FAQs and Tips

FAQs and Tips

General (15)

I don’t see an option to buy a color map for a color GPS unit.

No special purchase is required. The GPS knows how to display the maps in color on a color GPS and grayscale on a non-color GPS.. I don’t charge the consumer any additional money for color maps.

What depth of contours exist on your lake maps?

A few states such as ND, MT, and MN include depth contours. NDTRAX maps range from 1 foot to 5 foot contours for various lakes. Instead of universally applying 1 foot, 3 foot or 5 foot contours to all lakes, NDTRAX maps vary depending on the lakes. For deep ND lakes with steep drops, 5 foot contours are used, for moderate depth lakes in ND, 3 foot contours are used and for shallow ND lakes, 1 foot contours are used. 1 foot contours on steep structures cause contour lines to be too close together and hides the track/trail from the GPS. Most Minnesota lakes are 5 foot contours.

Oregon (any Garmin touchscreen) GPS Missing TRAX Data

One of the most common support calls we get has to do with all Garmin touchscreen GPS models with the Oregon being the most common. The calls vary but it typically has to do with some of the TRAX elements appearing but not all of them. Some examples of display issues may be where the land shows but no roads show or section lines do not show. Garmin does not have a good explanation of why this occurs but the fix is to do a Hard Reset of the GPS as there is an issue with the GPS settings.

On many touchscreen Garmins this is done by  by pressing in the left-hand corner of the touchscreen, while powering on the unit. A question will appear saying, Do You Wish To Erase All User Data. THIS MAY ERASE ANY WAYPOINTS OR TRACKS ON YOUR GPS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO LOSE THEM, BACK THEM UP USING GARMIN  BASECAMP AND RESTART THIS PROCEDURE. Upon saying yes to this option, the unit will reset and the display problems typically do not reoccur. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has seen this issue with virtually all touchscreen Garmins including Rino, Oregon, and Montana GPS models. The method of doing a HARD RESET on your Garmin may vary.

TRAX or TRAX+

Through 2013, Garmin TRAX maps were available as TRAX and TRAX+. The only difference was the + version had a 24k topo layer. However, the majority of sales were TRAX+. Due to this, to help alleviate confusion between products, for 2014 and beyond we discontinued creating TRAX maps which didn’t have elevation contours. If you wish to turn off topography, this is possible due to layering.

Starting with the 16.1 updates, we have brought back the TRAX and TRAX+ name set. The difference is + version products include private land ownership for select counties in their respective state. To reach a + designation, at least 50% of the counties need to include private land ownership information.

 

 

TRAXWest – 8 states vs 10

Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has always stated the states included for TRAXWest+ may change. As we have included more data over the last few years, the TRAX+ map sizes have grown as well. Due to Garmin restrictions on map sizes, ID was moved from TRAXWest+ late in 2012 to TRAXNW+. TRAXNW+ consists of ID, OR, and WA. For 2013, MN has been removed from TRAXWest leaving ND, MT, WY, CO, UT, NV, AZ, and NM as the states included for TRAXWest+.

With updates, our desire is not to decrease the number of states you purchased. If your product version is 5.3 or less, you can request an ID and/or MN individual state map to be sent to you at no additional charge. However, if you wish to keep them updated going forward, the $20 individual update fees will apply. Any person who purchased a version 6.0 or higher will not be extended this offer as these states were not available at the time of purchase.

I insert the memory card and nothing happens?

There is often no visual evidence anything has changed. However, when looking at the state, the first evidence is typically the hunting lands will begin to appear. The most common reasons for nothing happening include:.

  1. The GPS requires a SD card and the microSD has not been inserted into the SD adapter.
  2. The GPS requires a microSD card but the sliding lock securing the memory card is not slid down to lock the card down. This keeps the card from making correct contact with the GPS.
  3. The map is loading but the user simply is not zooming in far enough to see the detail.

If these tips do not fix your issue, check out the Garmin, Magellan, or Lowrance Tips for your specific GPS or contact us to help you with your situation.

Larger Capacity Cards

The largest capacity cards Kirsch’s Outdoor Products utilizes for development of Garmin maps are 2GB memory cards. We do not recommend or support having multiple maps on the same card. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Many Garmin units have a programmed limit of map sizes of 2GB.
  2. Many Garmin do not allow multiple map sets to exist on one card.
  3. The update tool and update process would not work correctly if multiple maps existed on one card.

Merging Garmin Maps

We get numerous requests asking if other Garmin maps can be merged to TRAX maps . Some of the common examples include wanting Garmin City Navigator maps on a handheld along with the TRAX maps. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products does not claim compatibility with any additional Garmin map sets. Also, it is highly recommended you do not write any additional mapsets to your TRAX card. This is due to the fact that Garmin maps do not merge, they overwrite, so you may be in danger of overwriting your existing TRAX map.

In addition, if you write other maps to our card (assuming there is room) and run the update process, all Garmin maps will be removed from the card.

When I zoom in on my map, I see an 8 digit number in the middle and a lot of lines on the map that aren’t roads what are these?

The lines you see are section lines or otherwise known as PLSS lines, and they are designed to only show at high zoom levels. The numbers you see such as T158n R098w S16 near the center of the section is the Township, Range and Section number. This can be used in conjunction with a PLAT book to determine ownership. The lines typically show as a purple line on a Garmin GPS.

Township 158N
Range 098W
Section 16

Can I get my money back, if the map doesn’t help me or is not compatible with my GPS?

Yes, all TRAX products come with a money back guarantee. If your GPS is not compatible or if you don’t feel the provided map helps you while hunting and fishing, I will return your payment. Simply send me a proof of purchase and the map, and Kirsch’s Outdoor Products will refund your money.

Do you create custom maps for other states?

Kirsch’s Outdoor Products continues to investigate other opportunities. If you have any questions about custom maps, contact us.

Can I copy the maps in case my SD card becomes damaged?

THE MAPS CANNOT BE LEGALLY SENT TO ANY OTHER PERSON, DECOMPILED, OR COPIED IN ANY MANNER. THIS VIOLATES THE COPYRIGHT AND YOU WILL BE HELD LIABLE FOR THIS VIOLATION. This does not restrict the owner from allowing another person to use the TRAX memory card. In addition, the owner of the TRAX memory card may make a backup of their current card in case of damage. However, this backup will not be functional, and will only work as a means of restoring the data back on the original memory card. If the original card becomes damaged, the only means of getting the map functional is to send it to the address below. The memory card must be placed in a bubble mailer. If the map is not the current version, an update fee will be charged to either fix the map or replace it as is normal for any update.

Kirsch’s Outdoor Products
7915 Aquarius Drive
Fargo, ND 58104

Land Owner Names Are Missing from the Map?

Only certain states contain private land ownership information. This data is obtained or purchased from each individual county of that state. If the state in question does have private land ownership included, there are a few reasons why a record may be missing.

  • The county may not have private land ownership information for this specific record
  • The county may not have GIS data, so it can not be included in a TRAX map
  • The county may be requiring a fee for the data that has been deemed too high so it was not included

There is no warranty made by Kirsch’s Outdoor Products to the quality of this data. It originates from the county and no warranties are made to the quality and accuracy of the data or to how current the data is.To see a list of the counties including private land ownereship use the Product Finder and the Access category under Features on a product page to see a listing of included counties.

Where Do Land Owner Telephone Numbers Come From?

Land Owner contact telephone numbers where added to the TRAX maps for all states which have private land ownership included in 2013. Without giving away any confidential information on how the telephone numbers are derived, we can say the private land ownership information comes from the individual counties. This does not include telephone numbers. The telephone numbers are derived from a totally different set of data. A matching system is used with a basis pertaining to the address information of the tax payer for matching. This has been found to yield the best results. However, the match may or may not be with the correct contact person as it is address based not person based. Kirsch’s Outdoor Produts has a higher degree of confidence in the ownership information in comparison to the phone number data. Please see our disclaimer below:

Parcel Land Ownership information is created and maintained at the individual county level. Phone numbers are derived based on an address matching process from an entirely different data source. No guarantee is made to the quality of any Kirsch’s Outdoor Products map data. The maps are not to be used as a primary source of navigation. They are to be used for reference, recreational, and entertainment purposes only. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products is not responsible for any inaccuracies and no responsibility is assumed for damages or other liabilities due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the map data. In addition, any map or data found within is prohibited to be used to create any list of individuals for commercial purposes. “Commercial purposes” means that the person requesting the record intends the list will be used to communicate with the individuals named in the record for the purpose of facilitating profit expecting activity.

Garmin Map Layers

The TRAX maps were designed to allow users the ability to turn off key areas/layers of the map. This allows a customized map experience with the level of detail desired. TRAX map layers are typically found under Setup – Map – Info. The navigation to this area varies for different Garmin units. Newer Garmin handhelds manufactured since 2013 may need a format change to view layers. You can read more about this option at the following page.
TRAX Layers:
Topo – Elevation data
Roads Major– Main highways and county roads
Roads Minor – Smaller roads and forest roads
Trails – Hiking Trails
Water – Water
Wetlands – Wetlands
Owners – Private land ownership
Detail – Labeling and points of interest
Sections – Section Lines and township range and section
Land – Public Lands
Units – Hunting Unit boundaries
Background – Additional information including TRS number, regional warden info, all hunting units, county, and wilderness area. This background layer serves 3 main purposes.
  1. Cover up many errors in base Garmin maps that show solid public land areas which often is not the case
  2. Makes the map easier to read against a white background
  3. Most importantly it allows handheld Garmins the ability to select a location on the screen and receive multiple pieces of information for the spot
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Compatibility (5)

Larger Capacity Cards

The largest capacity cards Kirsch’s Outdoor Products utilizes for development of Garmin maps are 2GB memory cards. We do not recommend or support having multiple maps on the same card. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Many Garmin units have a programmed limit of map sizes of 2GB.
  2. Many Garmin do not allow multiple map sets to exist on one card.
  3. The update tool and update process would not work correctly if multiple maps existed on one card.

Merging Garmin Maps

We get numerous requests asking if other Garmin maps can be merged to TRAX maps . Some of the common examples include wanting Garmin City Navigator maps on a handheld along with the TRAX maps. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products does not claim compatibility with any additional Garmin map sets. Also, it is highly recommended you do not write any additional mapsets to your TRAX card. This is due to the fact that Garmin maps do not merge, they overwrite, so you may be in danger of overwriting your existing TRAX map.

In addition, if you write other maps to our card (assuming there is room) and run the update process, all Garmin maps will be removed from the card.

Memory Card Must Be Formatted To Work With This Device

Garmin released a new automotive GPS early in 2016. We have done some preliminary testing on a DriveSmart 60. On the model tested, we received a message saying “Memory Card Must Be Formatted.” It appears the DriveSmart units will not work with memory cards less than 1GB in size and they have to be formatted a specific way.

There are two options:
1) The first option is to please put your product in a bubble mailer, and send it to us at: Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, 7915 Aquarius Drive, Fargo, ND 58104. Indicate you have a Drive series GPS from Garmin and we will get you a different card size with a different format and send it right back to.

2) If you have a memory card reader and the card is 1GB or larger, you can try the following. Make a folder called drivesmart on your Windows PC. Copy all the contents of the microSD card into that folder. Put the microSD card back in the DriveSmart GPS, and say Yes to format the card. Remove the card after formatting and place it back into your memory card reader. Copy the contents from the drivesmart folder back on the card. This is not a recommended option but can work in certain circumstances.

 

Garmin Compatability

If your Garmin GPS has a microSD/SD card slot, it should work with a TRAX map.

Nuvi Series (Known exceptions: 200, 250, 260, and 650 are not compatible)
Drive Series (Memory card size issue)
Oregon Series
Dakota 20
GPSMAP 60Cx and 60CSx
GPSMAP 62s and 62st
GPSMAP 64s and 64st
GPSMAP 76CSx
GPSMAP 78
eTrex Vista Cx and HCx
eTrex Legend Cx and HCx
eTrex Venture Cx and  HCx
eTrex 20 and 30
Montana Series
Astro Series
Alpha Series
Rino Series (Must accept memory card)
zūmo Series
aera Series (aera 500 tested)
Colorado 300 and higher

**Monterra: We have not tested on this GPS at this time. However an early report for this Android based Garmin GPS has indicated, the basic features such as lands and roads do show up. However, some of the land ownership icons do not appear to be working and many private ownership names are being cutoff due a restricted number of characters for the text. In addition, layering control does not appear to be an option at this time.

Garmin fish finder/sonar units ARE NOT COMPATBILE

Older style Garmin units such as the IQUE and Street Pilots may have issues with the security portion of the TRAX maps. Some maps work and some do not. Also the color palette does not work correctly on the older style units.

Garmin BaseCamp

All TRAX maps (legacy format only) labeled version 5.2 or higher should be visible in the Garmin BaseCamp application. In order to view the map, it must be a Windows PC with BaseCamp already installed on the PC.

  1. Launch  BaseCamp
  2. Insert your TRAX map 5.2 or higher into your PC memory card reader, or insert the card into your Garmin GPS and connect it to the PC.
  3. In BaseCamp, use the maps drop-down option and select the TRAX map shown.

There are known drawing issues with BaseCamp where layering causes issues. Many water resources show behind land elements and at times land elements appear and disappear. This is not an issue with the TRAX map but issues with BaseCamp handling a map with multiple layers. Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to change this. Changing the level of detail may change when elements appear and disappear, so increasing or decreasing detail may help provide the desired result at different various zoom levels.  BaseCamp can not be used to transfer the mapset to another device and Garmin has crippled the printing functionality for all 3rd party maps.

If the TRAX mapset is the new format, one layer is visible at a time in BaseCamp. Unless BaseCamp changes their tool to allow selecting multiple layers, there is no way around this without updating the map to the Legacy format.

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Updates (1)

When do you update your products?

This varies per state. However, the general policy is a change to the current year such as NDTRAX 2013 will occur in the Spring of the new year. If you have purchased the current year product, you can receive any additional updates for free. As the version changes for the next year, an update fee of $20 will be applied. For states with private land hunting agreements such as ND, ID, MN, and UT there will always be a 2nd update planned in August before most states fall hunting seasons open. For bundles such as TRAXWest and TRAXNW+, the fee to update is $40.

Additional instructions on how to update your TRAX map can be found here:

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Garmin Tips (11)

Garmin Topo Not Showing

Kirsch’s Outdoor Products does not test on all the Garmin and 3rd party maps to verify compatibility. We test on the units with their corresponding base maps. All maps sold by Garmin function as basemaps on the unit but the layer or layers they display upon can vary.

TRAX maps are broken up into layers such as Topo, water, land, roads_major, roads_minor, land, owners, sections, etc. Garmin has 62 map layers on a GPS. TRAX maps typically use the last 13 layers which are the highest transparent layers (last 31 layers) and one that is not transparent category in the middle of these layers (first 31 layers). In general, all or most Garmin basemap elements, including topo, will be covered up by the TRAX map layers. The first thing to try is under Map Information (usually found under Setup – Map) to turn off the TRAX_Background layer first. If this doesn’t work, the other layers which could interfere include the Land, Water, and Ownership layer. These layers all contain polygon elements which would cover up base elements such as topo lines on the Garmin map and any or all could be turned off and the base map layers would appear. If you need topo lines to work with a TRAX map, it is highly recommended you purchase a TRAX+ version of our product which comes with a 24K topo layer.

Although, the elements may be covered up, the Garmin GPS units will still function as it always would and route following the basemap features which are being covered up but are still there.

It has been reported, however, 3-D shading does show through. This way if you have a Garmin 3-D topo map and a TRAX map with all layers on, you would see all the TRAX elements and still see the Garmin 3-D shading for Topo which would give the map a nice effect. This has not been tested and is not officially supported but this has been reported to work by customers.

Map Layers Not Showing

With the introduction of many of the new Garmin units such as the Montana, eTrex 20 and 30, Alpha, and Astro dog series, Garmin has changed the way the units respond to Garmin maps. Until 2013, all Garmin GPS units looked for a single map file. In the case of TRAX maps, we provide a single map file on the unit but it is comprised of many map layers. All pre-2013 GPS units would allow you to turn these layers off and on. The 2013 Garmin GPS units (mainly handhelds) will still read the single file but only one map layer will be shown versus the standard 8-10 map layers. Due to this Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, has two map sets available called Legacy and New.

If you have a 2013 Garmin Handheld GPS, you can update to this New style map by using the update tool found here or sending it to Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, 7915 Aquarius Drive, Fargo, ND, 58104 and we will update you to this New style. If you are sending it in, you need to write a note saying you wish to switch from the Legacy version to the new version. The ability to control layers is a very important feature in a TRAX map, so you may wish to do this. However, there are 2 potential drawbacks to doing this.

  1. The New style Garmin map will not work in older Garmin GPS units, so if you have multiple GPS units, you will want to continue to use the Legacy GPS format which will work in virtually all Garmin units which take memory cards.
  2. The New style maps can only be viewed by the Garmin BaseCamp software one layer at a time, but the Legacy version shows all layers together.

 

Oregon (any Garmin touchscreen) GPS Missing TRAX Data

One of the most common support calls we get has to do with all Garmin touchscreen GPS models with the Oregon being the most common. The calls vary but it typically has to do with some of the TRAX elements appearing but not all of them. Some examples of display issues may be where the land shows but no roads show or section lines do not show. Garmin does not have a good explanation of why this occurs but the fix is to do a Hard Reset of the GPS as there is an issue with the GPS settings.

On many touchscreen Garmins this is done by  by pressing in the left-hand corner of the touchscreen, while powering on the unit. A question will appear saying, Do You Wish To Erase All User Data. THIS MAY ERASE ANY WAYPOINTS OR TRACKS ON YOUR GPS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO LOSE THEM, BACK THEM UP USING GARMIN  BASECAMP AND RESTART THIS PROCEDURE. Upon saying yes to this option, the unit will reset and the display problems typically do not reoccur. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has seen this issue with virtually all touchscreen Garmins including Rino, Oregon, and Montana GPS models. The method of doing a HARD RESET on your Garmin may vary.

Garmin Nuvi Reboots

If you are having issues with your Garmin GPS rebooting with a TRAX map in the unit, you may wish to update your firmware of your GPS unit. This can be done at Garmin. This is most likely to occur on automotive units. In particular the Nuvi 1450 is prone to this happening especially in areas with lots of Roads and potentially lots of private parcels such as in a city. An option to help this scenario is to remove the map card when you get in very heavily populated areas as the map is designed to be used in rural areas. Another option is to go into your Map Information area (typically found under Settings – Map – Map Info) and turn off Roads – Minor, Topo, and Owners if they exist on your map.

 

 

Garmin General Tips

For virtually all Garmin GPS units, all you need to do is insert the memory card. However, some tips are listed below which may assist you in using your Garmin GPS.

Customized Map: The TRAX series of maps contain a lot of detail for different outdoor activities. Depending on your version of the TRAX map and the type of outdoor activity, you may want to turn off or on specific map layers on your GPS. The process on how to get to the Map Information varies on different Garmins but usually can be found under Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info or Setup – Map – Map Info. Here is a screenshot of what this looks like. For newer style Garmin units, the format of the map must be updated from the Legacy format to the New Format. Our Online Map Update Tool can be used for this update.

Maps Not Showing:

garmin-tips

  • If your GPS accepts SD cards, the SD card provided is an adapter only. The microSD card must be inserted into the SD  card and both inserted together. The microSD must be inserted
    into the SD adapter with the metal leads facing the same direction!
  • If your GPS has a sliding lock, it has to be entirely shut or the  metal leads will not make contact. If it does not, make sure you  hear the click normally associated with inserting the card.
  • It is possible you are not zooming far enough to have the  map details appear.

Nuvis: Nuvis are great automotive GPS units. Please keep in mind, their purpose is strictly designed for automotive use. This means most tend to have a very short battery life, don’t have track features, and are not waterproof. They can be used with the TRAX series of maps as many prefer their bigger screens. However, due to their features, they are not designed for extreme outdoor use. One of the issues you may face is a lack of labels showing on the map. Most of the Garmin handhelds have a Declutter feature and it is OFF by default. On Nuvis, there isn’t a choice for Declutter as it is always on. Older versions of Garmin Nuvis tend to show more labels and higher levels of details than the newer style of Garmins.

Some ways to show more labels:

  • Click on the screen which switches the GPS to Browse Mode which often shows more detail than Driving Mode.
  • Tools – Settings – System and for Usage Mode try Pedestrian or Bicycle and see if this shows more labels.
  • Tools – Settings – Map and increase your Map Detail to More or Most
  • Tools – Settings – Map – Info and turn off TRAX_Background. With the background off, you should be able to touch screen elements and information about the element will appear.

Nuvi 200, 250, 350, and 650: These Nuvis do not allow multiple Garmins maps on different map layers. If you have one of these GPS models, contact Kirsch’s Outdoor Products at kirschtrax@hotmail.com and a customized map will be set for these specific units.

Nuvi 500 Series: Tools – Settings – System and choose Walking or Biking. This has to be modified as this series comes with a topo map by default and it overlays over any map entered.

Oregon Series: Setup – Map – Advanced Map Setup – Zoom Levels – Land Cover set to 100 miles or higher. On some original Oregon models, this needs to be adjusted or the land areas do not show on the GPS unit. This issue only affected early releases of the Oregon models.

Detail Level: The detail level can be set to change when TRAX and Garmin map elements appear. By default we create the maps to work very will at the default setting of Normal, but this setting can be changed to shows elements earlier.

Double Roads: Your GPS may have some of the map features your TRAX series provides so you may wish to turn off some major features of your TRAX map such as roads. This varies per model so please consult your owner’s manual. For a Garmin Nuvi 500 for instance, it is Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info.

Clicking on Objects Show No Label: To keep many Garmin map base map features from interfering with the TRAX maps, a background layer is added to the Garmin maps. By turning this layer off, certain Garmin GPS units will allow hovering over land areas and have the name of the land appear. For most Garmins, the name will still appear but on a few units, turning off the background layer may be necessary. In addition, by turning off the background, the TRAX map will be transparent and many other GPS elements may begin to show. Turning off the Background layer varies per model so please consult your owner’s manual. For a Garmin Nuvi 500 for instance, it is Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info.

Maps with Topos: Some GPS units come pre-loaded with topo on them. This typically is represented by elevation contour lines. Every implementation of topo is different but the most common scenario is the base map topo lines will be under the TRAX series of maps and disappear when a TRAX map is inserted in the GPS. If you wish to see both maps, one option is to go into Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info (navigation varies per GPS) and turn off the TRAX – Background layer. This layer is the white background used to cover up the other GPS elements. With this turned off, many of the topo lines will then begin to appear. If a topo line disappers once it meets a land element, there is no way to prevent this. However, you could go into Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info and turn off the TRAX – Land layer. The borders would still show but the land element colors would not and it is very likely your topo would show as expected. The TRAX maps are pre-set to work with the most Garmin GPS units as possible and be the most compatible. However, there are hundreds of different combinations of Garmin GPS units and pre-loaded base maps that can cause a TRAX map to work differently than designed.

Garmin Showing Me Off The Road: Kirsch’s Outdoor Products uses the most detailed road data we can find. One of the most common reasons this occurs is some Garmin units also come with roads on the unit. Most Garmins have a feature called Road Lock which means the GPS will attempt to place the user automatically on the screen to the nearest road. Even if the TRAX map is more accurate on where the road really lies, if a Garmin basemap road is nearby, the GPS will automatically put the icon to the Garmin road.

Garmin – GPS Functionality

One of the most common questions is will my GPS function as it always did once I put in my TRAX map. The answer is yes, the basic functionality of the GPS such as marking a waypoint, creating a trail/track all stays the same. This also applies to the ability to route to a destination on the Nuvis utilizing tne pre-loaded Garmin road map. What does change is the amount of detail that appears on the screen.

All TRAX data is supplementary. This means we add details to the screen but the GPS will not route for instance using this TRAX road data. It has to use the roads on the Garmin map to route.

Garmin BaseCamp

All TRAX maps (legacy format only) labeled version 5.2 or higher should be visible in the Garmin BaseCamp application. In order to view the map, it must be a Windows PC with BaseCamp already installed on the PC.

  1. Launch  BaseCamp
  2. Insert your TRAX map 5.2 or higher into your PC memory card reader, or insert the card into your Garmin GPS and connect it to the PC.
  3. In BaseCamp, use the maps drop-down option and select the TRAX map shown.

There are known drawing issues with BaseCamp where layering causes issues. Many water resources show behind land elements and at times land elements appear and disappear. This is not an issue with the TRAX map but issues with BaseCamp handling a map with multiple layers. Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to change this. Changing the level of detail may change when elements appear and disappear, so increasing or decreasing detail may help provide the desired result at different various zoom levels.  BaseCamp can not be used to transfer the mapset to another device and Garmin has crippled the printing functionality for all 3rd party maps.

If the TRAX mapset is the new format, one layer is visible at a time in BaseCamp. Unless BaseCamp changes their tool to allow selecting multiple layers, there is no way around this without updating the map to the Legacy format.

New or Legacy Format

TRAX maps have always been designed as layered maps. This allows the user the ability to control certain major features/layers such as topography, roads, trails, water, sections, land, ownership, etc. However, in 2012 Garmin made a change to their handheld GPS units starting with the 62 series and Oregon 600 and Montana 600 series. This change allows the GPS to see multiple map files on the GPS. While doing this, they broke the ability of the GPS to read one map file with multiple layers. Due to this, Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has two map formats available. The version we sell in stores is called the Legacy format.

Legacy Format:

  • Works in all Garmins
  • Provides layer support for most automotive Nuvis and Handhelds manufactured before 2012
  • Works in Basecamp

New Format:

  • Designed for Garmin GPS manufactured after 2012
  • Provides layer support on most Garmin GPS units manufactured after 2012
  • Only allows one layer to be selected at a time in Basecamp
  • Will not run on older Garmin units

Garmin Map Layers

The TRAX maps were designed to allow users the ability to turn off key areas/layers of the map. This allows a customized map experience with the level of detail desired. TRAX map layers are typically found under Setup – Map – Info. The navigation to this area varies for different Garmin units. Newer Garmin handhelds manufactured since 2013 may need a format change to view layers. You can read more about this option at the following page.
TRAX Layers:
Topo – Elevation data
Roads Major– Main highways and county roads
Roads Minor – Smaller roads and forest roads
Trails – Hiking Trails
Water – Water
Wetlands – Wetlands
Owners – Private land ownership
Detail – Labeling and points of interest
Sections – Section Lines and township range and section
Land – Public Lands
Units – Hunting Unit boundaries
Background – Additional information including TRS number, regional warden info, all hunting units, county, and wilderness area. This background layer serves 3 main purposes.
  1. Cover up many errors in base Garmin maps that show solid public land areas which often is not the case
  2. Makes the map easier to read against a white background
  3. Most importantly it allows handheld Garmins the ability to select a location on the screen and receive multiple pieces of information for the spot

Memory Card Must Be Formatted To Work With This Device

Garmin released a new automotive GPS early in 2016. We have done some preliminary testing on a DriveSmart 60. On the model tested, we received a message saying “Memory Card Must Be Formatted.” It appears the DriveSmart units will not work with memory cards less than 1GB in size and they have to be formatted a specific way.

There are two options:
1) The first option is to please put your product in a bubble mailer, and send it to us at: Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, 7915 Aquarius Drive, Fargo, ND 58104. Indicate you have a Drive series GPS from Garmin and we will get you a different card size with a different format and send it right back to.

2) If you have a memory card reader and the card is 1GB or larger, you can try the following. Make a folder called drivesmart on your Windows PC. Copy all the contents of the microSD card into that folder. Put the microSD card back in the DriveSmart GPS, and say Yes to format the card. Remove the card after formatting and place it back into your memory card reader. Copy the contents from the drivesmart folder back on the card. This is not a recommended option but can work in certain circumstances.

 

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Tips (4)

Garmin General Tips

For virtually all Garmin GPS units, all you need to do is insert the memory card. However, some tips are listed below which may assist you in using your Garmin GPS.

Customized Map: The TRAX series of maps contain a lot of detail for different outdoor activities. Depending on your version of the TRAX map and the type of outdoor activity, you may want to turn off or on specific map layers on your GPS. The process on how to get to the Map Information varies on different Garmins but usually can be found under Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info or Setup – Map – Map Info. Here is a screenshot of what this looks like. For newer style Garmin units, the format of the map must be updated from the Legacy format to the New Format. Our Online Map Update Tool can be used for this update.

Maps Not Showing:

garmin-tips

  • If your GPS accepts SD cards, the SD card provided is an adapter only. The microSD card must be inserted into the SD  card and both inserted together. The microSD must be inserted
    into the SD adapter with the metal leads facing the same direction!
  • If your GPS has a sliding lock, it has to be entirely shut or the  metal leads will not make contact. If it does not, make sure you  hear the click normally associated with inserting the card.
  • It is possible you are not zooming far enough to have the  map details appear.

Nuvis: Nuvis are great automotive GPS units. Please keep in mind, their purpose is strictly designed for automotive use. This means most tend to have a very short battery life, don’t have track features, and are not waterproof. They can be used with the TRAX series of maps as many prefer their bigger screens. However, due to their features, they are not designed for extreme outdoor use. One of the issues you may face is a lack of labels showing on the map. Most of the Garmin handhelds have a Declutter feature and it is OFF by default. On Nuvis, there isn’t a choice for Declutter as it is always on. Older versions of Garmin Nuvis tend to show more labels and higher levels of details than the newer style of Garmins.

Some ways to show more labels:

  • Click on the screen which switches the GPS to Browse Mode which often shows more detail than Driving Mode.
  • Tools – Settings – System and for Usage Mode try Pedestrian or Bicycle and see if this shows more labels.
  • Tools – Settings – Map and increase your Map Detail to More or Most
  • Tools – Settings – Map – Info and turn off TRAX_Background. With the background off, you should be able to touch screen elements and information about the element will appear.

Nuvi 200, 250, 350, and 650: These Nuvis do not allow multiple Garmins maps on different map layers. If you have one of these GPS models, contact Kirsch’s Outdoor Products at kirschtrax@hotmail.com and a customized map will be set for these specific units.

Nuvi 500 Series: Tools – Settings – System and choose Walking or Biking. This has to be modified as this series comes with a topo map by default and it overlays over any map entered.

Oregon Series: Setup – Map – Advanced Map Setup – Zoom Levels – Land Cover set to 100 miles or higher. On some original Oregon models, this needs to be adjusted or the land areas do not show on the GPS unit. This issue only affected early releases of the Oregon models.

Detail Level: The detail level can be set to change when TRAX and Garmin map elements appear. By default we create the maps to work very will at the default setting of Normal, but this setting can be changed to shows elements earlier.

Double Roads: Your GPS may have some of the map features your TRAX series provides so you may wish to turn off some major features of your TRAX map such as roads. This varies per model so please consult your owner’s manual. For a Garmin Nuvi 500 for instance, it is Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info.

Clicking on Objects Show No Label: To keep many Garmin map base map features from interfering with the TRAX maps, a background layer is added to the Garmin maps. By turning this layer off, certain Garmin GPS units will allow hovering over land areas and have the name of the land appear. For most Garmins, the name will still appear but on a few units, turning off the background layer may be necessary. In addition, by turning off the background, the TRAX map will be transparent and many other GPS elements may begin to show. Turning off the Background layer varies per model so please consult your owner’s manual. For a Garmin Nuvi 500 for instance, it is Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info.

Maps with Topos: Some GPS units come pre-loaded with topo on them. This typically is represented by elevation contour lines. Every implementation of topo is different but the most common scenario is the base map topo lines will be under the TRAX series of maps and disappear when a TRAX map is inserted in the GPS. If you wish to see both maps, one option is to go into Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info (navigation varies per GPS) and turn off the TRAX – Background layer. This layer is the white background used to cover up the other GPS elements. With this turned off, many of the topo lines will then begin to appear. If a topo line disappers once it meets a land element, there is no way to prevent this. However, you could go into Tools – Settings – Map – Map Info and turn off the TRAX – Land layer. The borders would still show but the land element colors would not and it is very likely your topo would show as expected. The TRAX maps are pre-set to work with the most Garmin GPS units as possible and be the most compatible. However, there are hundreds of different combinations of Garmin GPS units and pre-loaded base maps that can cause a TRAX map to work differently than designed.

Garmin Showing Me Off The Road: Kirsch’s Outdoor Products uses the most detailed road data we can find. One of the most common reasons this occurs is some Garmin units also come with roads on the unit. Most Garmins have a feature called Road Lock which means the GPS will attempt to place the user automatically on the screen to the nearest road. Even if the TRAX map is more accurate on where the road really lies, if a Garmin basemap road is nearby, the GPS will automatically put the icon to the Garmin road.

Map Layers Not Showing

With the introduction of many of the new Garmin units such as the Montana, eTrex 20 and 30, Alpha, and Astro dog series, Garmin has changed the way the units respond to Garmin maps. Until 2013, all Garmin GPS units looked for a single map file. In the case of TRAX maps, we provide a single map file on the unit but it is comprised of many map layers. All pre-2013 GPS units would allow you to turn these layers off and on. The 2013 Garmin GPS units (mainly handhelds) will still read the single file but only one map layer will be shown versus the standard 8-10 map layers. Due to this Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, has two map sets available called Legacy and New.

If you have a 2013 Garmin Handheld GPS, you can update to this New style map by using the update tool found here or sending it to Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, 7915 Aquarius Drive, Fargo, ND, 58104 and we will update you to this New style. If you are sending it in, you need to write a note saying you wish to switch from the Legacy version to the new version. The ability to control layers is a very important feature in a TRAX map, so you may wish to do this. However, there are 2 potential drawbacks to doing this.

  1. The New style Garmin map will not work in older Garmin GPS units, so if you have multiple GPS units, you will want to continue to use the Legacy GPS format which will work in virtually all Garmin units which take memory cards.
  2. The New style maps can only be viewed by the Garmin BaseCamp software one layer at a time, but the Legacy version shows all layers together.

 

Garmin Nuvi Reboots

If you are having issues with your Garmin GPS rebooting with a TRAX map in the unit, you may wish to update your firmware of your GPS unit. This can be done at Garmin. This is most likely to occur on automotive units. In particular the Nuvi 1450 is prone to this happening especially in areas with lots of Roads and potentially lots of private parcels such as in a city. An option to help this scenario is to remove the map card when you get in very heavily populated areas as the map is designed to be used in rural areas. Another option is to go into your Map Information area (typically found under Settings – Map – Map Info) and turn off Roads – Minor, Topo, and Owners if they exist on your map.

 

 

Garmin – GPS Functionality

One of the most common questions is will my GPS function as it always did once I put in my TRAX map. The answer is yes, the basic functionality of the GPS such as marking a waypoint, creating a trail/track all stays the same. This also applies to the ability to route to a destination on the Nuvis utilizing tne pre-loaded Garmin road map. What does change is the amount of detail that appears on the screen.

All TRAX data is supplementary. This means we add details to the screen but the GPS will not route for instance using this TRAX road data. It has to use the roads on the Garmin map to route.

Garmin Topo Not Showing

Kirsch’s Outdoor Products does not test on all the Garmin and 3rd party maps to verify compatibility. We test on the units with their corresponding base maps. All maps sold by Garmin function as basemaps on the unit but the layer or layers they display upon can vary.

TRAX maps are broken up into layers such as Topo, water, land, roads_major, roads_minor, land, owners, sections, etc. Garmin has 62 map layers on a GPS. TRAX maps typically use the last 13 layers which are the highest transparent layers (last 31 layers) and one that is not transparent category in the middle of these layers (first 31 layers). In general, all or most Garmin basemap elements, including topo, will be covered up by the TRAX map layers. The first thing to try is under Map Information (usually found under Setup – Map) to turn off the TRAX_Background layer first. If this doesn’t work, the other layers which could interfere include the Land, Water, and Ownership layer. These layers all contain polygon elements which would cover up base elements such as topo lines on the Garmin map and any or all could be turned off and the base map layers would appear. If you need topo lines to work with a TRAX map, it is highly recommended you purchase a TRAX+ version of our product which comes with a 24K topo layer.

Although, the elements may be covered up, the Garmin GPS units will still function as it always would and route following the basemap features which are being covered up but are still there.

It has been reported, however, 3-D shading does show through. This way if you have a Garmin 3-D topo map and a TRAX map with all layers on, you would see all the TRAX elements and still see the Garmin 3-D shading for Topo which would give the map a nice effect. This has not been tested and is not officially supported but this has been reported to work by customers.

Garmin BaseCamp

All TRAX maps (legacy format only) labeled version 5.2 or higher should be visible in the Garmin BaseCamp application. In order to view the map, it must be a Windows PC with BaseCamp already installed on the PC.

  1. Launch  BaseCamp
  2. Insert your TRAX map 5.2 or higher into your PC memory card reader, or insert the card into your Garmin GPS and connect it to the PC.
  3. In BaseCamp, use the maps drop-down option and select the TRAX map shown.

There are known drawing issues with BaseCamp where layering causes issues. Many water resources show behind land elements and at times land elements appear and disappear. This is not an issue with the TRAX map but issues with BaseCamp handling a map with multiple layers. Unfortunately, at this time there is no way to change this. Changing the level of detail may change when elements appear and disappear, so increasing or decreasing detail may help provide the desired result at different various zoom levels.  BaseCamp can not be used to transfer the mapset to another device and Garmin has crippled the printing functionality for all 3rd party maps.

If the TRAX mapset is the new format, one layer is visible at a time in BaseCamp. Unless BaseCamp changes their tool to allow selecting multiple layers, there is no way around this without updating the map to the Legacy format.

Oregon (any Garmin touchscreen) GPS Missing TRAX Data

One of the most common support calls we get has to do with all Garmin touchscreen GPS models with the Oregon being the most common. The calls vary but it typically has to do with some of the TRAX elements appearing but not all of them. Some examples of display issues may be where the land shows but no roads show or section lines do not show. Garmin does not have a good explanation of why this occurs but the fix is to do a Hard Reset of the GPS as there is an issue with the GPS settings.

On many touchscreen Garmins this is done by  by pressing in the left-hand corner of the touchscreen, while powering on the unit. A question will appear saying, Do You Wish To Erase All User Data. THIS MAY ERASE ANY WAYPOINTS OR TRACKS ON YOUR GPS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO LOSE THEM, BACK THEM UP USING GARMIN  BASECAMP AND RESTART THIS PROCEDURE. Upon saying yes to this option, the unit will reset and the display problems typically do not reoccur. Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has seen this issue with virtually all touchscreen Garmins including Rino, Oregon, and Montana GPS models. The method of doing a HARD RESET on your Garmin may vary.

New or Legacy Format

TRAX maps have always been designed as layered maps. This allows the user the ability to control certain major features/layers such as topography, roads, trails, water, sections, land, ownership, etc. However, in 2012 Garmin made a change to their handheld GPS units starting with the 62 series and Oregon 600 and Montana 600 series. This change allows the GPS to see multiple map files on the GPS. While doing this, they broke the ability of the GPS to read one map file with multiple layers. Due to this, Kirsch’s Outdoor Products has two map formats available. The version we sell in stores is called the Legacy format.

Legacy Format:

  • Works in all Garmins
  • Provides layer support for most automotive Nuvis and Handhelds manufactured before 2012
  • Works in Basecamp

New Format:

  • Designed for Garmin GPS manufactured after 2012
  • Provides layer support on most Garmin GPS units manufactured after 2012
  • Only allows one layer to be selected at a time in Basecamp
  • Will not run on older Garmin units

Garmin Map Layers

The TRAX maps were designed to allow users the ability to turn off key areas/layers of the map. This allows a customized map experience with the level of detail desired. TRAX map layers are typically found under Setup – Map – Info. The navigation to this area varies for different Garmin units. Newer Garmin handhelds manufactured since 2013 may need a format change to view layers. You can read more about this option at the following page.
TRAX Layers:
Topo – Elevation data
Roads Major– Main highways and county roads
Roads Minor – Smaller roads and forest roads
Trails – Hiking Trails
Water – Water
Wetlands – Wetlands
Owners – Private land ownership
Detail – Labeling and points of interest
Sections – Section Lines and township range and section
Land – Public Lands
Units – Hunting Unit boundaries
Background – Additional information including TRS number, regional warden info, all hunting units, county, and wilderness area. This background layer serves 3 main purposes.
  1. Cover up many errors in base Garmin maps that show solid public land areas which often is not the case
  2. Makes the map easier to read against a white background
  3. Most importantly it allows handheld Garmins the ability to select a location on the screen and receive multiple pieces of information for the spot

Memory Card Must Be Formatted To Work With This Device

Garmin released a new automotive GPS early in 2016. We have done some preliminary testing on a DriveSmart 60. On the model tested, we received a message saying “Memory Card Must Be Formatted.” It appears the DriveSmart units will not work with memory cards less than 1GB in size and they have to be formatted a specific way.

There are two options:
1) The first option is to please put your product in a bubble mailer, and send it to us at: Kirsch’s Outdoor Products, 7915 Aquarius Drive, Fargo, ND 58104. Indicate you have a Drive series GPS from Garmin and we will get you a different card size with a different format and send it right back to.

2) If you have a memory card reader and the card is 1GB or larger, you can try the following. Make a folder called drivesmart on your Windows PC. Copy all the contents of the microSD card into that folder. Put the microSD card back in the DriveSmart GPS, and say Yes to format the card. Remove the card after formatting and place it back into your memory card reader. Copy the contents from the drivesmart folder back on the card. This is not a recommended option but can work in certain circumstances.

 

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