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bio website lightandmatter.com
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visits member for 1 year, 5 months
seen 20 hours ago

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


2d
comment Climbing Kilimanjaro for a newbie
I disagree with the emphasis on physical fitness. Physical fitness is basically irrelevant for climbing Kilimanjaro. Because of the need for acclimatization, you can't even climb very much each day. It's all easy trail-walking, and anyone who can carry a pack and hike a few miles a day can handle it.
2d
comment Climbing Kilimanjaro for a newbie
It's not even legal to climb it alone. There's a legal requirement to have a guide.
2d
comment How To Quickly Warm A Tent
If this question is aimed at settling an argument with your girlfriend, I would definitely advocate this method. If you can keep this method going well enough to keep warm all night, then you're a better man than I.
Sep
15
comment How To Quickly Warm A Tent
The tent's main purpose is not really to hold in warm air, it's to keep you from getting rained on and keep the wind off your face. Insulation is primarily the job of your sleeping bag and pad, and secondarily of any long underwear, socks, hat, etc., that you wear to bed. If you're too cold, you basically need a better bag and pad. It's not normal to heat a tent, and there is no easy way to do it.
Sep
15
comment Onlinetool to setup a track in a map and calculate the distance
I've been using mapmyrun.com for this, but I'd prefer open-source software rather than being dependent on someone's web site.
Sep
13
comment What is the name of this knot for tying into a “confidence” rope?
"Stopper knot" is one thing the knot could be used for, but it's not the name of the knot. I also disagree that the knot is good for the purpose advocated -- see my answer.
Sep
12
comment How to tell the time at night
@Shawn: The moon is not synchronized with the sun. Huh? They are almost exactly synchronized over the course of a night. A single night is a tiny fraction of a lunar month.
Sep
8
comment How do you locate the “North Star”?
@orangejewelweed: No eyeball technique using the stars is going to give you the kind of high-precision heading you could get from a properly adjusted magnetic compass. For example, if you have a map that shows you want to go 134 degrees east of north, locating Polaris by eye is only going to give you a rough idea of what direction that is. There are more sophisticated celestial navigation techniques, but they require instruments and possibly tables.
Sep
8
comment How do you locate the “North Star”?
Nice answer. From my latitude in Los Angeles, Cassiopeia is often visible when the big dipper is not. Polaris is not especially bright, so in big, light-polluted cities like mine, one can often use Cassiopeia to find north even if Polaris is too dim to see.
Sep
8
comment How do I find north using a watch?
@ChrisCudmore: It's only a very approximate way of finding north anyway.
Sep
7
comment Backpack strap chafing
Is the belly band tight enough so that most of the weight is on your hips?
Sep
4
comment Can you boil an egg in dirty water?
@Doc: based on what I've read in the past, shouldn't one be wary of all wilderness water (even fast-moving) because of the potential for things like tapeworm eggs from animal droppings? Where have you read this, and what wilderness areas do you have in mind? There is copious evidence that, e.g., water in the Sierra does not need to be treated. Are you thinking of giardia or other protozoan cysts, and perhaps misremembering this as tapeworms? In any case, there is no known disease-causing organism present in backcountry water that would survive boiling.
Sep
3
comment Bare Essentials for 2-3 day Hike
What is your total base weight right now, i.e., the weight not counting food or water? About 5-6 kg is reasonable for a lightweight summer setup. The biggest single item in your total weight right now the 3 kg of water. There is no way to tell whether this is necessary or not, because we don't know the availability of water along your route or whether water purification is necessary on your route. E.g., if you're in the Sierra, then water purification isn't needed, and the correct amount of water to carry is normally zero.
Aug
28
comment How many calories does hiking burn?
related: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/77139/…
Aug
24
comment How to find climbing shoes for toe and heel hooks?
Basically the ones with more of a curved heel are probably what you want. You might want to keep your original shoes in case you get interested in trad climbing and multipitch; they'll be more comfortable and practical for that.
Aug
23
comment Applications of a slip knot in climbing?
@Ryley: If it snagged, wouldn't you just be able to clear the snag during the rappel? Rapping off the end of the rope is an extremely common cause of climbing accidents, so I would definitely always use knots.
Aug
22
comment Shortening a shoulder-length sling to half-length?
@Liam: Good point. These folks blog.alpineinstitute.com/2013/04/extending-your-rappel.html recommend girth-hitching through the tie-in loops for that reason. This also seems like a good idea because when I girth-hitch to the belay loop, the sling tends to get caught under biners that are under tension.
Aug
21
comment Rock climbing- trad
Does "negative" mean overhanging? What do you mean by "cliff-hangers?"
Aug
21
comment Lowering off from anchors vs. rappelling after a climb?
From your description, it sounds like a cllimber calling down "in direct" is at best pointless and at worst dangerous...?
Aug
20
comment What happens if I inadvertently set off a personal locator beacon?
@SteveJessop: I'm basing this on newspaper reports and on having spent some time reading incident reports on the web site of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, which handles the San Jacinto Mountains. Search and rescue volunteers are well trained and careful, but they still do get hurt and killed. Probably one of the contributing factors here is Southern California is that the Transverse Ranges are extremely rugged and generally have horrible rock quality. If someone's perched on a ledge on some horrible dirt/scree cliff, it may be difficult to find good anchors, and there may be rock fall.