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BPL Gear List Spreadsheet CONTEST
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Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
spreadsheet- cool features on 12/05/2005 12:26:05 MST Print View

Since all the submissions are in - but have not been released yet, can people reveal the cool features that they implemented in the spreadsheet?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 12/06/2005 19:03:13 MST Print View

Mine is an inventory/gear list where you can input all of your gear with weights. Then you can mark what you are taking on a specific trip and, with a few clicks of the mouse, see what that list will weigh in terms of base pack weight, etc. It works fine with NeoOffice (Mac), but needs a few easy-to-add changes to make it work right in Excel.

I had made one list a couple years ago but didn't use it really, so I had to re-figure out how to write the few equations I did use. I woked on mine for two or three days before the submission date. Those with alot of experience writing formulas and such will definitely have the advantage. There are a couple more things I would like to figure out and add in the future.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 12/06/2005 20:45:27 MST Print View

stay tuned, all the entries will be posted next week...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 12/07/2005 08:33:41 MST Print View

And just when I decide to finally sit down and figure out a new formula, I do it in a short period of time now that it's too late. Darn.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 12/07/2005 10:10:45 MST Print View

My entries are pretty simple. That was intentional. I felt one of the most important things was to make the sheet very easy to modify... add / edit / delete. So I made it a simple top down list without form elements... which I find are a pain in Excel since they float on top and don't live inside the cells... unless you're using the list manager... which can do a few neat things.

It does have a very nice conversion feature. There is a drop down menu at the top from which you can choose Metric, Imperial (decimals), Imperial (lb. & oz.) or Imperial (ounces). Choose one and the entire spreadsheet updates instantly... everything except your original values... which can be input in either grams or ounces. You just choose which speadsheet you want to use (grams based or ounces based).

Other than that... I spent some time making sure that the sheet had a very nice and feel and an intuitive "interface". Just because it's Excel... doesn't mean it has to be ugly :)

I did not test it in NeoOffice... but I did open it quickly and to my surprise it seemed to mostly all work! If there is a demand (win or no win) I'd be happy to fix it up for NeoOffice users when I get a chance... say sometime in the new year.

Edited by davidlewis on 12/07/2005 10:18:32 MST.

marc valley
(marcv) - F
Spreadsheet Contest on 12/10/2005 19:07:41 MST Print View

For mine I made a straight forward list, broken down into sections (shelter, kitchen, etc.) Actually I made two, one was for entering weights in ounces, it then converted to pounds and grams, the other you enter in grams, it converts to ounces and pounds. Each one gave totals at the bottom of the sheet.
A final worksheet (one for each type) had bar graphs for warm, cool and cold weather with each section displayed so that you can see at a glance which section is heaviest so you can maybe alter its' contents.

The final 2 worksheets had one for your bounce box and a User instructions sheet.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Spreadsheet Contest on 12/10/2005 21:07:35 MST Print View

After the contest is over it would be fun to collaborate on improving the lists even more.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Spreadsheet Contest on 12/12/2005 11:46:19 MST Print View

Ha. Jim Woods put out a gearlist 3 days after the contest due date. Hmmm...

That is one complex file.

Edited by jshann on 12/12/2005 11:58:30 MST.

Mark Cooper
(Coop) - F
Wow on 12/12/2005 18:38:32 MST Print View

Cool spreadsheet - like you said - very detailed. The one I submitted follows similar logic and function but is not as slick or comprehensive.

By the way - first post here - I've really enjoyed watching this site develop over the last few years and I am glad all you obsessive LWBPers are here to let me know that I'm not a freak, or at least that I'm not alone.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Wow on 12/12/2005 18:48:43 MST Print View

My contest submission followed the KISS logicness. Don't laugh too hard when you see it.

P.S. Coop, welcome to the freakshow : P

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
looking for gear list which build list based on expected conditions on 12/23/2005 13:41:51 MST Print View

Recently I saw a gear list which took input values (such as likely temp, amount of rain, etc) and generated the master list for a series of tables. The spreadsheet worked off raw data, and had formulas which suggested the optimal equiment.

I thought this list was posted here, but I just ran though the submissions and didn't see what I thought I remembered.

One example of what this spreadsheet had. There was a nice table which listed a lot of clothing. Each item of clothing had a set of numerical values which indicated how more "additional" warmth the particular item provided, the range over which the item could be worn, and maybe a couple of other factors. The packing list was generated by a formula that attempted to look for comfort over the range of conditions with the minimum set of items.

Does this description remind you of any list? Can you post where I can find this list?

My list sort of does this, but it's really a set of conditional formulas associated with each item. My approach is somewhat fragile and requires me to have worked out my optimal solutions in advance.

My list (viewable as html, and be imported into excel with the formulas functional) is at


Edited by verber on 12/23/2005 13:58:18 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: looking for gear list which build list based on expected conditions on 12/23/2005 14:04:02 MST Print View

It could be Vick Hines and Joshua Mitchell entry.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: looking for gear list which build list based on expected conditions on 12/23/2005 21:20:55 MST Print View

MV and JS:
Nope, sorry. The spreadsheet you remember is not Vick and Josh's Gear Decision Matrix. The GDM is a very powerful tool, and you may want to look at it. It will make your spreadsheet less "fragile".

I remember the one MV is referring to but I can't find it either.

The gear decision matrix Josh and I did is not as 'automatic' as the one we remember. But in the final analysis, it may give you better information that is *transparent.* That is, you will know and understand where it came from and you won't have to worry whether the underlying assumptions in the formulas are correct or applicable. So give the gear decision matrix a try. It will not generate a gear list, but gear lists are easy (despite all the agony expended on the contest). Plug your results into any of the simpler lists provided in the contest. I think you will like playing with the GDM.

The decision matrix lets you decide what is important in any gear decision, then it lets you rate each item you are comparing according to what you think is important. You can rate items by objective criteria with solid numbers attached or you can rate them by your subjective impressions. Or both.

So, for example, you want to decide what bivy to buy and whether there is any advantage to using a bivy at all. Or you want to decide what kind of fuel to use or sleeping bag versus quilt or which headlamp will meet your needs. Or you are in a group that needs some shared gear such as a 4-man tent and cooking gear, and you need to be able to reach a group decision about what to buy. These are the kinds of questions the gear decision matrix can resolve. It seems simple, but it is a very powerful tool used in lots of difficult fields to take some of the guesswork out of decision making.

Edited by vickrhines on 12/24/2005 18:27:04 MST.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Attn: David Lewis, Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 05/31/2008 07:04:34 MDT Print View

"I felt one of the most important things was to make the sheet very easy to modify... add / edit / delete."

Was your submission of the spreadsheet just for the contest or is it free to use? I would like permission to modify this to include *my* gear list. It's so much easier than scribbling in my little pocket notepad!

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
disregard my double posting on 05/31/2008 07:13:51 MDT Print View

Apologies for the double post. Cable connection is flakey today.

Edited by back2basics on 05/31/2008 07:15:44 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Attn: David Lewis, Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 05/31/2008 07:22:07 MDT Print View

They are all free to use and modify. Share your modifications?

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: spreadsheet- cool features on 05/31/2008 07:42:02 MDT Print View

I didn't have any mods in mind other than replacing his gear with my own.