Magellan eXplorist 310

August 8, 2014

GPS/Watch

This post is way over-due but alas, the Magellan eXplorist 310 review is ready to be posted. With a sleek design that fits comfortably in your hand, this model not only looks and feels great but functions pretty well. When you open the box you will receive the actual GPS itself as well as the Mini USB cable for uploading and downloading information from the computer, the Quick Start Guide and 2 AA Batteries.

I first tested this model on a hike with a few friends and my father up to a string of lakes up in the mountains in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. I simply started went to Options and using the handy joystick that allows you to move from option to option I clicked, “Start New Track” and with this I was ready to stow the GPS in my backpack and begin the hike. Before going into detail of the hike I would also like to mention that the buttons on this GPS make everything very easy to access and the home screen has all the icons you will need to smoothly find the thing you need, be it a Waypoint, starting a new track or finding a Geocache, it is all neatly displayed on the home screen.

What I found very helpful was the screen that allowed you to see how far we had gone, the time spent, how fast we were hiking and how much elevation we had climbed. It dutifully marked our path as we went and I could see a little arrow marking our location on the map. In addition to this at the bottom of my map screen which showed our location it showed our current elevation, where North was, how far 3/4 of a mile was and the accuracy of the GPS.

Previously before hiking I had installed a Topographical map from National Geographic which proved to be very helpful. I also downloaded certain sections of maps to my GPS so that I could have a more detailed look at certain places where I was heading. The GPS comes with a “World Edition” map which is somewhat helpful for basic things, but if you really want detail I suggest downloading a map from their site once you register. They have a program called “VantagePoint” which allows you to download maps and upload yours as well as explore maps and see your own tracks and GPS data.

When I had gotten to a certain point with my group of a few friends and my father I went back to options and clicked “Add Waypoint” to my map, I labeled it and saved it so I would be able to return back to this spot with future group hikes. I do admit, I messed up a few times on placing the Way Point and actually had one or two incorrect ones, but I think this was simply user error.

When we returned down the mountain I ended the Track and we got into our cars and headed to the Silver Fork Lodge for dinner. While in the car I checked out the “Track Summary” and I viewed how long we had hiked for, how far, and how much elevation we had climbed and how much elevation we had descended. I was also pleasantly surprised to see our route was saved on the screen and I could see everywhere we went.

I had no major problems with this GPS, but like most it does take a few seconds to get the GPS signal and I think I might have problems under dense trees with the signal strength. A couple other things about this GPS is that the model I got came with a 30-day Groundspeak Premium Membership from Geocaching.com. It also has a Geocaching icon which makes it easy to locate numerous Geocaches as well as making it paper-less. It is also very importantly water-proof!

So the next time you hit the trails for a hike or for a long run in the backcountry, grab a Magellan eXplorist 310 GPS, a few extra AA Batteries and get out there on the trail and have fun with the ease of mind that you can find your way back home again.

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