How to Choose My Own Path on a Garmin

By Jason Brick

Although a Garmin GPS can reliably find you the shortest or theoretically fastest route from point A to point B, locals driving in their own territory often find that it doesn't find the best route. As impressive as GPS technology really is, it's still no match for local knowledge. Changing from the "Garmin-approved" route to your own is a little complicated, but comes naturally once you've done it a few times.

Things You'll Need

  • Garmin-brand GPS system

Step 1

Input your final destination and allow the Garmin to calculate it normally.

Step 2

Choose several appropriate waypoints along the route that you'd rather take. If you wanted to avoid a traffic-heavy artery on the way home, you might chose a shop on the corner of your alternate road, a couple of intersections along the road and the intersection where you rejoin the regular route.

Step 3

Select "Where to" on your Garmin screen. Input the information for the waypoint that is closest to your destination. When you've finished, the Garmin will ask you to choose between "New Destination" and "Add Via Point."

Step 4

Choose "Add Via Point."

Step 5

Enter your other waypoints, getting progressively further from your final destination. When prompted, select "Add Via Point" for each one.

Tips & Warnings

  • As you add each waypoint, your Garmin will automatically save them in your "Recently Found" folder. If you make a mistake and have to start over, you can select them from that folder rather than manually re-entering the data.
  • Remember that not all models of GPS get real-time updates of traffic, road closures, construction, road hazards and other obstacles. Use your radio or Internet connection to get up-to-date information about areas you're not familiar with.