I Just Bought a Casio Pathfinder Watch

by Dave on June 5, 2007 · 22 comments

Question: What does a guy do when he’s planning a backpacking trip around the world, and he finds himself ahead of schedule in savings with 6 months to go?

Answer: He buys a Casio Pathfinder watch for $199 from Amazon.com. Why would he need such a watch? Just consider the following scenario, and you’ll wonder no more!

Our intrepid hero is scaling Lhotse in Nepal, the world’s fourth highest peak at 27,940 feet (8,516 meters). He periodically checks the Pathfinder’s altimeter to ensure he is not ascending too quickly, thus decreasing his chances of contracting a potentially deadly case of altitude sickness. As he locks into memory his new highest height of 21,500 feet, he notices a drop in barometric pressure via the barometer, and corresponding drop in temperature via the thermometer.

As the winds pick up, and clouds envelope the mountain, our hero bivouac’s (encamps) high up the mountain. In his dimly lit tent, he checks the time, thankful his watch has an auto backlight which turns on when he tilts the watch so he doesn’t have to take off his warm mittens. A solar powered battery ensures watch functionality in case it remains overcast and stormy for the next 5 months.

Days pass, and concerns grow about avalanche risk higher up the mountain. The expedition is canceled, and our hero begins to navigate down the mountain using his Pathfinder’s digital compass, as the well-worn climbing route has been covered by three feet of fresh snow. Thanks to multi-band 5 atomic timekeeping, he can be sure to rendezvous with his yaks at precisely the right time to carry his gear back to Kathmandu.

As for his Casio Pathfinder PAW1300-1V watch, it’s a cool 28% thinner and lighter than previous models, so even after a 20,000 foot climb, it’s no sweat off his back to wear it home.

About the Author:

is the author of 1722 posts on Go Backpacking.

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Categories: Gear & Gadgets, Planning, Pre-trip

22 Comments

nina June 5, 2007 at 7:35 am

My, that’s one geeky watch.

I think I want one >_

Reply

nina June 5, 2007 at 3:35 am

My, that’s one geeky watch.

I think I want one >_

Reply

Dan June 5, 2007 at 3:22 am

They have some nice looking watches, I was looking at some similar ones from Highgear and Suunto, I didn’t know Casio had anything similar. Might have to start thinking about one again.

Reply

Dave June 5, 2007 at 7:42 pm

I first saw the ad in National Geographic Explorer last year, and had been contemplating a purchase ever since. I tried a low end model on and it was just too big, so when I saw they came out with a slimmed down version, I went for it. :)

Reply

Dan June 5, 2007 at 7:22 am

They have some nice looking watches, I was looking at some similar ones from Highgear and Suunto, I didn’t know Casio had anything similar. Might have to start thinking about one again.

Reply

Dave June 5, 2007 at 11:42 pm

I first saw the ad in National Geographic Explorer last year, and had been contemplating a purchase ever since. I tried a low end model on and it was just too big, so when I saw they came out with a slimmed down version, I went for it. :)

Reply

Stu June 5, 2007 at 2:04 pm

lol too many buttons. i’m old fashioned. all my watches must have hands.. well my current watch (and fav of any watch Ive owned) is titanium citizen ecodrive (so its solar too)… mmm titanium.

what if you dont live near fort collins to get this split second radio signal?

sure be nice if it came in titanium… then id be interested! :)

Reply

Stu June 5, 2007 at 2:11 pm

just realised they have one in titanium ;)

plus I want to know what happens if a yak goes lame? will you still make it back to kathmandu? can the watch dig stones out of the yaks hooves??

if your trapped in a snow cave for more than 5 months you’ll loose power

Reply

Dave June 5, 2007 at 11:47 pm

I think they have the world covered…

Hourly Time Signal – 5 Multi-Band (U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, 2 locations for Japan)

I’ve never had a titanium watch however you certainly make them sound appealing. I didn’t want a metal band as it’d be a little more flashy and attractive to thieves, plus they cost more. One woman mentioned on Amazon.com buying a Pathfinder for her husband who is in Afghanistan, and she mentioned the resin band being a good thing because it doesn’t reflect sunlight. So there! I’ll be properly equipped for covert operations too.

I’ll have to get back to you on the yak!

Reply

Stu June 5, 2007 at 10:04 am

lol too many buttons. i’m old fashioned. all my watches must have hands.. well my current watch (and fav of any watch Ive owned) is titanium citizen ecodrive (so its solar too)… mmm titanium.

what if you dont live near fort collins to get this split second radio signal?

sure be nice if it came in titanium… then id be interested! :)

Reply

Stu June 5, 2007 at 10:11 am

just realised they have one in titanium ;)

plus I want to know what happens if a yak goes lame? will you still make it back to kathmandu? can the watch dig stones out of the yaks hooves??

if your trapped in a snow cave for more than 5 months you’ll loose power

Reply

Dave June 5, 2007 at 7:47 pm

I think they have the world covered…

Hourly Time Signal – 5 Multi-Band (U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, 2 locations for Japan)

I’ve never had a titanium watch however you certainly make them sound appealing. I didn’t want a metal band as it’d be a little more flashy and attractive to thieves, plus they cost more. One woman mentioned on Amazon.com buying a Pathfinder for her husband who is in Afghanistan, and she mentioned the resin band being a good thing because it doesn’t reflect sunlight. So there! I’ll be properly equipped for covert operations too.

I’ll have to get back to you on the yak!

Reply

Mike June 7, 2007 at 8:54 pm

One word: freakin’ awesome! (okay, two)

Reply

Mike June 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm

One word: freakin’ awesome! (okay, two)

Reply

angusbeattie October 28, 2009 at 8:02 pm

did you get paid for that post?

Or just the watch… ;)

Reply

Dave October 28, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Neither, I paid the $200 on Amazon.com but it was worth it. The watch held up wonderfully, though I did need to replace the band after I got home. I was especially impressed with the accuracy of the altimeter. Highly recommended!

Reply

angusbeattie October 29, 2009 at 2:02 am

did you get paid for that post?

Or just the watch… ;)

Reply

Dave October 29, 2009 at 2:21 am

Neither, I paid the $200 on Amazon.com but it was worth it. The watch held up wonderfully, though I did need to replace the band after I got home. I was especially impressed with the accuracy of the altimeter. Highly recommended!

Reply

Dave October 29, 2009 at 2:21 am

Neither, I paid the $200 on Amazon.com but it was worth it. The watch held up wonderfully, though I did need to replace the band after I got home. I was especially impressed with the accuracy of the altimeter. Highly recommended!

Reply

Farrah Mazzo October 29, 2010 at 6:39 am

When I originally commented I clicked the ?Notify me when new comments are added? checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks

Reply

great womenboots October 30, 2010 at 8:10 am

looking around for the best site to get one.

Reply

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