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Casio PROTREK WSD F30 Review

Casio PROTREK WSD F30 Review

Last month I had the privilege of going on two expeditions of very different nature. 


The first was a small team, low budget, physically and mentally demanding one where myself, my partner Tim and one of our best friends Matt, crossed the High Sierras by ski mountaineering. The second, was a large scale, big budget and basecamp orientated expedition on the Greenland icecap where I joined 11 men from USA, Latvia and Russia (I was filming out there for the mission).

That’s about all I can write about the second one for now but the first one crossing the Sierras.. Wow, what can I say?! It unexpectedly became the best trip I have ever embarked on. I thought it was just going to be a mini adventure and that’s how I would describe it when people asked what I was doing out there but it was anything but mini. It was epically magical if that’s even a description. 

Before I go into what went on during our Sierra adventure, I wanted to take the time to write about some of the that gear I took.

This first post is about the Casio ProTrek WSD F30.


I was testing this watch for its smart abilities, durability and general function.

I’d never had a smart watch before and previously have got by on expeditions with my little Casio that felt smart enough for me : A light to see the time at night, an alarm and a stop watch (plus the fact the battery has so far been going since my first ever expedition in 2011!) So the smart nature of the F30 was new for me but I was excited to give it a go!

The First Impressions

Now it looks cool doesn’t it?! It really does!

But I have to be honest, it definitely felt like a ‘male’ watch straight out the box and onto my wrist. Not the design, I really like its’ outdoorsy and extreme look, but it did feel very big and bulky for my wrist and a big ‘statement’. I have thin wrists and so I was down to the tightest notch on the strap which meant that the end of the strap stuck out a little and would catch on clothing. This was not a deal breaker of course, but something that was immediately obvious.

The Set Up

It is really straightforward to set up. A simple google login, bluetooth connection to my phone and wallah! It was strange as a virgin smart watch owner to have the watch buzz every time my phone got a notification.. I switched this function off pretty quickly (useful sure, but I’m not a fan of being a slave to my phone!)

As I was going to be using it on expedition, I was advised to download a more detailed app for the maps. The watch has its own GPS but this doesn’t work without signal so you must download the maps before heading out. More on maps later.

The Functionality

It has three buttons on the outside so that you can avoid using the touch screen most of the time. For me this is really important because so much of the time I’m wearing gloves and for the key functions like atmospheric pressure and altitude meter, I wouldn’t want to be taking my gloves off.

The button that I found myself using the most was the ‘tool’ button. The Casio Pro Trek WSD F30 offers a set of tools; compass, altimeter, air pressure, tide times and sunrise and sunset (surprisingly very handy and I referenced these frequently.) The other buttons take you to the on-watch maps but as I was using a separate app, I didn’t use this on location. The inbuilt map did not have the topographical detail of the remote Sierras however the ViewRanger App was a different story.

The Maps


As I said before, the inbuilt maps is great if you’re in signal and connected with your phone but on expedition this just isn’t realistic. I downloaded maps using the ViewRanger App (there’s 4GB of storage) and inputted my rough GPX route onto it too so always had a route to try to stick to. Now this was an AWESOME feature. I could look at the watch and it would point to the direction of the route. Now I didn’t use this as a bible but more of a reference with the map and compass when getting an idea of which mountain pass to climb. (Always take a map and compass!) Admittedly this did suck the battery fairly quickly but for this expedition that wasn’t too much of a problem as I took a battery pack.


The Battery

Don’t worry, I wasn’t expecting the same 10 year battery like my old Casio!

The F30 has a lithium ion battery that has three battery modes.

Normal, extend mode, and multi-timepiece mode.

Normal: 1.5 days of charge. This is because this mode has all the features of the watch, including all apps that use consistent GPS. This drains battery because you’ve also got the bluetooth, and Wi-Fi on with the brightest screen setting.

Extend mode: 3 days because it removes the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and the screen dims. The GPS still works as well as maps. I used this mode in the Sierras, one thing I did find annoying in this mode was that it was hard to see the dimmed screen wearing sunglasses.

Multi-timepiece mode: 30 days (apparently although I did not test this) Multi-timepiece is the F30 at its most basic. Only the time and sensor data on a monochrome LCD.

The Charging

The charger is an elegant magnetic connection however for outdoors/in tent charging or indeed in rucksack charging, it just doesn’t work well. The magnetic connection is too weak and I found that it would disconnect itself which was rather frustrating. However, wonderfully Casio realised this and have a special clip that can be bought to keep the watch charging when out and about. You can find it HERE. I’d definitely recommend this option.


Other thoughts

It’s waterproof - pretty good to know with all the river crossings that went on! (Yes I did slip and dunk it on occasion!)

The alarm could be louder! It would definitely wake you up if you were wearing it (it vibrates when the alarm goes off) but the alarm doesn’t last long nor is it very loud so when I strapped it to the top of the tent I wouldn’t hear it go off on those 4am wake ups.

It syncs up with your training apps on the phone - I liked this for the lead up to the expedition. Running and cycling etc and getting the steps recorded however it’s worth noting that there’s no heart rate monitor.

It’s tough! I was scraping it on rocks, covering it in snow and dust - it’s a beast and will handle physical abuse! Just what it’s made for!

Find more information about this hardcore watch at HERE.

About Lucy

About Lucy

So you've found yourself on my 'blog'. I never thought I'd set up a blog but after having written a few entries now, I am rather enjoying the release aspect of it. Take a look top right at the menu and widgets for the blog entires.

I am 22 going on 23 come July this year (2015). I grew up in the beautiful countryside of Suffolk as an only child. I found myself climbing and exploring the countryside as the best way to spend time. This has been amplified into what I essentially do now.. I am, I guess, an adventurer in training..

I don't like that word adventurer, it's rather 'showy offy' and a self given title for many. I don't think I am qualified to call myself it just yet but I use it with lack of a better word. Over the last few years I've found myself consistently going on more and more extreme and adventurous expeditions and referred to as the adventurer by friends and family who I guess are just being supportive or using it as an excuse for my dangerous and odd habits.

I trained at university to go into film and television production, which I do in the weekday. I want to incorporate my love of adventure into film as there's so much to show and inspire once both feet are out of that door and a 'can do' attitude is put in place.

Past expeditions, to name a few, have taken me to the Arctic (several times), the Haute route, Bolivian high peaks, the Hardangervidda, Finnsmarkvidda, the Amazon rainforest, Nepal, NZ, OZ, Vietnam and many hundreds of miles trekked across Spain - alone. 

My next big trip will take me to an exclusive (and extremely hard) expedition race in Patagonia.

These trips have provided me with stories and lessons learnt that I intend to use this blog to share. I will use it as a way of reminding myself of where my roots really are.

Some of my adventure films can be found on my Vimeo page HERE

I just have to

I just have to


Forward motion is bliss. Pulking along an Arctic plateau is not hard. There’s really not that much to it. I am not a particularly skilled individual, born with Arctic-ninja skills that allow me to enjoy and make progress in the Arctic. I wasn’t in the army nor was I born with parents who taught me how to make fire and survive in extreme environments, no. I was a normal child, yes with a little adventure spirit, but I was also pretty damn good at watching Disney films whilst enjoying fish fingers and ketchup. I loved Nintendo 64 as much as the next person.

The point I am trying to make in my not very well constructed paragraph is that it doesn’t take an extraordinary person to do extraordinary things. (Yes I know that’s a well-known quote used on motivational posters at the gym)

We are all capable of learning and our genetic material helps with that – human beings are very good at adapting. The modern person just doesn’t put his or her self in enough extraordinary situations. It’s easy to understand why. Too easy is it to go along with what life naturally throws at us. It is so much easier to stay in our known lives than to put everything up in the air and explore the complete unknown.

Thing is, once you’ve done it once, it’s hard to shrug off and make it the one story that you tell at dinner parties or the fun fact that you’re introduced with by a friend to a new acquaintance.

For me, adventure is an itch I will never scratch. I know that there will never be that one expedition or experience that I come back from and think ‘enough’. But I continue to do it knowing all too well that it will not fulfil all my needs.

I do have doubts before doing these things. I am heading off on my own the day after tomorrow for a rather spontaneous solo walk across the Picos mountains in Spain before joining the well trodden Camino walk to the coast.

I was just brushing my teeth, looking at myself in the mirror. I’d had a pleasant day here in London, the first pleasant day in a while. Why did I feel the need to go off and have weather and terrain battle me? Why leave my friends and house here in the city?

There was temptation and questioning for a brief moment but you see, I don’t have a choice. I have to go, to leave and be tested.

There may be a fear of the challenge that’s coming, hell even the possibility of failure, but it’s so much less scarier than staying here carrying on with an okay and comfortable lifestyle, knowing that I am not being put to my full potential or at least trying to reach it.

That’s just it; I think I want to know how far Lucy can go. This DOES NOT mean I want to keep going until something tragic happens, I mean I want to know that I’m taking advantage of this life and this World.

If it’s these situations that make me feel most like me, then surely I should be doing them often. Adventure is waiting so I better go and look for it then. (It's not that hard to find if you want it.)