4,537 reputation
1227
bio website embedinc.com/olin
location Littleton, Massachusetts
age 57
visits member for 1 year, 9 months
seen 12 hours ago

Electrical engineering consultant specializing in microcontrollers and the circuitry around them. Master of engineering in EE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1980.

We are certified Microchip design partners, and have been in the top catagory consistantly since around 2000. Various free downloads related to developing PIC firmware and other things are available at http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.


May
4
comment What is the safest way to purify water?
I looked around a bit but couldn't find a definative source. Back in the early 1980s everyone pretty much used backcountry water in the WMNF without thinking much about it. By the late '80s that was not done anymore. Giardia had been found in several fairly deep backcountry sources, so one had to assume it could be in any water, even if it actually wasn't in most. The one I remember specifically was a spring on Signal Ridge, on the south shoulder of Mt Carrigain, but there were others. Since giardia can pop up quickly, it's smart to assume any water could be infested.
May
1
comment What is the safest way to purify water?
Perhaps what you say is true for the Sierras, but is certainly NOT true of other areas. Various places in the White Mountain National Forest of NH were tested, and enough giardia found that there is a overall recommendation not to drink the water directly. If giardia is the only issue, then even filters work since these buggers are rather large. I am surprised you were the only one to mention germicidal UV. It seems like a really good idea to me. 90 seconds for a liter and you're ready to drink. By the way, I wrote the firmware for the latest SteriPen, the Ultra.
Apr
8
comment What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?
Intersting comment about Gatorade not containing enough electrolytes relative to the water. I was told exactly the opposite in a SOLO course. The instructor said the Gatorade acknowledges this in scientific circles, but for reason of taste and marketing make their drinks stronger than necessary. The instructor went on to recommend 1/2 strength by adding water. I use about 1/2 to 2/3 strength routinely, including hiking most of the day in the desert in summer, and it seems to work fine for me.
Apr
6
comment Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular
Whoever downvoted this, it would be useful to explain what you think is wrong, incorrect, confusing, misleading, etc.
Apr
6
comment Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular
@Masked: Cold weather is different. I hike around New England in the winter, and the issues are different. In the winter you can get dehydrated and not realize it. When it's hot you get thirsty. You do lose a lot of water when its cold, but much of that is in your breath so is pretty pure. You should always at least think about electrolytes, but that is much less of a problem in the cold.
Apr
6
comment Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular
@gerrit: My electrolyte incident was in the middle of the summer on the west side of the Tonto basin. That place gets pretty hot, and that was a hot day as I remember it. 115F is my best guess. The hottest I've encountered so far in AZ has been 121F according to the rental car. That was in the Kofa refuge. I was hiking then with my usual (by that time) diluted gatorade and felt fine.
Mar
12
comment How can you navigate without a compass or GPS
This is just plain wrong. Different species of moss and lichens grow on different sides of trees dependent on a lot of factors. At the northern end of a species' range it may well appear mostly on the south side of trees while other species in the same forest are on the other side or all around depending on local microclimates. Just forget about the moss myth, it will waste your time and keep you from observing the things you really need to pay attention to.
Mar
12
comment Can body-to-body rewarming be used as a last resort treatment of hypothermia?
@Chris: What I was referring to is when hypothermia has progressed so far that the body shuts down blood to the extremities in the last effort to keep the core alive. Toxins then build up in the extremities. The victim can be poisened by his own toxins if the extremeties are warmed first. The person needs to be warmed from the inside out in a medical setting. Keep in mind we're talking about sever hypothermia progressing immenently to death without medical intervention. If someone can drink warm liquid, by all means have them do it, preferably containing fast-metabolizable sugars.
Mar
10
comment What are the key sites to see on a short trip through Oregon?
Wow, that's a lot of stuff for 2 weeks. You'll need a vacation when you get back from this vacation. Also, most of the arches are in UT, not NV. There are lots of beautiful places in OR. Crater Lake? Mt Hood? Lots of other parts of the Cascades? The coast, mouth of the Columbia?
Mar
10
comment Can body-to-body rewarming be used as a last resort treatment of hypothermia?
I suppose if the alternative is the person will die, then there is little downside. However, it could actually make things worse for severe hypothermia. At that level, the body needs to be warmed from the inside out. If not, the toxins that have built up in the extremities can get you. This needs to be done in a medical setting. If someone is still concious, get some hot liquid in them, otherwise evacuate if possible.
Feb
27
comment How far is a reasonable distance for someone to hike on their first trip?
Weight training doesn't do much for hiking stamina. You want erobic exercise for that.
Feb
13
comment Do folding cross country skis exist?
Most skis are foldable - once.
Feb
4
comment May hiking in Eastern California
If you don't want to deal with much snow, try going east a little since that will be in the rain shadow of the Sierras. I haven't been to that area in May, so I don't really know, but the White Mountains east of Owens valley might be something to look at. Or maybe even a little further to the area of Wheeler Peak. I think temperatures in the desert will be more moderate then, so that could be interesting, especially if you've never been to a desert.
Feb
3
comment How to create campfire which will burn overnight?
@DonB: I don't remember a episode where lawyers got envolved. Could you elaborate? Even though Les has to manage the cameras all by himself, I find the camera work of Man vs Wild more annoying. The guy pans and zooms way too much while you're trying to watch. It seems to have gotten worse lately so I stopped watching. Dual Survival also seems quite staged at times, although it can be fun to watch the two together. Cody knows what he's doing, but is a preachy prick a lot, and the new guy Joe sometimes does dumb stuff. The previous guy Dave was better.
Feb
3
comment How to create campfire which will burn overnight?
The trick to a long lasting fire is to limit the oxygen to it. Your pyramid stack would do the opposite. You'd get a really roaring fire for a relatively short time for the amount of wood used. Also I suspect Bear regularly attends to the fire during the night. There is a lot of stuff they don't show you. I like Survivorman better. Les does things ordinary people can do (Bear is a former special forces guy), and it's less staged.
Feb
1
comment Minimizing ecological impact of winter-sports in the backcountry
It depends a lot on the snow conditions too. Alpine tundra is the most fragile of the vegetations you mention, but it is also usually covered with the hardest snow. Just 3 inches of hard snow should protect it well enough. Look at your tracks. Are you hitting ground, or is there always a layer of snow under your footprints?
Feb
1
comment What is the main purpose of the foam inside a self-inflating mat?
@Kevin: It depends on how much you weigh. The way these pads work is that the inflation pressure effectively sets the firmness. You want the pressure such that the point on your body that pokes into the pad the most (usually hip when lying on your side) just touches the ground. Less inflation and it's hitting the presumably hard ground. More inflation and the pad starts approaching hard ground itself. These pads seem to be just thick enough for this to work.
Jan
28
comment Where in Europe is wilderness meeting the U.S. wilderness definition?
@gerrit: I don't know specifically about snow mobiles. Generally motorized vehicles are prohibited except for emergency situations. However, a lot of places (not Wilderness Areas) that have a motorized vehicle ban do allow snow mobiles during part of the year or when there is some minimum snow depth. I don't know if there is one unified rule for Wilderness or if it's up to each one. My guess is that snow mobiles are not allowed.
Jan
28
comment Where in Europe is wilderness meeting the U.S. wilderness definition?
@Jan: No, Wilderness Areas (upper case, not lower case) in the US explicitly do NOT have roads. Some may have remnants of old roads from before they were legally designatd wilderness areas, but these are now only trails (not for motorized vehicles).
Jan
24
comment How long does it take to hear back about a Grand Canyon Backcountry permit application
Wouldn't asking them be the obvious thing to do?