How to Transfer Garmin Etrex Track Files


Navigating through the urban jungle is one common use of GPS devices, but it's not the only one. Hikers and cyclists have their own GPS models, such as Garmin's eTrex series, designed to help them navigate backcountry trails and unmarked wilderness. Part of the fun is saving the trip as a track file, so you can retrace your steps later or share your favorite trails and scenic views with friends. Garmin provides several ways to do this.

Transfer to Computer

  • Transferring your track to the computer is your first step, whether you're archiving it for later use or preserving it to share with friends. Launch Garmin's free BaseCamp software, or download and install it if you haven't already. Connect your eTrex to the computer using Garmin's USB cable. In the panel at the left of your BaseCamp screen, you'll see the eTrex listed as a connected device. If you have an SD card in your GPS, that will show as a separate device. Click one of those icons to see the track files. Select the one you want, then click "Edit" on your menu bar, and "Send To...". Choose a folder from the list of possible destinations, and click "OK."

Transfer From Computer

  • Transferring tracks from the computer back to an eTrex or other compatible Garmin GPS follows exactly the same procedure, but in reverse. Connect the Garmin to your computer using its supplied USB cable, then click the folder containing your track files. Select the file you want from the list at the bottom of the panel, then click "Edit" and "Send To...". Choose your Garmin or its SD card from the available destinations, and click "OK" to complete the transfer.

Other Methods

  • There are two streamlined methods for transferring track files to and from your eTrex. If you'd prefer to save a few clicks, you can avoid the menus. Just right-click on the file you want to transfer, and choose "Send To..." from the menu that pops up. Alternatively, you can use your mouse to drag and drop the track file. Locate the track you want to transfer, and click it with your mouse. Hold down the button and move the mouse cursor to the destination folder. Let go of the mouse button, and your file will transfer.

ANT Wireless Transfer

  • BaseCamp provides a convenient way to transfer data, but you can also send tracks directly between two compatible eTrex models. Starting with the eTrex 30 in late 2011, many eTrex models can use low-power ANT wireless technology for file transfers. Navigate through the menu on the two Garmins until you've found each model's "Share Wirelessly" function. Set one unit to "Receive," and the other to "Send." Pressing "Send" brings up a menu, listing the types of data you can transfer. Choose "Tracks," then select the track data you want to send. Press "Send" once more on the sending unit, and "Receive" once more on the receiving unit to finish the transfer.

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