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Magellan Explorist 200/300


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I am so new to GeoCaching I don't even have a GPS yet! I took an Intro Class on it and loved it! Problem is, I am having a very hard time picking out a GPS. I only want to spend around $150 (give or take a little) and like the eXplorist 200 & 300 so far. What I want to know is if anyone has experience with these and can offer any pros/cons? It has built in mapping - is that just as good as downloading a map? Any help would be much appreciated! Even if you have another brand to recommend!

Thank you!


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The big problem with the explorist (and the Gecko 101) is that they don't have a way to connect to a computer. Waypoints have to be entered by hand. A single trip to the wrong location because of a miskey is enough to show the value of a good Computer to GPS cable.


They may be great GPS's other than that but I can't reccoment anything with no cable.


Check out the Sport Track, the eTrex Legend. They should be in your price range and are fairly good GPS's.

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I garnered my decision when I first started (April this year) on two ideas. One - I wasn't sure if it was a hobby/sport that would continue to appeal to me. Second, if I am crossing a river/creek/stream and I drop my gps, by accident, how upset would I be.


In relation to the first, I found the Geko 101, to be a great inexpensive model to start with. However, accuracy, is only okay, with this model. But it does teach to not rely solely on the gps and rely on your own common-sense.


I agree that the hand entering of the waypoints and coords can get to be a pain in the rear. However, it also forces you to have an eye for accuracy. Whether, you screwup entering the entry or your computer does. It is still you who needs to verify the info that goes into your gps. Also, the most waypoints that I have ever hand entered at one time is twenty. I've gotten pretty good and fast at entering info by hand. I have found that skill, invaluable when hunting multi-caches and doing contest that require you to input information in the field.


I do have a new explorist 200, not sure if I am ready to give an opinion yet on it. I do find entering the information to be slow, compared to my Geko 101. However, that could be my own lack of experience. Also, I like the maps. But it is only, North America. So, if I want maps when I go to the UK. I'll either have to purchase a new unit or as with the Geko, just enjoy the hunt without the visible map.


As for my second reason for the Geko vs. something in the $200.00 or more range. I am not going to get near as upset if I fumble the Geko or Explorist and break it or drown it. But you can bet I would be very upset if I ruined a more expensive model.


In my learning curve of the Explorist 200, the one option that I have not been able to find and that I really love having is the ability to project degree and distance from a cache. In the case of a couple of the Jackson, MI caches this is a very helpful feature.


Anyway, my two cents. Of ten cents.

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I'd stay away from the eXplorist series because they don't have a PC hookup capability. As such, it's not really a good unit for geocaching.


You can find the eTrex Legend for well within your price range if you shop around and I'd recommend that. It comes with a PC cable and has mapping. It is a very good unit.

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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.

Edited by GeoCrazy
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I bought an explorist 200 a couple months ago and was seriously dissapointed. I live in Charleston, SC, a reasonably large city, and there was a total of about 2 streets on the basemap for the Charleston area. I returned it immediately and stuck to my Magellan Sportrak. I have no complaints about the Sportrak.

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