No Turn by Turn Notifications when hiking (walking activity)

I have used my 6x on about 4 or 5 hikes now. Last week I updated the firmware to 4.30 and the next day did a hike - and the Turn By Turn notifications worked perfectly. I was quite excited! Then did another one this weekend and as usual, no TBT.

In all cases, even the one where it worked, I created the route in Plotaroute, exported it as a FIT file, then copied it to the /newfiles folder on the watch. It was my understanding that the watch generates the TBT as it imports the route. There are no Waypoints.

These are all about 10km hikes around local trails, with a lot of turns.

I actually use a Walk type activity renamed to Hiking. In all other respects, the watch navigates around the route ok.

  • Just spoke to a very nice guy at Garmin Support. It seems that you have to have "Use Map" turned on, not "Use Course". Makes sense to me and will try that out on the next hike. 

    The challenge is finding this option on the menu! But try this
    - load activity

    - menu/Hiking Settings/Routing/Courses - and then pick Use Map

  • First, what the support told you is half the truth. If you do that and switch from curse to map based routing, you might not follow your course any more as intended, but the watch might alter it according to its own computations. So If you want to follow the course as is without any surprises, I recommend to not do that.

    Second, the watch doesn't produce any TBT notifications. Either they are already in the .fit file when they get into the watch, or there are none.

    So it all depends on the SW creating the track/.fit. E.g. the garmin connects own route planner puts them in the .fit file no matter if you planned the route yourself or had it imported.

    PlotAroute I think also creates TBT notifications (not sure if you might need to use the paid version). There is the cue table showing all the TBT cues created which you can review and also edit. Verify that there are some next time before you export the .fit to copy it on your watch.

    If you can't get them created in plotaroute just export the track, import it into connect and then sync it via the connect app to the watch via BT.

  • Switch navigation mode from walking/running/hiking to at least biking.

    with walking/running, you just see the turn arrow on the map track, but no tbt while approaching a turn! With biking you get TBT alerts!

  • Alerts can be set to on/off independently from the activity in the menu.

  • with walking/running, you just see the turn arrow on the map track, but no tbt while approaching a turn

    I create my routes at and always get a pre-warning and then the actual tbt in a run or trail activity. I've not done any hiking yet with my 6x, but that was no problem with my 5x. I always take a quick look into my direction list in plotaroute to see if I would like to do some corrections. For some reason, there can be tbt/directions that did not get a turn symbol.

    The pre-warning is auto-generated in the watch for each tbt in fit file, so you do not need to enable that in plotaroute download dialogue.

    Because I want to run as I plotted the route, I use Routing->Courses = 'Follow course'.
    I use Routing->Activity = 'Hiking' even when running.

    In my 6x (and in 5x before that), my tbt's have lagged and been 15-30 m late. I've been relying on the pre warnings for turns, but last week, plotaroute released a new feature that can move all tbt's a customized distance before where you plotted them ('shift back' they call it). Great for a lagging devices or if you want them earlier for some other reason.

  • with walking/running, you just see the turn arrow on the map track, but no tbt while approaching a turn! With biking you get TBT alerts!

    I got full TBT notifications on one Walking activity. So it works sometimes. I don't use Hiking as it does not provide Summaries in Garmin Connect. But I don't think I even get the turn arrow on the map, thinking about it. 

  • Alerts can be set to on/off independently from the activity in the menu.

    Not sure what Alerts have to do with it? 

  • I have been using Plotaroute for all of my recent hikes. I have just used GPXsee to view the FIT file from Plotaroute. In fact, checked out quite a few files, even the one that showed TBT notifications. GPXSee does not show any TBT notifications (or POI or Waypoints), but that could be a limitation of GPXSee of course. It would be nice to see what is in the FIT file exactly.

    If the watch does not produce the TBT notifications, then I guess the issue is at the Plotaroute end? The cue table is there as you mention.

    I used GPXSee and it seems the TBT notifications are there ok in routes exported as TCX files. But not FIT files. I might switch to TCX and see what happens.

    The Garmin Connect import/sync option is an idea. Bit more messing around, of course. I have a LOT of FIT files, so not keen on that. But thanks for the idea.

  • I tried a bunch of .fit viewers and none was able to display turn cues included in .fit files.

    The most straightforward way I found to visualize the whole content of any .fit is to download the fitSDKfrom the ant+ website. In its /java folder you find the FitToCSV.bat which just does what the name suggests.

    Import the resulting .csv into excel and filter its lines by the value "course_point" within the "message" column.

    These are your TBT points.

    And if they are there and you copy the same .fit into the garmin/newfiles folder of your device, the TBT notifications should fire.

    But note one more thing: The garmin connect route editor produces TBT cues automatically for any created or imported route. BUT(!) if you export a .fit from the garmin connect website, it will NOT include any course_point fields.

    So if you want to review the turn cues created by garmin connect, you first have to sync the track to the device via garmin connect mobile and then examine the .fit file found in the garmin/courses directory on the device.

    That doesn't mean that the cues are produced on the device, I am pretty sure the are created on garmin.connect side. Imo it rather means the .fit export function on garmin connect filters the cues before saving the file for whatever stupid reason.

  • Ok, thanks for that tool. Bit of a pain to use that java tool, but I got it to work and confirmed that there were no (well, 3) course points in my latest hike route. So the 6x is ok. The problem is the route.

    I regnerated the same route in plotaroute and this time it worked. Heaps of course points. At least I can now see what is in the FIT file, so that is great. An easier tool to use is and that seems to show the course poitns correctly.

    I don't know if the problem with plotaroute was with me or the plotroute system. In any case, the current system is working just fine (they updated the software a bit recently). Or it could just have been me, of course. The problem is I have 85 courses  to go through and check now! Anyway, it has been a good learning experience.

    I don't use Garmin Connect or Garmin Explore for this course stuff as it is basically hopeless. Plotaroute is light years ahead. Very good system.