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The ultimate easiest and most simple planning tool for mountain adventures.

Original Post
Nat D · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 765

I have created this very simple and user friendly tool for helping to simplify the packing process for trips, anything from a simple afternoon picnic to advanced traversing across many mountaintops. All one has to do is follow the easy to read instructions on the top of each page and put in the readily available information.

I have put the three pictures of each page so you can see how simple and intuitive it is; and also an internet-based link so you too can download a copy and utilize it for your next casual weekend outing. (its a real/safe link, I promise)

Hopefully this will save someone from the common mistakes of packing based off from past experiences and common sense, without consuming more than 5-10 minutes of their time.


Page 1 Trip Planner

Page 2 of trip planner

Page 3 of trip planner

All kidding aside, this is actually a functional thing. For certain situations like pushing your limits on long expeditions, bringing friends who don't understand how to pack, teach newcomers about expedition planning, etc......this may be handy! But it might be overkill for a day out at the crag or boulder.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Nat D wrote: Hopefully this will save someone from the common mistakes of packing based off from past experiences and common sense
I'm hoping this is a joke?
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767

My mom likes to make lists...

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Morgan Patterson wrote:My mom likes to make lists...
Oh, now I get it. This guy likes to make lists, too:

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

A rope, a rack and the shirt on my back.......

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

I would hate to let past experience and common sense get in the way of packing for my next picnic or backcountry trip.

Walter Galli · · Sint Maarten · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 1,956
Ben Stabley · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 171

I like to leave my work at the office when I go climbing.

Chris Walden · · Soldotna, Alaska · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 640

Wow dude that is one impressive spreadsheet, strong work! I like the modeling metrics on BMR, Calories burned, etc because on long expeditions replacing the massive number of calories burned is a real issue and calculating is usually a guessing game. At least something like this helps make the guessing educated!

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

I guess I am the only one who thinks this is pretty cool. I will likely not use it because I don't get to that level of detail in my planning but I do have my own lists and they have saved me from forgetting important stuff. Ever bivied out in an area with heavy mosquitoes and forgot mosquito netting? That will F up a trip a real fast.

Ryan Hill · · Oakland, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 30

Strong work, that is a lot of detail.

I've got my personal systems pretty well dialed, but I have some friends who geek out on this type of thing and will likely be really into it.

Mike Soucy · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 83

I think this is super cool. Obviously commenters above haven't planned an extended trip where checklists and detailed trip planning can save your butt. What calculator are you using for time estimates over terrain?

James Schroeder · · Sauk County, WI · Joined May 2002 · Points: 3,082

Intense. I usually one off these things as needed, but this is certainly well-thought-out.

RickG Gutz · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 35

Pretty awesome Nat. I have one that we created for our Boy Scout troop but this one is WAY more detailed with calories per actual body.

Thanks for sharing it.


CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 185

Why would anyone bring along a 1L nalgine for a "pee bottle"?

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
CTB wrote:Why would anyone bring along a 1L nalgine for a "pee bottle"?
So you don't have to leave your tent in a raging blizzard. Think Denali.
CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 185

Why not just any old pete bottle? Just seems kind of overkill.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
CTB wrote:Why not just any old pete bottle? Just seems kind of overkill.
"Pete bottle"?

They take a dedicated bottle that won't leak. It's not like they can just find some old Gatorade bottle up there at 16,400 feet. The bottle may be in the tent with them for a couple of days, so it needs to be fairly bomber since sleeping bags are absorbent.
CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 185
FrankPS wrote: "Pete bottle"?.
PETE or Polyethylene terephthalate

Just seems like bringing a 32oz gatorade bottle would be lighter than a nalgine and you could crush it smaller when you dont need it anymore. What ever makes you feel better about not spilling piss everywhere i suppose.
CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 185

Aside from the small opening this would be perfect for the op to bring along!!!

Nat D · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 765

Thanks for the diverse responses! Depending on how you look at it, it is quite ridiculous eh? but it is functional.

One part of me that knows the majority of outings do not require anything close to this detailed analysis, and experience really can answer the questions more often than not; but I also have some other work-related needs for this type of analysis so I decided I might as well tweak it a bit to make it compatible with my hobbies too.

After I had to medically evacuate people off of the ptarmigan traverse at 2 separate spots because their pack weights had caused them to spend multiple days redlining the anaerobic zone and go into Rhabdomyolysis........I decided that I ought to find a way to 'prove' to people that their packing list is wack and it will have negative consequences.

The time calcs are heavily "averaged" for a "trained but not elite" person. This is probably the measure with the biggest margin of error depending on ones skill and the exact type of terrain. It's a combination of 30 minutes per mile plus 60 minutes for 1000ft elevation gain. I multiply by 1.7 to account for roped-up terrain, which is a heavily averaged combination of pitched climbing adjustment and glacier movement.

The "difficulty" factor is based on quantifying about 10 different hiking/backpacking guides and generating a formula that generally aligns with them all. It isn't too dissimilar from the time formulas method, but its more objective because the steepness/length doesn't changed based on personal skills and fitness.

Ultimately the difficulty measurement was created to provide a concrete scale from which to create a quadratic equation to express the increase in caloric burn relative to the amount of 'work' above the base metabolic rate. Most of the research I found pointed out that calories are a function of work (force over time and distance), and that fitness levels mostly influenced the ratio of lipolysis vs glycolysis (the whole burning fat vs sugars thing). So I was able to take some measured data points from my own history as well as other persons logs I could source, and then from those data points generate modifiers for body weight and pack weight, which all ultimately creates the parabola along which caloric burn falls along the scale of difficulty.'

Then I realized I also needed a way to make a prediction as to the expected ratio of fat to sugar burn over the long run, to both estimate the 'feasibility' of the given objective, and to guide the types of food that are packed. That led to the calcs on the bottom of the second page.

The second page analysis of whether or not you can expect to be in lipolysis or glycolysis was done based off the non-technical method of assessing lactate threshold pace. If you have a fancy training watch or access to a fitness lab, you could very specifically determine your own 'mountaineering LTHR' and get a more precise idea of whether or not your pack weight is going to stress your aerobic/anaerobic systems beyond what food you can reasonably carry.

If a software program ever comes out that lets google earth calculate "time in slope grade zones"; much like time in heart rate zones, I will be able to actually break down a trip into predicted hours-per-% of LTHR zones; which will in turn allow me to determine the specific ratio of macronutrients required for each days meals.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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