Need Help Understanding Your Garmin Oregon?


I know someone who has very recently (as in today)┬áreceived┬átheir new Garmin Oregon 450 after fretting for the last few weeks that it wasn’t going to turn up. Now that it’s here this technologically talented person is having a few issues working out how to use said Oregon, so I thought it might be helpful to provide a link that might offer some assistance:

Garmin Oregon Wikispace: The brainchild of Scott from GPSfix, it has an extremely thorough collection of help topics and manages to go the extra step that the Oregon user manual is missing. An excellent example is the Geocaching section that has 27 FAQs. By comparison, the official user manual has one small page. A sample question:

GC14.) How are child waypoints handled?

Any waypoints in a gpx file are loaded as waypoints on the Oregon, including child waypoints. Child waypoints have no special association with the parent Geocache on the Oregon other than the part of the GCID which is embedded in the name of the child waypoint and geocache. Child waypoints of a geocache are listed at the end of the cache description.

Another good example, that might be useful to someone I know, is:

C1.) How do I calibrate the compass from the compass page?

Press and hold the compass for about 5 seconds and you’ll be asked if you want to start the compass calibration. Note to turn off the compass you’ll need to goto Main Menu>Setup>Heading>Compass and set this to Off.

C4.) How often do I have to calibrate the Compass?

Garmin recommends that you should recalibrate after moving long distances, experiencing temperature changes of more than 20F (11C) or changing batteries.

My new Garmin user also told me they found it strange having to mark a waypoint before being able to navigate to a set of coordinates they had entered. I suggested they needed to change a setting somewhere … clearly, I was wrong:

W3.) How do I navigate to a set of coordinates?

  1. Select WhereTo?->Coordinates and enter the coordinates.
  2. Select Main Menu>Mark Waypoint>Save and Edit>Change Location and edit the coordinates. By default these coordinates will be the location of where you marked the waypoint.

There is also an associated forum if the wiki isn’t able to answer your questions.

*Own a different Garmin GPSr? Scott has a long list of Garmin wiki’s available on GPSFix – go check them out.


  1. kjwx

    Yes, yes I’m the new Oregon 450 owner.
    Will post on my new ‘Precious’ within the next few days – or as soon as I get the hang of Garmin’s gorgeous device – whichever comes first.
    But first I must thank Cumbyrocks … Never thought he’d describe me as “technologically talented”. In fact, I’ve heard him say a lot worse about my IT skills.
    Of course, I think the fact he’d like to play with my new toy might have something to do with his pleasant demeanour.

  2. Frank

    I know all this was written a while ago, but very funny and a nice read

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