BaseCamp, a free download from Garmin, allows you to organize your maps, create routes and tracks, and establish waypoints to be sent to your GPS device. Ideal for planning hiking trips and excursions far from road signs, BaseCamp also lets you download and add maps from Garmin's website. Download the maps to your computer where you can review the terrain and start planning your route, and then upload the data to your Garmin GPS unit.
Purchase the desired map from Garmin's website (link in Resources). Select your Garmin device type, destination and planned activity from the drop-down lists to identify the map that best suits your needs. Complete payment to start the download. Take note of the directory to which your computer downloads the map.
Launch BaseCamp on your computer.
Click on the "File" menu and select "Import."
Locate the map you wish to add in the dialog box that opens. Navigate to the folder with the downloaded map and double-click on the file. Transferring a map to BaseCamp can take a few seconds, depending on your processor speed.
View your map by clicking on the "Map" drop-down menu at the top left of BaseCamp and selecting the map you just added from the options.
- Some maps are compatible across most Garmin devices, but others may only work on certain models. Make sure you specify the device you plan to use on your trip when downloading a map.
- Keep your version of BaseCamp up-to-date by checking the Garmin website for updates and patches.
- Connect your GPS device to your computer and use the "Send To" option from the Edit menu to export the tracks and routes you make on your map to your Garmin device.
- If your Garmin device allows you to create tracks on the go, you can also import that data back into BaseCamp. When connected to your computer, your device and any data stored on it should appear in the left column of BaseCamp. The program supports drag-and-drop file transfers, so all you have to do is click on a file and drag it from your device list to a BaseCamp list.
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