5,644 reputation
1331
bio website lightandmatter.com
location
age
visits member for 1 year, 5 months
seen 10 hours ago

I live in LA and enjoy day hikes, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.


Aug
1
comment Altitude sickness when going from sea level to 14,000 ft (4,200m) in a single day
I don't think it's true that you have to use diamox for weeks while gradually acclimatizing to ultra-high altitudes. I often take it the night before summit day if I'm going to ~14,000'. But you do have to be careful because diamox makes some people violently ill. It's a good idea to try it at home to make sure it doesn't make you sick.
Aug
1
revised Please Explain Rock Climbing Grades
added 307 characters in body
Aug
1
revised Please Explain Rock Climbing Grades
added 307 characters in body
Aug
1
comment Making a Make-Shift harness from Tape-Slings
@Andrew: No, it's the other way around. A real climbing harness is much heavier and bulkier than this type of harness, which is just a loop of webbing plus a locking carabiner.
Aug
1
answered Making a Make-Shift harness from Tape-Slings
Aug
1
comment How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?
@goldilocks: What is the point of the bag cover if you have dry bags inside the pack?
Aug
1
comment How should I pack for a week of backpacking in the rain?
In addition to what pheidlauf said, getting your feet wet makes the skin soft and therefore leads to blisters. That makes it even more crucial to have dry socks and shoes.
Jul
30
comment Group camping - cooking equipment and eating utensils packing list
Communal cooking/eating combined with bad potty hygiene is apparently the main cause of backpacker's diarrhea (which for decades had been blamed on contaminated backcountry water). Your safest bet is individual cooking, which can be done easily and conveniently with the freezer-bad cooking technique. More info here: lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html
Jul
29
comment Proper technique for self-arrest with an ice axe, when wearing crampons
I don't think it's quite this simple. You definitely want to practice by raising your crampons off the ground. Using your crampons to stop yourself is extremely dangerous, and can easily break your angles or cause you to flip, so it's not something you want to do by choice. But if the runout is really bad, and you're having trouble self-arresting with just your ax, then you may very well need to use your crampons as well.
Jul
28
comment Week long trek, how far each day? pace?
40 lb is a crazy amount of weight. A more reasonable pack weight would be 15 lb plus 1.5 lb/day of food. (Since there's plentiful water, there's no need to carry it on your back.)
Jul
28
comment What hazardous wildlife is there in the UK?
In Scotland, watch out for haggises.
Jul
26
comment I found a Deer Tick on my friend and removed it, what should I do now?
The answer to this question depends quite a bit on where Anywhere National Forest actually is. If you look at CDC maps, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are highly localized. For example, they really don't exist in most of California. (The cases in California are probably from people who traveled elsewhere and got it there.) You can't get the disease in an area where there's no animal reservoir, and large areas of the US just don't have any animal reservoir.
Jul
25
comment Do polarized sunglasses protect against UV?
I don't think this answers the question.
Jul
24
comment Permanent Camping Cooler - No Ice Needed
Why is electricity ruled out? Is there something preventing you from using photovoltaics?
Jul
19
answered Legality of parking and setting up camp on side of mountain roads in California near Los Angeles
Jul
18
comment What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
Martines: I'm not disagreeing with you about what to do, just about the probability of success. I really don't consider mountain lion attacks to be enough of a risk to be worth worrying about.
Jul
18
comment What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
Re mountain lions, your advice may very well be the best option, but based on anecdotal evidence I'm not as confident that it will work. Anecdote #1: I've talked to a guy who was very persistently stalked by a mountain lion, even though he did all the things you suggest. He escaped to the trailhead while keeping it from rushing him. Anecdote #2: A friend of a friend was killed by a mountain lion while she was riding her mountain bike. There's no way to know exactly what happened, but clearly she was not able to fight it off. I suspect she was attacked from behind and never knew what hit her.
Jul
18
comment What wild animals are there in California that can be dangerous or create hassles, and how do I avoid problems with them?
+1. The only thing I would quibble with about this answer is the description of black bears as mild, docile, and wanting to avoid humans. This is true for bears that have not been habituated to humans, but not at all true for those that have. In an area (Little Yosemite) with lots of human-habituated bears, I have had a bear stroll into my campsite, take the food that we were in the middle of eating, and very authoritatively let us know that we should keep our distance until it was done licking up the last cracker crumb.
Jul
18
comment What essential items should go in a small first aid kit?
The things that I see missing from the answers so far are: duct tape for wrapping toes; safety pin for removing thorns and splinters; band-aids for minor cuts. I also bring diamox when I'm going to high elevations, and may bring an antidiarrheal as well. Tincture of benzoin is supposed to be useful for sticking bandages to wounds, but I haven't found an affordable source.
Jul
18
comment An adjustable length knot for 2 lines and a carabiner for easy suspension
You can even tie it directly on the branch/beam/bar without worrying about adding a carabiner. This is a dangerous habit to get into. A clove hitch will fail when the diameter of the post is too large compared to the diameter of the rope. To see this in action, try tying a clove hitch around a pencil using sewing thread; it will fail.