When planning a pack for a trip, the majority of your gear such as your backpack, your clothes, and your tent will finish the trip with you (hopefully), but other items such as food, water, and fuel will get consumed over the course of your journey. The second type is often referred to as "consumables" and carefully planning them can mean the difference between a fun weekend adventure and one full of hunger and thirst.
Trailpost's pack planner helps you ensure a safe trip by allowing you to mark chosen items in your packing list as being consumable. Additionally, you can specify the rate at which you consume them in a format such as "1 every 2 days" or "2 per trip".
By providing specific consumption rates for the items you pack, Trailpost can analyze your pack as a whole and provide you with insights such as which days you will run out of which items and help you decide whether your packing configuration will meet the needs of the trip you are planning.
Understanding consumption rates
To reap the benefits of these insights, it is important that you choose the correct values for your consumption rates. Doing so is especially important if you do not consume an item in whole units at once, such as bulk foods or a box of matches, or if you consume an item at a rate that's hard or not useful to quantify such as a battery.
It is also important to note that Trailpost does not take into account your individual sleep schedule. If you tell Trailpost that you consume your snack bars at a rate of "1 every 4 hours", we will accept that and assume you are eating 6 per day.
For items that you consume partially over a period, there may be multiple ways to specify the consumption rate that have the same result. For example, if you were packing beef jerky packets that each contain two pieces, knowing you will eat one of those pieces each day, the following consumption rates would be the same.
- 1 every 2 days
- 3 every 6 days
- 1 every 48 hours
- 2 every 96 hours
- 7 every 2 weeks
While it may seem more natural at first to specify "1/2 per day", this becomes much harder to manage when dealing with a consumable item that doesn't divide cleanly, such as an item you consume one of every three days. We suggest entering all consumption rates the closest way possible to the way you think about it in your head. In the example above, "1 every 2 days" would be the clearest way to indicate "1/2 every day".
There are other types of items that while consumable, are not always useful to track in exact detail. If you are bringing a headlamp with you and it requires 2 AA batteries, it is helpful to know that the batteries will be consumed, however trying to figure out how much of a battery you use each day may be more trouble than the insight you get from doing so. Marking it as "1 every 60 days" may unnecessarily lengthen the apparent life of your packing list. In these cases, we encourage you to specify the consumption rate on a per-trip basis such as "2 per trip."
The "trip" unit is unique in that you only specify how many you consume per trip and the system treats it as being continually used, and running out on the last day.