Garmin Fenix 5x free maps, OpenStreetMap and GPX files

The Garmin Fenix 5x is capable of displaying many maps. The freely available OpenStreetMap’s are generally better than the paid for Garmin maps (Garmin maps are based off of them but they’re updated less frequently) and these will work fine with the Garmin Fenix 5x.

After further digging around, I’ve discovered a way to upload a GPX file from the watch and overlay it on an OpenStreetMap. Not only that, but I can upload multiple files and display multiple tracks on the one map:

At the moment, this process is slow because I have to type in the names and directories of each file. I’m sure I could code something to help automate this process, nonetheless it’s pretty cool. GPX files can get quite large and displaying 100 tracks on one map might use a lot of data, but organising the maps shouldn’t be a problem. For example, I could create a page “London” and only upload hikes in London. Another way is to use fusion tables. I’ve written a page on that too…


Instructions on installing maps for the Garmin Fenix 5x smartwatch with a computer

If you’ve come to this page because you’re interested in installing maps to your Garmin Fenix 5x, please go to a new page I have written about that.

8 thoughts on “Garmin Fenix 5x free maps, OpenStreetMap and GPX files”

  1. Hello I’m from India and ended up purchasing the fenix 5x from USA after I got back I figured out it comes only with preloaded USA maps which will be of no use to me. Can u please guide me as to how to load India maps on the my fenix 5x. Thanks in advance

    1. Hello, you need to download the relevant map file from either Garmin (these are expensive) or get an OpenStreetMap for free ( and if it’s an IMG file, you can copy it straight to the Garmin directory of your watch but most of the files you will download are .exe application files. You install these on your computer, open up Garmin BaseCamp, click the “maps” menu and “install maps”, this will then guide you through the process of installing the maps onto your watch. Let me know how you get on, good luck :).

  2. Can you tell me a bit about the process of how to get GPX trails to be overlayed on the Garmin Fenix 5X maps? And if you also have replaced the installed maps with OpenStreetMaps?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. It overlays the track when you “load course” using the navigation app, “start–>navigate–>courses–>load course.” You cannot load more than one track with the watch.

      I haven’t deleted the default maps but I have tried OpenStreetMaps and they’re very good. You can easily select different maps so there is no reason to delete what comes installed unless you’re trying to save space. At some point I will get around to writing my full review and go into better detail but you can see a screenshot of the watch with a contour map added as an additional layer at the following link. If you have several maps installed, you can select what maps you want to display and they will layer depending on the map type.

  3. Howdy are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    1. Hello,

      I use wordpress yes, and you don’t need to know any coding. If you want to make your own theme you need to, but otherwise you can get by without knowing :).

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