excel spreadsheet

In Lisa’s last post she revealed the secret of German camping organisation: The almighty Excel spreadsheet! If you thought that was just a funny product of her imagination in order to get a good laugh, you’re mislead. This list actually exists and it started to become a living organism on its own, who knows what to pack or what and how much we will eat better than we do ourselves. It has gotten so far that the list, which was created by my friend Flo has now taken over his personality entirely, so he himself is by now known as “the list”.

The early days

It all started out very innocent when a couple of guys wanted to go camping and mountainbiking in Italy back in 2009. Being the engineer he is, Flo started writing down a list of things we would need to pack for the trip. He also included a shopping list for the crew. So far so good, but when we came back from the long weekend, he evaluated the shopping list against the actual consumption and thus refined the shopping list for the year after.

The spreadsheet today

A couple more iterations since then provided him with an algorithm that can figure out exactly which and how much food to buy if you enter the number of participants and the length of the trip – amazing. But wait, there’s more! The list also has a spreadsheet for equipment. From tents and bike tools to toys and entertainment devices it tells every traveller what to bring. But even after the end of the trip, the list is very handy as its last included spreadsheet helps you figuring out who has to pay whom and how much. Just enter all the expenses of the individual person into you Excel spreadsheet and voila – there’s your bill.

The downside

Of course even a beautiful piece of art like the list (not referring to Flo this time) has its downsides. The biggest one is, that you become completely dependent. The only year we tried to go to Lago di Garda without it, we failed miserably when we found out that we had not brought a complete tent but just the inner part of it just after arrival.
I wish I could introduce to the list personally, but I don’t want to be accused of copyright infringement and therefore if you want to see the list, you’ll have to come biking with us at some point.


Featured Image Credit: “Excel for Macintosh Ad” by Microsoft Sweden is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Written by Tom

Day-time engineer (of course!), free-time vinyl-nudger and uber-organised model citizen. When living together with Julia, we never thought we could be good examples.

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