Help with GPS'ing your travels

Confused as to how to get started with recording your rides for posterity, and for others to share?

Following is some advice from XRman on the Adventure Rider forum (

What do I need to know/buy to be able to use a GPS route on my bike?

A GPS device

First you need a GPS machine. My favourites are the Garmin range, but other colour screen GPS machines will do O.K. From cheap to full featured: Etrex Legend C, Etrex 78 (waterproof), Map62S, Rino65, Montana.

These are available from Johnny Appleseed,, E-Bay, Dick Smith etc. and sometimes on special.

Off-road maps

You need to add better maps to your GPS to suit off road riding. Tracks 4 Australia is a free download from

Mapping program

You will need to add a mapping program to your computer to handle transferring tracks to your GPS, and/or creating your own.

Garmin have a fairly simple program called “Basecamp” that is a free download from This will help you transfer maps to and from your GPS. It has good tutorials to assist you.

Extra tutorials are available on in the “Layin down tracks“ sticky section on the top of page one. You can ask questions there if you get stuck.

Attach the GPS to your bike

Now you need to attach the GPS to your handlebars. I use a Ram mounting system. This is a 3 part articulated system. Part one is a handlebar clamp and a ball end, part two is a friction ball connector to allow positional change to suit you, part three is a cradle for your GPS with a ball end. Place this on the inside left of your bars. Available from

Power: this can be either AA batteries (lithium) or via a hard wired system to your bike's battery. Each GPS has its own power cord, but you can use a USB cord on some, or a cigarette lighter socket.

Use someone else's track

OK, you are ready to rock now! Download any track (use the GPX version) you want from to your PC Basecamp program, then transfer it to your GPS.

The route to follow will be highlighted.

Sharing your track

On your return, you can download any track from your GPS to Basecamp, and then upload that to TAUT to share with others.