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Newbie having trouble reading/programming Explorist 310


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Hi everyone


Brand new newbie as you'll see by this dumb question. My 12 yo son found out about this and wants to go geocaching and I'm all for it. Got the Magellan Explorist 310 bundle for an awesome deal on boxing day. We're in Canada near the national capital and we've found that there are many caches around the city - about 50 of them



We've gone on two searches and came back empty cuz I can't seem to figure out how to work the GPS. The first search was right out of the box, loaded up a nearby cache and headed out in the cold with the dog. Knew exactly where it was (thank goodness as it was near our old place) searched around but I could only get a general idea of the location, cuz I had the GPS on the map setting so no idea how close I was to the cache. So we came back.


For the second cache, it,s a multi. I found the first part and it asks for a calculation which I did but didn't know how to enter the distance & bearing and my son showed me how to change the coordinates. (I now found out to change the distance & bearing somehow, not sure I'll be able to find out how again, but at least I know it's there somewhere.) Is the bearing the north or west setting? how do I know which one it is? (yeah I'm a real newbie)


Now my REAL question. My GPS shows me how to get to my destination and it,s a good thing it's around town cuz it only shows me in a straight line how to get there. i read that you can "add points" and I'm not sure what those are and are they used to follow the road and how do I do that?


I have many other questions regarding this little device and I'm sure I'll have more questions than answers. Right now I have a trial premium membership so I'll be asking questions for pretty much the whole month.


PS: I can never find my car at the shopping centre unless my son is with me. How can I be sure I won't get lost in the forest when I go on an outing - that's my worse fear right now - apart from finding a cache that looks gross or scary.


Thanks in advance

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Hi there. Welcome to a fun game.

You've got a lot of good questions, and I'll try to hit a couple of them.


First, how to not get lost. There is a function in your GPS to create a waypoint. Perhaps your son knows that one, but there should be a button for that in your GPS. Before you go into the woods, or into the mall, mark the waypoint at your car. Then later you can follow that back.


You have some common questions about finding caches; not dumb questions at all.

Generally we suggest people start with traditional caches (not multis or puzzles) and start with large caches that have an easy rating. That will give you a chance to get used to your GPS and begin to learn the game.

Once you get to within as close as you can to 0 on your GPS, what we call "ground zero" then you'll need to search within a 20 foot radius or so.

Begin in wooded areas or parks and they'll be easier to to find than in the city. Just be sure to mark your car with your GPS.


You can find others in your area to cache with too in your local forums, and they can be a big help for a lot of details.


More later.

Have fun!

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Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, most or almost all caches in my area seem to be small sizes (a lot of them have a 1 or 1.5 rating so they should be relatively easy) - I have yet to see one posted as a regular size. PLUS we just got another foot of snow, and most caches are accessible in the snow, BUT can i find the small cache without digging under all the snow?


I'm trying one on my lunch break today with my son - be good to at least find ONE.

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We're in Canada near the national capital and we've found that there are many caches around the city - about 50 of them

How far are you from Ottawa? I just did a quick search, and there are 429 caches within 5 km of Parliament Hill, and 1342 within 10 km.


I work in Ottawa and we found our first two caches ever here today - yeah! But I live across the river - there are many caches around, but for a beginner with a 12 year old, I need to find easy ones to start off so we don,t get discouraged.

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I don't know the Magellan 310 but I do have the GC which looks very similar but has a slightly lower specification. I wrote a detailed review of the GC showing it's features, how to use the compass and map screens, find caches and navigate to caches. Also includes loading caches into it from the geocaching.com website and with pocket queries. It may help you understand better how to use your 310 and find more caches.

Click herefor the review.




Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com


UK Geocaching Wiki

Geocaching.com Help Center

UK Geocaching Information & Resources website

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