Instructions for Quick Setup of Garmin eTrex

Instructions for Quick Setup of Garmin eTrex

This post is geared toward those who want to use their Garmin eTrex for bike rides. I own both the eTrex 10 and the eTrex 20x. For my purposes they operate very similarly. I think running down the menu structure to change factory settings there are only two additional things to click for the eTrex 20x since it is a little more robust of a device. So here goes with the list of things to do.


  1.  Satellite System = GPS & GLONASS
  3.  Language = English


  1. Backlight Timeout = Stays ON
    1. Backlight Timeout = ??
  2. Battery Save = OFF

NOTE: When riding after dark the device works best for you if the backlight is on continuously. So have the Backlight Timeout set to Stays On. I like to leave the backlight on during the daylight hours, too.


  1. Orientation = Track Up
  2. Data Fields = 4 small
  3. Advanced Map Setup = User Waypoint Text Size (Large)

NOTE: You want 4 data fields so you can see 4 bits of info at all times: how far until the next waypoint, name of next waypont, total miles ridden, and current speed in mph.



NOTE: I prefer to use this device for long distance bike rides. As such, I see no purpose of recording the ride to track my progress. Recordings take up space on the device’s hard drive. I think I read somewhere that the unit may crash if you try to record too large of a file. Of course, if you want to record a reasonable distance ride (50-100 miles), then by all mean go right ahead.


Distance & Speed = Statute


Tones = OFF

NOTE: This option is only available on the eTrex 20x since the eTrex 10 does not have audio capacity. I might consider using this feature if my hearing was better, or if I was only walking and not riding a bike. The wind seems to lessen the noise so it is not really worth creating.


While in Map Mode press the Menu Button on the left side of the device. Only press it once and you will be given an option to select which data fields you want to have display. I recommend the top left data field be made “Distance to Next.” And the top right data field be made “Next Point.” Make the bottom left data field to be “Trip Odometer,” and the bottom right data field to be “Speed.” Use the Joy Stick to move the cursor up to the data field you want to change and then select it in order to get your list of options.

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