2005 Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Entries

Reader submissions of spreadsheet files used for trip planning and gear lists.

by BPL Staff | 2005-12-15 03:00:00-07

Overview

How do you use a spreadsheet program to plan for a trip?

What follows are the reader entries for the BackpackingLight.com contest to crown THE BEST GEAR LIST SPREADSHEET.

Rules are simple:

Using a spreadsheet compatible with either OpenOffice or Microsoft Excel, create a spreadsheet "template" or "application" that can be adapted for any season, any trip, that anyone can use to help plan their gear and supplies.

All submissions will be juried by their peers in the BackpackingLight.com forums (forum thread below). Winners will be selected by the BackpackingLight.com staff.

1st Prize: \$100 Gift Certificate to BackpackingLight.com

2nd Prize: \$50 GC

3rd Prize: \$25 GC

Official Entries

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Citation

"2005 Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Entries," by BPL Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).

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2005 Backpacking Light Trip Planning Spreadsheet Contest Entries
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 kevin davidson (kdesign) - F Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson re.CONVER in NeoOffice on 12/16/2005 23:22:18 MST Meir, thanks. I'll give it a try but I think the Excel add-in acts more like a filter and CONVERT_ADD more likea specific operation. Well, there's always using Excel (sigh).
 John S. (jshann) - F Re: Input on John Shannon's entry on 12/17/2005 18:25:31 MST Kevin, I added in the subtotals for ounces/grams in an updated spreadsheet that is a bit better than my contest submission. Is that what units you wanted for it? As for the lbs-oz thing, that would need a more complicated (for my abilities) formula that would take a while for me to figure out. Others might hack it out in no time. Email me at rhd101 at aol dot com for that file. Maybe we need to make another thread for comments on updated files not included in the contest?
 kevin davidson (kdesign) - F Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson Entry input on Spreadsheet Submissions on 12/17/2005 18:41:09 MST >>Maybe we need to make another thread for comments on updated files not included in the contest?And add a user support hotline.... ;-)>Thanks, John, will do.K. Edited by kdesign on 12/17/2005 18:49:26 MST.
 marc valley (marcv) - F Grams-Ounces-Pounds on 12/19/2005 09:28:16 MST David Johnston, Your spreadsheet looks great. One this I noticed is that you use a complex formula to convert from grams to ounces, etc. Check out mine I used the CONVERT function, so much easier. I think your will be the winner. Great job.Marc Valley
 David Johnston (dsjtecserv) - MLife I converted from CONVERT! on 12/19/2005 20:56:48 MST Marc:Thanks for your nice comments. I appreciate your feedback. Ironically, I used the CONVERT function in my previous version, and then decided to take it out for the version I submitted to the contest. I was tired of having to make sure that the right Toolpack was loaded, and explaining how to load it to other people who were less familiar with add-ins. And you are right, the formula in those cells is complex, but the conversion is only part of it. Most of the overhead in those cells has to do with deciding whether grams or ounces is in effect for the entry weight. And I don't think (but I could be wrong) that CONVERT has a means of displaying either decimal pounds or lb/oz. So, even though it took more programming initially, I'm now pleased that I took out CONVERT -- it opened up some other possiblities.(PS. If you want to see some complex cells, look at the Print page. I'm not very good with pivot tables, so I used the brute force method of compiling the report for printing. Not very elegant, but it works!)
 kevin davidson (kdesign) - F Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson My picks of the cream (spreadsheets) on 12/20/2005 13:08:41 MST The love child of Dave Johnston and Meir Gottlieb's spreadsheets would share the best aspects of both----Mier's Gear Closet (love the built-in gear library), Pantry, and Menu(Nutritional info!) organization (and some clever data entry aspects)-----Dave's aesthetic presentation, separate sheets for each intelligently chosen category, and separate summary and print sheets.I only wish they would work easily in NeoOffice.For "just the facts, mamn" gearlist purposes, it's hard to beat John Shannon's. Simple, easy to use, and it works great in NeoOffice (for we Mac using, allergic to Microsoft types) . Edited by kdesign on 12/20/2005 15:07:43 MST.
 David Johnston (dsjtecserv) - MLife Love Child? on 12/20/2005 17:33:55 MST Love child! I'd like to see that!I agree; Meir's Gear Closet, coupled with the drop down combo boxes to choose gear for each row is a great idea. Wish I'd thought of that. I have a separate spreadsheet, still under development, where I enter data on all the foods I use and use that to build a trip menu, complete with daily weights, calories, averages etc. Someday when I finish that it would be a great idea to incorporate that into the gearlist. It looks like Meir already has that nailed.Ken! Why does a duplicate of my latest message get posted every time I visit this page?Dave
 David Johnston (dsjtecserv) - MLife Bug fix on 12/28/2005 15:38:08 MST A bug on the Print page of my spreadsheets has been pointed out and I have now fixed it. The bug made the 10th item of any group appear in Bold Italic, which should be reserved for group subheads. I tracked that down and fixed it. There is still a limit 20 items under each group subhead that can show up in the printed report.If anyone would like a copy of the corrected version of the spreadsheet, I'd be happy to email it. Send me a message at dsjohnston 'at' cox.net.Dave
 Glen Van Peski (gvanpeski) - F - M Locale: San Diego Wow on 01/09/2006 08:03:51 MST I knew I wasn't using the full capabilities of Excel, but yikes! Looking at the entries, I'm a babe in the Excel woods! I'm glad I didn't bother to submit anything. I'm a big fan of pull-down items, so I like that in Meir Gottlieb's entry... and what great food data! I've never gotten more sophisticated with food than how much weight of it to bring, but if I ever get more interested, this is a great springboard! I love Dave Johnston's spreadsheet, and so far that would be the one I would most likely adopt and tweak. I forget which one, but the one with the graphs was intruiging, especially the analysis of where gear was packed based on when you needed to access it...Nicely done, everyone who submitted! There isn't a single entry that doesn't have something in it I like better than my own gear list.
 Jeff Brown (jbrown15) - F Can I use these spreadsheets on 01/11/2006 20:47:30 MST Hi. I am really impressed with some of the spreadsheets in the contest. I was wondering if people are actually using the downloaded files. I especially like Kim Clements' work and would like to use it for my own gear planning, however, I think I should try to ask for her permission or get an okay from BPL first? Does anyone have a suggestions?Thanks.
 Mark Larson (mlarson) - MLife Locale: Southeast USA Re: Can I use these spreadsheets on 01/12/2006 17:43:04 MST I'm really glad for the spreadsheets, too. Lots of great ideas there. Jeff, if they're useful, of course you should use them. The corresponding rule is that if you come up with good modifications, let us know!-Mark
 Vick Hines (vickrhines) - F Locale: Central Texas Re: Can I use these spreadsheets on 01/12/2006 17:52:10 MST Jeff,Everyone who entered the spreadsheet contest did so with the understanding that their work would be shared in the public domain. They are posted in downloadable formats to make them easier to access. Feel free.
 Jeff Brown (jbrown15) - F Re: Can I use these spreadsheets on 01/13/2006 15:26:24 MST Thanks Mark and Vick for your help. It's nice knowing that the BPL police won't be knocking on my door. These spreadsheets are great tools and I appreciate the opportunity to use them. Thanks again. Regards, Jeff
 Vick Hines (vickrhines) - F Locale: Central Texas Re: Re: Can I use these spreadsheets on 01/13/2006 16:50:55 MST Jeff, If I may plug my own favorite, take a look at the one Josh Mitchell and I posted. It isn't a spreadsheet, but a tool for making decisions about which gear will meet your needs, based on your own experience. It's pretty slick.
 Richard Matthews (food) - F Locale: Colorado Rockies When will the winners be announced? on 01/16/2006 16:06:15 MST I remember 1/15/06, but the memory isn't what it used to be.
 Jeff Brown (jbrown15) - F Re: Re: Can I use these spreadsheets on 02/06/2006 15:02:00 MST Hi Vick, Thanks for the heads up on your spreadsheet. I'm going to check out. Jeff
 (Anonymous) That BPL Spreadsheet Contest on 02/20/2006 18:22:30 MST And the winner is.......drumroll..................Who?
 Jeffrey Goodwin (Hedonist) Locale: Northern California Contest on 04/18/2006 00:25:50 MDT Who won?
 D G (DanG) Locale: Pacific Northwet Trip planning spreadsheet. on 04/25/2006 20:21:01 MDT Has there been a winner?ThanksDan