View Full Version : Trip scheduling spread sheet

09-07-2011, 18:54
I hope to hike the trail in 2012. Since I will be retired and 63, I want an excel spread sheet schedule of the entire trip that automatically updates every remaining date. With 40 mail drops and dozens of points where friends want to meet me, I need a schedule that is easy to up date. If I take an extra week reaching Va. then when do I get to Pa? That sort of thing.

09-07-2011, 19:00
In my daydreaming of hiking the AT in which I will do some day I have no plans for mail drops that seems so time consuming and to much planning why not just wing it and see what each stop gets you. I think the whole point of the hike is to leave a structured life. I hope that works for you and that is going to be one heck of a spreadsheet.

09-07-2011, 19:08
Sounds like you want to create something like a CPA (Critical Path Analysis) with Slack and Float for your hike. You can google all that if needed. :-? I guess it could be done. But little things like terrain, weather, physical / medical issues, etc might well tend to make planning more than a couple of days ahead pretty pointless. Keeping to a strict schedule on the trail would also seem to diminish the overall experience (just IMO)
Or you could just take a cell phone to keep in touch with everyone, meet up, get drops mailed, etc, and basically make it up as you go along.

09-07-2011, 20:06
Easy enough to dump data points in a spreadsheet, calculate planned miles per day and use a date formula, but I think you would find it useless after the first day. you would need to set up standard dimensions like M/day and then set 0 days. MPD would vary every single day depending on your needs, your willingness and terrain..

09-07-2011, 21:00
I think that creating this sort of spreadsheet is a very good exercise. It'll get you thinking about the entire hike, your resupply needs, etc. But I think you'll be better off if you remember that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy....

Chaco Taco
09-07-2011, 21:05
I made a detailed outline of everyday leading to Damascus and threw it out after the first day, good luck

ironman y2k
09-07-2011, 21:48
I used AWOL's spreadsheet from home page. I updated it with formula's for automatic date and day calculation as well as elevation calculations per mile. I also added formula's for color coding certain fields. If you have experience with excel you can make changes as well. Just remember to give credit to AWOL since this took a lot of his time and effort and all I had to do was enter a few formula's for my own needs.

The info on the spreadsheet is from his A. T. Guide.

This spreadsheet is for 15 - 18 mile per day planning but AWOL has other's for shorter or longer mileage.
I believe AWOL will download a copy of this file if you ask him.

09-07-2011, 23:02
40 maildrops??? Whoa!!! No need for that.

My plan got ditched on day 2.

If you plan to go slow with lots of people visiting, you're gonna have to start the trail very early in the season.

09-08-2011, 08:40
Here is another mileage planning spreadsheet that I use to plan out my section hikes. However, I'd probably go with something like AWOL's for a thru-hike.

I concur with other posters that you shouldn't plan out 40 mail drops. Read the re-supply articles on this site and consider going with a bounce box with a lot fewer pre-planned mail drops that would only include difficult-to-find items.

09-08-2011, 10:00
I agree with Chaco Taco and Blissful. Plans are fun and help ease apprehension but "are an exercise in futility". Read Baltimore Jacks Re-Supply article found on the WB homepage. It's dated but still relevant.

Even better, here's a 10 page article (http://www.backpacker.com/november_2008_american_classic_hiking_the_appalach ian_trail/destinations/12530) from Backpacker magazine on hiking the AT. It contains most everything you need to know.

40 maildrops???? YIKES!!! Bet you'll be giving food away.

Remember, Snicker bars don't survive when left on a hot Post Office shelf. Consider Tootsie Rolls instead......

09-08-2011, 17:34
Thanks for all the comments. Let me explain further. It is because no fixed plan survives the first day that I want a plan that will update with a few key strokes. I have no intention of using all 40 potential mail drops, but I do not know yet how many I will use. Packages must be mailed about 2 weeks in advance of pickup. So when should my daughter mail a moral booster to me at Harper's Ferry? I can not tell till I am a couple of weeks out. If I take a day off here an there in the March so I do not have to hike in the freezing rain, then when do I reach Katadin? And if the completion date starts slipping past Sept. 15, then I should serious look at my plans. A date calculating spread sheet is not a fixed schedule. It is a planning tool that lets me take as much time as possible and still finish in the second half of Sept.

And for those of you who do not know...there is a way of doing dates in excel where they are actually consecutive numbers. You calculate a future date by saying it will take me 10 days to get to point B. So the date is A+10, but it displays in date format. Its not hard to figure out, but not every excel manual explains it. It will be a great way for my wife to know where I should be and she can update every time I call home.

09-08-2011, 18:00
I took Dr. Warren Doyle's " 4 - hour " course at last year's GATHERING . He takes groups up the trail with a 75% or better completion rate .
( Versus 15% or 20 % for the rest of the folks . ) I have two spread - sheets which he handed out . One has a bit over 30 major cities or
key points . Two columns . One for a 5 Month Hike , ( 152 days ) , and another for a 6 Month Hike , ( 183 days . ) The second sheet is a
day - by - day schedule for 137 days , listing the miles and shelter for each stop .

I could mail them to you , given a Snail Mail address . OR , perhaps you can down - load them from his Web - Site : doylew@Imc.edu
or contact him at : www.warrendoyle.com (http://www.warrendoyle.com)

Nothing personal , but hiking like that , for me , would be like being back in the military ! HYOH . DaveSail aka Ice Cream