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Customer Review

173 of 178 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magellan ExploristGC, July 23, 2010
This review is from: Magellan eXplorist GC Waterproof Geocaching GPS (Electronics)
A decent GPS for geocaching. It comes with street maps for the entire United States and Canada and base maps (major highways) for the rest of the world. In the US and Canada you can navigate (it does NOT auto-navigate) yourself to a geocache by watching the mapping screen and choosing a route.

Included is a 30 day premium membership to In order to fully utilize the features of this unit you MUST be a premium member. Paperless caching, pocket queries and bookmarks, uploading field notes all require maintaining a premium membership ($30 per year).

I have been geocaching more than 7 years and have experience with Magellan, Garmin and DeLorme GPS units. I attended a C.I.T.O. event in San Francisco earlier this year and won an ExploristGC in a drawing at that event. My thanks to Magellan.

The unit comes with an (abbreviated) User Handbook packaged in the box. For the complete User Handbook you will need to access and either read it online or download the Adobe acrobat file to your computer. It is one of the better user handbooks that I have seen for GPS units. Learning to use the unit (for me) was relatively easy and quick.


Small text. Hard to read while bouncing in a car.
Transflective screen. Hard to see even in bright sunlight. I needed to use the backlight most of the time.
Battery life. About 10 hours for rechargeables (because I needed to use the backlight most of the time.)
Position Update. Most of the time pretty good. Occasionally VERY slow (up to 2 minutes).
Switching between screens. The Map screen and the Dashboard screen are used extensively for geocaching. It is not possible to rapidly switch between these two screens.
Awards. The unit is preprogrammed to "award" you for 10 miles traveled, your 1st, 10th, etc. cache found. No way to turn this off.

Pros: (with Geocaching premium membership)

Making field notes and uploading those notes to
Paperless caching (including viewing any photographs and graphics from the cache pages.)
Memory capacity. The unit will hold the information for thousands of caches.

I would give the ExploristGC another star if the position update was faster and more reliable. It is VERY irritating to be 10 or 15 feet away from a cache and not know which way to go. On numerous occasions I have walked past a cache by 30 to 40 feet before the unit updates my distance from the cache and the arrow swings on the compass to point toward the cache. (I see this problem listed on some other reviews but not all, so this problem could be limited to some but not all units.)
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 6, 2012 9:02:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 6, 2012 9:02:33 AM PDT
I have the eXplorist 500LE model, from 2007. It has built-in geocaching features, although I haven't used them. The file structures seemed a bit awkward...or maybe I didn't read the manual well enough. Does anybody know if this model would justify a purchase, or does it just do less than my 500 does, e.g. the emphasis is on geocaching?

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 11:56:53 AM PDT
Thanks for the pros and cons list. I'm looking for a father's day gift and my hubby is just getting interested in geocaching.

Posted on Aug 4, 2013 1:58:23 PM PDT
amy v says:
I have just started getting interested in geochaching...went on my first exploration today...I call it an exploration because that's what ended up happening...great day to "explore" our local park, but didn't find anything! My daughter was disappointed and so was I. To be honest, I used a free app I downloaded on my cell phone but got so frustrated with it that we gave up. I'm not the best with a compass or using would this be a good GPS device for a VERY fresh beginner? I absolutely do NOT need any fancy device...just something that's easy to use. :) Thanks.

Posted on Jan 20, 2014 8:08:48 PM PST
G says:
Does this Magellan let you input your own GPS coordinates that friends have shared with me?
I have read through the descriptiona and most reviews and still can't find out if this unit allows you to manually input gps coordinates while it is hooked up to a computer.

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 11:35:01 AM PST
Hey Fritz what unit would you buy no days? Thank you, Adam
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