GPS Navigation with Garmin Fenix

Running 🏃🏼 Walking 👣 Cycling 🚴🏼 and Skiing ⛷️ Tours based on my many years Outdoor Experiences ⌚ #NeverLost #LoveFenix

1. Introduction

Garmin's GPS sports watches offer tonnes of ways to get more from your workouts, but the ability to add and follow routes and courses is a powerful feature that isn't very well publicized. The process is simple when you know how and almost without installing Software or Apps.

2. Download or create a GPX

Outside from Garmin Connect (Web & Mobile) itlself, there are lots of better Websites or Apps with different Online Maps (Google, OpenStreetMap, OpenCycleMap, Country specific, ...) to load, modify and save your GPX files. My favorite is definitely dynamicWatch 💚

Google (Walking, Cycling, Straight), OSM, OCM, GraphHopper Directions, Waypoints. Easy Editing and Modifying Route in Planer, Import from Website, Responsive Web Design, Save and Share into Collections, Endless subscription for $30. Furthermore it's possible to use the excellent simple combination: Garmin Connect IQ App and Offline Companion Android App. 🆕 Send to Garmin Connect !

“Share collection Bretagne” Example (Family Holiday Bike, 5 routes, 21.-27/07/2018):

Make daily route files for a multi-day trip, which are much easier to use for a Garmin GPS device.

Switzerland ...

Swisstopo: draw, export, share lines and markers 👍🏼

Worldwide ...

STRAVA: Route Builder with Map Density

Ride with GPS: Powerful Route Planner !

Komoot: Planning Tool with App

GAIA GPS: many Map Sources

GPX Editor: Google (Walking, Cycling, Straight)

3. Complete and verify the GPX

Online utility that creates maps and profiles. Upload KML or GPX then convert and add “missing” elevations: GPS Visualizer

and eventually ...

Real-time preview PortableApps. Add and remove waypoints, edit track and routes, simplify tracks, move to a new track, edit waypoint and route properties: GPX Editor

GPX File (XML) Sample Format into Notepad++

<gpx><wpt lat="47.280929299" lon="8.470169465"> <ele>625</ele> <name>Waypoint_1</name></wpt><trk> <name>Track_1V</name> <trkseg> <trkpt lat="47.276634501" lon="8.447755758"> <ele>498</ele> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="47.283552036" lon="8.492289494"> <ele>651</ele> </trkpt> </trkseg></trk><trk> <name>... eventually others Tracks ... </name></trk></gpx>

4. Import the GPX

The Garmin Connect Mobile App can send courses directly to compatible devices via Bluetooth. This can be useful when you have created courses in your Garmin Connect account on the Web, and would like to send it to a device without using a computer. Once the device is successfully synced with the smartphone, the new courses will be available for to send to a compatible device.

Garmin Connect Web: Training > Courses > Import > Save and Send to Device

Garmin Connect Mobile: switch on WiFi & BT @Smartphone, open GC Mobile, switch on BT @Fenix (or directly & simply: switch on WiFi @Fenix - if configured in Garmin Express) > Connected and ... as Course Transfered 🙂

Warning: GC drops all the Waypoints and keeps only the first Track ! 👿

or Offline (with limitation) ...

IQ Map Receiver (Android & Garmin App): send Waypoints and Courses (only Fenix 5) from Mobile Phone to Garmin over Bluetooth. No Internet required !

or Wired (most complete method) ...

Connect the Garmin to the computer with the USB Charging Clip and then copy your GPX file (avoid special characters in the name!) into the GARMIN/NEWFILES folder. All Waypoints and Tracks = many Courses, are perfectly imported 👍🏼

5. Start Navigation

You can use your device to navigate to a destination or follow a course. When you start navigating, you can choose the activity to be used while traveling to your destination, such as hiking, running, or biking. If you are already recording an activity when you start navigation, the device continues to record the current activity while navigating.

Hold UP.Select Navigation.Select a category.Respond to the on-screen prompts to choose a destination.Select Go To.Select an activity.Navigation information appears.Select START to begin navigation.Select UP or DOWN to view additional data pages (optional).

TIPP: Map default Zoom Level = Settings > Apps and select the app you want to set the zoom level for or Current App if you are using it at the moment > Data Screens > Map > Set Auto Zoom to OFF. Select your preferred Zoom (0.3km or 120m) in normal way and it will stay on that level 👍🏼

BUG: To turn OFF the left/right navigation warnings (very annoying and buggy after a “Resume Later”), choose “TracBack” (instead of “Do Course”) after a “Reverse Direction” into GC, of course 😜


Since the last version of GCM App (12.01.2018), it's possible to open a GPX with the App = upload as a Course. Choose the activity and finally send it to the Garmin Fenix 3 🎯 (always without Waypoints).