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Magellan eXplorist 310 Fishing Hot Spots Bundle
Style: Fishing Hot Spots Bundle|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$171.94+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 20, 2011
I bought the Magellan Explorist 310 almost exclusively for geocaching.

For the past two years, I've been using the Magellan Triton 400 for the same purpose. That GPS unit was good in its day, but I wanted something more responsive with more features. After playing around with my new Explorist 310, I'd like to share my initial feelings, as well as some helpful hints for getting the most out of the GPS with the least amount of headaches.

As far as the quality of the GPS, I'd rate it as excellent. When I put in a couple of Rayovac alkaline batteries (the unit ships with two Energizer lithiums and a coupon for $2 off your next purchase of these batteries, I'll save those for another day) and pressed the power button for a couple seconds, the GPS powered right up, almost no wait time. It fits in the hand almost perfectly, and the buttons are easy to press. I initially had a bit of trouble with the toggle button, but figured out that if I wanted to spell out anything I needed to hold the unit in both hands, problem solved.

The battery compartment gave me a bit of trouble at first. It is a big improvement over the Triton series, it takes only a half turn to unlock the back of the GPS to replace the batteries. I struggled getting the battery cover back on again. Eventually I figured that out. Make sure that you connect the cover from the bottom first with a slight upward motion, then lower the top half of the cover and turn the screw the half turn needed to seal the battery compartment back up. Once you do it a few times there's nothing to it.

Next step for me was to load some geocaches onto the GPS. I went for it and created three 1000 cache pocket queries on Geocaching.com. After they were created, I saved them onto my computer. Then I connected the Explorist 310 to my computer using the included cable, and copied the files from my computer onto the GPS. When I looked for them, they didn't show up. I realized my mistake almost immediately - the files were still in a .ZIP format. I expanded them, then copied the .GPX files into the "Geocaches" folder on the Explorist, and the .WPTS.GPX files into the "Waypoints" folder. After that, everything showed up where I expected it to. Even with 3000 geocaches and the related waypoints, the unit booted up in no time!

Now I want to share the hints that should help you get the most out of this GPS (for geocaching anyway) right out of the box:

1. Go to Tools | Settings | Power, and set your battery type. Honestly don't know what this does, but I've had my GPS on for 5 hours tonight and almost no reduction in battery power. It must do something! Battery life is so much better than my Triton, for this reason alone I'm glad I bought the GPS.
2. Go to Tools | Settings | Brightness & Volume, and set up these settings to your preferences. I set the Backlight Timer to 5 minutes (and you can keep it on longer), keeps me from pushing buttons just so I can see the screen after a few minutes
3. Go to Tools | Settings | Night Mode, and change the setting to "Off". The factory setting will change the screen to night mode as soon as the sun sets, it's really annoying. Maybe it's preferable for some people, but definitely not for me.

The next two are the most important for geocachers, without changing these settings you will hate this GPS:

4. Go to Map, select it, then hit the Menu button. Scroll down and select "Map Options". Find the "Auto Zoom" option, and turn it OFF! If you don't, the screen will always zoom out to the point between your location and your destination, very annoying and makes it almost impossible to actually get to a cache.
5. Go to Map, select it, then hit the Menu button. Scroll down to "Geocaches" and change the setting to "Not Found & Not Attempted". I initially changed this to "Not Found", thinking this would show me the caches I didn't find yet. I found out the hard way that that setting will only show caches that you looked for but couldn't find.

That's all I have for now. Like I said, so far I really like the unit. My only comparison is the Triton 400, but there are some HUGE improvements over that unit. Deleting the existing set of geocaches is almost instant, vs. 3+ minutes on the Triton. I can actually save my finds on the unit, on the Triton there was no option for this. I can see the last 5 comments from Geocaching.com, so I don't waste my time looking for muggled caches. I will post an update if I find any more significant pros/cons to this unit, or any more helpful hints.
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on February 24, 2017
Summit Series TOPO are not as detailed as the NatGeo TOPO maps but provide greater coverage within five States. The features of knowing where one is in the wild lands are very adequate and the maps are updated and not from old USGS Topos which are from years ago and do not have currrent changes in waterways, lakes, settlements from the last few years. The entire process of installing Summit Series and navigating the instructions and the use of Vantage Point has been a real misery, but once the user of the maps figures out how to do the process, all works well. The Customer Support services from Magellan have been extremely good with quick response and clear instructions. Now that I am familiar with the Magellan program, I have no need to go into other GPS providers and to learn how to deal with their specific issues...yeah, they have issues, too.
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on August 13, 2013
I ordered this unit the Magellan 310 just for its basic features, such as the preloaded world map and the simplicity. I have also used this device in city tracking as well as hiking. My favorite features are the elevation, current speed. In addition to time because that is important when I am trekking, I, furthermore, like how the basic map is set up, and zooms down to 10 ft. to your present location. Battery life on lithium’s goes for a long time so battery life is excellent in the correct mode. It is dead simple to update the software you can do it through the vantage point software or online at the Magellan website. I got a good deal for $103.00 for this unit I don't have an annual subscription to a digital globe, but it would be nice but the unit is very stable and locking on to satellite is fairly quick. I recommend this the unit above the 110 just because of the advancements and also for beginners and who wouldn't want a better model for a decent price.
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on September 11, 2015
This worked phenomenally. I used it on Rainy Lake Canada during a week long fishing trip. WARNING 1: if you're going outside to Canada. you will need to buy the Canadian summit series map(s). Warning 2: if you leave the unit on constantly while fishing at the factory settings it WILL drain a set of lithium batteries in about 2 days. I should have expected this, as that is about how long the manual says they will last. I changed the settings a bit, and turned it off when we arrived at a fishing hole (then back on again when we left the hole) and I got several days out of just plain alkaline batteries. This is an EXCELLENT GPS.
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on July 2, 2012
The Explorer 310 is an excellent product.

I wanted a relatively cheap GPS that primarily supports paperless geocaching as well as tracking the fitness activities I do.

Using the Vantage software from the Magellan website I was able to load pocket queries into my GPS for thousands of geocaches. At the press of a button I can clearly see what geocaches are my area.

I can also track my travels easily and transfer my tracks to my PC using the cable supplied. The connection process is pretty simple.

The default maps on the GPS came with all the streets and parks in my area - which is excellent.

You should get the latest firmware using the Magellan site which doesn't take long and you might want to change the default settings to how you like them - such as 'North' being at the top of the map.

Cons are minor.
Like most GPS devices it can take a while from switching on to get a satellite lock.
It's also battery hungry and the battery indicator isn't always reliable - you can think you've got plenty of power left on the power indicator before it suddenly drops right down and the GPS continually cuts out on you.
But I think these are minor issues you can work around.

I would recommend this GPS (Explorer 310) to others as it is excellent value for the price.
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on August 15, 2014
GPS signal is nowhere to be found "outdoors or indoors". When it finds signal most of the time is pretty weak. The map is also outdated so you will find that a lot of the roads are missing. When zooming in the only thing that you will find on the maps is green or brown color.
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on October 11, 2017
The gps coordinates were never accurate. The map could not be updated unless connected to a computer running windows xp, and even then the map was still years old with minimal information. I did like the design. It would have been perfect for hikes, if it worked.
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on August 16, 2015
a good GPS signal takes very fast satellites, accuracy is very good and improve the open, try to measure routes by car and there were no problems, the detail is that the maps are not available for all countries, on the other side data seen on the screen are very small because the lyrics are very small and I see no way to change it .. for me helps me, however take into account the size of the letter that the displey offers ..
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on July 22, 2012
First the batteries held out for two full days when unit is set properly, don't know where the neg reviews about that came from? Second the unit will dissapoint you unless you update it. Third the basemap sucks and you will need to update that, as far as space to do so you can get enough map on there if done properly for about 10 days of hiking(not for the extreme hiker). It is waterproof as it was rained on for about five hours with no problems. The joystick is a little touchy but you get used to it. Took on three three day trips at from 2000ft to 7500ft performed flawlessly. All in all if you want a gps in this price range you shouldn't get lost if you download the proper map!
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on May 19, 2013
This unit was well-worth the money during 6 days of off-trail hiking in the utah desert. The screen is clear and easy to read in direct sunlight. Battery life is fine and we had power even leaving it on a high-brightness setting all day. The GPS pairs extremely well with the national geographic TOPO! map series. These are high-resolution scans of 1:24000- and 1:100000-scale topo maps for the continental US. Magellan's software for downloading, annotating, and transferring them to the GPS works surprisingly well, and it's well-worth the $30 for a yearly subscription to the service. These maps are more detailed and much less expensive than anything that garmin's or even magellan's own regional maps can offer.
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