Been a while since I was able to get an application in.
New job and all.
Here's my application, good luck to all prospective testers.
Application to test the DeLorme Earthmate GPS PN-20 - Josh Cormier
Please accept my application for the privilege of testing the DeLorme
Earthmate GPS PN-20. I Josh Cormier have read and agree to comply
with the report requirements stated in chapter 5 of the
BackpackGearTest Bylaws v. 0609.
Personal biographical information:
Name: Josh Cormier
Height: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
Email address: swifteagle1 at hotmail dot com
City: Los Gatos, California
I joined the Boy Scouts when I was eleven and have been camping and
backpacking ever since. I like to do challenging trips ranging from
week long to weekend in mountainous areas. I would classify my gear
as mid weight although now I am trying to move more toward
lightweight. I now go backpacking at least once a year in the Sierra
Nevada Mountains as well as monthly car camping trips with the Scouts.
I camp with the Boy Scouts up to 11 times a year in differing
locations. Each of these campouts consists of two nights of camping
in various places. Since part of any trip is getting there, I will be
able to see how the Earthmate PN-20 works in this capacity. The great
testing weather we normally encounter is moist air, fog, cold nights,
and occasionally heavy wind and rain. The places we usually camp
include redwood forests, grassy meadows, and ocean front campsites.
The usual temperatures found here can range from 35 90 deg F (1.7
The other area I camp is in the much-loved Sierra Nevada Mountains,
elevation 3,000 10,000 ft (914 3048 m). The climate here varies
from hour to hour, expect fog, rain, hail, snow, wind, and warm sunny
days. The terrain is all, mountainous with many trees and lots of
granite. The temperatures found here can range from 20 deg F (-6.6 C)
in the winter to 95 deg F (35.0 C) in the summer.
As stated above, my main method of hiking is mid weight leaning
toward the light side. I still like to sleep in a tent and carry all
the necessary gear, but I get the lightest stuff I can. With moving
toward lighter gear I have the ability to travel cross country with
no trails, using a GPS for this type of excursion is where it all
If I am selected I plan on putting this GPS through its paces by
using it to navigate to destinations in the car using the street maps
and freeway maps. On the trail I will use it to navigate to my
destinations using the several different typed of overlay maps
available. I expect to use it on trails and cross country. I will
test to see if I can use the aerial maps to see where my point of
interest is (lake) and what terrain I should expect as I cross over a
mountain. I see lots of opportunities to test the different features
of this GPS in my outdoor adventures.
I currently own a GPS and Topo mapping software that I use on my
backpacking trips. I will be able to use this experience to
thoroughly test the Earthmate PN-20, calling from my past experience
remembrances of all I wanted or needed in a GPS. I've also had
experience uploading routes to and from the GPS I currently use, will
the test GPS setup be as easy?
Beyond the backpacking, hiking, driving and other activities that I
will be testing this GPS on, I will use it for some Geocaching.
Geocaching is one of the main activities that recently made GPS's
popular. What better than to test this GPS doing some Geocaching?
My test plan:
I plan on testing the gear based on several different objectives.
First and most importantly is dependability, does the GPS work when
it counts. Secondly is efficiency, does the GPS do its job well.
Lastly would be ease of use, is the GPS easy to use. Throughout the
test I will seek to answer the following questions.
Since the GPS comes with map software I will also look at how easy it
is to use the software and interface with the PC.
Does the GPS work consistently in the heat/cold/wet?
Does the GPS readily get a signal in most conditions?
Does the GPS accept rough handling without becoming damaged?
Does the GPS screen resist scratching when being packed away
Do all the buttons on the GPS continue to work effectively throughout
Is the GPS data accurate on streets, highways, trails?
Is the computer cable durable?
Does the GPS use low enough power to leave it on while hiking without
killing the batteries in a day?
If the GPS gets turned off while hiking, will it boot up quickly and
reacquire a signal?
Can the screen brightness be adjusted to save power?
If the GPS is idle for a specified amount of time, will the GPS power
If the GPS is idle for a specified amount of time, will the screen
Does the GPS have other useful information such as elevation,
Does the GPS weight to usefulness ratio make it worth carrying out in
Can all pertinent data be stored in the GPS using the internal memory
or SD card?
What is the max size SD card the GPS will support?
How well does the "transflective" screen filter out the suns glare?
Ease of Use:
Is the battery compartment easy to open and change the batteries?
Does the GPS have an indicator of how much battery power is left?
Are the GPS buttons easy to use for most size fingers?
Are the GPS buttons easy to use with gloves on?
Are the GPS menus easy to navigate?
Can I easily set new waypoints in the field?
Is the font size easy to read for people with normal eyesight?
Is the GPS easy to connect to the computer?
Is it easy to upload maps, aerial images and waypoints to the GPS?
Previously written reports:
All my reports can be found here:
Thank you BackpackGearTest and DeLorme for your consideration,