Garmin Oregon 600 & Oregon 650 - Settings & How-To Guide

How to set up the Garmin Oregon 600 / 650! Recommendations, tips and informations for beginners and advanced users! All Oregon 600 / 650 settings explained and illustrated with screenshots! This guide helps to customize your Garmin Oregon 600 / 650!

Tip: Before starting, back up your device. Connect the Oregon to a PC (usb cable is in the box), activate the mass storage mode (as described below, "System") and copy all files and folders to a save place on your hard disk.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: System

Choose "GPS + GLONASS", "GPS" only for more battery life.
For outdoor activities you usually do not need WAAS/EGNOS signal corrections (WAAS is only available in North America, EGNOS in Europe). WAAS/EGNOS can provide a better accuracy in certain situations and is recommended for pilots and mariners.

BUT: Activate it, if your preference is "Enable all and hope the best!" (= GPS / GLONASS / WAAS / EGNOS).

Your choice
"Garmin Spanner" is recommended:
  • The gps device is supplied with energy when connecting to an external power source (e.g. AC charger).
  • Connecting the handheld to a PC you get the screen "USB Cable Detected. Would you like to go to Mass Storage?" (screenshot below). "Yes": Activiting the mass storage, you get access to the file system and can copy data or install maps (e.g. with Garmin BaseCamp); "No": Device is powered by the external source.

Configuration of the power key and the user key; you can add different functions to the keys. Depends on your personal preferences and the active profile.

Recommendation: add a "page loop" to one of the keys, allowing fast and comfortable switching between pages (how to: "user key > single tap > page loop > add item"; choose your preferred pages)

Depends on your preferred battery type (menu is disabled when using the Garmin NiMH battery pack!):
  • Alkaline (not recommended)
  • Lithium (recommended for cold environments and long run-times), e.g. Energizer AA Ultimate
  • NiMH (for daily use)
  • Precharged NiMH, for NiMH batteries purchased as precharged (LSD, Low Self Discharge batteries), highly recommended, for daily use: e.g. Panasonic Eneloop AA BK-3MCCE
Screenshots (left to right)
  • Connecting to a PC: mass storage yes/no?
  • Satellites: 01 – 28 GPS, 36 EGNOS, 65 – 85 GLONASS
  • Satellites: 05 – 30 GPS, 36 EGNOS, 65 – 75 GLONASS; "D"device receives and uses EGNOS signal corrections

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Display

Turns the backlight off after a given time. Choose a timeout as short as possible to get more battery life, timeout should depend on your activity and profile.
"Lock Portrait" is the best choice for most activities.

Capturing screenshots, turn "off" except you need it.

Tip: after a tour you can capture your trip computer for saving the statistics (screenshots are saved in the device folder "GARMIN\SCRN")

The display turns completely off when you choose "On", depending on the time defined in "Backlight Timeout". Press a key for turning the display on again.

Recommendations: Activate e.g. for hiking (when you are rarely looking on the display), disable e.g. for mountain biking (when you want to have a quick glance on the display, in addition set "Backlight Timeout = Stays On").

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Appearance

Choose between "Auto, Day, Night":
  • Auto: Automatic switch between day / night colors (at sunset/-rise)
  • Day: color as defined in "Day Color"
  • Night: color as defined in "Night Color"
It’s your choice, background image is the same for every mode
It’s your choice
It’s your choice
Position of controls when the display is in landscape mode, it’s your preference.
Screenshot
  • Landscape controls left

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Map

Enable/Disable the installed maps
Map orientation, depending on your activity (and profile):
  • North Up: North is always at the top of the display / page, independent of the device orientation.
  • Track Up: Direction of travel is always at the top of the page (recommended for active navigation and / or activities like cycling and geocaching)
  • Automotive Mode: Three dimensional look, direction of travel is always at the top of the page (recommended for automotive use)

Choose between different informations (data fields, graphics) on top of the map. Depending on your activity and preferences, e.g. "Geocache" for geocaching.

Our preference is "Custom": "When Navigating > Small Data Fields", "When Not Navigating > None" (when you navigate you get the data fields as an overlay; when not navigating the map is completely visible).

When navigating, a guidance text with informations like "Arriving at …" appears at the top of the map.

"Always" should be avoided, because the text "Ready to Navigate" covers the map, even without active navigation. Best choices are "When Navigating" or "Never", depending on you activity or profile.

"Normal“, saves battery life and is sufficient
See the following section

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Map – Advanced Setup

"Normal" map detail level is usually enough

The shaded relief provides a better visualization (e.g. hill-shades), but in deep woods the darker map screen can reduce the visibility.

For a better readability use "Do not show", otherwise choose "Show if Available" or at least "Auto" (shaded relief disappears when zooming in the map).

Symbol for the current position, your choice
  • Auto Zoom: turn it off (except for car driving)
  • Position of the +/- buttons for the map zoom (portrait mode only), turn off when you prefer multi-touch gestures.
  • Position of the +/- buttons for the map zoom (landscape mode only), turn off when you prefer multi-touch gestures.
Use "Auto"
Use "Small" or "Medium", "Large" is usually too much.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Tracks

Recommendation: "Auto" (good choice for most outdoor activities), "Distance" is recommended for hiking, "Time" when using the device as a data logger for geotagging.
Settings for the track log recording rate depend on the "Record Method", the combination "Auto / Normal" is sufficent, for hiking e.g. "Distance / 10 m / 0.01 mi"
When using "Auto Pause", the device pauses tracking below a speed of approximately 2,5 km/h. Should not be used e.g. when hiking slowly up steep mountains.

Starts recording automatically after power on and acquiring the gps position.

Tip: When using "Auto Start", reset the track log immediately before starting the tour (first determined position might be some meters off your current position).

Choose "Tracks (GPX)" or "Both (GPX/FIT)"

Worth knowing:

  • "Tracks (GPX)": After saving the current activity, you find a new track in the "Track Manager".
  • "Both (GPX/FIT)": After saving the current activity, you find a new track in the "Track Manager" and a new activity in the "Activity History".
  • Tracks in the "Track Manager" offer some more options than activities.
  • Tracks can be selected in the "Where To?" menu for navigation.
  • Activities in the "Activity History" can be saved as tracks; after this procedure they are listed in the "Track Manager" and can be selected in the "Where To?" menu for navigation.
  • Track files are saved in the device folder "Garmin\GPX" in the gpx file format (you have access to the folders when the device is in the mass storage mode).
  • Activity files are saved in the device folder "Garmin\Activity" in the fit file format.
  • Auto Archive: recommended "When Full"
  • Trip Recording: Choose "When Tracking" (trip computer recording is active when starting the track log, suitable for most activities ); "Always"might be interesting for activities like geocaching (trip computer is always active, independent from the track log)
  • Recorded Data Set: "Prompted" is recommended (you can clear the track log and/or the trip data, independent of each other) ("Track and Trip": you must clear the track log and the trip data together)
Screenshots (left to right)
  • Recorded Data Reset: "Track and Trip"
  • Recorded Data Reset: "Prompted"

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Routing

Choose your preferred activity (dependent on the active profile, e.g. "Hiking" for a hiking profile)
  • "Direct Routing": straight line from your current position to the destination (e.g. waypoint, geocache) or from point to point (e.g. waypoint to waypoint when navigating along a multipoint route). Direct routing is independent from trails, streets etc. on the map ("over hill and dale").
  • "Cycling, Hiking, …": Autorouting to the destination, along trails, streets etc. (requires a routable map)
  • "Prompted": After setting the destination you can choose the activity, e.g. "Direct Routing", "Tour Cycling", … (calculation method is automatically set to "Prompted")
Depends on the activity and your preferences ("Prompted": you can select the calculation method after setting the destination)
"No", except for activities like road cycling or automobile driving.
When you detour from the calculated route the device recalculates a new route; choose the setting in dependency of the activity, e.g. "automatic" for automobile.
Types of roads or transportations (e.g. ferry) you want to avoid.

This screen is only active when you use "Direct Routing" as activity.

"Auto" is normally fine

  • "Auto": automatic transition to the next point of a multipoint route
  • "Manual": manual transition to the next point of a multipoint route (function "Active Route")
  • "Distance": when you are within the entered distance the device leads you to the next waypoint of a multipoint route

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Tones

Recommendation: Tones "On"
Choose one, the message beep keeps you informed e.g. when the battery is low or the gps signal lost.
Choose different tones; warnings appear when navigating with routes from waypoint to waypoint or when using autorouting (turn "Early / Final Turn Warning" off when you do not need it)
Different options, e.g. when approaching a POI (turn "Proximity Tones" off when not in use)(highly sophisticated topic, have a look Garmin warnings and alarms, in German)

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Heading

"Directional Letters" or "Numeric Degrees" are the best choices for many outdoor activities ("Mils" for special use cases)
Only relevant when navigating with compass and paper map (use the standard "True")
Use "Bearing" (small / medium / large is your choice), "Course / CDI" (Course Deviation Indicator) e.g. for sea kayaking
Use "Auto" ("Off" when you do not need the compass, might save some battery)
Calibrate the compass at the starting point
Screenshots (left to right)
  • Compass: Bearing small, Directional Letters
  • Compass: Bearing large, Numeric Degrees
  • Compass: Course / CDI

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Altimeter

Altimeter Settings (1st screenshot)

  • Off: auto calibration turned off
  • At Power On: automatic calibration after starting the gps device (requires gps position and gps height)
  • Continuous: using GPS continuously for calibration
Recommended altimeter calibration methods for outdoor activities:
  • 1st choice: Manually by entering the elevation at your starting point and recalibration on tour (e.g. elevations from mountain tops)(auto calibration "off")
  • 2nd choice: Manually by entering the elevation at your starting point, on tour using auto calibration "continuous"
  • 3rd choice: Use only auto calibration "continuous" ("At Power On": short trips, stable weather conditions)
"Variable Elevation" as altimeter
"Save When Power On" as altimeter on tour
"Elevation / Time" or "Elevation / Distance"
Calibrate the altimeter by using one of these data:
  • "Current Elevation" (e.g. from a paper or digital map)
  • "Correct Pressure" (e.g. from weather data)
  • "Current GPS Altitude" (from your gps device; tip: wait some minutes after power on)

Barometer Settings (2nd screenshot)

"Off": auto calibration turned off
Use "Fixed Elevation"
"Save Always", reads pressure even when the device is turned off
"Barometric Pressure" (use preferably; ambient pressure calibrated to sea level, not compensate for humidity or temperature) or "Ambient Pressure" (sensor reading from the unit)
Calibrate the altimeter by using one of these data:
  • "Current Elevation" (e.g. from a paper or digital map)
  • "Correct Pressure" (e.g. from weather data)
  • "Current GPS Altitude" (from your gps device; tip: wait some minutes after power on)

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Geocaching

Preferably choose "Show Names" (e.g. "Welcome to Bavaria" instead of "GC2NJG9")
Select "Auto"
"Off", except you are using a Garmin Chirp
When using a Chirp
Define filters for geocaches, e.g. for traditional geocaches
Number of found geocaches (automatically added, but you can manually edit the number by touching the menu item)

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: ANT Sensor

"Off", except you want to pair / use a heart rate monitor
"Off", except you need it
"Off", except you need it

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Fitness

A new lap will start automatically, depending on the defined distance
Set your user profile: Age, weight, ...
Set your heart rate zones
Choose your preferred activity (e.g. cycling for a mountain bike profile)

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Marine

Depends on the used maps (e.g. Garmin BlueChart) and the activity („Fishing“, „Nautical“)(screenshots: top „Nautical“, down „Fishing“); otherwise turn it off.
Different map settings (sorry, no experiences!)
Different marine alarms, e.g. anchor drag alarm

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Shortcuts

Create / Change / Delete shortcuts (fast access to different functions). You can add the shortcuts to the main menu or assign them to the hardkeys. How-to (not all steps are mandatory):
  • Create Shortcut
  • Name: Rename as you like
  • Icon: Choose an icon
  • Profile: Assign it to a profile (or none)
  • Setup: Assign one or more functions
  • Where To?: Choose a destination (e.g. your home)
  • Application: Assign an application to the new shortcut

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Main Menu

Garmin Oregon 600 650 Settings: Main Menu
  • +/-: number of items per page
  • Select an item: change the order or delete it
  • Left / right arrows: add new pages, switch between pages
  • Hamburger icon in the lower right:
    1. Setup Drawer: configure the drawer (change the item order, add items)
    2. Change Dashboards: choose separate dashboards for every page of the main menu
    3. Set As Start Page: set the actual page as the start page for the profile (requires device restart)

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Position Format

Format for coordinates. For geocaching and marine use "hddd°mm.mmm'“, otherwise "UTM UPS
WGS 84”, except for working with paper maps
WGS 84”, except for working with paper maps

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Units

Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ...
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ...
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ...
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ...
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ... (Hectopascals: international unit)
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, ...

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Time

Your choice
Automatic” is recommended.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Accessibility

Use "Normal", "High" is recommended when wearing gloves (e.g. long finger gloves for cycling).
Use "Normal", "Big" changes the font size and might be too big (e.g. for geocache descriptions).
When activated you get additional arrows for scrolling, e.g. below geocache descriptions; your choice, might be helpful when wearing gloves.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Profiles

Creating / Deleting / Naming / Moving profiles:
  • Recommendation: Leave the Garmin default profiles as is and create your own profiles.
  • How-to: Activate a default Garmin profile (e.g. "Recreational", function "Profile Change"), go to "Setup > Profiles > Create New Profile", your new profile has the same settings as the previously activated "Recreational" profile, then you can rename and tweak the new profile as you like.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Reset

Deleting all data from the current trip, e.g. like "trip odometer, ascent total" (but not the "odometer" = all recorded distance by the device). Has the same functionality as the reset button in the "current track" screen. Should be done before starting a new trip.
Deletes all waypoints.
Clears the actual track (active log). Should be done before starting a new trip (alternative: reset in the “current track” screen, see screenshot below).
Reset all settings (restores the gps device to factory default settings).
Screenshot: "Current Track" function, a powerfull tool e.g. for deleting or saving the active track log.

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: About

Software version, unit ID, licence informations

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650 Settings: Trip Computer

Different choices to tweak the trip computer by touching the hamburger icon in the lower right (screenshot 1).
You can change the overall layout, add or remove new pages and change the data field content (screenshot 2).
Change the dashboard, e.g. "Geocache" for a geocaching profile (screenshot 3).

Garmin Oregon 600 / 650: Recommended Accessories (Amazon)

Contact / Questions

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