Monday, 11 January 2010
Backpacking Gear Weight Calculator
One of the many advantages of a computer is having it do tedious work. In pre-computer days I used to make hand written lists of all my gear plus all the weights. Every new item of gear meant a new list. Every trip meant a new list – unless I was taking exactly the same gear. And I had to add up all those weights. Using a spreadsheet a computer does all this for you. But first you have to set up the spreadsheet. For some this may be easy. For those like me with no actual computer training and no desire to learn how to do such things it’s much easier to have someone else do the work. After a few poor attempts at making a spreadsheet to which I could add new items and compile different lists with weights added up I searched around for something better and discovered Chris Ibbeson’s Backpacking Gear Weight Calculator, which did everything I wanted and more. Neat, efficient and a pleasure to use I’ve been using it for several years and recommended it in the last edition of The Backpacker’s Handbook.
Recently Chris contacted me to say that he has just released a new online version of the Gear Weight Calculator. Previous versions were downloads for Windows users. This version should be usable by Mac users as well. The new version also allows users to import items from other people’s lists, if made public, and so see what effect a different tent or pack or other item has on the overall weight. There’s also a blog, a forum and an online photo gallery. This looks to be a really useful site.
Photo info: Camping by Lochan Fada in the Northern Highlands. Canon EOS 350D, 18-55@18mm, 1/250@ f8, ISO 100, tripod, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.6