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bio website lightandmatter.com
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I live in LA and enjoy day hikes, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.


Jul
13
revised Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness
deleted 27 characters in body
Jul
13
revised What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
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Jul
13
comment Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness
related: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/6026/…
Jul
13
revised Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness
added 4 characters in body
Jul
13
asked What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
Jul
13
answered What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
Jul
13
revised Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness
added 714 characters in body
Jul
13
answered Hiking and wild sleeping in California wilderness
Jul
12
revised fatigue on high altitudes
added 197 characters in body
Jul
12
answered fatigue on high altitudes
Jul
10
comment Looking for secluded camping land in California, near the bay area
Three hours from the Bay Area gets you to a huge swath of Northern California, including Los Padres National Forest, the western Sierra, and areas as far north as Jackson State Forest. You can almost get to Yosemite Valley and Shasta in that amount of time. This a huge geographical area.
Jul
9
comment How to tell if water is likely to have cryptosporidium?
This answer gives the false impression that Giardia is a problem in the Sierra. It's not. See Robert L. Rockwell, Sierra Nature Notes, Volume 2, January 2002, web.archive.org/web/20051026030831/www.yosemite.org/naturenotes/… . More info at lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html
Jul
9
comment Water filters - why sand and rocks?
[...] Time spent on silliness like water purification is increasing one's risk by causing delay. (3) If you hypothetically get giardia or bacterial diarrhea, that will show up after a time lag. E.g., giardia has an incubation period of about a week. By that time, presumably you're safe anyway. (4) Scientific research shows that when people get backcountry diarrhea, it's typically from hand-to-mouth contamination from their hiking partners. In the hypothetical emergency situation, an easier and much more effective method of prevention would be just to avoid hand-to-mouth contamination.
Jul
9
comment Water filters - why sand and rocks?
Doesn't charcoal filtration also get rid of protozoan cysts such as giardia? Can you clarify "is not recommended?" Who doesn't recommend it and why not? Personally, my concerns would be the following. (1) Backcountry water is normally fine anyway. Using this technique takes water that's probably clean and healthy, and mixes it with a bunch of dirty rocks and sand, which are probably covered with dirt, which contains a lot of bacteria. (2) In a hypothetical emergency situation, one should focus on the main issues, such as getting found or finding one's way to safety. [...]
Jul
8
comment Water filters - why sand and rocks?
The idea is kind of silly, because the need for purifying backcountry water is basically a myth. If you're in an emergency survival situation like this, the last thing you should be worrying about is improvising a way to perform unnecessary purification of your water.
Jul
8
comment Compare running fitness to hiking
You should be fine doing it in 2 days. People often do it in 1. But don't underestimate the difficulty of getting a permit. Have a backup plan, such as Mt. Langley.
Jul
8
comment Does water in the sun get purified from or polluted by algae, fungi and bacteria?
@Erik: OK, so it's well water. Do you have some reason to believe that the well water is contaminated and not safe to drink without treatment?
Jul
7
revised Why shouldn't I buy an ultra light tent?
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Jul
7
comment Does water in the sun get purified from or polluted by algae, fungi and bacteria?
@Erik: The point is that we have no understanding of what your water source is, whether it's likely to be contaminated, and if so, with what. If you're hiking in an unpopulated backcountry area, then the answer is probably that your water wasn't contaminated in the first place, didn't need to be treated in any way, and isn't going to be improved by leaving it in the sun. Microorganisms don't just spontaneously arise in uncontaminated water, and they don't all behave in the same way.
Jul
7
comment Does water in the sun get purified from or polluted by algae, fungi and bacteria?
It's hard to answer your question without understanding something about what you're trying to do. Are you hiking in the Himalayas? Living in a village in Baja California that has sewage running in the streets?