Better understanding of water

Comments

4 comments

  • Official comment
    Avatar
    Daniel Pehrson

    Hey Huon!

    Thank you for the kind words about Trailpost. I think you have come to the same conclusion I have: Water is special, and in the future, Trailpost may want to treat it that way.

    As I've run the beta testing over the past few months, water continues to be a complicated "item" to pack for the reasons you described:

    1. It has a known weight based on volume
    2. How much you want to carry varies per pack, but it's annoying to have to create multiple locker items for each volume you want to carry
    3. Fractional quantities are not possible in Trailpost

    These three factors together make it a very weird "item" to plan for, and something about the system needs to change to make it easier to plan for.

    The good news is that I understand the problem exactly, you are 100% right. The bad news is that while I have started thinking about possible ways to fix this problem, I have not come up with a plan yet.

    In the meantime, what I have suggested to people is:

    1. Add to your locker multiple "Water" items just like you described "1L Water", "0.5L Water", etc. with appropriate weights
    2. If you want to add 1.5L of water to a pack, add 3x "0.5L Water" locker items with a consumption rate of "1 per trip"

    The other problem with water is dealing with consumption and replenishment. Unlike say, snack bars where you pack 5 and consume "1 per day", water can often be re-filled during a trip. My basic idea right now is that in the future Trailpost will support "replenishment rates" in addition to "consumption rates" so, for items like water, you could add item to your pack like "3x 0.5L Water, consume: 3 per day, replenish: 3 per day"

    With that additional data point I would be able to:

    1. Accurately show how much weight you will be carrying at any given time (~1.5L worth of water)
    2. Display the item as a saw-tooth-type graph on the stats/burndown charts accurately showing that at the "beginning" of each day you have 1.5L water trending towards 0 at the "end" of the day, but then "replenishing" back up to 1.5L

    I have a lot of work to do to keep building out all the functionality, but I am working really hard to add new features all the time! Just yesterday I launched the brand new Trailpost Global Search which will let you search the whole system for your locker items, your pack items, your packs, other users' packs, and other users' profiles. This search system lays the foundation for a lot of what's coming in the next few months!

    Thank you again for your kind words and for taking the time to provide feedback. As I said, you are completely correct that water is clunky in the current system and I think that the proper way to fix it will fit in with another plan I have for packing generally. Stay tuned!

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Huon

    Awesome, I look forward to it when it comes. :)

    > My basic idea right now is that in the future Trailpost will support "replenishment rates" in addition to "consumption rates"

    This sounds pretty nice! I wonder if one could have both replenishment rates, and replenishment "dates". Having a rate is fine for something like water when it is regularly available, but maybe doesn't work as well on drier walks, or for food drops etc, where the spacing can be quite irregular.

    Also, the latter leads into being generalised to nonconsumables to model thru-hikes where one changes gear (picking up snow equipment or dropping a bear can, etc.)... But, now that I've written it down, it sounds rather complicated to display in an understandable way, hah.

    > yesterday I launched the brand new Trailpost Global Search which will let you search the whole system for your locker items, your pack items, your packs, other users' packs, and other users' profiles

    Cool! However, my first thought is privacy: many people may not appreciate having all their (often expensive) gear listed in a searchable way, or even their name. Maybe "profile is published" and "pack is published" could be options on each. (Lack of privacy is a downside of the trailpost.com/packs/XXX URL scheme at the moment too. Lighterpack's approach of the share link being a random sequence separate from any internal IDs is nicer in this regard.)

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Daniel Pehrson

    > This sounds pretty nice! I wonder if one could have both replenishment rates, and replenishment "dates". Having a rate is fine for something like water when it is regularly available, but maybe doesn't work as well on drier walks, or for food drops etc, where the spacing can be quite irregular.

    I've thought about this as well, but I haven't figured out where the line is between "pack planning" and "trip planning" yet. My guess is that a lot more functionality will need to be built to support thru-hike type trips where you are planning food drops, etc. I really, really want Trailpost to be the best tool out there to help with this kind of planning, but I am fairly confident I have a lot more work to do!

    With most of these things, understanding the problem, and what you want it to do is usually the easy part. The hard part is designing a system so that it supports complex functionality, without being complex and confusing to use. There's an art to this that I am still learning every day (and don't always get right the first time.)

    > Cool! However, my first thought is privacy

    I agree, and I've had similar conversations with a handful of other Trailposters as well. For the time being Trailpost is intended to be an open community centered around the idea of public planning to support sharing, feedback, and learning. However, in the future, it is likely that more control over sharing settings will be desirable as well. As far as I know, every pack planning site out there is public, including LighterPack due to Google indexing, but I'm always happy to be proven wrong!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Huon

    > For the time being Trailpost is intended to be an open community centered around the idea of public planning to support sharing, feedback, and learning

    That's fair, but I still think it should be in the hands of the individual whether they want to be public (at the very least, it seems necessary if/when any interaction can happen directly on trailpost, to allow people to protect themselves from unwanted/unpleasant interactions.)

    > As far as I know, every pack planning site out there is public, including LighterPack due to Google indexing, but I'm always happy to be proven wrong!

    I believe these are only packs for which people have posted a link somewhere: Google can't find any of the packs that I haven't linked anywhere. (Those shared LP pages also aren't associated with an account/name: it's just a list of gear with no indication of who created it.)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.