Wednesday, 1 October 2008

kit lists and weight calculations

Following on from Martin's blog about his use of spreadsheets I thought I'd post some thing about my use of the same.

I keep a master kit list that I save as... for each trip and use the saved spreadsheet to build the kit I'll need to take. The master workbook has a kit list sheet, a menu sheet, an action sheet and a master item sheet. The master item sheet lists all the kit I own including items that I wouldn't dream of taking on a backpacking trip these days. The action sheet is just that, a list of bits and bobs that need doing for the trip. Again the menu sheet title says it all really. The kit list is preloaded with default items that I'm likely to be using, along with some occasionally carried optional ones. So depending on the time of year, terrain, weather, etc I'll move stuff around to suit. Along with the very detailed master item list* this helps keep the weight in check. And you can test options and the impact they have on the pack weight.

After the trip I use the spreadsheet as a debriefing document. Each piece of kit gets the three pile treatment on the page. I'll assume you know what I mean by this, so any items that aren't used or only used once go under review or get struck off. Unsurprisingly after only a few trips the amount of stuff that I carried but I didn't need disappeared out of my pack. I make notes on how the kit performed, any lessons learnt, and things to do differently next time.

*The master list detail is very thorough with a view to give maximum accountability of carried weight, this is reflected in the seemingly long list of items on my kit list.


Martin Rye said...

Good stuff them sheets. The learning what I don't need is the lesson all backpackers undertake as they go along. The sooner your pack gets lighter you will enjoy it a lot more. PTC said on going light "IT gives us back the hills" (I think that is what he said) I reckon that ain't a bad statement.

Post a sheet of your kit if you can. Be good reading.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't have a list I'd always leave someting behind. I weighed it all when I got back from a trip once, didn't take very long to be honest. I've got a column for stuff I didn't use and a total for how much it weighed. Also a note of the conditions, so I get a better idea what to take next time!