Rating: 4 / 5
For years I used a Garmin eTrex Summit GPS. It finally died and I decided to downsize to the Geko 301. The weight is just 71 grams. I also carry the Geko 201 as a backup at just 66 grams. The combination weighs less than the old Summit at 145 grams (batteries not included for all weights, the Geko uses the smaller and lighter AAA rather than AA batteries too).
Most of my backpacking trips are off trail. I plan possible routes on the computer with MapTech topo maps. These are then downloaded to both GPSs and the topo map areas are printed. The weight isn't bad and I always no where I am and where I'm going. I always have some extra Lithium AAA batteries as backup and also in the spare Geko 201 that I seldom use.
In addition to navigation, I keep track of every picture I take with a waypoint. I also keep track of key waypoints, such as water availability in desert and access points, e.g., to pass through the Entrada sandstone and get into or out of a canyon.
I like the digital compass and altimeter in the Geko 301, but they are seldom used. I also think the combination of computer/mapping software with a simple GPS cannot be beat for navigation.
In short, I never leave home without it - even if I just have the GPS along to document photography.
I decided to downgrade my review from a 5 to a 4 on 2/5/07. First, it does not support SiRF. A GPS with a 5 should. I also agree that the serial interface is rather old and it should use USB. However, after using the GPS for about 18 months (maybe a little short of that), it died. Garmin will repair it for $69 plus the cost of shipping it to them, but my eTrex Summit lasted much longer than this and it hadn't been subjected to any abuse (like wet conditions that did the Summit in).