View Full Version : AT Calculator

12-05-2006, 13:42
Hi hikers,

I recently wrote an AT program for a class in my graduate program. It is a command line (DOS) program that finds an elevation for any spot on the trail. Also, if you enter a starting point and an ending point it will tell you the distance to be traveled, the amount of time it will take, the maximum and minimum elevations reached, the overall elevation gain/loss, the amount of calories to be burned, and the amount of food required. It is not a comprehensive program by far, but hopefully some of you will find it useful. It is free for all and available at the following link:


Let me know what you all think.

LoonShine (formerly Loon)
Ty Nelson
Class of '05

12-05-2006, 15:21
i downloaded it and checked it out. Thanks for putting it out here for us although i don't see that it is going to be a big hit with google earth, topo usa, the data book, and all the info available today. But thanks for sharing it anyway.

12-05-2006, 15:34
Maybe fun to play with but not necessarily reliable. It apparently must have some glitches unless I'm misunderstanding the output. From 0 to 38 miles it showed a minimum elevation in the 2500 ft range. From 0 to 200 miles it showed a minimum elevation in the 3000 ft range.:-?

12-05-2006, 15:47
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I wasnt intending this to be an answer to all trip planning needs. But since I made it for class anyways, I thought I would share it with you all. Maybe it will be useful in some applications. Stoikurt, thank you, I was not aware of the min elevation problem. As far as I can tell, it is not a glitch, just a lack of sufficient data points over that part of the trail. Max/Min elevation seems to be much more reliable over long distances (and above NC/TN!) Ill see if I can get some more data down there.

12-05-2006, 17:00
How did you calculate calories burned? Of course you'd need to calculate it based on skin-out weight, but you'll burn a lot more calories on a rough uphill section than you will on a smooth level trail for the same distance. I've never been able to find anyone with a reasonable way to estimate it that multiplies out to the "7,000 to 10,000 calories burned by the typical thru-hiker each day".

12-06-2006, 12:17
Over long distances I simply did a per day calculation for calories. Over short distances, I did it per mile.