Preparing MicroSD Card for Use in Garmin Dakota 20 (& Other GPS Systems)

Last year I purchased a Garmin Dakota 20 GPS System to use on my Motorcycle and also for GeoCaching. I never really used it. However I have now set up setting it up properly and getting it ready for use this year.

One good point about the Dakota 20 is the fact that it has a expandable memory by the addition of a MicroSD card, which sits neatly behind the batteries. This is a bit of a no brainer really as SD Cards are so affordable now. You don’t even have to go that big as the Custom maps from Garmin are a maximum size of 4GB, an 8GB should easily do most users. One other option is that if you have a lot of custom maps you could buy bigger, store all your maps on the device then move them around into the proper directories as required as your journey progresses. (Pretty much the whole of Western Europe on a Custom Map is squeezed into 4GB).

To utilise this all you have to do is prepare the card.

(One quick tip for when you get set up, make sure you leave the WW BaseMaps Enabled, this will give you at the very least a base map whilst your detailed maps load, removing any white screens that you get as loading occurs, it is purely cosmetic, just nicer to work with!).

To do this follow these simple steps.

1. Format your MicroSD card as FAT32 (FAT MS-DOS on a Mac)
2. Rename the Card – ‘GARMIN.’
3. Create a folder named ‘Garmin’ in the root directory.
4. Any Map files with the extension ‘.img’ are placed in this directory.
5. Copy the File Structure from your Actual Garmin GPS to that of your Freshly Formatted SD Card. The folders named below are all within the ‘Garmin’ Root directory.
6. The ‘CustomMaps’ folder will contain any ‘.kmz’ files.
7. The ‘BirdsEye’ folder will house any ‘.jnx’ files.
8. The ‘GPX’ folder will be the home of waypoints and so on just as the Garmin was itself.


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