Jul 25, 2015 at 8:01 pm #1331072
I spend too much time mulling about a given expedition – nailing down the details of food, weather, itineraries, etc – mostly because I can't wait to go. When in fact I could just throw my food together, print a map, check the weather, tweak my kit to expectations and be off within a couple of hours. Add some time if I need to grab groceries on the way out of town.
With a trip at the edge of my mind and the anticipation building, I just caught myself spreadsheeting maltodextrin.
I had to stop, sit back and laugh at myself.Jul 25, 2015 at 11:10 pm #2217042Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Well said, I could easily count the amount of trips where I had my gear packed the night before, and just as I am going out the door change my mind on what shelter or down gear to bring.
It's all good :-)Jul 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm #2217308Bob ShaverBPL Member
I've never had a trip yet where I didn't forget something, and I have a checklist that is pretty detailed.Jul 27, 2015 at 1:43 pm #2217310
I've never had a trip where I was not painfully nervous that I forgot something. Even when I do, I typically figure out a way around it with the resources at hand. But, the angst returns with my next trip regardless.Jul 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm #2217313David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>" I typically figure out a way around it with the resources at hand."
So, in the future, you don't bring that item again, right?
Eventually, you'd surpass XSUL:Jul 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm #2217320
One exception was the trip I forgot my sleeping bag. Had a friend rush it to me at the trailhead. Luckily, was camping at the trailhead on the first night.
Other time I forgot my sleeping bag was on a Baja kayaking trip. Luckily it was desert warm on that one.
Latest time was forgot to put velcro on my new shoes to attach dirty girls. Used the 2 safety pins in my repair kit. Worked great, but was a pain to get shoes off an on. So, I'd made do, but often the forgotten item would have made life on the trail easier.
One could try and experiment. Just randomly allow someone secretly to steal one item from you pack before each trip, and then you can see how you cope. Do this every trip and eventually you will be a super mountain man/woman.Jul 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm #2217355
"I had to stop, sit back and laugh at myself."
Why stop — if pre-trip planning is part of the enjoyment?Jul 28, 2015 at 5:47 am #2217450
>> Why stop — if pre-trip planning is part of the enjoyment?
Good point, well taken Ben.
Actually, there comes a point where I feel like a hamster spinning a wheel.Jul 28, 2015 at 10:35 am #2217503
"I've never had a trip yet where I didn't forget something, and I have a checklist that is pretty detailed."
Then your checklist isn't comprehensive enough?
Moi, I maintain a spreadsheet listing every gear piece (master checklist). Each trip, I copy the master to a new tab — and thus, starting with 'everything' — I simply delete out the rows of gear that I know I won't need for the trip. I then print out the list, ticking off each piece as I pack. The very few times I forgot something were always the times when I was rushed and ticking things "assuming" they were already in the pack.Jul 28, 2015 at 11:05 am #2217511
I've never been able to do checklists. I go back and forth a dozen times and it starts to drive me crazy.
Though it doesn't capture every detail as data, I tend to visualize what each portion of my kit is for and mentally go through the motions of using it as I pack. It's a sort of mental checklist. While I'm packing the tarp I'll quickly go through the motions of setting it up in my mind and count off the stakes as I go.
So, theoretically I've "used" every piece of gear as it goes into my bag. If anything is missing it'll be obvious because I don't have it "in hand" and that's the trick—only visualize what your are packing. The items I've forgotten are because I'd think "I'll get that when I'm done" or I presumed it to be packed without ever handling it.
When I'm done I mentally go through the motions of a day with what's in the bag to make sure I've got all the kits together.
That said I do make some lists: groceries and medicines.Jul 28, 2015 at 11:12 am #2217515Tipi WalterBPL Member
Richard May's Quote: "Spending too much time mulling about a given expedition."
Keywords here: Mulling and Expedition.
The word Expedition assumes more than a snippet 3 day weekend trip, it conjures up 3 weeks in the backcountry with or without food resupply. Is a short trip a different beast than a 21 day trip?
I could forget my tent poles on a 3 day trip—forgetting them on a 21 day trip is a near disaster.
Then again, if such long backpacking expeditions are done frequently or monthly, well, there's a spreadsheet in my head and rarely are things forgotten. One time I forgot my pack cover, another time my toothbrush and once my little penknife and on my last trip I had my toothbrush and floss but forgot my toothpaste.
When I start an "expedition" trip I never really know if I have everything until I set up my first day's camp and see if everything is there: tent poles, thermarest, ditty bags, bics, etc etc.
Then again, when packing up to leave every part of my pack has its part for each individual item of gear so just the process of packing is fulfilling a mental checklist. Poles in the left back pocket with stakes, fuel and stove in the right back pocket, tent on the back bottom etc.Jul 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm #2217587
"Then again, if such long backpacking expeditions are done frequently or monthly, well, there's a spreadsheet in my head and rarely are things forgotten. One time I forgot…"
I think it's telling how pilots who fly every day for years are still MADE to follow checklists. That's because the teeny-tiny chance of overlooking something can lead to a disaster. Not equating hiking with flying a jumbo jet — but you brought up the difference between a weekender vs. an expedition — where an oversight can have magnified consequences…
Those of us with less-than-perfect memory — I would recommend either following a highly-disciplined method of gear organization (everything in its place and all that) — or ticking off a good checklist.Jul 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm #2217592
Regardless of your memory, checklists work.
Would you rather have your pilot or surgeon using a checklist or going from memory?Jul 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm #2217611
The longer the trip (expedition might have been hyperbole for what I had in mind) the more likely I am to use a physical list for sure.
For most of my trips I'll be OK if I leave something behind.Jul 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm #2217619
"For most of my trips I'll be OK if I leave something behind."
So what exactly is the point of your confession??? :) <— smirkJul 28, 2015 at 4:02 pm #2217621Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
If it didn't matter if you forgot it, what would it even be coming along for if you remembered?
I like my checklists (and I don't think I'm obsessive about them) precisely because they are pared down to what I really need. If I forgot something off the list, I would not die (probably), but that piece of kit is something that is pretty critical to my success or happiness on the trip.
I sort of like my lists because they represent the institutional knowledge I have gained through countless hours in the remote wilderness of coastal Alaska.
Three items I would love to add to my list to check off before leaving, but I have not figure out how yet, are…
* LuckJul 28, 2015 at 4:20 pm #2217626
With luck — fortitude and perseverance are not necessary at all. All you need is luck. :)Jul 28, 2015 at 5:17 pm #2217645idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
"Three items I would love to add to my list to check off before leaving, but I have not figure out how yet, are…
Ah, Philip, from your many adventures, I'd say you've never left any of the three behind.Jul 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm #2217648
>>So what exactly is the point of your confession??? :) <— smirk
That I was calculating, to the gram, how much malto I'd need for a given portion of a three-day trip based on a guesstimate of energy expenditure.
It struck me as a bit much. The usual recommendation of 100 calories per hour works fine and accounts for more strenuous sections–presuming my calculations of time are correct.Jul 29, 2015 at 2:38 pm #2217897Adam WhiteBPL Member
@awhite4777Locale: On the switchbacks
What? You mean you guys don't:
First, create your gear list. This is done, of course, using the Python code that you've written to generate a gear list, and spit it out as a pdf.
You have to run the code a few times, of course, as you tweak both the gear, and the food. The food needs are determined–obviously–by the algorithm you wrote to calculate caloric needs based on pertinent parameters of the hike. These are given to you as raw code outputs:
Once that's all squared away, it's time to pack. You don't just throw it in your pack; this involves a photoshoot, with some amount of glamour and aestheticism:
Everything is checked off as you pack it.
Now, how long is this hike going to take you? You could assume 3 mph, but instead, you extract the profile of the route, and run it through an algorithm that calculates–based on the model you developed from your own GPS data, of course–how long it takes you to hike, as a function of grade. This generates a profile where time is the x-axis:
But that–and the maps you already have–aren't enough. What if you want to know exactly how much climbing is between where you are, and where you'll be next? Better create a table of splits!
(only the first day is shown, because, you know, you get the idea)
Oh what's that? Something at work has come up and you can't go hiking? Oh, okay. You weren't really prepared yet anyway.
Kidding about the work. But, all this for a trip that was 48 hours long. AND, I'd done it before.
Not what I usually do (or recommend!). I think I get in a mindset that–when I have a hike coming up–I use whatever available freetime to try to do something productive towards that hike. This is the result of that. In that same vein, I've caught myself stretching out my quads four days before a trip.Jul 29, 2015 at 3:19 pm #2217902Jim CBPL Member
@jimothyLocale: Georgia, USA
That's really good stuff, Adam. Any chance you'd make any of the source code available for your fellow hiking Pythonistas?Jul 29, 2015 at 3:28 pm #2217905Adam WhiteBPL Member
@awhite4777Locale: On the switchbacks
> Any chance you'd make any of the source code available for your fellow hiking Pythonistas?
Absolutely–send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll gladly e-mail it to you.
(this goes for anyone interested who is lurking out in the ether, too)Jul 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm #2217907Hiking MaltoBPL Member
"That I was calculating, to the gram, how much malto I'd need for a given portion of a three-day trip based on a guesstimate of energy expenditure.
It struck me as a bit much. The usual recommendation of 100 calories per hour works fine and accounts for more strenuous sections–presuming my calculations of time are correct."
Wow, I use 100 calories of Malto (or anything) per mile. that's 3x what you're taking. for a thru it would be double that.
I can confess that I have over planned trips. I caught myself with a spreadsheet of the PCt with the elevation gain/loss per mile. I did it up to about mile 2300. I have to laugh now about it, completely unnecessary. However, I was within a couple of days of my schedule based on that work so maybe it wasn't so crazy. On second thought it was double crazy.Jul 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm #2217919
>>I use 100 calories of Malto (or anything) per mile
… @ 3mph if I recall correctly. Actually it's based on this that I've made my numbers.
I'm going to go slow with pictures and leisure. When I do this it comes to a little over 1.8mph on average. So I use time rather than distance as my base. When traveling at 3mph it's the same.
Maybe I'm missing something?Jul 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm #2217922
Adam, that cracked me up! And you've given me yet another reason to pick up some programming skills. Because as you aptly demonstrate, who in their right mind would ever go into the wild unprepared!! The horror.
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