Preserving folders when backing up lists and collections in Garmin BaseCamp

Garmin BaseCamp (v4.4 as of this post) allows you to export your lists and collections as a GPX file. However GPX files are a “flat” format, meaning that they don’t store your information hierarchically. So upon trying to import your GPX file back into BaseCamp you will find that all the folders you created to organize your lists no longer exist. Instead, everything appears muddled up into one big disorganized collection.

Here is a better way of backing up your BaseCamp data, in the event you need to move it to another computer or just back it up.

To Backup

Find the BaseCamp AppData folder. This location may change depending on what kind of OS you are running. On Windows 8.1 it is located in %APPDATA%/Garmin/BaseCamp/Database. When you find the folder you will see it will contain one or more folders with the version name of BaseCamp they are associated with. Copy the folder (in this case it will be named “4.4”) and put it somewhere safe, this is essentially your backup.

To Restore

Install BaseCamp, it needs to be the same version you backed up from, or a newer one. Delete any existing folders already in the %APPDATA%/Garmin/BaseCamp/Database directory, then simply take the folder you copied earlier and place it into the same directory (the one you originally copied it from). Now start BaseCamp. The neat thing is that even if you backed up from an older version of BaseCamp, it will be smart enough to see the database from an older version and upgrade it to it’s newer version. Your collection should appear organized as it did before with lists in their appropriate folders.


  1. RBA · May 7, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for this. i think that the pathway to the Database folder was a little different and also I didn’t see the folder arrangement reflected there. But, when installed in a similar position on a new computer, everything fired up nicely.

  2. my87csx481 · February 23, 2018 Reply

    I am trying to merge a Windows 7 Basecamp installation (used with an etrex 20x) with a Windows 10 Basecamp installation that I started using with a Montana 680.

    I copied AppData\Roaming\Garmin from both installs. Then I backed up both installs. I restored the Win10 install using the Win7 backup. Then I tried merging AppData\Roaming\Garmin from Win10 into the restored Win7 install. There were some files that were identically named so, I chose to keep the Windows 10 versions. This ended up killing off everything from Win7.

    Is there a way to merge data from one install of Basecamp to another install of Basecamp….without losing the collection that has already grown in the second install?

    I suppose the workaround would be to make sure all my montana data is on the montana. Then restore to my etrex backup. Then pull the data back into basecamp from the montana.

    Any advice is appreciated.

Leave a Reply