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backpacking trip planning on spreadsheets

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backpacking trip planning on spreadsheets

Postby SSSdave » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:06 pm

Each winter I spend time perusing my topos, analyzing routes, photo perspectives, and then generating prospective trips. This last two months, I've done quite a bit more than usual. Thus far have 21 Sierra trips planned for future summers. One doesn't need to get into much detail for trip planning when backpacking but I do it just because maybe I'm part hopeless old computer nerd haha. I do like to know how much up and down I'm going to be doing since I carry huge weight.

Each trip has destinations, mileage, and vertical on a spreadsheet. I also have an associated MS Word file that has other information like campsites and other trip notes. When I pencil routes on maps, I record the elevations on a spreadsheet column for each uphill and downhill segment along routes each day. So a route one day might start at elevation 9420 feet down to 9380 up to 9510 down to 9490 up to 10280 down to 10160 and up to end at the 10320 foot elevation. Thus I record just map elevations and don't bother doing the math of how much up and down. So in the example would have the following column:

9420
9380
9510
9490
10280
10160
10320

In the two columns next to this column I use simple spreadsheet math to calculate the up and downs, ie 9420-9380 = 40 feet and then total the route at the bottom. Then each day's up and downs are totaled for the trip. For instance if the above is the E column and the 9420 is the third row cell, then in cell location G4 would be calculation =E3-E4 . In location F5 would be calculation =E5-E4 . In location G6 would be =E5-E6 and at F7 would be =E7-E6 and so forth. At the bottom of column F would be the total uphill of =SUM(F3:F9) and downhill in column G of =SUM(G3:G9). And for the trip totals would be additions of each of those day total cells. Pretty simple spreadsheet functions. I posted an example MS Works spreadsheet file with the name echo_pks_vert.xlr at:

http://www.davidsenesac.com/_a-z_evad/Backpacking/

Thus every trip I use the same calculation form and simply plug in the elevation numbers as I am recording the route. The Topozone software also does automatic calculations if one draws routes. But because of the algorithm using converted DLM meter data that used to consistently add more vertical than was reality. When that stuff first came out I actually spoke on the phone a couple times with the Topozone software eng involved but did not follow up to see if that improved and have never bothered recheck their newer product.



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Postby Wanderer » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:35 pm

Thanks for posting this! I laways like seeing someone more A.R. than me doing this stuff, LOL! I've been sitting here working on my EXCEL 2006 Gear spreadsheet, it lists all my gear & common food selections, then I just plug in what I'm taking for any specific trip, or quantity of items (like 4 Oatmeal packets!), then it calculates my pack weight.

Yes, I know I'm wierd, but it's fun!
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Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:42 am

Wanderer wrote:Thanks for posting this! I laways like seeing someone more A.R. than me doing this stuff, LOL! I've been sitting here working on my EXCEL 2006 Gear spreadsheet, it lists all my gear & common food selections, then I just plug in what I'm taking for any specific trip, or quantity of items (like 4 Oatmeal packets!), then it calculates my pack weight.

Yes, I know I'm wierd, but it's fun!


Wanderer, I do that too with the EXCEL gear spreadsheet!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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