Adding SOTA summits to your Garmin.

I have been active with Summits On The Air for a year and a half, and had been navigating exclusively with Guru Maps until very recently. Guru is an exceptional app, been using it for 10 years: even its free version allows you to have offline vector maps with routable topography. The paid version is a one-off purchase which then allows you to load as many maps as you want (rather than a limited number for the free version, which is no issue if you don’t leave your region often).

Lauren and I now have Garmin eTrex (22x and Touch 25) handhelds, which are a good compromise between cost and being capable mapping devices.

It is very helpful to have all of the potential SOTA summits you might need already marked on your map. The way I do this is the following:

  1. Go to Sota Maps and on the left there is a box, below that is a button that says “Export”. Select that.
  2. Select the Association you want summits for. I am currently in Scotland, so scroll to GM.
  3. With the Region field, you can either select a single region (useful with older Garmin handhelds which can only handle 1000 waypoints), or select nothing and all of the regions will be exported.
  4. Sort by Summit Code.
  5. Output format GPX.
  6. Create file.

On your local drive (or shared drive), make a folder for your mapping and GPX, and move the downloaded GPX there for safekeeping.

To add the summits to GURU maps:

  1. Move downloaded GPX to your phone that has Guru installed, open the file with Guru (if you wish, try to organise SOTA into a suitable folder, since you can’t edit the folder structure externally in Guru), and now all of your summits will appear on your mapping.
  2. That’s it.

To add summits to your Garmin device:

  1. Install/Open Garmin BaseCamp.
  2. Right-click “my collection” > New List Folder (I created a SOTA folder, then subfolders for regions).
  3. Right-click your SOTA folder > New List (name List for region).
  4. Select List.
  5. File/Import into “(List name)” the GPX with the relevant summits.
  6. Connect Garmin handheld to computer.
  7. Select list.
  8. Click the icon that looks like a green arrow pointing to a tablet: this will upload to the device.

Once sent the waypoints should appear on any map on your device, once booted.

Tobias Feltus: