eTrex the most dependable GPS device available. We improved the user interface and added a worldwide basemap, paperless geocaching and support for spine-mounting accessories”

  • Worldwide basemap

  • 2.2" monochrome display, easy to read in any light

  • GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster positioning

  • Paperless geocaching

  • 25-hour battery life with 2 AA batteries

The Review


Great I have used this unit quite a few times now and it has never disappointed. When we are in the back country or going for a hike closer to home, I use it primarily to mark a way point at my starting destination (car, camp, boat, shore lunch spot) and use the tracking functionality as we embark on our day. That way I always have a clear route to get back to where I started. Simple. Easy. The unit is also rugged as advertised. There have been a few times where some idiot (okay, me) left the unit on the boat bench, took off to the next spot and had it bang onto the aluminum floor – no adverse effects. Garmin eTrex 10 is designed to be waterproof to IPX7 standards. Meaning, it can handle splashes, rain, accidental drops in water, etc. Yours truly has done all the above and I have had no issues.


Good! I was torn between good or great here. End of the day this unit does exactly what I wanted it to do. For back country camping or fishing trips the fact that the unit runs for long time on 2 AA batteries is handy. (Note: I used mine for a few hours a day in a week and only had to change the batteries on our final day) . The limitation comes when you would like it to do more. With limited internal storage and NO memory card functionality this unit is very basic. There are a few videos out there about how you can download freeware maps online and append but I spent a good couple of hours trying this and still failed. (Keep in mind though I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. So, if you want anything more than basic functionality this unit is not for you, however if that’s all you require, Bob’s Your Uncle!


Excellent At $129 this is a good investment IMO Etrex10 on Amazon. I found mine on sale and picked it up for $89 so even better! A quick scan on Ebay says you can probably match or beat that as well.


Yes – I would totally recommend this GPS. If all you want is a basic unit that is affordable and runs on 2 aa batteries – giddy up. Also, if you aren’t a tech idiot like me you may be able to up the functionality with some modifications. I used this unit quite a bit on our recent trip to Lake St Joseph and it never let me down. Over the course of a week I had it running close to 7 hours a day and went through 4 aa batteries. I will point out that as the week went on I did rely on the handheld less as we fine tuned the Humminbird Helix 5 Portables with GPS (review coming soon) and were able to use the mapping functionality on those units. However I still liked having the Garmin on me and running, especially when I wasn't driving the boat.



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