Garmin Drive 51 Route Planning

I bought a Garmin Drive 51 LMT – S.

I have resisted sat navs for so long that it’s become a habit, you see a road atlas doesn’t need batteries and doesn’t go wrong. However my co-pilot is starting to feel poorly while reading and moving so we needed a solution, and these were on offer.

Anyway it turns out that you can plan your route in multiple ways, the box allows you to do it there but it’s fiddly because it’s a small screen.

Garmin do a software package called BaseCamp that’s free to use. It will import .kml files, and it just happens that Google maps will export routes in that format.

You can find Basecamp here.

I could go on and on and describe it but it’s easier if I point you at the video on Youtube that I watched because he explains the process really well from route planning to downloading to your Garmin device.

Take a look here:


I think you’ll agree the explanation is good.

And this post is a way for me to remember how to do it too.

My notes on the process are simple.

  • The Basecamp software is a good way to update your Garmin sat nav software.
  • The first time I imported the kml file it showed up OK and the activity profile defaulted to driving a car. When I created the route it showed it is if I was flying by helicopter in a straight line. I had to select motorcycle and then re-select driving by car. Apart from that it all worked a treat.


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