Garmin etrex h

Alternative to entering waypoints manually?

10 messages
09/02/2012 at 13:21

Hi, I have this GPS. To enter waypoints I add them directly into the GPS, but it is not quick and simple to do. The buttons need a good bit of force to click them. Plus say I want to enter the coordinates in latitude and longitude of a waypoint I have to edit each digit field individually and search through the list of letters A-X amd 0-9 for the single character I want.  I wasn't expecting to walk up the hill I did in the end and so I had no waypoints already typed in. Doing this on the day in the cold took me about 45minutes.

Anyway, my question is, is there an easier way to enter the waypointson this unit? I was thinking maybe typing them on my home computerand trasnferring them via a cable to the unit. I knon this wouldn't help when needing to enter points on the day, but at least it would help when I actually walk routes that are planned.

09/02/2012 at 15:08
You can create way points using something like GPSPrune from and then export them to a file.

You can then upload them to the eTrex using gpsbabel from

This has a gui, but you can also do it from the command line:

gpsbabel -w -i gpx -f /home/ian/dropbox/gps_tracks/waypoints/all_waypoints.gpx -x track,start=20120207000001 -o garmin -F /dev/ttyUSB0

Replace /dev/ttyUSB0 with whatever port your eTrex is attached to. In Windows it will be something like /dev/COM1
09/02/2012 at 20:41

A quickish way to enter a waypoint, provided you only need a fix to somewhere quite close is to take a reading then edit it, you would have only a few digits to change so it saves some needless faff.

13/02/2012 at 12:43

Thanks for those tips which are helpful

07/03/2012 at 11:21

Thanks everyone. I am using Walkhighlands website's free GPS Planner. It has 25K maps.  I plot my , save as a GPX file then I transfer using EasyGPS(Free PC software), edit the names of the points and enter the heights and then transfer routes and waypoints to the etrex H.

I can also do the same on my Mac, but use LoadMyTracks application to transfer the routes and waypoints.

I haven't tried using the transferred routes in the field yet, but hopefully will be able to do so.

15/03/2012 at 08:53

If you're already using GpsPrune, there's no need to save a file and then call gpsbabel from the command line.  Just use File -> Send data to GPS from within GpsPrune, and it will call gpsbabel for you.

No need to remember all those gpsbabel parameters!

11/06/2012 at 12:59

This thread was obviously dredged up by today's spammer, but I hadn't seen it before...

I'll trot out my usual recommendation of my colleague's WheresThePath website, which will let you plan your route, and will then send the GPX file to your Garmin (you'll need to have installed the Garmin Comminicator software).

WtP will also pull in a GPX file from disk, and download that, too.

11/06/2012 at 13:04

The WheresthePath website looks good. Thanks for that. I'll try in on my wife's macintosh at home.

11/06/2012 at 18:57

> I'll try in on my wife's macintosh at home.

Ah.  I'm not sure if there's a Communicator plug-in for Macs...  check the Garmin website.

Oh, looks like there is.  Good luck...  Of course, you'll also need a Mac-to-Garmin connector, but you may have one.

11/06/2012 at 20:27
Yes I can connect my Garmin to the mac via the USB port.
Thanks very much for the link. Fingers crossed it will work
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