Baseline training for Basecamp s/w

My first seminar for

On Thursday, October 9th, in cooperation with Doc Wong, and the clinics that he puts on at his office in Belmont, I lead a session about how to make the best use of your GPS by exploiting the hidden features of BaseCamp.  BaseCamp is freeware, offered to the public by Garmin, used to create waypoints, routes and adventures, and also to manage the process of loading those objects into your Garmin GPS.  In addition, with BaseCamp, you can “Upload” information from your Garmin GPS into BaseCamp, so that you’ve got one place, on your PC, where all of your rides, routes, frieinds addresses, favorite places, etc are stored.


The reason that I put on this seminar is that, through some recent conversations with Doc, I discovered that he had a GPS, but had never used BaseCamp, and had not updated the maps on his GPS for several years.  After a brief conversation, we agreed that his situation was probably not unique, and there were probably many others who were unaware of how to use BaseCamp, or were intimidated by it, or simply did not know that it existed.

Thanks to everyone that attended

I was very pleased with the number of attendees, and also with the level of enthusiasm, and desire to learn.  The interaction with the audience was really terrific, and I look forward to having them all come back for part II.

A little bit about BaseCamp

It really should be said that BaseCamp can produce some extraordinary results, and it “WILL HELP YOU” manage all of your travel plans, when combined with the GPS and a laptop.  My opinion is that there are really two barriers that prevent a wider adoption of BaseCamp, to a larger community.  Those problems are

  1. BaseCamp relies on terminology that can be confusing, and is not really well defined within BaseCamp , or on the Garmin Website
  2. BaseCamp can be damn confusing and hard to use
  3. BaseCamp’s user interface does not follow all of the “normal” and conventional ways that we have come to know, when we interact with s/w, in this modern age.

So, for these reasons, adoption among people that know about BaseCamp is smaller than it should be, and adoption by others is impeded by these “barriers to entry”.

About the presentation session on Oct 9th

GPS-TitleDuring the session, I alternated between showing a PPT presentation, using BaseCamp to demonstrate how to perform all of these actions, and giving more demonstrations of Garmin Express.  We talked for over two hours, and the group was very engaged.  Some audience members took notes, and some did not.  So, at the beginning of the meeting, I made a commitment to publish the slides / PPT, so that those people that did not take notes, can still benefit from all of the examples that I’ve produced.

With that said, click here to open a webpage containing the PDF version of the PowerPoint file.

What level was this session taught at?

When I worked with Doc to put this session together, I identified a number of concepts that needed to be learned, and a number of questions that need to be answered.  The number of items that I defined in these two areas ended up being so large that we decided to break this conversation into two separate sessions, which we called Basecamp Pt 1, and Basecamp Pt 2.  The topics included in those two sessions are listed below, but this seminar was based on Basecamp Pt 1.

Basecamp Pt 1

  • Understanding what BaseCamp is
  • Connecting your GPS
  • The difference between BaseCamp and GarminExpress
  • Important distinctions   (Way Points, Routes, BreadCrumbs, Tracks)
  • Creating a Waypoint
  • Creating a route
  • Organizing your data (Collections, Devices, Folders, & Lists)
  • Keeping your GPS clean
  • Downloading info into GPS
  • Capturing your Trip Logs
  • Understanding “Your GPS is going to recalculate the route“
  • Using Google Earth, Google Maps with your GPS

Basecamp Pt 2

  • Understanding how BaseCamp “Synch’s” with your GPS
  • Organizing your data into folders, lists, categories
  • Understanding routing
  • Creating very complex routes
  • Custom waypoints and POIs
  • Sharing Data with others
  • Understanding Riding Profiles
  • Creating a complex route
  • Importing Data
  • Exporting Data

Some of the topics covered

While it is best to review the PDF file for the details, here are some of the topics that we covered.

How to create a waypoint

I talked about the great number of ways that you can create a waypoint, and also discussed some of the challenges that come from trying to create a waypoint

When will we schedule Pt.2

Well, with the upcoming trip to Patagonia happening in about 3 weeks, it looks like the next opportunity to schedule Pt 2 will be in January, 2015, although there is a chance that we can do a session in December, 2014.


About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


  1. Thank you Cliff, for remembering to post the presentation on your blog. I was at your presentation at Doc Wong’s place, and although I DID take notes, it’ll be really useful to review the powerpoint as well.

    I really appreciated you putting in the time and effort to give the workshop and share your knowledge with us.

    I hope your trip to Patagonia goes great!


    Chris Sprague

    1. You’re very welcome Chris. I’m glad the presentation worked out for you, and that you got something out of it. I’ve been working with Doc to find a date for Pt 2, then advanced version. And, would you believe that when I went for a ride on Saturday, my GPS decided to ignore satellites? I spent an hour on the phone with Garmin this morning, trying every combination and sequence to see if we could get it to come back to life, but to no avail. The unit was dead, and Garmin was kind enough to send me another unit at an expedited pace, so that I would have time to receive it, and get it setup again for the trip to Patagonia. It’s always good to plan, but sometimes it would be much easier if I was simply lucky…

      1. That’s crazy, Cliff. The Garmin folks must know you by name, now. Glad that they were able to get you a new one pronto, and hope you have enough time to set it up properly before your trip!

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