The Garmin Connect app is a great tool that pools all the data from your various Garmin devices and makes it easy to interpret, but it also has a social side – and it can get pretty competitive. Not only can you choose to compete against your friends to get the most steps, you can also earn badges to show off, and earn points that let you gradually ascend through an increasingly challenging series of levels.
The badges don't have any tangible value, but they're pretty, and it's hard to deny the little thrill that comes from adding a new one to your collection – so how about getting two for the 'price' of one?
Last month, Garmin released a new bundle of expedition badges named after famous hikes and climbs around the world, such as the Appalachian Trail, Everest, and the West Highland Way. Each badge is earned by taking a number of steps or climbing a number of floors equivalent to tackling that particular challenge.
You can see them by opening the Garmin Connect app on your phone and tapping 'Challenges' at the bottom of the screen.
Thankfully you don't have to complete the full distance or ascent at once, but there's a bonus to be had if you do. Although you can only choose one expedition at a time, if you complete one and then start another on the same day, all your steps or stairs will count for both. Play your cards right, and you could earn two Expedition badges for the same activity.
I found this out by accident a couple of weeks ago after a 14-mile run, which allowed me to earn both the Grand Canyon Rim Trail (21k) and Great Wall (20k) badges. These are the two shortest expeditions, so I wasn't able to nab a third, but my steps still counted towards the Chilkoot Trail badge, which I completed a few days later.
Garmin might decide to 'fix' this particular workaround before long, but for the time being it's a sneaky little way to add a shiny new badge to your collection. Grand Canyon Rim and Great Wall are the two shortest ones, and therefore the easiest to get at once. Happy running!
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.