The technique described below may work in a similar way on other Garmin models and on other sat navs and navigation devices but they have not been tested.
What do you do if you are navigating a route or course using your Garmin 800 and you get lost? Perhaps you lost concentration and suddenly realise that you should have made a turn and are now miles away from the route. Do you retrace your steps? Or should you use the ‘recalculate route’ function?
The answer is probably neither.
There is probably a quicker way back to your intended route than following back the way you have just come. If nothing else, retracing your steps is demoralising. But you shouldn’t use the recalculate route option either.
When I first started using a sat nav I thought that if I got lost and rerouted then the sat nav would take me back to the closest part of my loaded route, after all, if I was using a paper map that is what I would do. Unfortunately the sat nav is not that sophisticated: it will simply take the point where you are and your final destination and then plot a new route between the two, based upon the settings you have given it (things like avoid highways, avoid tolls etc..). This is unlikely to be the same route you loaded, especially if you are on a circular route.
So how can you navigate back to the route without losing the original navigation on your route?
Flick through the screens on your Garmin until you locate the map screen. Zoom the view out by clicking on the ‘-’ symbol until you can see your route. By eye locate a point on your route where you could re-join it. Then zoom in on the point using the ‘+’. You will probably have to move around on the map if you are some distance from your route. To do this click on the ‘arrows’ symbol and then drag your finger around the screen to move the map.
Once you have located the point where you would like to re-join the route and zoomed in to get sufficient detail, press that point on the screen with your finger. A large pin should appear. You can drag it around if it is not quite in the right place.
Now press the location name box or the symbol with three lines at the top of the screen. A new screen will appear giving a grid reference for the point and the distance to it (in a straight line). Click on the Go button at the bottom of the screen.
The sat nav will now navigate you to the selected point. Once you reach that point and re-join your original route the sat nav should then automatically continue navigating along that route.
You can also use this technique to navigate around impassable obstructions, such as closed roads (although few are closed enough to stop a determined cyclist) or obstructed paths. You may have to do a two part operation though, one to take you away from the obstruction and another to get you back to the route, otherwise the sat nav will probably just route you through the obstruction again, after all, it doesn’t know it is there!
Kickstart your Lands End to John O’Groats planning
Everything you need to know to get you started on your Lands End to John O Groats adventure is contained within these three books: a How To, a detailed account of riding the Google Map route for LEJOG and a ‘safe’ Route Book using GPX files.
Available as electronic or paperback books from as little as £2.99 each or all three for £5.98. That’s less than an inner tube or a Costa coffee with a slice of cake.
Where to next?
The most popular pages on the site concern planning your End to End, including training for long distance cycling, thinking about the cycling equipment you will need, how to look after your bike, what you should be eating and drinking whilst cycling and how to create a route for Lands End to John O’Groats. Or you can read my own account of cycling End to End to get some idea of what to expect.