Test of the Magellan Explorist GC

Magellan Explorist GC is a gps with a focus on geocaching.

The Explorist GC is a small and inexpensive outdoor gps with a focus on a specific area of use – Geocaching. Geocaching is a hobby that is to place and locate caches — caches — around the world. You rarely need to do some longer trips to engage in this treasure hunt. According to the site geocaching.com, there are over 1.1 million stash globally and within a radio at 10 km from my Office specifies the search engine there are over 1000 pieces. The who expects the treasure chests are generally disappointed – the most common type of hide is a waterproof box type lunch box, containing a pen and a log book. When the man reached fills the event log and reset the cache for the next visitors.

Geocaching go to practice with virtually any gps that can show the position in latitude and longitude, but the Explorist GC has many features to make the treasure hunt. In the package there is a voucher that gives 30-day membership at geocaching.com and there is the huge database of the world’s stash. All the software needed is downloaded via the site, and then it’s easy to pick out the caches you want to look up and refuel over the information to your device via usb. Although the gum has an exactly defined position so you often need additional clues or tips from people who found the previous and this information will be synced and is easy to access on your gps. It is handy to have all gathered in a waterproof device instead of having to type out the information from the Web on paper. The screen has qvga resolution and works well in sunlight, but the text is very small compared to the more expensive competitors like Oregon. If you have good vision is the text size perfectly adequate, but a worse miss, I think, is that the device does not have a magnetic compass. It’s really handy when navigating on foot to avoid having to ponder the map is the right medicine. Map the content consists of Navteq road – considerably more information than the Basemap included the cheapest gps: s from other manufacturers. Road networks and water are good reference points, but obviously does not replace a real topographic map when you get further out into the wild spouse.

Explorist GC has a very simple interface that is managed with a control stick and four function buttons. The buttons, just like the rest of the unit, is covered with a rubber layer which gives a durable feel. The buttons are large enough to operate with gloves on, but the track stick is a bit difficult to handle.

Geocaching menu handles all of the caches contained in the device memory and has really good search and sorting features. It is also possible to enter notes and mark the found caches to sync information to the public log on geocaching.com. Entering text on the Explorist GC is however time-consuming – it works much like on an old arcade game. For those who want to create your own hide you can do directly from your device. The menu item “Add geocache” calculates the position under two minutes to make sure that the device is in a fixed location, and that the satellite signal is good. Then you can enter the name of the data cache, terrain, size, severity, and other information. Cache is stored in a file that you can upload to the geocaching website when the device is connected to your computer.

The unit is waterproof to IPX7 standards and can be submerged in water. The battery cover has sturdy seals and held in place by a metal screw. The cover of the usb connector is not as trustworthy, but overall quality feeling high.


Despite a fairly large map material starts the Explorist GC without annoying delays. The GPS receiver is a SirfIII and finds the satellites reasonably quickly.

Battery time

Manufacturer: 18 hours

Comment: Explorist GC uses standard AA batteries and lasts many hours on a set. It fails in some 18 hours with the backlight turned on, but the unit is clear current leaner than many competitors.

Questions and answers.

Need to pay for Geocaching.com to use the device?

No, a free account is sufficient to download the stash. Payment account provides more features and cost about 250 SEK per year.

Is it possible to use the Explorist GC as navigator?

No. It has a road map, but no functions for directions.

There is space for memory card with maps?

No, but the device has a built-in memory of 2 GB.


Garmin Dakota 20 is in the same price range and have useful features such as touch screen, and magnetic compass. Garmin’s screen has much lower resolution.