A page for (occasional) blogs


A Hiker Rescue in the Sandias

On August 31 the Albuquerque Journal published a story about a hiker rescue in the Sandia Mountains. I’ll quote the article in full, because this time I want to comment on the story as well as the incident.

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Two More Hikers Get into Trouble

In the space of three days, New Mexico news services posted two stories about hikers who got into trouble. Happily, both survived. As usual, I’ll break down the stories to see what hikers can learn from them.

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A Nectar-Robbing Carpenter Bee

 

Two days ago I caught a carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.) engaging in nectar robbing. I do have a few words to say in favor of the defendant.

 

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Three Photos, One Story

Cooper's Hawk, Accipiter cooperii, Albuquerque
The first hawk
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The Irises at the Domingo Baca Cabin

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A fall, an injury, and an intelligent response

 

A hiking companion passed along a story about a hiking accident in The Taos News (June 20–26, 2019). You can find the story online here. There’s a happy ending: the victim will make a full recovery.

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Another Fall in the Sandias

hiker injury, Embudo Trail, first responders, Albuquerque Fire Department
Part of the response to the report of a hiker injury along the Embudo Trail.
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Dehydration in the Desert

 

How much water do you need in the desert, on a hot summer day? Let's take a look.

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More on survival shelters

Brush shelter, Tree Spring Trail, Sandia Mountains, Cibola National Forest, New Mexico, survival, bushcraft
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Another hiker's death from falling

 

On July 27 last year I wrote a blog titled, "Want to die? Falling is all it takes." On May 17 the Albuquerque Journal carried a brief story, "Hiker killed in fall near Questa." I'll repeat the full story.

  

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Deuce of Spades Hiker's Trowel

Deuce of Spades, trowel, hike, hiking, backpacking
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A bear encounter and a newspaper column

On August 9 I put up a YouTube video about a bear encounter, and on August 10 the Albuquerque Journal published my guest column on Forrest Fenn's treasure.

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Want to die? Falling is all it takes.

This morning's Albuquerque Journal carried a story titled "Hiker dies in fall at White Rock Canyon." Hikers tend to be most worried about lightning or bears, but many hiking deaths are due to falls.

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The Better Bear Bell?

 

For me, hiking is not about distances or other goals, but about a healthy aesthetic experience. I want to be in a beautiful place—so I'm a lousy candidate for through-hiking the CDT and its long stretches of road. And when I eat on the trail, I like the food to taste good—no ramen packets for me! Hence my previous blog on taking red and green chile on a hike

 

Given that attitude, it's no surprise that I wasn't fond of my standard bear bell. It warns bears as well as any other bell, I'm sure, but the sound is harsh. When I wear it all day, it gets downright annoying. For anyone else out there whose bear bell annoys them, here's one solution.

 

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Red or Green? New Mexico Chile for the Trail

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Pants & Shirts

Ex Officio Sol Cool shirt, hiking, backpacking, clothing, gear
Ex Officio Sol Cool long sleeve, half zip shirt
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Boots & Socks

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An open tarp shelter with the Dutchware continuous ridge line

On a different page I show how to create a storm-resistant, ground-hugging shelter using a DD tarp. For years, when I needed an open-sided awning for milder conditions, I winged it. No longer, thanks to Dutchware's continuous ridge line.

 

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More on emergency shelter

 This morning I was jogging past Hyder Park when I saw this kids' play house, made from branches that came down during a storm. I had to take a picture because it's the kind of shelter you can make if you're stuck in the woods overnight.

 

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A look at the Delorme InReach SE

One problem with remote hikes in New Mexico is the frequent lack of cell phone service. In an emergency, someone may need to hike out, then drive, just to call 911. If you’re hiking alone, an immobilizing injury could be a death sentence. When a pay raise allowed a one-time splurge, I purchased a satellite messenger.

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