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Insert Trip Report Skeleton # 1015 Back to Directory   Review Date:2016.09.23
Help Category: Trip Reports

Summary: Do you know how to enter a skeleton trip report (with just one waypoint?

 A "skeleton" trip report is an absolutely minimum one, just to make sure you know how to get the basic trip record into the database. When the form comes up, you only fill in the date and title and one waypoint, then save it. From then on, you just keep updating the report, filling in the other fields a few at a time, and updating each time. If something goes wrong, you just go back to the previous. Once you are working on a skeleton trip report, I can help with any questions you want.

 You must be a paid member to insert a trip report. Trip reports take time to write, but they are the foundation of the website. Any problems you run into, contact me and I'll always do whatever I can to help you prepare a trip report. I can put in a skeleton trip report for you to update, if you find that easier to get started.

STEP BY STEP (Skeleton Trip Report)

  1. Go to Authors Menu
     Login, click your email address, and "Author's Menu".

  2. Go to Trip Reports section
     Click the "Trip Reports" link on the author's menu. This brings up a screen called "Trip Report Lister". At first it will be empty. But when you've got a bunch of trip reports, this is where they will show up.

  3. Click the "Insert Trip" link
     The link is located to the right of the title "Trip Report Lister". It is a small brown link. This brings up the input form.

  4. Fill in Title and Date
     The Date format is Year.Month.Day. Eg: 2016.09.21.

  5. Fill in a single test waypoint
     When actually writing the full trip report, you'll get your waypoints from GMap, but for now just put in a single test waypoint by hand. Just copy the waypoint below:

      49.12345,-123.12345=this is a test

  6. Insert the form
     (Push the "Insert" button on the form.) The insert button is in the top left of the form. This should insert your trip report, and return you to the screen titled "Trip Report Lister". You should now see the title of your incomplete report in the list. You should also see a brown "Update" link.

  7. Update the trip
     Now that you have inserted your trip, you can go back and update it as many times as you want. To update, click the small brown "Upd" link beside the trip title. This brings up the Update form. Now fill in a few more fields such as a few sentences describing your trip.

  8. You have now inserted a skeleton trip report.
     Now we can discuss the details of a full blown trip report.


  1. On your first reports, don't try and do it all at once, go through the update cycle every 5 minutes or so, so you won't lose a lot of work if something goes wrong.

  2. The "Complete" Field
     Note that trip reports have a field called "Complete". By default, this field is set to "no". When it is set to "no", the system allows you to leave various fields empty, but when you try to flip it to "Yes" it will validate all essential fields.

  3. Using your text editor instead of the input form
     Some people write their whole trip report in a separate text editor like "notepad", or Microsoft Word, then cut and paste it into Bivouac form) That way they don't lose their work accidentally. Myself, I directly type my text into the form, but I save my work every 10 or 15 minutes.

  4. Help Labels:
     Note that the label of each field is linked to a help message for that field. Please read the help messages for every field at least once.

  5. The Waypoints Field
     The waypoints field is a string of lat-longs in bivouac format. An example of the bivouac format is as shown below:

     49.59167,-125.61667=Outlet of Arnica Lake @1190m
     49.59333,-125.61833=*Camp1 Arnica Lake Campground
     49.59833,-125.63167=High Point @1440m
    Each waypoint above is a Lat-Long, followed by an equals sign. Following that may be a description, or the letters "cp" which mean "control point". The descriptions can also contain other things like elevation, but you can ignore that for now. The Master Waypoint specification is Master Waypoint Specification (Input Spec).

    Nowdays people get their Bivouac waypoints from a GPS track log, or by marking their route on a map. See one of the following:

    Get Trip Waypoints from GPS
     Get Trip Waypoints from GMap.

  6. Use Multiple Windows
     When writing trip reports, you frequently need to look up other information. The best way to do this is to open multiple windows, side by side. One window will have your trip report input form in it, and the other window you can use for lookup. Multiple windows is the reason the Bivouac site is designed to run in small windows. In fact, I usually have a third window, which has the topo map. So I can cut and paste waypoints from the topomap into my trip report.

  7. Trip Report Photos
     Putting photos into your trip report is a separate step, once you've got the report itself in the system. See Upload photo to Trip Report"