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New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App
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David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 14:40:24 MST Print View

Hello everyone,

For many years, now, I've been keeping an Excel spreadsheet, which contains a list of all of my outdoor gear and its weight data. Needless to say, it's an outdated method for calculating my loaded backpack weight. So, from time to time, I had searched the web, looking to see if someone had developed an easier online method, perhaps using a vast, up-to-date database of popular outdoor products. Unfortunately, the only results I ever found were, basically, similar spreadsheet templates, in which I still, always, needed to enter my own gear data. I got tired of looking, so I decided to develop such an online pack-weight calculator of my own.

It's far from complete, but it's fairly presentable and ready for some testing. So, I'd really appreciate anyone who'd be willing to test it and offer me some feedback. This site and its service is completely free to everyone, and I hope it serves as a valuable tool in the backpacking community. Here you go:

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:23:33 MST Print View

Spreadsheets outdated? Nah, they are the best way. Nobody should be taking your word for the weight of their gear, but weighing everything for themselves. Good luck.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:25:32 MST Print View

I'm with John. There's far too much variance in even a single item in a single size from a single manufacturer for an app with predetermined weights to make sense.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:36:21 MST Print View

Shoot mine is still on paper. Looks like you put a lot of work into that site. No MLD products listed. No quilts, and a lot of things we carry around here will have to be added.

I'll stick to my notebook, and my own scale.

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
RE: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:46:29 MST Print View

Many thanks for your feedback. Surely, I agree with what you say to some degree. That's why the system still allows you to enter your own weight variations, or to enter your own homemade gear altogether. In that respect, it's exactly the same as a spreadsheet. But one benefit over a spreadsheet is that your saved lists can be accessed from any web-connected computer anywhere, as well as cleanly shared and printed in checklist format.

Also, and this obviously doesn't go for you, but for entry-level folks, I'd hope that this app can, at least, serve as a reasonable checklist to follow. If you think I'm missing anything at all, please, let me know, and I'd be happy to add it. That goes for individual gear items or entire categories.

Edited by GearMan on 03/09/2012 17:03:05 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:49:12 MST Print View

It's a good looking site. Well done!

But as others have noted, there are a lot of things missing that many of us use here. It's also difficult with this crowd because there are a lot of gear pieces we make ourselves, from mug lids to shelters. While I see you can add your own items and weights, if you've been making and/or weighing your items, chances are everything is set up in a spreadsheet already. No need to transfer the information to a website.

This may be useful to traditional backpackers though.

Good luck on your website. I hope it goes well!

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 16:56:42 MST Print View

Thanks for your comments, Travis. Yes, perhaps I did introduce this to the wrong audience here. As you may have noticed on the site, we equally cater to climbers, mountaineers, backcountry skiers and, as you mentioned, more traditional backpackers. We're running similar tests in each of those markets, as well. Thanks for your support here, though.

Also, Travis, in response to "there are a lot of things missing that many of us use here", if you would like to provide me with a list of, say, 5 - 10 of the smaller, independent manufacturers which might be included among those missing things, we'll get them added right away. Just yesterday, our staff added about a 100 new items from 5 manufacturers upon request of a user. So, feel free, if you'd like.

Edited by GearMan on 03/09/2012 17:01:59 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/09/2012 17:03:14 MST Print View

If you spend some time on this site, you may learn some things that will help your website, including info about new and cottage gear manufacturers.

Edit: I see we posted at the same time.

Enlightened Equipment quilts
Mountain Laurel Designs
Six Moon Designs
McHale packs
Hyperlite Mountain Gear

and more....

Edited by T.L. on 03/09/2012 17:07:20 MST.

Melissa Fritts
(melissafritts) - F
Another Gear Weighing Site on 03/17/2012 00:02:38 MDT Print View

there is also Here is one I came across that is a good example of the finished product of the site.

Martin Van Laarhoven

Locale: NorthEast
spreadsheet on 03/17/2012 05:51:26 MDT Print View

Okay, so I'm kinda new to this site and to thinking about weight when I hike. I am THRILLED to read that other people use spreadsheets! I thought I was a little on the crazy side for doing it. (My wife says, "Just pack your pack and put it on a scale and you'll know how much it weighs".) Anyway, my issue is the list of items (as has already been addressed). I tried the site, which I think is a cool idea, but had to list my own pack (Granite Gear Vaopr Trail), my bag (REI Sub-Kilo 20) and my hammock (Warbonnet Blackbird). I have already done that on my own but even if I hadn't I would need to to use the sheet. At this point I stopped because it kinda lost the fun factor as I couldn't find what I carried. Good luck

Michael Doyle
(mdoyle7532) - F
Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/17/2012 06:11:56 MDT Print View

A good idea!

Remember that most folks are just trying to get lighter and are not "gram weenies" that cut straps off or spend hours debating how to save a gram off of an alcohol stove. Also many of us realizing that living on the bottom of the weight scale may not be the best neighborhood for them, a slight increase in weight may add up to much more durability, comfort, and safety for an "average" hiker. As a Boy Scout leader I have seen many hard lessons learned from being to far on either site of light weight in backpacking.

Best of luck to you.


David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
Re: Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/17/2012 09:56:15 MDT Print View


Sorry for this delayed reply. Thanks a bunch for the brand suggestions -- we'll be sure to get them added asap.

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
Re: Another Gear Weighing Site on 03/17/2012 10:16:44 MDT Print View

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for your comment. I've certainly heard of geargrams, but honestly, I've never used it. I can't even try it, unless I register, which I think is uncool.

Anyway, the final generated list looks nice, but I do have a couple of questions about how one would get to that point:

- Is the app also connected to a database, which can be used to simply click on items to be added to the final list? Or does a user need to enter all of their gear data manually?

- If the site is database-driven, can users contribute to the database?

Thanks again!

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
Re: spreadsheet on 03/17/2012 10:23:11 MDT Print View

Hi vtrek,

Sorry to hear much of your gear isn't listed yet. However, our database is constantly growing. We launched this test version with 6000 items just last week (we thought a decent start), but we're aiming to add an additional 15000 items (yes, 15000) in the next 12 months, alone.

Also, if you haven't already read this, our database is also community-contributed, and we're receiving about 50 new member-submitted items each day! So, I encourage you to join and add your own gear, so the rest of the community can also benefit.

If not, I'm very confident that your gear will, eventually, get added one way or another, either by our staff or another member, so please check back from time to time.


Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/17/2012 14:56:51 MDT Print View

Well, there's been a lot of negative feedback so far, so I'd just like to say that I really like it! I like how the items in your list are listed with grams, ounces and pounds.

One issue I noticed, is in the tent area, you can only add one item. What if you have a tarp, AND and inner net? For example, if someone had a zpacks hexamid solo, AND solo bug shelter, they can't enter both. You need to be able to enter multiple items under a heading.
Also, what about accessories like extended beaks and such?

Some manufactures to add:

*Sawyer filters
*Katabatic quilts
*Driducks rain gear
*petzle e+lite

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
Re: Re: New Gear Checklist and Pack-Weight Calculator App on 03/17/2012 15:05:02 MDT Print View

Hey Nick,

Thanks for your feedback!

To address your concern, we'll add a second space for "Tent" within the overnight checklists -- makes sense.

Regarding the new brands you suggested, we'll definitely add them to our "to do" list.

Thanks, again, for your feedback -- it's how we'll improve.

gear spreadsheet on 03/17/2012 19:33:51 MDT Print View

you should look at the spreadsheet enough that you know every item in your packs weight by heart. Then you will set goals for yourself.

then you start scheming on how to cut your base wt by trimming a tad here and bit there.

like this:

Trim the bandana = -0.25 oz
use sticks for just 2 low stress stakes = -.46 oz
shorten cuffs on gloves = -.2 oz
cut tags off stuff = -.2 oz
get rid of 2 1-gal ziplocks = -.6 oz
get rid of cuben stake stuffsak = -0.2 oz
get rid of cuben clothes bag,just keep with sleeping bag = -.4 oz
less sunscreen = -.2 oz
less bug dope = -.2 oz


and before you know it, you will cut another 1/4 lb off your already hopefully low basewt.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: gear spreadsheet on 03/19/2012 20:44:39 MDT Print View

I'm assuming you used the manufactures suggested weights?

David Diaz
(GearMan) - F
Re: Re: gear spreadsheet on 03/19/2012 21:14:47 MDT Print View

Hi reacttocontact,

Approximately 80 - 90% of the weights are from the manufacturers. The remaining items were personally weighed by someone on our staff. Of course, there are the member-submitted items, too.

The answers to other frequently asked questions can be found by going to this page:

... and then click the "FAQs" button.

Emily B
An option that would be helpful on 03/20/2012 01:50:45 MDT Print View

I've had just a few minutes to glance at your spreadsheet tool and have seen things I think are great and things that could make it even more useful. Since I'm trying to hit the hay, for now I'll mention just one:
It seems like when people add their own gear pieces, these items all eventually go into the big master list for community access.

It would be helpful to have some function allowing people to NOT add their gear to the community list, but still have it in their own personal lists.

Maybe this option already exists, in which case, sorry and disregard the rest of this post!

One reason the above function would be useful is that a lot of people here make their own gear, or make modifications to commercial gear, to the point that it's the only item of its kind. You would not want these pieces of gear listed on the community site, because they would very quickly clutter it up, and would not be useful to anyone but their owner. Yet, this site is only useful to these folks if they can put their unique gear on their own personal lists.

That's my one thought for now! Best of luck!