Unlike handheld GPS receivers, the Garmin Foretrex 101 always lets you have at
least one hand free. Because you wear it like a watch, you never need to use a
hand to hold it. And since it's waterproof, it's perfect for any kind of water
Weighing only 2.6 ounces, the Garmin Foretrex 101 won't strain you wrist. But
despite it's light weight, its 12-channel GPS receiver is as accurate as much larger and
heavier models. Its regular position accuracy is within 15 meters and when receiving
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) signals, it's less than 3 meters. If you have
a Differential GPS (DGPS) beacon receiver, you can achieve similar results since
it's also DGPS ready.
Even with a display of 1.43" W x .92" H, you get all the usual GPS navigation
information with the Foretrex 101. Pressing one button cycles through the six main display screens.
The Map Page display shows waypoints with names and symbols and an animated figure
at your location. As you move, the figure also moves, and your path is shown with a
dotted line which is recorded by the track log. The map scale is adjustable from
20 feet to 800 miles.
When you want to get trip information, the Garmin Foretrex 101 has
the Navigation Page and the Trip Computer Page. The Navigation Page has a compass
image to indicate the direction to your destination. There are two data fields to
the right of the compass to show information of your choice, such as speed and distance
to the destination. The Trip Computer Page has three screen choices for showing trip
information. The first display shows four data fields and when you scroll down, the
next screen has two data fields and the last screen has one data field filling the
display. And whenever you return to the Trip Computer Page, it shows which of the
three screens you last looked at. There are 31 navigation items to choose from
for the Navigation and Trip Computer data fields.
For creating waypoints and routes, viewing routes and tracks, setting display
options and accessing other functions, there's the Main Menu Page. To check on
the GPS satellites the Foretrex 101 is tracking, you use the Satellite Page.
It shows the satellites' relative location, the overall signal strength, and an
estimate of the current position accuracy. If you're involved with a timed sport,
you'll make use of the Timer Page. The four digit display counts down from a time
you set and can sound tones at intervals and when it expires. The timer can be set
to also count up after it hits zero.
No matter what light there is, reading the high-contrast grayscale LCD screen
shouldn't be a problem. The contrast is adjustable for daylight conditions and
it's backlit for night. The two AAA batteries will supply power for up to 15 hours
and are simple to replace. If you want to transfer waypoints and routes between the
Garmin Foretrex 101 and a PC, there's an optional PC interface cable to enable this. But
you'll also need Garmin's MapSource software. The receiver has memory for saving
10 tracks and 20 routes.