I remember my first hunting trip. I had just turned 21 and the year was 1987. I just got my License to Carry Firearms in my home state of Massachusetts. I then took the hunters safety course, and was granted my hunting license. My desire was small game hunting; Rabbits, Squirrels and the occasional Possum or Raccoon. I was not killing them to have the fur, but rather I would give them to a friend who ate them. Frankly, Rabbit and Squirrel does taste like chicken.
In any event, I was hunting in what I would like to call my own back yard. I had played in these woods since I was a kid. How could I get lost? Well I didn’t, but that is a good thing, because I didn’t have the tool you are about to learn about.
Handheld GPS’s can be considered a dime a dozen. They mostly share the same maps, give or take some topographical differences. Magellan however, has a line of handheld GPS’s that are not a dime a dozen and are at the top of their industry. My standard intro to Magellan products is constant when reviewing their products. It states; Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer born c. 1480, and along with his crew were the first Europeans to enter the Pacific Ocean. They were also the first to successfully circumnavigate the globe. It is because of his reputation in history, that his name is put on the modern day version of compasses and astrolabes that he might have used.
I was excited to review one of the newest GPS’s from them; The eXplorist 350H where the “H” is for hunt. The 350H lets you store over 30 hunt-specific waypoints. It is these waypoint features that will allow you to get an edge over other hunters. Using it pre-season, you can set up your trail camera locations and mark them. You can also mark areas frequented by your prey; water, food grounds, tracks, bedding areas as well as possible predatory areas that may endanger you as well as repel or otherwise act as a deterrent to the animals.
Testing included the following;
- Marking small game feeding and nesting sites
- Marking predator (of small game and ME) sites
- Mapping out the zone I am licensed to hunt in
- General GPS navigation
- Toughness test
The marking of all the sites, as well as mapping out the zone for which I am licensed, took seconds for each way point. I then tested it (the next day) and it brought me to the exact spot I had marked for a feeding site.
In-terms of general navigation, from power up to locating my location took less than 2 minutes. When I arrived at my location, I marked it and set out on foot. While I did not lose my bearings, It was nice to know that it got me within 5 yards of my car when I returned.
It boasts the fact that it is waterproof. I tested it two fold; I dropped it in a sink for 5 minutes as well as leaving it in a puddle of mud and water as I stepped on it. I pulled it out, rinsed it off and guess what ? It worked. Just so you know, I am not svelt. I put 260 Lbs of pressure on it while wearing a hiking boot.
The eXplorist 350H also comes loaded with GMUs (game management units). For instance, in my home state (Massachusetts) hunts are divided into zones. So this data will keep you from going across zone lines and getting into trouble, either legally or safety wise.
It is palm sized and the eXplorist 350H features a 2.2-inch color screen as well as being waterproof. In testing, it ran about 20 hours on two AA batteries. It has a USB port for loading additional information. It is cross platform, so whether you have a Windows machine or Mac, Magellan has you covered. There is also holds sun and moon information which is constantly location based. Really it is so feature rich, that listing and testing them all is impossible on a deadline.
One last side bar is that even though it is made for hunters, this GPS could also have a use for those that go on nature watching hikes as well. It is accurate and can hold the data needed.
Learn more on Magellan’s website.