I was asked by Magellan if I would look at and review their eXplorist GC. I would like to thank them for this fine opportunity. It was a lot fun to get out and test this unit.
I told them that we would and here is what GeoCatJ and I found.
I have always been looking for a GPSr that is geared to geocaching. Although many out there are coming out with the capabilities to interface with geocaching, I was looking for one that will include all of the notes, hints and so forth that we use in Geocaching.
I am also looking for ease of use. I do not want to get buried in to the device so much that I miss looking around at my surroundings and at my grand kids, GeoCatA and GeoCatK
I do want to use a smart phone, or phone of any kind.
Well, I think Magellan has hit the mark.
Let’s take a look at the eXplorist GC.
It comes in a box that is nicely packaged. Most products do. It has a quick start guide to show you how to get started.
Batteries installed and set in the window with a southern veiw. It only took a few minutes to figure out where it was at and set it position.
It has a nice menu interface. At the main menu.
I selected the geocaches page to see where the closest geocache is. It comes loaded with 100 favorite caches. The closest was a little more than 8 miles away. Not bad for getting started.
So I wanted to get some closer ones going and see what I could find nearby. ” Desert Storm Dudes” is one of ours and is not far away, along with some fresh ones that are the area. I went to Geocaching.org and did a quick search. Boy have I been out of touch for a little while. The new map interface is great to show geocaches on a map. Right clicking and sending to the device was not a problem. Downloading and installing the Magellan driver was a breeze and the interface worked quite well.
5 or 6 local caches down loaded to the eXplorist and we were on our way. Now, I let our premium membership lapse with Geocaching.org. I was going to renew it, but I wanted to see if you had to have it to find geocaches. The answer is no. It will download the basic geocache information and you can find the cache. What you do not get is the extra descriptions and hints for the geocache. I will upgrade and then down load the rest of the info later, but for now, you do not need a premium membership to enjoy the sport/hobby and use this eXplorist.
GeoCatJ and I were out the door on a great sunny fall day of geocaching in Spokane. First up was “Papa and Nannys Nano”. The unit brought us in to about 3 feet of the cache, even with power lines over head. It did jump around a bit but came right back. We found the geocache and signed the log, then off to the next one.
A feature that I found great was to be able to mark the geocache found on the GC. It has all of the little icons for found, not found, needs maintenance, and all that. It even has a place to put your comments. Marked it as found and our wonderful smiley face popped up on the screen.
“Down the Line” was next on the list not far away, so we walked down the road. Found it. Logged it. Another happy face.
GeoCatJ and I spent the rest of the after noon finding geocaches.
One thing I was looking for was accuracy. Today, all units were marking with in 3 feet of where the unit said the cache was. Not a bad day at all for accuracy.
So, we were able to do maintenance on “Desert Storm Dudes”, trade some swag in BB Gun Frenzy and do a little maintenance on that geocache.
We were a little tired at the end of the day, but we had fun!!!!
Over all, I would have to give the eXplorist GC a 5 Star Rating.
Here are some of the good things:
The unit comes with a 30 day premium membership to Geocahing.com.
The menus are easy enough to read, even with my poor vision,
I love the color display,
The on board maps are good enough to get you started and see where you are at in the realm of things,
There are a lot of settings to adjust it for my liking,
The batteries are supposed to last up to, I think, 16 hours, (not a problem, so far, they lasted several hours for us)
I like the button interface instead of the touch screen. Gloves and touch screens and me just do not get along.
Some missing things?
No SD expansion? But do you really need it? Seems to me that with the interface with Vantage point and Geocaching.com, you will be able to download all the geocaches that will keep you busy for a long time.
A camera? A nice thing, but I still like keeping my camera separate, and we don’t want to drive the cost up to much.
I can’t think of many other things that would be missing on the unit.
I was wondering about accessories for the GC. I jumped on my favorite shopping autction place, eBay, and typed in eXplorist GC to see what would come up. There are car holders, bike holders, cases, data cable, charging cables available for this unit. So it will be very hand to have around.
In the end, I know what I am going to put on my Christmas list this year. GeoCatJ and I have been looking for a new unit. I have to send back the demo model to Magellan, but I will be tracking down another unit to use real soon. The price is definitely in the bal park for my pocket book.
That’s it for this special show.
Cache wisely and cache safely.