Garmin GPS

Have just ordered the Garmin eTrex Venture Cx GPS and was wondering if anyone has any info on good sources of mapping info covering the SOTA areas of Britain.

73 Glyn

In reply to GM4CFS:

was wondering if anyone has any info on good sources of mapping info covering
the SOTA areas of Britain.

Scottish Mountaineering Club have free contour maps for download.


In reply to GM4CFS:

good sources of mapping info covering the SOTA areas of Britain.

Garmin, if you don’t mind spending money on them. UK Topo covers G, GW and GM.

In reply to MM0FMF:


Thanks for that info. I understand you use Memory Map. If I had memory Map could I download the relevant maps from MM onto the Garmin or do I still need the maps pre-loaded on the GPS?


In reply to GM4CFS:

I understand you use Memory Map

Sorry I use Anquet 6 not MM. AFAIK, the OS map data from MM or Anquet cannot be downloaded to a “walker’s GPS” but you download routes from the programs and upload trackdata of where you were.

I’m still undecided on which GPS to buy. Probably the cheapest I can find secondhand that tells me a 6figure NGR and then look at my paper map. We’ve just got a colour A3 laser printer in the office. It works very well with Anquet. And paper maps dont need batteries :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy

I have used a eTrex(basic) for a few years and it works fine for the things you mentioned.
I’ve just got Google Earth+ (paid verson) wich is good for seeing where you have been but you can’t add waypoints to the gps with it.


In reply to MM0FMF:

It is worth noting that the new high sensitivity Garmin GPS are now available. For example the high sensitivity version of the Etrex is the Etrex H. (see the Garmin website)

I am seriously considering upgrading mine. The main reason is the H series apparently works in forestry, which the original ones struggle in and there’s plenty of forestry here in Wales! It’s very easy to get disorietated in the woods if you can’t see any landmarks and only the main internal tracks are on the maps. Also we enjoy taking the bikes exploring in the woods around our home and like to overlay the track from the GPS onto a map when we get home.


I live in the Lake District so have easy access to the fells and having just returned to amateur radio after many years I’ve recently become interested in the SOTA programme. I’m also involved in animal conservation and other associated outdoor activites so I have various needs for a GPS.

I’ve found a PDA running Memory Map (various scales and with aerial photos) with a bluetooth GPS module to be the most effective solution for me as there’s also the added benefit of running other handy utilities including logging and control software as well as road navigation programmes such as TomTom.

Memory Map also has the advantage of being able to add notes and associated files (e.g. tex or images) to marked positions marked on the fly and can automatically synchronised with a PC to upload/download, waypoints, tracks and notes.

The benefit of being able to check your indicated position on a map was brought home to me when my old Garmin 12 went faulty a couple of years ago and was reporting my actual position as 0.5km south of where I was. Thankfully I realised something was wrong because of having a compass and paper map but it could have been dangerous in poor conditions.

PDA/GPS solutions are obviously more expensive when purchased from new but there are lots of good second hand units around on eBay for under £150.

In reply to GM4CFS:
We have a Garmin eTrex Venture CX and use memory map v4. V4 not as user friendly as versions 5 and 6 but works fine. Importing routes from sites like and walking world are great when exploring new lands; as are the wonderful tips / routes etc posted here on the SOTA site.

I was not too happy with the routes when they where put on the GPS, a line of flags on a blank screen,MM does not export onto the Garmins. so after lots of help from the community here I have added the contour maps from SMC site to the GPS and the flags and blue lines make more sense and is very useful in pin pointing your location.

I have been told that the topo maps are good as they work on the PC and can be exported onto the GPS, not as much detail as shown on the PC.

As others have said it depends what you are using it for; I still carry a OS map or a printed route (since our Scottish trip and the tips from Jack (COX) and Andy (FMF))

The maps for the PC to cover the whole of the UK will cost nearly the same as the GPS unit, but worth the investment.

And Birmingham is a wonderful place to set a route via HI!! should you use it for road navigation.

Hope you have as much fun with your GPs as we have and as Steve M0SGB will no doubt endorse Geocaching while walking is interesting.


In reply to GW7AAU:

I bought Anquet V6 DVD (whole UK at OS 1:50000 and OS roadmap) for £117.50. The list price is £165(ish) but check the net.


Many thanks for the very good SMC link. Andy. I have added the information to my Vista and its much better.