Howto create and follow a route

I have an etrex HCx. I recently planned a route using and would like to load this route onto my device and follow it. When I load this into qlandkartegt though, it seems to only load a track. When I then upload this to the gps, I get the message “track truncated”. The track seems to be displayable, but it does not seem to be the same as a route, which I can follow.
Any hints?

Some ideas:

  1. I think, tracks for the HCx must not be bigger than 500 track points, otherwise the track will be truncated → reduce amount of track points before
  2. You know the difference between track, route and waypoint?
  3. I dont know what bikeroutetoaster exactly creates. The help does not clearly mention, if a track or route is created.
    If bikeroutetoaster creates a track, you will have a track! You can look into the .gpx file and find out if it is a track or route that was created.

Thanks for the answer. I think that must be why it was truncating. A smaller file had no problems.
I am not sure that I know the exact definition of these terms. Although I have a feel for it. Do you have a link with the definitions?
I think that bikeroutetoaster creates tracks. That would explain why it doesn’t work. I would have thought that it creates a route, when you create a “course”, but apparently not. Does anyone know of another route planner, with which you can edit the generated routes?

Very quick answer, for more details see links below or google or a book about gps…
Track: A group of trackpoints (usually recorded with a gps device). Tracks are limited to 500 trackpoints in the HCx.
Waypoint: A single point of interest (e.g. summit, intersection…)
Route: A group of waypoints entered into the GPS receiver in the sequence you desire to navigate(!) them. Routes are limited to 250 waypoints in the HCx.

A .gpx file can contain several tracks, waypoints and routes.
Tracks and Routes can be interconverted e.g. with gpsbabel.


On the Garmin HC with SD card the number of track points is almost infinite. In some cases the track has to be read from the SD card (via Interface page). The number of points is in principle to be changed and as a default it is 3000 (not 500). Not sure what happens if you increase that, Hugo

You can upload tracks up to 10000 trackpoints to your Garmin Etrex Vista HCx. I use this for long bicycleroutes since two years. You change the maximal trackpoints in the unit to 10000 and upload the needed track as ACTIVE LOG in to your unit. Then you can use TracBack to follow the track exactly.

Only my way …


Tracks on the sd card are not visible on the screen of the etrex HCx.
You can log your track on the sd card when tracklogging is set to “on”, in this case the max. number of trackpoints is 86400 a day, these logs are only accessible by your PC.
You can do this when the etrex is in USB mode (interface page) or by removing the sd card and use a cardreader.

The default 3000 is what you see on the screen, if you change it you only see more or less, 10.000 points is what will be logged always.

If you want a bigger track for your bike trip you can name it “ACTIVE LOG1234” and sent it with mapsource too your etrex HCx, you now have the complete trip on your screen, if it is not longer then 10.000 points.
The only thing is that this track will be overwritten when tracklogging is switched on.
So when you make a track of 8000 points you should on the save side.
You have the track of your route and you still can log the track

Another information: I have a track in the ACTIVE LOG with 10000 trackpoints to use the TracBack function of the Vista HCx. If I need another track I have to delete or store this track. But it is not possible to store this track in the unit with 10000 trackpoints, the track will be shortened to 500 trackpoints and this is useless for me.

Therefore I create a transparent overlay of the track with all the 10000 trackpoints and merge it into my gmapsupp.img. This overlay I can activate or deactivate like any other map. To travel by bicycle this overlay is enough for me, the track is shown in a 2-pixel-line at the map and I can decide at every crossing or forking which way is the needed.

For tracks up to 500 trackpoints this is not neccessary, these tracks can be stored inside the unit and displayed in the map by default.

For reducing long tracks (up to 15000 trackpoints) there is a program here in the forum:


Thanks. I managed to convert it with the following command:

gpsbabel -i gpx -f toaster_tracks.gpx -x transform,rte=trk,del -o gpx -F toaster_route.gpx

I guess I’ll have to look into the simplify filter, or maybe splitting the route, if I want to fit it on the Vista HCx.

I managed to load the route into the device. It seems that it is only possible to follow a route if it has <50 points. :frowning:

Why don’t you use a track instead of a route if you want to follow a specific way?

A route can be calculated in the Etrex with one or two routepoints. No need to load a GPX-file for this purpose.