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Topic: Gear management software< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
chemicalcraig Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 1:57 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know people probably have their own customized spreadsheet they use to keep track of their gear and for trip planning, but I wrote a program that, for me, is a bit easier to use. There are versions for windows 7, mac, and linux available. If people want to try it out and give me feedback regarding what you think would make it better or more usable I'd appreciate it. I made a youtube video highlighting the general usage including download links, hope you enjoy it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....NUcQsZ4
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 4:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the link, I'm gonna play around with it and then I'll give some feedback.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 7:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not going to give you a hit on the link since this is sooooo very spammy but why would I need software to keep track of gear? It's on a shelf, if I want to know if I have something I can just go look.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 7:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hummmm first post.....beware....malware? Virus?

Never run an executable from an unknown source.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 7:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use an excel spreadsheet, to not only list all of my gear, but the weight of it as well.  I have selected columns with different gear for different weather or environs, and the weight totals at the bottom tell me how I am doing.  Pretty simple.  


for those of you who have yet to buy a kitchen scale to weigh your gear, you can find them cheaply at places like Target for about $10-15, or you can do like I did the first time and haul all of your stuff to the P.O. and use the scale in the lobby.  :)  


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chemicalcraig Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 7:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pastywhite @ Apr. 27 2013, 7:08 pm)
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I'm not going to give you a hit on the link since this is sooooo very spammy but why would I need software to keep track of gear? It's on a shelf, if I want to know if I have something I can just go look.

How is this "spammy"? I'm not selling anything or trying to get people to do something. I wrote a program that I use to keep track of my gear, play around with pack weights, and plan trips and I thought other backpackers might find it useful. Didn't mean to step on anyones toes. I was just trying to contribute to the community. :(
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 8:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(gunslinger @ Apr. 27 2013, 7:09 pm)
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Hummmm first post.....beware....malware? Virus?

Never run an executable from an unknown source.

I agree with you 100%. It is my first post here, and I made this account for the sole purpose of posting this, nothing to hide there. I am an active member at other backpacking forums, though, and if you check out my youtube channel you can see I am not a troll/hacker/whatever. The software contains no malware or viruses and is open source so anyone can have the code if they'd like. I simply wrote a program for myself that I use to keep track of my gear and plan for trips and thought others in the community would like to check it out. Just trying to contribute a little. But again, I agree with your skepticism.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 9:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Craig, this forum sees enough first-time posts that do lead to something "spammy" to cause caution flags to go up. Maybe if you told us more about what the program can do -- as you acknowledge, many use a spreadsheet, so what are some of the benefits of your program compared to a spreadsheet approach?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 9:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the heads up, JR, that's understandable. The program, like a spreadsheet, is database-driven, but stores and presents information in a way that is custom-tailored to backpackers. It allows you to maintain a list of all of your gear and easily create a pack list for a given trip. It also helps with the planning of a trip by giving you the option to plan a menu and itinerary. Can someone do all of this using a spreadsheet? For sure, I used to do it myself. But I found it clumsy and not very aesthetically pleasing. So I wrote a program to suit my own needs that organizes information a bit more logically, and thought others might like it too. If you already have a full spreadsheet that you like and have gotten adept at using, keep doing what you're doing. I know it's not for everyone. I'm just a hobbyist programmer and backpacker and thought I'd combine the two to solve what I saw as a gap in software. Happy Trails.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 10:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

how timely this post.  i have used word, excel and now powerpoint to track my gear.  word is good for lists and excel is good for tons of analysis.  what i have been trying to add in is pictures.
i have done the text based list for years and now want to try picture based.
i tried some flashcard programs, but have not found one i liked.
the idea would be to have the name, the weight, price, brand, etc in a data base with a picture.  when i go on a trip i could select the individual gear, or the type of trip or saved projects.   the software would then print me a text list, a picture list or a combination of both.

right now i am trying powerpoint to see how well it works.  
if i like it, i may attempt some visual basic to see if i can make it happen.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I for one appreciate the time and effort you obviously put into this program, and also appreciate your willingness to share a useful tool with the backpacking community.

I worked up a trip specific gear list with it and really like the layout and user friendly interface.  The main thing I really miss though is the gear category option and the pie chart that is available with Geargrams.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 11:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, Walker, I'm glad you like it. A lot of the feedback I'm getting indicates people really like the pie chart. That's the next thing I'm working on putting in there. When you say the gear category option, do you mean the option to add pieces of gear to pre-defined categories, instead of having to make your own, like in my program? Geargrams is pretty slick, I have to admit.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 1:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, nevermind about the category comment, it's easy enough to just type it in.  One advantage I see in your program as opposed to Geargrams is that all the data entered is stored locally, if Geargrams goes down, then no access to your gear data.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 7:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Craig, helpful explanation and info. And spammers rarely explain their spam, so I think this also helps you overcome being put in that category. I'll check out your program.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 7:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just use gear grams. Its pretty slick.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 8:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Preparation from day hike to expedition is a fun activity for me. Generating trip plans and gear checklists is a backcountry ritual I would choose over an electronic program.

As far a weight reduction goes, I test the pack and determine what to remove. For me the best weight savings is to control my body weight. www.Myfitnesspal.com is my conversion to the electronic age.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 11:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This whole thread is straight up silly.  I will never understand why the hell you would need a spreadsheet for gear.  Just go backpack, bring what you need.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 11:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Apr. 28 2013, 11:02 pm)
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This whole thread is straight up silly.  I will never understand why the hell you would need a spreadsheet for gear.  Just go backpack, bring what you need.

I can appreciate your sentiment, after all it's just about getting into nature, right? But I guess each person approaches the manner in which they do this differently. I see it as an extension of HYOH. If you want to see some really OCD hikers check out backpackinglight dot com.
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chemicalcraig Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 11:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AndyPandy @ Apr. 28 2013, 7:27 pm)
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I just use gear grams. Its pretty slick.

Agreed, it is really slick, as I said above. They really paid attention to the aesthetic value. I guess the one advantage (or disadvantage as we all move to the cloud) of my program is that all of the data is stored locally. I'm working on a mobile component at the moment.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 11:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JRinGeorgia @ Apr. 28 2013, 7:09 am)
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Thanks Craig, helpful explanation and info. And spammers rarely explain their spam, so I think this also helps you overcome being put in that category. I'll check out your program.

Thanks, JR. Please let me know if there's anything that can be improved or included. Cheers.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 12:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To be completely honest, the only reason I have for a gear list these days is for entertainment. I already know what I need to pack from trip to trip and most of it is already packed most of the time. The only time there is a major change is when I switch "major" seasons. Otherwise, I have a case of Mt. House in my pantry, I take a quick trip to the store to pick my snacks and beer, make sure I have the right permit in the window and see if the batteries are fresh and I'm out the door.

I spend more time deciding on where I'm going to hike than anything else.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 12:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(chemicalcraig @ Apr. 28 2013, 11:54 pm)
QUOTE

(RobinHood @ Apr. 28 2013, 11:02 pm)
QUOTE
This whole thread is straight up silly.  I will never understand why the hell you would need a spreadsheet for gear.  Just go backpack, bring what you need.

I can appreciate your sentiment, after all it's just about getting into nature, right? But I guess each person approaches the manner in which they do this differently. I see it as an extension of HYOH. If you want to see some really OCD hikers check out backpackinglight dot com.

I really dont want to see any ocd hikers, nor do i care what any lightweights have to say on that website.  Some people like to prance thru the forest on paved trails, and some of us like to conqurer mountain ranges.  HYOH.  I just think your software is for the type of person who spends a few days per year in the backcountry, not for someone who really backpacks.  Never ever have i planned out or pre packed for a trip.  I always do it right before i head out.

Im sure your software is nice and great and all, but I dont think its practical for any reason at all, nor would i recomend it to anyon i take out into the backcountry


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:23 am)
QUOTE
To be completely honest, the only reason I have for a gear list these days is for entertainment. I already know what I need to pack from trip to trip and most of it is already packed most of the time. The only time there is a major change is when I switch "major" seasons. Otherwise, I have a case of Mt. House in my pantry, I take a quick trip to the store to pick my snacks and beer, make sure I have the right permit in the window and see if the batteries are fresh and I'm out the door.

I spend more time deciding on where I'm going to hike than anything else.

pretty spot on

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:32 am)
QUOTE

(chemicalcraig @ Apr. 28 2013, 11:54 pm)
QUOTE

(RobinHood @ Apr. 28 2013, 11:02 pm)
QUOTE
This whole thread is straight up silly.  I will never understand why the hell you would need a spreadsheet for gear.  Just go backpack, bring what you need.

I can appreciate your sentiment, after all it's just about getting into nature, right? But I guess each person approaches the manner in which they do this differently. I see it as an extension of HYOH. If you want to see some really OCD hikers check out backpackinglight dot com.

I really dont want to see any ocd hikers, nor do i care what any lightweights have to say on that website.  Some people like to prance thru the forest on paved trails, and some of us like to conqurer mountain ranges.  HYOH.  I just think your software is for the type of person who spends a few days per year in the backcountry, not for someone who really backpacks.  Never ever have i planned out or pre packed for a trip.  I always do it right before i head out.

Im sure your software is nice and great and all, but I dont think its practical for any reason at all, nor would i recomend it to anyon i take out into the backcountry

You seem like a pretty disgruntled and close-minded person so I won't waste my time trying to explain that different people approach backpacking differently. I use my software and I've thru hiked the AT, and I spend more than "a few days per year" "prancing around" in the backcountry.

Furthermore, I find it hard to believe you've never planned out a menu or trip itinerary, but to each their own. You obviously weren't a scout.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 6:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:35 am)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:23 am)
QUOTE
To be completely honest, the only reason I have for a gear list these days is for entertainment. I already know what I need to pack from trip to trip and most of it is already packed most of the time. The only time there is a major change is when I switch "major" seasons. Otherwise, I have a case of Mt. House in my pantry, I take a quick trip to the store to pick my snacks and beer, make sure I have the right permit in the window and see if the batteries are fresh and I'm out the door.

I spend more time deciding on where I'm going to hike than anything else.

pretty spot on

Do you do anything but go around this forum spreading negativity?

Everyone is wired differently.  I'm guessing chemicalcraig is much like myself...highly analytic (maybe an engineer as well).  I enjoy making spreadsheets.  Just about anything I can make one for, I do.  And I really enjoy the whole planning aspect of backpacking.  I can't be out on the trail every day, so planning and thinking about future trips is I guess the next best thing.

I respect your style of backpacking as well.  But what I don't respect, is you going around this community putting down everyone who doesn't do it like you.  I'm not sure what your purpose is on this forum since you seem to need no one's opinion but your own.  Do you even read your own posts and see how much of an arrogant jerk you sound like?  Why don't you go conquer some more mountain ranges and leave us alone.

BTW, chemicalcraig I think the program looks pretty cool.  I will definitely have to check it out later when I get home.  I have a pretty well developed spreadsheet at this point, but I agree that you can only go so far with spreadsheets and it will never be quite as pretty and user friendly as I would like.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 7:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The fact that so many already use excel attests to the demand. Whether any one person sees the need for themselves or not has no bearing on whether it might be useful or interesting or fun for somebody else. I agree that the pack list doesn't necessarily change all that often (and especially for a 3-seasoner like me), but there are variations depending on trip length, expected temps, water crossings, fire bans, etc etc such that many folks can find a system for tracking and organizing to be helpful.

Craig, a few observations from watching your detailed video (haven't downloaded the software yet):

- You acknowledge that many use spreadsheets currently, so to transition to your program would be a lot easier if one could import existing data from a spreadsheet rather than re-type everything. Personally I have a spreadsheet that pretty much does what I want but can be clunky, but I'd rather continue working with it than re-type everything to a new program.

- Does one really need to measure weight down to the millionth of an ounce? That is far, far less than the weight of a human hair, so how can it matter to measure down to that degree? And what kind of scale can even measure that?

- Would like to see a break-down of various weight measure totals into base weight, consumables, total pack, wear/carry, and total skin-out.

- I don't like the way the "note" window appears far away from the item itself, would be better if all that info could appear on a single "line" (like in a spreadsheet) since it goes/flows together. In general I like the "line" appearance from a spreadsheet than the "window" appearance for each item in your software.

- The integrated trip planner is a cool idea. Suggestion is to also collect emergency contact info, hiker's description info, overdue date and time, and then have a pre-built template to print a formatted trailhead leave-behind, including pack manifest.

- On the menu planner, I'd like to see an option to enter calories for each item in addition to weight, and then see the program automatically track calories by day.

- Is there a way to format the output? Or to export results to txt, Word, or spreadsheet format? Some of the formatting on your output could be tweaked, IMO -- for example the meal planner seems like the columns are scrunched together and could miss details (you use the example of "dehydrated meal" which barely fits, what if I wanted to input "dehydrated meal: MH Beef Stroganoff" or something like that? Doesn't appear there is room for all that info).

Hope this is helpful.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 8:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(sambisu @ Apr. 29 2013, 6:06 am)
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I respect your style of backpacking as well.  But what I don't respect, is you going around this community putting down everyone who doesn't do it like you.

Hear hear. I agree there is way too much of this kind of negativity on this forum, and I don't know why.

I think it is interesting that Craig also is vetting his software on BPL, and the contrast in responses could not be more striking. On here the responses include accusations of being a spammer, insults, and "if you don't do it like I do then you aren't a real backpacker" types of put-downs. On BPL the response has been thank you's, constructive feedback, and support.

If a spreadsheet or software tool isn't for you, that's fine. For you. Why not leave it at that?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 8:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:32 am)
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I just think your software is for the type of person who spends a few days per year in the backcountry, not for someone who really backpacks.  Never ever have i planned out or pre packed for a trip.  I always do it right before i head out.

Gee... and I thought I was backpacking all this time... who knew?

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 9:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Say what you will, I'm still a checklist believer and even check it twice. For me it's called experience or from a quality perspective corrective and preventive action.
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(sambisu @ Apr. 29 2013, 3:06 am)
QUOTE

(RobinHood @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:35 am)
QUOTE

(Tigger @ Apr. 29 2013, 12:23 am)
QUOTE
To be completely honest, the only reason I have for a gear list these days is for entertainment. I already know what I need to pack from trip to trip and most of it is already packed most of the time. The only time there is a major change is when I switch "major" seasons. Otherwise, I have a case of Mt. House in my pantry, I take a quick trip to the store to pick my snacks and beer, make sure I have the right permit in the window and see if the batteries are fresh and I'm out the door.

I spend more time deciding on where I'm going to hike than anything else.

pretty spot on

Do you do anything but go around this forum spreading negativity?

Everyone is wired differently.  I'm guessing chemicalcraig is much like myself...highly analytic (maybe an engineer as well).  I enjoy making spreadsheets.  Just about anything I can make one for, I do.  And I really enjoy the whole planning aspect of backpacking.  I can't be out on the trail every day, so planning and thinking about future trips is I guess the next best thing.

I respect your style of backpacking as well.  But what I don't respect, is you going around this community putting down everyone who doesn't do it like you.  I'm not sure what your purpose is on this forum since you seem to need no one's opinion but your own.  Do you even read your own posts and see how much of an arrogant jerk you sound like?  Why don't you go conquer some more mountain ranges and leave us alone.

BTW, chemicalcraig I think the program looks pretty cool.  I will definitely have to check it out later when I get home.  I have a pretty well developed spreadsheet at this point, but I agree that you can only go so far with spreadsheets and it will never be quite as pretty and user friendly as I would like.

Um...Apparently I'm the one who sounds like an "arrogant jerk" because I stated my reasons for having a gear list - That being for entertainment.

I don't see that as being a negative reason. I don't see how I put anyone else down and I don't see how RobinHood saying, "Pretty spot on" means that he should be qualified as an "arrogant jerk" either.

I'd suggest you slow down a minute and realize that there are more opinions on how a gear list can be utilized and shooting someone down for using one for entertainment purposes is not appropriate.

Neither Robinhood or I put you down (or anyone else) in this post at all. It seems to me that you may be looking for an attack where none are present. If you see it, it surely isn't meant.

"Everyone is wired differently."


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