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Magellan Explorist

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I don't have one myself, but there have been numerous threads here in the forums about the series. You should be able to find plenty of information if you do a search.


I haven't really been following all of the discussions, but the biggest drawback seems to be a complete lack of a PC interface, limiting the user to manual waypoint entry.

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I've used one recently. While not great for geocaching, it seems almost ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.


It's tiny, lightweight, and brightly colored. Easy to pack, easy to see (or find, if you drop it). Seems to get a fix fast and track consistently. I'd say the screen updates smoother/faster than my SporTrak Pro, but that might not be a fair test. My STP is loaded with detail maps that take longer to display - while this isn't even an option for the Explorist.


As noted elsewhere ad nauseum, there is no PC interface. And there's also no external power connection. This probably kept the price down and made it easier to make it waterproof.


So it's not a bad unit - it's really quite nice - it's just geared towards a different target audience than most of the folks on this forum :blink:

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I've used one recently. While not great for geocaching, it seems almost ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.

My take on the usefulness of the eXplorist 100/200/300 is just about the opposite. While the need to enter geocache locations manually is inconvenient it doesn't add all that much time per cache and I could live with it in exchange for a lower cost unit or other advantages.


But for other outdoor activities the lack of a computer interface is harder to work around. When I go hiking I load detailed topo maps and also create and download tracklogs of the trails in the area using USAPhotoMaps or similar software. That way I can quickly see what alternative routes there are if I want to lengthen or shorten a trip.


For kayak outings I load detailed maps that show the frequently obscure roads leading to the put-in spots and that also show NAVAids (bouys, lights, etc.) on the water and good shoreline detail.


For bicycling I want detailed road maps with an empahsis on the smaller, less travelled roads - i.e. all those that don't show up on the eXplorist basemap.


And for all these activities I find it very useful to record the tracklogs for use on future trips, to include with trip reports, generate local maps, or to exchange with others considering the same trip.


Rather than "almost ideal," I find the eXplorist 100/200/300 to be unsuitable for any of these activities due to the lack of a PC interface and associated abiliity to download detailed maps and tracklog data.

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I have one... (a 100)


I got it because I wanted an inexpensive entry into Geocaching.


Entering waypoints manually isn't all that hard. They go in pretty quickly. I have not noticed any limitations throughout the few weeks I've had mine. It's as accurate as a Garmin Etrex and a Magellan SporTrak Map (two caching partners have.)


It's easy to use and understand and is fine if you are looking to save some money.


An Etrex does have the ability to download, but I figure if I'm going to get more advanced and want that feature... I'll want a map and some other more advanced stuff. So for starters, I give it a two thumbs up as a great unit to have.

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... Rather than "almost ideal," I find the eXplorist ... unsuitable for any of these activities due to the lack of a PC interface and associated abiliity to download detailed maps and tracklog data.

Man, that's kinda harsh. Granted - it's entirely unsuitable for the way you want to use a GPS when hiking. Yet by your measure a compass and map alone would be unsuitable also even though those are the first (and sometimes only) navigation tools some people use.


I'd stand by my assessment (almost ideal for hiking) in terms of the core functions: "tell me where I am at the moment, and help me backtrack where I've been on this hike." It will do this quicker and more easily than a compass and map, doesn't weigh much, doesn't take up much space in my pack.


Of course I see the value in the ways you use your GPS; using the computer for planning/recording/review is VERY useful - don't even get me started on computerized maps and trip planning! I just didn't think of those features as core requirements when I made my original remarks.

Edited by lee_rimar
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Of course I see the value in the ways you use your GPS; using the computer for planning/recording/review is VERY useful - don't even get me started on computerized maps and trip planning! I just didn't think of those features as core requirements when I made my original remarks.

I gotta agree with this. One person's use isn't for everyone.


While it might not be a good unit for a GeoCacher that wants to download 25 waypoints to go hunt for on a Saturday. To say that it's "unacceptible" for geocaching (my words... not quoting here) is rediculous.


It's a basic unit with basic functions and the price reflects it. I bought it because it was a "safe" entry into the game. And wanted to see how I'd use it.


I'd love to have mapping capabilities and download routes to PC for my biking adventures...etc. But I just couldn't justify a more expensive unit at this time. So the Explorist worked great for me as a newbie.


If downloading routes/waypoints from/to your PC is THAT important. Look at an Etrex or something used on eBay.

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I agree with "motoed" that it makes a reasonable choice as a geocaching unit.


The point of my original post was that I see the lack of an interface as being much more of an issue for most of my other uses of a GPS than for geocaching.


Say for some reason I had to choose one GPS unit to use for geocaching and a second one to use for my other outdoor activities and one of them had to be an eXpl. 100/200/300. I'd immediately pick the eXplorist for geocaching and be willing to spend the extra 40 seconds or so for each cache to enter the coordinates manually. It'd be a bit less convenient, but the time is insignificant compared to the total time spent locating most caches and it wouldn't make the unit any less capable in the main function - letting me find the cache location.


But for my other activities (hiking, bicycling, kayaking, driving) the lack of a computer connection would severely limit how I could use the unit so given the option of other units I'd pick one that at least has upload/download of waypoints and tracklogs and preferably one that also supports detailed maps.

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I have an eXplorist 100, and I LOVE it. I find it to be very accurate. I have truly enjoyed using it. I have used a couple other GPSr's, and even though those were more costly than the eXplorist 100, they didn't work as well. The eXplorist 100 does not jump all over the place when in the vicinity of a cache. The other two GPSr's I used, did.


This unit has a place in geocaching, as long as you don't mind the fact that you cannot download waypoints via a computer connection. However, if you are like me and only enter a few waypoints at a time, and don't mind doing it by hand (which, on this unit, is VERY easy) and if don't need any advanced mapping/barometric capabilities, this unit's for you. I am much more concerned with accuracy and ease of use than I am with computer connectivity. I understand Magellan's soon to be marketing other eXplorist units that have all the bells 'n whistles... I won't be buying those. I really like my eXplorist 100; it has everything I need.

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Well, you guys gave me alot to think about while I was searching for a unit.

The Explorist 200 was the best bang for the buck from my shopping experiance. I was looking for my first unit. I was only considering Garmin and Magellan. I didn't want to settle for some off-brand that may or may not have the quality and backing of an established company in the GPS business.


I am an IT Engineer for a living, and I wanted a PC interface, but I could do without it. In fact, I was debating it when I looked at the Explorist. I decided I wanted not to have a PC interface on my first unit. I am much to "tinkerish" with my electronics, and if I had a PC interface, I might do something I would regret. Besides, the whole reason I'm getting into Geocaching is to get away from my IT world, and see nature.


So, I bought the Explorist. It is on it's way to me now. Bought it on-line.


As a newbie, I'll give my feedback to you once I've used it a bit.



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I bought an eXplorist 100 yesterday and went right out and used it today to find my first cache as a novice GPSer. It's very easy to use, despite the fact that the unit comes with an abbreviated manual and I also could not download the detailed manual from the Magellan site (either at home or work, so it wasn't my computer). I didn't need a lot of bells and whistles and maps, and I'm very happy with the purchase. $89 on sale at GI Joe's through 9/18 in the Portland, OR area.

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I have an Explorist 200. While it is not the top of the line GPS, I LOVE IT! It is true you have to hand enter waypoints, but for me that is not a big deal, I only enter 3-5 caches at any one time anyway.


I do wish I could connect it to my PC to download more detailed maps, but that is okay. The base map that it does have is PLENTY good enough for Geocaching.


All and all I find this to be a very good (and VERY accurate) GPS for the $$. It is a terrific entry level unit that will allow you to evaluate if Geocaching is for you. I am still pretty new to the Geocaching community and I will probably upgrade to a new (expensive) unit next year, but for now this MORE THAN does the job. I really cant say enough about this unit. The accuracy is amazing!


The only real draw back is the inability to connect to a PC. If you can do without that you will LOVE this unit.


If you have any more specific questions please feel free to email me.

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I have an Explorist 200, which I love. I always take a topo map (and, by the way, if you haven't yet used mytopo.com, you're missing out bigtime) and compass, so I don't miss the inability to download maps.


The manner in which I use the GPS makes the issue of a PC connection moot. I don't need to see my previously-used route(s) or track(s) on a map, and I don't need to download multiple waypoints at a time. I use it mostly for casual geocaching and for hunting and hiking. For these activities it performs admirably.


I only look for a couple geocaches at a time, so entering the coord's manually is no big deal---very easy, in fact.


DO download the .pdf manual from Magellan's website and read it thoroughly to become familiar with all the features and to use the unit most efficiently.


I like the screen size, the display options, the small size and the ease of use.


I have found the antenna sometimes wanting under heavy tree cover, but I don't have enough experience with other units to know whether they would do a better job. On a recent hike I was under heavy tree cover in a deep valley and I had 4 satellites locked in. Ok, so the accuracy was compromised, but I had no trouble getting back to my car. I did, however, have trouble finding the cache, but I'm not sure that---under those conditions---a different unit would have performed better (although I understand a Quad-Helix antenna might).

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The Eplorist series of GPSr is not a good choice based on price.

Prices of the explorist models

Explorist 100 $116.99

Explorist 200 $159.99

Explorist 300 $189.99


You can buy a the basic Garmin E-trex for less than any explorist and you will have the external power option, you will be able to down load waypoints from a computer or to a computer, and you have the option of software updates.


The garmin E-trex legend ar the Magellam Sport trak map Out perform the Explorist 200 and 300 at a lower price if you shop around. At this time you can get a magellan sport trak map at radio shack on a close out at $169.99 and Magelan has a $30.00 rebate for the sport trak map. this would $139.99 for a mapping GPS.


Magellan does have new versions on the Explorist due out in the spring/summer that I have been told will have a computer interface.

Explorist 400

Explorist 500

Explorist 600


But judging by the prices of the current versions it would appear that these are not going to be a very good deal.

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Twould seem to me that some people are more into slagging off the units than actually discussing the pros and cons.

I dont have one of these units and while no pc connection or external power connection can be seen as a disadvantage I have yet to come across anyone who carries a pc or external power pack with them on extended wanderings off track.

I have a Meridian colour which I am unable to satisfactorily connect to my PowerBook.

I therefore have to add waypoints for Geocaching manually (and frequently get them wrong).

By putting in my home coords in and other places of interest as way points I am able to successfully navigate in various countries (so far 7 of them) for which Magellan has no maps and it would seem does not plan to produce any.

Essentially I am using my Meridian colour in the same manner as an Explorist.

I feel that had these units been available when I was purchasing mine they would have been an option for me.

Further more with a bit of creative thinking these disadvantages can be overcome.

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