Ron-I used a “back of the envelope” model for the Artic 1000 backpacking forecast. I posted my 643 mile estimate to this forum prior to the attempt; the actual result was 620 miles. Of course I realize that my small 3.6% forecast error, in a large part, was just dumb luck <grin>.
There are many different backpacking models that could be applied to analyzing this problem. I think the different forecasts will result in a spirited debate and most importantly a strong catalyst to actually have people attempt the effort to determine which model is right, if any.
The models also have the benefit of allowing us to do theoretical “what-if” scenarios to see how the output of the model changes and compare those results to real world experiences. For example what impact would it have: if hiking boots x were worn rather than running shoes Y; if a fly rather than a tent were used; if garment list X versus garment list Y were used; if sleeping pad X versus sleeping pad Y; or a titanium trowel was carried rather than a plastic one?
For the models to yield comparable results we first need to agree on the input parameters. I suggest you moderate this input parameters effort. When complete, you could then ask for the model forecasts. At minimum the following input parameter information is required:
-Hiker’s sex, age, weight, height, VO2max, and RER profile. As an alternative to a specific RER profile, I suggest that we leave this up to the modeler to factor in.
-Base pack weight (itemized), clothing weight (itemized), and shoe weight.
-Trip segments Terrain surface by % of trip
1.Soft Snow (14")
2.Soft Snow (10")
3.Soft Snow (6")
7.Hard Packed Snow
-Trip Segments elevation profile by % of trip
3.Climbing to a mountain peak
-Trip Segments min F, max F, & rain % by % of trip, and average miles between water sources
The segment information would result in something like this:
1,500 mile trip
1. 70%-Dirt Trail, hilly, min 40F, max 80F, 10% rain, 20 miles to water
2. 10% Dirt trail, climbing to a mountain peak, 70F max, 20F min, 10% rain, 5 miles to water
3. 10%-Hardpacked snow, hilly, 70F max, 30F min, 5% snow, 1 mile to water
4. 5%-Blacktop surface, moderately level, min 50F, max 90F, 20% rain, 10 miles to water
5. 5%-Loose sand, moderately level, 90F max, 60F min, 1%, 30 miles to water
I suggest that the models create forecasts for 3 scenarios: 30 years old male, 30 years old female, and 60 years old male. This will give a broad range of forum participants one of the three forecast categories to most closely relate to.