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BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/15/2005 20:38:42 MST Print View

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

BackpackingLight.com announces a reader 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.

Submit your spreadsheet files as email attachments to:

contests@backpackinglight.com

Submission Deadline: December 1, 2005.

(Spreadsheets submitted with viruses attached will be automatically disqualified.)

All spreadsheet entries will temporarily be made available for download at the BackpackingLight.com Website.

All submissions will be juried by their peers in the BackpackingLight.com forums. 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

Winning entries will be featured and available for public download at BackpackingLight.com.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/16/2005 02:14:08 MST Print View

David Lewis,

i've misplaced your email address (i'll check some of my other email accts - can't remember which one we used to correspond).

do you want to collaborate on one or two entries?

i'll send you updates of 3 different functioning XL gearlists of mine.

you add your design and layout skill to my functionality. you keep the prize. i get a better spreadsheet in return and the satisfaction of knowing it may help others (if we win anything).

let me know - either way, please.

Edited by pj on 11/16/2005 02:14:57 MST.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/16/2005 12:08:18 MST Print View

is it a gear checklist that can be adapted to any season or trip what you are looking for?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/16/2005 15:51:03 MST Print View

Consider the power of a spreadsheet. Formulas and functions, especially, and how to harness that power to make a useful "application" for trip and gear planning.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/16/2005 18:39:00 MST Print View

I don't know whether or not this thread was meant for suggestions, but I have a few ideas I'd incorporate in a better gear list spreadsheet than my own.

Using the ability to hide columns, or exploiting a wide monitor, allow several columns for: short name; longer description; comments in wrapping text; ability to add extra columns for size, price, volume (cc and in^3), place purchased, URL, etc. My memory isn't what it was.

Three columns for weight: grams, ounces, pounds#ounces. Entering a value in any field fills in the others.

At least one level of grouped consolidation (outlining). This would allow keeping clothing separate from cooking gear, but would also allow something like "first aid kid" to have a detailed list of contents but be closed up and selectable as a whole. A hierarchy of levels would allow "first aid kit" to be included within the group "ten essentials", along with other related items and groups.

A "default" quantity column. For example, (2) butterfly bandages in the first aid kit.

Multiple columns on the far right, easily extended, for making favorite packing lists, lists used for specific hikes, etc. Perhaps the column would simply be the quantity of items desired or taken (which is multiplied by the 'default' quantity when calculating weight). There should be a commentary entry somewhere for that list beyond the short column title for details of the hike, neccessity (or not) of gear taken, etc.

Reporting: ability to print a packing list without extraneous details (price, other packing list columns) and non-selected items.

Totals, of course, for weights of selected gear. Maybe total the price and volume columns, too.

Ability to sort on various columns without losing the original preferred ordering.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/16/2005 19:05:00 MST Print View

Doug,
why dont you try something?

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/17/2005 14:52:10 MST Print View

>Doug, why dont you try something?

Doing it right would involve more programming than I have time for right now. My gear list spreadsheet isn't something I'd recommend to anybody.

David Plantenga
(IndianaDave) - F
Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/18/2005 15:32:47 MST Print View

Dr. RJ and all,

I love contests and this one sounds right up my alley, but I need a ''visual'' example of what BPL is wanting in the contest's spread sheet?

I agree with Douglas Frick, this is starting to sound complicated and involving a LOT of time.

Simple example Please?

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/18/2005 15:45:56 MST Print View

I really like my sheet... but it's very simple. Doesn't have any real "features". I will submit it anyway though. It's a nice, simple sheet and, as a result, very easy to manage.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/18/2005 15:57:42 MST Print View

David,
It may not be wise to help my competitor, but here is a spread sheet of Ryan J. lost coast gearlist

Lost Coast Gearlist
I think this is a good example of what they are looking for. (correct me if I am wrong)

Good luck :-(> :-)>

Edited by ryanf on 11/18/2005 16:04:14 MST.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Questions on 11/19/2005 09:00:16 MST Print View

How do people prefer to see their totals... in pounds and ounces (i.e. 1lb, 8oz) or in pounds with decimals (i.e. 1.5 pounds).

Also, for subtotals (if you use them)... say for just your big three... do you like to see the total as just ounces as well as pounds and ounces or pounds with decimals? In other words... if your big three subtotal is 38 oz... would you like to know that... or would you be happy to just see 2.5 lbs (or 2lb 8 oz).

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Questions on 11/19/2005 09:11:18 MST Print View

David,

as you know from the gearlists that i sent you, i like to see both.

the decimals are good because you can do spreadsheet formula math just by referencing these subtotals "cells" with no need to ref. each cell (or range of cells) containing the values that contributed to each subtotal.

i like the "lb oz" for "pretty" uses. here in the States we typical think in lb & oz & not decimal pound values. other than some common decimals (e.g. 1.25lb, 3.75lb, and 4.5lb) i find myself mentally converting the decimal values into the "lb oz" equivalent.

hope some others will reply with their preferences.

Edited by pj on 11/19/2005 09:12:43 MST.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
units in gear spreadsheet on 11/19/2005 10:36:58 MST Print View

How's about if we think/act globally and also include decimal kilograms?

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: units in gear spreadsheet on 11/19/2005 10:55:38 MST Print View

I use pounds.decimals and oz.decimals so I look like I'm being progressive and metric without actually having to learn the 'other system.' The lbs,oz style drives me crazy, though.

I'm slowly getting acquainted with grams, so I usually toss that in as well.
-Mark

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
preferred units on 11/19/2005 11:30:38 MST Print View

I would like to see both Oz. and Grams. I correspond with people internationally and like to be the proper, polite cosmopolitan when sharing info.

I often use lbs. for just the final tally, preferring oz. recording, for consistancy ( and in the UL world, a good part of the equipment is sub-lb. anyway). I find lb. plus decimal (i.e. 1.25#), awkward,can be imprecise (many people round off), and un-natural. If you want to go decimal, go metric.

My digital scale also registers lbs./oz as opposed to
decimal expressions.

Edited by kdesign on 11/19/2005 11:42:42 MST.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: preferred units on 11/19/2005 12:11:59 MST Print View

Thanks for the feedback :) So far we're two votes for pounds and ounces and one vote for pounds with decimals.... make that two actually since I also prefer pounds with decimals :) So it's a dead heat... LOL

I've always used pounds with decimals. I like pounds. Kilo's mean nothing to me. But I find pounds and ounces a little confusing. My thought process goes something like... "ok... 1 pound, 4 oz... so... 16 oz to a pound... so that's how much of a pound... a third? no wait... a quarter? a pound and a quarter? is that right?". For Paul... the oppostire is true! :)

Still, I guess pounds and ounces is more correct. It just makes the formulas for the totals more complicated since you have to put in logic to format the results... rather than simply taking the total ounces and dividing by 16.

Good feedback about including total weights in kilo's.

I'm Canadian BTW... so I use both systems. We are officially metric... but the British / US influence means we still think in imperial for a lot of things. For instance... miles mean little to me... farentheit means nothing to me... other than I know that 32 is 0 and 100 is freekin' hot! But when building... I can't even fathom building in metric. Same goes for weight. Kilo's (as I said before) mean nothing to me. That said... I weigh all my gear in grams and then convert since grams are a smaller unit of measure and my scale doesn't display decimal ounces... just whole ounces.

Edited by davidlewis on 11/19/2005 12:23:18 MST.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
preferred units on 11/19/2005 13:06:18 MST Print View

My preference is metric, I have burned into my memory that 1oz is 28.35grams. Grams are easier to work with when the weight is really low.

The up side for me is a really great OHAUS Triple-Beam gram scale bought used about 15 years ago cheap. Today they are still a little less than $100. They measure to 1/10 of a gram.

The down side is I have a Mac Computer and will not be able to use what ever spreadsheet (windows OS) you come up with.

Edited by bfornshell on 11/19/2005 13:07:34 MST.


(Anonymous)
Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/19/2005 13:24:44 MST Print View

David Plantenga, I think Ryan has given all the information needed. It's a contest after all.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
more unit preferences and Macs on 11/19/2005 13:32:13 MST Print View

I would prefer sub- oz. expressed as decimals--
as in 1.6 oz. Never 3.7 # but 3# 7.2 Oz.

I get the most precise measurements on my dual system scale if I measure in grams then convert to oz. ( by multiplying grams by .03527). Measuring by oz. I can get fractional figures to the closest 1/8 oz. on my scale but down to 0.1 g in metric mode.

Bill, I too, am a Mac user. There is Microsoft software for the Mac of course--you can use Excel (blecch!)-- and read spreadsheets created by the Windows equivalent versions.

Edited by kdesign on 11/19/2005 13:41:45 MST.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Re: BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST on 11/19/2005 13:41:30 MST Print View

Anon... when designing anything you need to understand how the end product will be used, who will be using it, what they want and need from it, etc. I'm not asking Ryan for more info and I don't care if I win or not. I just want to understand what other backpackers like and then make the best solution I can with the time, tools and skills available to me. If we were all to design in a vacum for fear of giving away our ideas... we probably wouldn't end up with a very good solution.

Edited by davidlewis on 11/19/2005 14:09:22 MST.