Garmin GPSMAP 64, 64s, 64st, 64x, 64sx, 64csx Settings & How-To Guide

March 02, 2016
by Joachim Bardua
Garmin GPSMAP 64, 64s, 64st, 64x, 64sx, 64csx - Settings & How-To Guide

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx: Setup Menu

GPSmap 64/64s/64st Menu 1
GPSmap 64/64s/64st Menu 2
GPSmap 64/64s/64st Menu 3

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: System

GPSmap 64s Settings: System
Choose “GPS + GLONASS“, “GPS” only for a better battery life (GPSMAP 64x, 64sx, 64csx: choice between GPS, GPS + GLONASS, GPS + GALILEO).
For outdoor activities you usually do not need WAAS/EGNOS signal corrections (WAAS is only available in North America, EGNOS in Europe). WAAS/EGNOS can provide a better accuracy in certain situations and is recommended for pilots and mariners.

BUT: Activate it, if your preference is “Enable all and hope the best!” (= GPS / GLONASS / WAAS / EGNOS) (GPSMAP 64x series: GPS / GLONASS or GALILEO / WAAS / EGNOS).

Your choice
Garmin Spanner” is recommended:

  • The gps device is supplied with energy when connecting to an external power source (e.g. AC charger).
  • Connecting the handheld to a PC you get the screen “USB Cable Detected. Would you like to go to Mass Storage?“.

    Yes“: Activiting the mass storage, you get access to the file system and can copy data or install maps (e.g. with Garmin BaseCamp).

    No“: Device is powered by the external source, the Garmin NiMH battery pack is charged, you can play with the device and NMEA data is send to the PC (recommended software for displaying the data: Fransons GpsGate in combination with VisualGPS).

Depends on your preferred battery type (menu is disabled when using the Garmin NiMH battery pack!).

  • Alkaline (not recommended)
  • Lithium (recommended for cold environments and long run-times), e.g. Energizer AA Ultimate
  • NiMH (for daily use)
  • Precharged NiMH, for NiMH batteries purchased as precharged (LSD, Low Self Discharge batteries) (highly recommended, for daily use): e.g. Panasonic Eneloop AA BK-3MCCE

Screenshots (left to right)

  • Satellites: 01 – 31 GPS
  • Satellites: 01 – 32 GPS, 69 – 87 GLONASS
  • Satellites: 05 – 32 GPS, 33 EGNOS, 69 – 87 GLONASS; “D”: device receives and calculates EGNOS signal corrections
GPSmap 64 GPS only

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Display

GPSmap 64s Settings: Display

Turns the backlight off after a given time.

Choose a timeout as short as possible for battery saving, timeout depends on your activity and profile.

Turns the screen completely off when you choose “On” (depending on the time defined in “Backlight Timeout“; press a key for turning the display on again).

Recommendations: activate it e.g. for hiking (when you are rarely looking on the display), disable it e.g. for mountain biking (when you want to have a quick glance on the display, in addition set “Backlight Timeout = Stays On“).

Mode“: Choose between “Auto, Day, Night“:

  • Auto: Automatic switch between day / night colors (at sunset/-rise)
  • Day: Color as defined in “Day Background/Highlight Color
  • Night: Color as defined in “Night Background/Highlight Color
Style for the main, setup and find menus (see screenshots below):

  • Grid (12 items)
  • Grid (6 items)
  • List (7 items) (probably the best choice)
Capturing screenshots, turn “off” except you need it (tip: after a tour you can capture your trip computer for saving the statistics!)(screenshots are saved in the device folder “Garmin\scrn“)
GPSmap 64 Display Settings 3
GPSmap 64 GPS Display Settings 2
GPSmap 64 GPS Display Settings 1

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Bluetooth

GPSmap 64s Settings: Bluetooth

Pair the device with a smartphone (Garmin Connect Mobile App must be installed) and show or hide Smart-Notifications, otherwise disable the function (“Connection > Off“).

When pairing watch for messages on your smartphone screen, you must enter a passcode provided by the Garmin. However, notifications on the Garmin screen are not always visible …!

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Tones

GPSmap 64s Settings: Tones
Recommendation: Tones “On” (useful for the message beep)
Choose one, the message beep keeps you informed e.g. when the battery is low or the gps signal lost.
Annoying, turn “Off
Choose different tones; warnings when navigating with routes from waypoint to waypoint or for autorouting (turn “Early / Final Turn Warning” off when you do not need it)
Different options, e.g. when approaching a POI (turn “Proximity Tones / Alarms” off when not in use!)(highly sophisticated topic, have a look Garmin warnings and alarms, in German)

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Map

GPSmap 64s Settings: Map
Map orientation, depending on your activity (and profile):

  • North Up: North is always at the top of the display / page, independent of the device orientation.
  • Track Up: Direction of travel is always at the top of the page (recommended for active navigation and / or activities like cycling)
  • Automotive Mode: Three dimensional look, direction of travel is always at the top of the page (recommended for automotive use)

When navigating, guidance text with usefull information like “Arriving at …” appears at the top of the map.

Always” should be avoided, because the text “Ready to Navigate” covers the map, even without active navigation.

Best choices are “When Navigating” or “Never“, depending on you activity or profile (no matter what you choose, when using “Direct Routing“ you do not get a guidance text). Have a look at our free custom profiles for the GPSmap 64s.

Choose between different informations (data fields, graphics) on top of the map. Depending on your activity and preferences, e.g. “Dashboard > Geocaching” for geocaching.

Our preference is “Custom“: “When Navigating > 4 small“, “When Not Navigating > 0” (while navigating you have four data fields on top of the map; otherwise the map is completely visible; see screenshots below).

  • Auto Zoom: Turn off (except for car driving)
  • Zoom Levels: Use “Auto
  • Text Size: Use “Small” or “Medium“, “Large” is usually too much.
  • Detail: “Normal” map detail level is usually enough
  • Shaded Relief: The shaded relief provides a better visualization (e.g. hill-shades), but in deep woods the darker map screen can reduce the visibility. For a better readability use “Do not show“. When you need the relief choose “Show if Available” or at least “Auto” (shaded relief disappears when zooming in the map).
Enable/Disable maps
4 small data fields for hiking
GPSmap 64s: 4 small data fields for hiking
4 small data fields for geocaching
GPSmap 64s: 4 small dada fields for Geocaching

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Tracks

GPSmap 64s Settings: Tracks
  • Do Not Record: Recommended setting when you do not need a track log, e.g. automotive profile
  • Record, Do Not Show: Starts the track log, but the log is not visible on the map.
  • Record, Show On Map: Starts the track log, track is visible on the map. Recommended settings for your outdoor activities (Tip: At the start point, always reset the track and trip data; see next topic).

Track recording method, our recommendation: “Auto” (good choice for most outdoor activities).

Distance” is recommended for hiking, “Time” when using the device as a data logger for geotagging.

Settings for the track log recording interval depending on the “Record Method“, the combination “Auto / Normal” is sufficent, for hiking e.g. “Distance / 10 m / 0.01 mi
Recommended “When Full
Track log color on the map, your choice!

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Reset

GPSmap 64s Settings: Reset

Deleting all data from the current trip, e.g. like “trip odometer, ascent total” (but not the “odometer” = all recorded distance by the device).

Should be done before starting a new trip (alternative: “Clear Track and Trip Data” as described below).

Deletes all waypoints on the device.
Clears the actual track (active log). Should be done before starting a new trip (alternative: “Clear Track and Trip Data” as described below).
Resets the trip data AND the track log, should be done at the tour start point (immediately before leaving!).
Reset all settings (restores the gps device to factory default settings).

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Page Sequence

GPSmap 64s Page Sequence
Defining the page sequence (page order when pressing the “MENU” or the “QUIT” key on the device). You have two options:

  • Press the “MENU” key when you are in the “Page Sequence” menu: You can remove/include all pages or activate the “Page Ribbon Display” (with different display speed options) (using the device: you can activate the pages in the “Page Ribbon Display” with the “QUIT” and “PAGE” keys).
  • Select one element in the list with the “ENTER” key: Move or remove single items.

Keep it simple, less is more!

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Units

GPSmap 64s Settings: Units
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, …
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, …
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, …
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, …
Your choice, depending on you region, activity, … (Hectopascals: international unit)

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Time

GPSmap 64s Settings: Time
Your choice
Automatic” is recommended.

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Position Format

GPSmap 64s Settings: Format
Format for coordinates. For geocaching and marine use “hddd°mm.mmm’“, otherwise “UTM UPS
WGS 84”, except for working with paper maps (choose the same format as the paper map)
WGS 84”, except for working with paper maps

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Heading

GPSmap 64s Settings: Heading
Directional Letters” or “Numeric Degrees” are the best choices for many outdoor activities (“Mils” for special use cases)
Only relevant when navigating with compass and paper map (use the standard “True“)
Use “Bearing” (small / large is your choice), “Course / CDI” (Course Deviation Indicator) e.g. for sea kayaking
Use “Auto” (“Off” when you do not need the compass, might save some battery)
Calibrate the compass at the starting point
Screenshots (left to right)

  • Compass: Bearing small, Directional Letters
  • Compass: Bearing large, Directional Letters
  • Compass: Course / CDI, Numeric Degrees
GPSmap 64s Settings: Compass
GPSmap 64s Settings: Bearing Large
GPSmap 64s Settings: CDI

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Altimeter

GPSmap 64s Settings: Altimeter
GPSmap 64s Barometer Settings

Altimeter Settings (1st screenshot)

  • On: auto calibration activated
  • Off: auto calibration disabled

Recommended altimeter calibration methods for outdoor activities:

  • 1st choice: Manually by entering the elevation at your starting point and recalibration on tour (e.g. elevations from mountain tops)(auto calibration "off")
  • 2nd choice: Manually by entering the elevation at your starting point, on tour using auto calibration "On"
  • 3rd choice: Use only auto calibration "On"
"Variable Elevation" as altimeter
"Save When Power On" as altimeter on tour
"Elevation / Time" or "Elevation / Distance"
Calibrate the altimeter by using one of these data:

  • "Current Elevation" (e.g. from a paper or digital map)
  • "Correct Pressure" (e.g. from weather data)
  • "Current GPS Altitude" (from your gps device; tip: wait some minutes after power on)

Barometer Settings (2nd screenshot)

"Off": auto calibration turned off
Use "Fixed Elevation"
"Save Always", reads pressure even when the device is turned off
"Barometric Pressure" (use preferably; ambient pressure calibrated to sea level, not compensate for humidity or temperature) or "Ambient Pressure" (sensor reading from the unit)
Calibrate the altimeter by using one of these data:

  • "Current Elevation" (e.g. from a paper or digital map)
  • "Correct Pressure" (e.g. from weather data)
  • "Current GPS Altitude" (from your gps device; tip: wait some minutes after power on)

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Geocaching

GPSmap 64s Settings: Geocaching
  • Geocache List: Preferably choose "Show Names" (e.g. "Welcome to Bavaria" instead of "GC2NJG9")
  • Geocache Style: Select "Auto"
Number of found geocaches (automatically added, but you can manually edit the number by entering the menu item)
Define filters for geocaches, e.g. for traditional geocaches
Define the first visible page after starting the navigation to a geocache (e.g. "Map")
Searching and programing a chirp

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Routing

GPSmap 64s Settings: Routing
Choose your preferred activity (dependent on the active profile, e.g. "Hiking" for a hiking profile)

  • "Direct Routing": straight line from your current position to the destination (e.g. waypoint, geocache) or from point to point (e.g. waypoint to waypoint when navigating along a multipoint route). Direct routing is independent from trails, streets etc. on the map ("over hill and dale").
  • "Cycling, Hiking, ...": Autorouting to the destination, along trails, streets etc. (requires a routable map)
  • "Prompted": After setting the destination you can choose the activity, e.g. "Direct Routing", "Tour Cycling", ... (calculation method is automatically set to "Prompted")
Depends on the activity and your preferences ("Prompted": you can select the calculation method after setting the destination)
"No", except for activities like road cycling or automobile driving.
Types of roads or transportations (e.g. ferry) you want to avoid.
When you detour from the calculated route the device recalculates a new route; choose the setting in dependency of the activity, e.g. "automatic" for automobile.

This screen is only active when you use "Direct Routing" as activity.

"Auto" is normally fine

  • "Auto": automatic transition to the next point of a multipoint route
  • "Manual": manual transition to the next point of a multipoint route (use the function "Active Route")
  • "Distance": when you are within the entered distance the device leads you to the next waypoint of a multipoint route

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Marine

GPSmap 64s Settings: Marine

Displaying marine data, depends on the installed map (e.g. Garmin BlueChart) and the activity („Fishing“, „Nautical“).

Screenshots: top „Nautical“, down „Fishing“); otherwise turn it off.

Garmin Bluechart g2: Kiel harbour, nautical Garmin Bluechart g2: Kiel harbour, fishing

Different map settings (sorry, no experiences!)
Different marine alarms, e.g. anchor drag alarm

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: ANT Sensor

GPSmap 64s Settings: Sensors
"Off", except you want to pair / use a heart rate monitor
"Off", except you need it
"Off", except you need it

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Profiles

GPSmap 64s Settings: Profiles
Creating / Deleting / Naming / Moving profiles:

  • Recommendation: Leave the Garmin default profiles untouched and create your own profiles.
  • How-to: Activate a default Garmin profile (e.g. "Recreational", function "Profile Change"), go to "Setup > Profiles > Create Profile", your new profile has the same settings as the previously activated "Recreational" profile, then you can rename and tweak the new profile as you like (maximum number: 10 profiles).

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: About

GPSmap 64s Settings: About
Software version, unit ID, licence informations

Garmin GPSMAP 64/64s/64st/64x/64sx/64csx Settings: Main Menu

GPSmap 64s Main Menu
Go to the "Main Menu", press the "MENU" or the "ENTER" key and customize the main menu (e.g. remove all items except what you really need)

How to extend battery life?

  1. "GPS" only (system)
  2. ANT+ sensors "off" (ant sensors)
  3. Bluetooth connection "off" (bluetooth)
  4. Use map orientation "north up" (map)
  5. Shaded relief "do not show" (map)
  6. Map detail "normal" (or less) (map)
  7. Auto zoom "off" (map)
  8. Avoid zooming and moving the map
  9. Backlight timeout as short as possible (display)
  10. Battery save "on" (display)
  11. Backlight as low as possible (on/off button)
  12. Key beep "off" (tones)
  13. Compass "off" (heading)