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2013 Hiker Survey - teaser charts

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  • John Ladd
    Here s a link to a teaser result from my 2013 Hiker survey. I m working on a report that analyzes results by packweight It s a scattergraph showing each
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 5 2:48 PM
      Here's a link to a teaser result from my 2013 Hiker survey. I'm working on a report that analyzes results by packweight

      It's a scattergraph showing each respondent's reported packweight (at the heaviest point on the trip - e.g., when leaving MTR) and reported average miles per day hiked. A least-squares trendline is shown through the reported values and men and women are shown separately. The lightest 20% of hikers covered about 35% more MPD than the heaviest 20%. 

      Note that this does not demonstrate causation - just an association. It seems likely that people who wanted to hike further chose to pack more lightly and also used other techniques -- like a longer hiking day - to cover more miles. 

      Also note that higher miles per day may not be a sensible goal. The most common comment among the respondents is that they wished they had taken more time.

    • John Ladd
      Another teaser from the 2013 Hiker survey. I correlated packweight (as measured by the heaviest point along the hike) with (1) the number of reported problems
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 5 3:34 PM
        Another teaser from the 2013 Hiker survey. 

        I correlated packweight (as measured by the heaviest point along the hike) with (1) the number of reported problems from a list of 61 that I asked about and (2) problem index. Problem index was the number of problems times the average reported severity of those problems on a scale of 1-5 -- so maximum possible index value would be 305. 

        Packweights ranged from 14 to 70. 

        Problem counts ranged from zero to 30 problems out of the 61 possible. 

        Problem index ranged from 0 to 98 out of 305 possible. 

        Again, shown at the link below as scattergraphs with trendlines. The entire population shown on top, with women and men separately shown below. A more detailed analysis is in preparation. 

        Men had a very modest increase in both problem count and problem index with increasing packweights. The same trend was much more noticeable among women respondents.

        Again, association is not necessarily causation. For example, people with lighter packs had fewer navigational problems, presumably not because they had lighter packs but because they tended to be people who had done longer trips in the past. The lighter packweight hikers spend fewer days on trail and therfore presumably ran into fewer environmental problems (less likely to have run into a stretch of bad weather in 14 days than in 20). if you don't carry a stove, it can't break or be inadequate (2 of the 61 problems covered). 

        I'll try to deal with some of these issues in the more detailed report/analysis of the data. 

        My main take-homes (1) Many people hike successfully at heavy weights and many at light weights. (2) Both the advocates and critics of lighter hiking styles probably overstate their cases at times. (3) It's probably necessary to analyze men and women differently on the packweight issue. (4) Main impact of lighter weights is probably more miles per day, which may or may not be a desirable goal.

        Link is

        http://bit.ly/JMTSGwtProb

        Hopefully it will display here:

        Inline image 1

        More about the survey at


        Narrative responses in the survey - rough sort


      • Arla Hile
        John, Good stuff and thanks again for sharing.  You probably haven t gotten to this point in your analysis yet, but I m looking at those best fit lines for
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 5 4:23 PM
        John,
        Good stuff and thanks again for sharing. 
        You probably haven't gotten to this point in your analysis yet, but I'm looking at those best fit lines for the pack weight vs. miles/day data and thinking that a non-linear analysis might yield a better fit. It also could be interesting to chunk the data into categories and run an ANOVA. 

        Cheers,
        Arla Hile


        On Saturday, April 5, 2014 3:35 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
         
        Another teaser from the 2013 Hiker survey. 

        I correlated packweight (as measured by the heaviest point along the hike) with (1) the number of reported problems from a list of 61 that I asked about and (2) problem index. Problem index was the number of problems times the average reported severity of those problems on a scale of 1-5 -- so maximum possible index value would be 305. 

        Packweights ranged from 14 to 70. 

        Problem counts ranged from zero to 30 problems out of the 61 possible. 

        Problem index ranged from 0 to 98 out of 305 possible. 

        Again, shown at the link below as scattergraphs with trendlines. The entire population shown on top, with women and men separately shown below. A more detailed analysis is in preparation. 

        Men had a very modest increase in both problem count and problem index with increasing packweights. The same trend was much more noticeable among women respondents.

        Again, association is not necessarily causation. For example, people with lighter packs had fewer navigational problems, presumably not because they had lighter packs but because they tended to be people who had done longer trips in the past. The lighter packweight hikers spend fewer days on trail and therfore presumably ran into fewer environmental problems (less likely to have run into a stretch of bad weather in 14 days than in 20). if you don't carry a stove, it can't break or be inadequate (2 of the 61 problems covered). 

        I'll try to deal with some of these issues in the more detailed report/analysis of the data. 

        My main take-homes (1) Many people hike successfully at heavy weights and many at light weights. (2) Both the advocates and critics of lighter hiking styles probably overstate their cases at times. (3) It's probably necessary to analyze men and women differently on the packweight issue. (4) Main impact of lighter weights is probably more miles per day, which may or may not be a desirable goal.

        Link is

        http://bit.ly/JMTSGwtProb

        Hopefully it will display here:

        Inline image 1

        More about the survey at


        Narrative responses in the survey - rough sort




      • mnmcogan21
        This is fascinating John......thanks for putting this together. If I read your analysis correctly, I am a bit surprised actual mileage exceeded planned
        Message 4 of 10 , Apr 5 5:59 PM
          This is fascinating John......thanks for putting this together.  If I read your analysis correctly, I am a bit surprised actual mileage exceeded planned mileage.  Any ideas on this?  My understanding from reading about the trail, visiting forums, etc. is that people tend to overestimate.....but your results seem to contradict this.  Also, I would join the respondents regarding questions pertaining to preparation........especially physical.  I will be attempting the trail this August and would be happy to add to your data.  My email is stats.man4@....
          Thanks for the information!
          Mike 
        • brucelem12
          ... I concur...fun and interesting to see your graphs John. As for actual vs planned mileage...pure conjecture on my part Mike, but I suspect that those that
          Message 5 of 10 , Apr 5 7:29 PM
            ----- CLIPPED  From mnmcogan21 -----------
            . ......"This is fascinating John......thanks for putting this together.  If I read your analysis correctly, I am a bit surprised actual mileage exceeded planned mileage.  Any ideas on this?  My understanding from reading about the trail, visiting forums, etc. is that people tend to overestimate.....but your results seem to contradict this. "..... Mike ..............
             
            --------------------
            I concur...fun and interesting to see your graphs John.
            As for actual vs planned mileage...pure conjecture on my part Mike, but I suspect that those that fill out surveys will tend to be a little bit older, a little more inclined to researching before jumping into something, and a little more on the cautious/low bar side w/ estimating things, as opposed to being overly ambitious. less cautious, and less inclined to extensive planning. I know I've transitioned from the latter to the former over time.
            Bruce

             
             
             
             
          • John Ladd
            ... I have also speculated on this - though it is just speculation - the actual data don t explain it 1) If you have a limited amount of vacation time, or a
            Message 6 of 10 , Apr 5 9:04 PM
              On Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM, <mnmcogan21@...> wrote:
              If I read your analysis correctly, I am a bit surprised actual mileage exceeded planned mileage.  Any ideas on this? 

              I have also speculated on this - though it is just speculation - the actual data don't explain it

              1) If you have a limited amount of vacation time, or a plane reservation home, or are running out of food, you have to keep on or ahead of schedule, while the consequences of going faster than planned are not severe. The comments suggest that a lot of people wished that they had allowed themselves more time but felt compelled to keep at least on schedule.

              2) The survey format required numbers, rather than ranges. If you planned 10-12 and actually did 11, you'd be likely to say you planned 10 when required to enter just one number in the "planned" answer

              3) The vast majority of the people I met on trail were already South of the logical bailout points near Mammoth Lakes. The behind-schedule people (esp. the very much behind schedule folks) may have bailed before I ran into them. Next years survey will be collected mostly between Donahue Pass and Devil's Postpile, so I should get more of the people who need to go to "Plan B" when they find that their main plan was too challenging.

              John Curran Ladd
              1616 Castro Street
              San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
              415-648-9279
            • berdomb
              I think its simply more prudent to plan conservatively. I would expect that more people feel that way than the opposite.
              Message 7 of 10 , Apr 6 12:08 AM
                I think its simply more prudent to plan conservatively. I would expect that more people feel that way than the opposite.
              • Inga Aksamit
                I won t be able to comment on the JMT until later this year but when we did the High Sierra Trail in 2012 we planned for 9 days and finished in 8 so we were a
                Message 8 of 10 , Apr 6 2:41 PM
                  I won't be able to comment on the JMT until later this year but when we did the High Sierra Trail in 2012 we planned for 9 days and finished in 8 so we were a full day ahead of schedule. We lounged around Whitney Portal waiting a day for our ride, gorging on burgers, fries and those ridiculously huge and delicious hiker breakfasts-very enjoyable. We got ahead of schedule on some flat sections and after 3-4 days felt stronger so we just kept going, leapfrogging over planned campsites. 

                  Inga Aksamit
                  Mobile: 415-470-1812
                  Email: Iaksamit@...
                  Twitter.com/IngaAksamit
                  About Me: about.me/IngasAdventures
                • cehauser1
                  John: Cool stuff!! I love this sort of thing. From just an eyeball comparison of the men s graph versus the women s graph, it looks like there isn t a strong
                  Message 9 of 10 , Apr 6 7:40 PM
                    John:

                    Cool stuff!!  I love this sort of thing.  From just an eyeball comparison of the men's graph versus the women's graph, it looks like there isn't a strong difference.   There are more points for the men, so they cover more graph space, as one would expect, but otherwise the spread of the points is the same.  Interesting.

                    Chris.
                  • John Ladd
                    ... Though it isn t visually obvious, the slope actually is fairly different for men and women. For men a 1 mile increase in per day mileage correspond to a
                    Message 10 of 10 , Apr 6 8:10 PM

                      On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM, <cehauser1@...> wrote:

                       From just an eyeball comparison of the men's graph versus the women's graph, it looks like there isn't a strong difference.  


                      Though it isn't visually obvious, the slope actually is fairly different for men and women. For men a 1 mile increase in per day mileage correspond to a 6.4 lb reduction in packweight. For women, it is one MPD more for a 18.9 lb reduction in packweight. So it's almost a 3  of 1 difference. Both slopes are modest so its not immediately apparent. Taking a protractor to a printed version should make it more apparent.

                      John Curran Ladd
                      1616 Castro Street
                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                      415-648-9279
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