Spreadsheets?

12:26 a.m. on March 31, 2014 (EDT)
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In another forum on TS I saw a lot of posts with people referring to their spreadsheet of the gear that goes in their pack. I am kind of new to hiking/backpacking and would love to see some spreadsheets that others have. 

If some of you don't mind emailing me your spreadsheet, that would be awesome! I know some may be for different trip lengths and/or different weather condition, but I think it would help me compare and see some gear that seems to be essential and some gear that I could easily leave behind. I thought it might be a good way to learn from other people. Thanks! 

11:49 a.m. on March 31, 2014 (EDT)
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Hi Ben.  I don't really have a "spreadsheet" but I do make a list for every trip.  I try and make the list about 2 weeks before any trip so I can modify it as needed and that also gives me 2 weeks to think about anything I may be leaving off the list.  I will PM you an example of one of my latest lists.  

4:45 p.m. on March 31, 2014 (EDT)
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I have a gearlist that changes from time to time depending on what I choose to bring on a trip.

I also have a separate sheet for my menu/food items also...this changes too depending on days on the trail.

I find them very helpful so keep my brain organized and allows me to not forget anything.

Here's a link to mine: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

Not the lightest but it works. The Big 3 items are what usually changes depending who comes along, what weather, etc. However, on fair weather conditions, this is typically my gear list.

4:53 p.m. on March 31, 2014 (EDT)
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I have one I put together with all my gear weights.  I mark a column of what I am thinking of bringing and it gives me a total weight of my pack.  Makes it easy to see where I am at if I want to bring a few more comfort items, different pack or sleeping bag, etc.

I can email it to you if you let me know your address.

12:43 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Through the years I went from a 60lb pack, to a 20lb. pack for a one week trip, and lets say hiking and distance became easier than I ever knew it could be. This is what I am going to advise in order to help you out. Buy a postal scale that weighs up to 88lbs off e bay for around $15 and weigh everything. If you're doing an overnight trip and weather is clear for the next week, you can lose a couple pounds of rain gear right there and so on. I replaced my 1lb survival knife for a 4oz mora, and now down to a half oz. mini buck folder after years of experience never needing to build a shelter or skin a deer. To eliminate having to carry all that water weight, I use a Sawyer mini water filter inline with a bladder can be used like normal, or hung as a gravity filter averaging 1liter in 90 seconds without a single pump. I like the XL big zip platypus 3 liter, but never carry that much water unless reapply is out of reach as it weighs 2.2lbs per liter. Less weight is more enjoyment, and whatever you can leave behind is one less thing you'll have to pack or dig through on your trip. Bic lighter and a few storm proof matches for fires. Leave the heavy flint at home. Lol

1:16 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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+1 on buying a scale. Also means never overpaying for postage again. Manufacturers aren't the most accurate where weight listings are concerned, and if you modify or only carry part of a system, it'll help to know how much weight you've shaved or added. Hammocking can become heavy lifting if you're not mindful of your entire system. While it's perfectly alright to carry a heavier shelter, you'll want to compensate for it elsewhere. I've gone ahead and posted a sample gear list to my Trailspace profile and am hoping some other folks do the same. It's just neat by itself to see how much things differ between hikers, too!

1:38 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks for the advice Jugalug. I'll definitely try and get a scale like that soon. I also need to invest in a water filter. I have seen a lot of people talk about them and how they save so much weight. I'll start researching them pretty soon. 

1:40 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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mangus7175 said:

I have a gearlist that changes from time to time depending on what I choose to bring on a trip.

I also have a separate sheet for my menu/food items also...this changes too depending on days on the trail.

I find them very helpful so keep my brain organized and allows me to not forget anything.

Here's a link to mine: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

Not the lightest but it works. The Big 3 items are what usually changes depending who comes along, what weather, etc. However, on fair weather conditions, this is typically my gear list.

 Something like this would absolutely help me keep my brain organized! I didn't know geargrams.com existed. I'm about to check it out. Your list looks pretty good and organized!

5:12 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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You might find Andrew Skurka's gear lists useful. Very minimal, more bout speed than comfort, but maybe something to build on.

11:57 a.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Pretty cool that Skurka has his gear lists from all those trips. Having just started out in my hiking (addiction), this is something I want to try and start now for all my trips. I bet it will be cool to look back years later and see the differences in my gear lists from now to then. 

2:03 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Hey Ben.  I have been using an excel spreadsheet (with a postal scale) for the last 2 years or so and it's been mighty snappy in helping me to organize my thoughts on what to bring and what to leave behind, as well as understanding where my biggest offenders are found.  If you do go down this path, one bit of advice I can give you now is that you should weigh everything in grams, not ounces.  Chances are good that you'll ultimately end up using grams anyway, so by starting with grams you'll avoid re-weighing everything later.  Just a thought.

Like anyone that's gone through this process, I found that the biggest offenders start with the big three (or, 343 as the idea was first named).  For readers that don't know, the big three are your tent, pack and sleep system.  After I fixed the big 3, I started to see where other things were also heavier than they needed to be.  It's a process, and I think it's hard to go through that process if you don't have the visibility that a spreadsheet provides.

Recently I came across Yogiing.com where you can build pack lists (a la spreadsheet style, of sorts).  I have not compared it to geargrams.com, though I suspect they have similar functions.  I don't know why I decided to build a list at Yogiing.com since I already have it all in a spreadsheet, but after I did I started making changes so that I could see different categories of gear - not just individual gear.  Here are my two lists:

Day hike list - base pack weight 10.96 lbs

Overnight list - base pack weight 10.67 lbs

Look at the bottom at the pie graph and you'll see it's organized in gear / weight categories.  I'm still not sure why Yogiing made a difference for me, but once I started looking at my gear through Yogiing.com I got a little more aggressive in cutting grams by looking at replacing whole systems rather than individual gear.  In a previous post I stated that my BPW is between 11 and 12.4 lbs depending on if I was packing for a day hike or an overnight.  After that I came across Yogiing.com and the process to shave grams took me down to the 10.67 / 10.96 figures you see.  Clearly it's the day hike list that benefitted the most.  As I looked at what I have going, I figured out that I could pull another 2.2 lbs out of my overnight list.  I'm going to take my time with that, so I'll repost when that gets done.

Long story short, my BPW from two years ago was 41 lbs and it's now under 11.  I really do think that a big part of that is due to spreadsheet tools.

Good luck and have fun!

2:16 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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mangus7175 said:

Here's a link to mine: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

I just had a look at this. geargrams.com is pretty cool... your list is too!  It's obviously very well thought through.

2:21 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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herdingcats said:

mangus7175 said:

Here's a link to mine: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

I just had a look at this. geargrams.com is pretty cool... your list is too!  It's obviously very well thought through.

I looked some more and just realized that I can download a CSV of your list from the geargrams.com site.  That's DAMN cool.

mangus7175 - do you know if you can upload a list from CSV format to build a list?  If so, this would make geargrams.com a significant step ahead of yogiing.com since it would take a lot of the manual work out of building a list.

3:51 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Ben Rivers,

I'm new to the outdoor game myself, but I've been keeping my list of gear and trips in Excel.  Also, I'm a CPA, so *cough* nerd, I keep a lot of lists in Excel.  I also keep different worksheet tabs within for different items (footwear, shelter, 

I also keep a list of those things that I've had a negative experience in the past, mainly concerning food.

For the most part it's easier than using Word and needing to worry about tabs and formatting.  Easier to add columns or rows in Excel too.  

mangus7175 - killer,detailed list!

5:48 p.m. on April 1, 2014 (EDT)
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Emailed you my list.

12:09 p.m. on April 3, 2014 (EDT)
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herdingcats said:

herdingcats said:

mangus7175 said:

Here's a link to mine: http://www.geargrams.com/list?id=7137

I just had a look at this. geargrams.com is pretty cool... your list is too!  It's obviously very well thought through.

I looked some more and just realized that I can download a CSV of your list from the geargrams.com site.  That's DAMN cool.

mangus7175 - do you know if you can upload a list from CSV format to build a list?  If so, this would make geargrams.com a significant step ahead of yogiing.com since it would take a lot of the manual work out of building a list.

 I actually haven't tried uploading a CSV yet, that would be a useful feature.

12:26 p.m. on April 6, 2014 (EDT)
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Daniel Oates said:

..I also keep a list of those things that I've had a negative experience in the past, mainly concerning food..."

Darn, why didn't I think of that!  Could of saved me much heartburn over the decades.

Ed

September 2, 2014
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