1,367 reputation
414
bio website nathanhinkle.com
location Oregon
age
visits member for 2 years, 7 months
seen 23 hours ago

My primary outdoor pursuits include biking, hiking, backpacking, XC skiing, and paddling. I'm learning some wilderness medicine as well – I'm Wilderness First Aid certified and plan to become a certified Wilderness First Responder in the next year.

I created The Bike Light Database, a site to help cyclists find the right bike light for their rides.

I've also been a Community Moderator ♦ for Super User since 2011, and am sometimes active on a handful of other Stack Exchange sites. .

Want to know more about me? Visit my website, or follow me on Twitter.


Aug
24
comment How to get weather forecasts at Yellowstone?
Awesome! I'm glad you got a system figured out @Mili.
Aug
19
comment What information to leave with your emergency contact?
Regarding a radio: if using an FRS/GMRS radio, it might be useful to note what channel (and privacy code if applicable) your radio is on. Then if you get lost, you can set it to that channel and there's a chance that you would be able to communicate with rescuers.
Aug
19
comment What happens if I inadvertently set off a personal locator beacon?
This highlights the importance of registering your PLB. I read recently that about 70% of PLBs are unregistered. If your PLB is registered, and the authorities can contact your family, it can give the rescuers a much better idea of who they're looking for, what sorts of equipment they might have, etc.
Aug
15
comment If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?
@Mazura as for charging for SAR services... most SAR agencies don't. If somebody knows they'll be charged for rescue, they may delay requesting help until their situation gets even more dire, which in turn can put rescuers at greater risk. At least in the US, there's a strong precedent for not charging for SAR. If a locator beacon is misused, the user can be fined (as in the case mentioned in the article I linked previously), but that's different from charging for rescue services.
Aug
15
comment If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?
@Mazura I agree that technology should not be ruled out because some abuse it, I'm just pointing some caveats. I don't think hiking solo necessitates carrying a PLB... especially if you're in an area where there will be other people, even if they aren't in your own group. By all means it's a useful item to have, but I wouldn't categorize it as essential, and I'd caution people against developing a false sense of security.
Aug
15
comment If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?
nbcnews.com/id/33470581/ns/us_news-life/t/…
Aug
15
comment If injured and lost, what are your biggest priorities for survival?
@Mazura from that very article, "“A person who carries a PLB should always take the proper measures to prevent themselves from ever having to use it,” Phillips says." They certainly have a place, but even if you do have a PLB, it takes time for the rescue crews to arrive. That article is from 2007; since then the popularity of PLBs has risen dramatically, and in some cases people think "well I have a locator beacon, so I can get help if I need it," leading to less careful decision making and not carrying adequate gear to avoid needing to be rescued in the first place.
Aug
14
comment What makes a good head lamp?
In my opinion, regulated output is a must. Some lights these days even have a battery level indicator. My headlamp (Black Diamond Revolt) has a small LED on the side that goes from green to orange when the battery life drops. The indicator light only turns on for 3 seconds after you turn the headlamp on, so it doesn't waste much power. Many lights are practically useless after the first hour or so. I'll take a regulated light that puts out 70 lumens over an unregulated light that puts out 100 any day.
Aug
14
comment How bright a flashlight would I realistically need for searching through terrain?
Equally (if not more) important as lumens is output regulation. A regulated output will put out (approximately) the same brightness for the duration of the battery life. An unregulated light will quickly drop in output until it's hardly useful. Always get a regulated light if you can.
Aug
12
comment Does eating snow help dehydration?
I get 117 calories required to melt 1 kg of frozen water. Of course, even at about 2x as many calories, you're still not looking at much water usage. Eating snow will cause hypothermia long before it causes dehydration.
Aug
7
comment Is burying human waste always the lowest-impact solution?
@BenCrowell it's some of both. At higher elevations, especially if there isn't much plant growth, there just isn't much of anything to decompose the waste.
Aug
6
comment Is burying human waste always the lowest-impact solution?
I've heard that burning the toilet paper is also a good way to break it down, and accelerate the decomposition in appropriate climates.
Aug
6
comment Is burying human waste always the lowest-impact solution?
@gerrit I would say that under no circumstances should you leave solid waste exposed. An animal might eat it, somebody might step in it, etc. It might or might not be better for the vegetation, but it's never OK to just leave fecal matter on the ground exposed.
Aug
5
comment recreation.gov trail permits - “W: Available at the Facility”
@HelmHammerhand if you call the appropriate ranger station they can give you a more detailed answer, too.
Aug
5
comment recreation.gov trail permits - “W: Available at the Facility”
@HelmHammerhand they're going to be equally strict either way. There are hard quotas in that area, and they can be filled by reservations or in-person permits, but the quota's the same either way. There are so many people in those areas that they need to be quite strict.
Aug
1
comment Altitude sickness when going from sea level to 14,000 ft (4,200m) in a single day
@BenCrowell regardless of whether dehydration exacerbates altitude sickness, it's important to stay hydrated. If you know you're hydrated, but you're feeling symptoms that could be either altitude sickness or dehydration, then you can deduce that you might be suffering from altitude sickness and ought to head down. If you think you're "just" dehydrated but really have altitude sickness, that could end poorly.
Jul
30
comment Survival type activies for Scout camp
With regards to the first aid bit, I'd go so far as to say that one of the most important things is to explicitly teach them not to attempt procedures they aren't trained for. You can often do more harm than good, especially when it comes to major fractures or deep wounds. Essentially nobody should be sewing anything in a first aid situation, for example. Not just "doesn't necessarily [need to] be able to", but "absolutely should not".
Jul
30
comment Survival type activies for Scout camp
Please go over "leave no trace" principles in some manner before anything else. It might be an unfair generalization, but in my experience, scout troups are some of the worst when it comes to leaving trash, loudly disturbing neighbors in the campground, destroying vegetation, etc. If you teach your group to respect the wilderness early on and instill good practices now, it'll mean less work for you to clean up after them later, and others nearby will be more welcoming.
Jul
23
comment Permanent Camping Cooler - No Ice Needed
More info on what @AM_Hawk said: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/14775/…
Jul
21
comment Comparing 2-person, three-season backpacking tents
@ppl right, and the key quote is "The key to a shopping question is that it asks others 'please make a subjective decision for me and explain it' or 'please list all my possibilities with their strengths and weaknesses'." I think this question at present asks the former (make a subjective decision for me). The question could be improved by editing it to say how he narrowed it down to these tents, how they're different, and what specific differences he's unsure of the implications of. "Anyone have thoughts on these" isn't an objectively answerable question.