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Everything posted by Adrenalynn

  1. I woke up next to several, with a 4+" hairy on my "pillow" (jacket) once. I readily admit that it's kinda rude to wake up that way. They just wanted to get in where it was warm... It's kinda hard to remind yourself that you are better off not startling them and returning the rudeness, that they may act rather poorly in that situation. So, yeah, I've been there. The worst was waking to a rattler in my sleeping bag. THAT's rude. Laying there, trying to control your breathing, not sure what kinda snake is cuddled up to you, and trying to figure out how the fudge you're going to extricate yourself from that situation... Screaming like a schoolgirl and pounding on the thing is probably not the greatest reaction, although it was certainly my first considered. Slowly unzipping the bag and either letting him crawl out, or you crawl out (depending upon zip-side) was the best solution I could come up with. I don't buy mummy bags now, unless I *must*, and tend to keep my zipper on the top... Even so, I've never been bitten by a rattler, and have only been stung twice by scorps, both times trying to get them to "pose" for the camera...
  2. You know, I went from writing just the bare minimum (name ((often a hint itself)), waypoint, difficulty, size, maybe hint) on a piece of paper, to the whole paperless caching thing. Then promptly went back to the minimalist thing. I generate pocket queries of all the areas I'm likely to use, and load 'em into my palm. If I'm in an area without anything written down, I'll use it. If I'm on a pre-planned run, I won't, unless I'm really stuck. That much futzing around with the palm really decreases my enjoyment of the hike... Just imho.
  3. Hey, I'm going to sue GC because they didn't tell me I needed to check the oil in the truck before I went caching! They also didn't tell me to turn off the iron before I left on a three day cache trip. Further, they didn't warn me that I could slam my finger in the door of the gas station that I stopped at to buy batteries in. Finally, and most critically, they didn't warn me that eating batteries is generally not a good thing.
  4. Yuppers - all over. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...e3-6981ab0d25c8 "Go away GPS Geeks" was about the nicest thing they had to say... But then, on the flip-side, I have found caches where the muggles just effused about how cool the hobby seemed, etc. I bought a GPSr for one teen muggle (with their parents permission) that I caught *maintaining* a cache - not theirs. The teen explained that he wished he could go out and find more, but his parents thought it was "kinda weird". So I explained it, took them out once, then bought him a GPSr. Hey - any teen out caching is one not hanging out in front of the local shop-and-rob!
  5. Yeah, flipping over wood and such, the most frightening thing in that list is either the bees or the Slendertail scorpion. Itty bitty almost translucent thing (fluoresces under blacklight) and venom that'd knock down a horse - and not afraid to use it. Nasty little buggers. The upshot is that pretty much any critter that isn't rabid or otherwise ill will go out of their way to avoid a confrontation, and warn you you're about to get your butt kicked. Even the scorp's warn. The fear of these creatures is bred in misunderstanding, legend, and 2000+ year old ignorance in some aforementioned cases...
  6. -------- Now I'm supposed to Introduce myself, state that I'm trained in first aid, and ask permission. Unless they can't respond then I am to assume that they want help. Being myself I asked "If we can assume that they wan't help if they can't respond --------- I first took first aid and CPR back [cough] 20 years ago... The Red Cross taught exactly the same thing at that time. 12 years ago, I was a certified trainer, and that's what we were taught to teach... Maybe the first time wasn't Red Cross and this time was, or something?
  7. Yeah, but man could it terrify the squirrels!!!
  8. Can you be a little more specific on the "something like that"? Presumably, they're just decimal coords, with the space representing the decimal. If that's the case, yeah, I can do 'em in my head - and provide linkage to conversion sites... But I'd like to check and confirm first.
  9. I saw my first of the year last night, chasing down an FTF... Alas, he was a very dead little yearling. Just two rattles and about 9" long. Not sure if he was killed by horses (he was on the horse trail) or the bizzarre weather we've had this year. Between that and the Garter I took photos of last weekend, nature is reminding us here in the SacTown Valley to start watching where we're putting our hands and feet (and caches!)...
  10. Mark, How was the cloud cover? I was in western central Arkansas with clear skies. I tried it a little in the car on the way home and got a weak lock with the kind of accuracy levels you mentioned. Out hiking in broken heavy cloud cover in California yesterday, from 13:00-19:45. Had pretty much 8-12birds all day except under heavy foliage, at times an estimated 7ft accuracy. It was within 10' of the posted cords in all but one out of eleven instances. (Ancient Garmin eMap)
  11. As a long-time desert dweller and snake "aficionado" (amateur herpetologist) - I 110% agree with you, Vinny. A wonderful observation! They have limited venom stores and production. The more they put into defense, the less they have for offense - ie. eating. They really don't want to waste it on you. They give the rattle and coil-up. Effectively: "Look, I don't want to kick your @ss, but I want you to know I can if I want to. So why don't you just go away and we'll all call it good?" Of course, that doesn't mean they WON'T. Also depends on their mood and temperament. How long it's been since they've eaten last, etc. So don't mess with 'em. But they don't WANT to bite you. There are other species of snake that DO want to bite you, however. The rattlers just aren't those.. Thanks, Vinny! Yes, I agree! Now, of course, I do want to point out that rattlers in general are more aggressive than copperheads, which tend to be extremely private and shy and would do anything to avoid biting a person. And, it is true that among rattlesnakes, the Western diamondback rattlesnake (and one other North American rattlesnake whose name I forget) has a reputation for being somewhat more aggressive than most other rattlers, but really, North American pit vipers really just want to be left alone. Again, agreed! The most aggressive snake I've met lately was a "little" 3ish foot Western terrestrial Garter though. Little guy struck my camera several times, after having hit my boot, and my hiking pole. He was a good six feet away and came OVER to harass me. You gotta wonder about the reptilian brain that goes out of its way to come pick on something that could squash it like a bug... Then again, if you read my edited post above, maybe you'd wonder less. . .
  12. >> My magellan almost killed a friend of mine the first time out today! GPS' don't kill people, people kill themselves chasing arrows where commonsense tells 'em not to be. Not that I'm not guilty of it now and again - just don't try to blame the GPS. Or, like the guy a page back, who figures that someone dug that thar 10' hole in the trail and then put camo over it, just hoping someone would come along and fall into it - presumably so they could come back later and point and laugh, right before serving 20 years for attempted premeditated homicide. It amazes me how far people will go to keep from saying "I was being stupid when..." ... As a long-time desert dweller and snake "aficionado" (amateur herpetologist) - I 110% agree with you, Vinny. A wonderful observation! They have limited venom stores and production. The more they put into defense, the less they have for offense - ie. eating. They really don't want to waste it on you. They give the rattle and coil-up. Effectively: "Look, I don't want to kick your @ss, but I want you to know I can if I want to. So why don't you just go away and we'll all call it good?" Of course, that doesn't mean they WON'T. Also depends on their mood and temperament. How long it's been since they've eaten last, etc. So don't mess with 'em. But they don't WANT to bite you. There are other species of snake that DO want to bite you, however. The rattlers just aren't those.. Thanks, Vinny!
  13. Yeah, I'm 100% certain it's NOT a black rattler. I'm 98% certain it's a Speckled Rattlesnake, ala my earlier post... That's funny you've seen so few. I'm pretty surprised. I've seen all 18 species and subs with only 12 years in AZ/NM/CO. Of course, I was looking for them, which might have made a difference...
  14. See how BLACK the black is? He didn't say where in Az, but you don't find them below about 4500ft because they're a high-altitude snake. I know this is slightly off-topic, but I'm still going to disagree with the Black ID. Speckled...
  15. When you run out at midnight for a just-published FTF, knowing you have to be up early the next morning for your local monthly cache event... Guess I'd better go to bed now.
  16. I don't believe that you have an Arizona Black Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis cerberus) there. Coloration, head, distinguishing marking, body size - nope... From the coloration, markings, and head, I'd lean more towards a Crotalus mitchellii or Speckled Rattlesnake. And a very pretty one at that. Fair sized, I'd say, without there being much there for scale. An Az. Black will be very dark to black with lighter yellow outlines of dorsal blotches. You find blacks a lot up Flagstaff/Kingman/Williams way where the forest floor is darker. They're a high-altitude snake. Arizona has 17 different rattlesnakes native, of the 84 species/subspecies around the world. Regardless, I second or third or some-such the "leave the poor thing alone". The vast majority of bites in Arizona occur when people are f'ing with provoking snakes. And it's almost assured that those bites will be granted to males between the ages of 20 and 50 and that alcohol was a seriously contributing factor... [edited to add: One of the most amusing things I ever saw in the boonies was two guys harassing a Diamond Back. Throwing stuff and later, poking at him with a stick. The snake struck at the stick, the guy was startled and stepped backwards - about two inches from the smaller male that he hadn't seen. Lucky his buddy was with him. His leg would have fallen off from necrosis by the time I had stopped laughing and managed to render assistance had it just been me in the vicinity. . .]
  17. Renegade Knight, Please look up copyright prior to posting something like that. I think you'll find that you're mistaken, and that the act of publication secures copyright itself at the date that it is first rendered in its form. Seeking damages, however, will go a lot better if you register your mark. Nothing, but nothing, is public domain unless it is placed in the public domain by its owner. Nearly anything created after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted. 'course, I'm not an attorney, and this isn't legal advice. Just practical experience from someone that does the intellectual property thing for a living. . . The USPTO would be a good starting point for learning about copyright. uspto.gov
  18. What goes into a pack is largely a very personal thing. Having volunteered with Search And Rescue (SAR) for five years, there are a few things I'd really like to see go into it, though. First, a note: If we're talking about Urban Drive-ups, well, that's pretty different. Stun gun, pepper-spray, 9mm hand gun, switch blade, brass knuckles, 6cell mag light, surefire tac light, 12g with beanbags, something that can lay down reasonable suppression fire... If you're going out in the boonies - gosh. I sure wish I had a $1 for everyone that was within a few hundred feet of easy help when we found 'em... Let's talk about a few realities - You have a GPS. Great! A GPS smashed on the rocks a mile from your house in the middle of a warm mid-spring day is heartbreaking. The GPS you were relying upon to get you out of the boonies at 1am smashed on the rocks may mean you're _dead_. Navigating by rabbit tracks in the middle of a warm mid-spring day is actually pretty hazardous. Trying to do it at 1am in the rain when the temp has dropped 40degrees is suicidal. In many areas (maybe most), the majority of SAR is volunteer. They leave their warm houses and their families to come risk their lives to collect your sorry @ss from the trouble YOU put it in. They will do their darnedest to find and recover you in a timely fashion. BUT: It's a big tree covered world out there. It takes time. Time you may not have. Have a little respect for what they do and be at least reasonably prepared to take care of yourself so there's enough left of you to bother finding... A simple first-aid kit, and a red cross first-aid course, RENEWED REGULARLY (on both counts). This should be a DUH. A couple extra layers of clothing. A change of socks. (you'd be AMAZED at the survival difference a pair of socks can make when the difference between life and death comes down to attitude) TWO flashlights with fresh batteries. Even a keychain penlight flashing in the boonies is visible for miles from a 'chopper. A compass and basic orientation skills. Make that two. I carry three. One in my first aid kit, one on my pack, and one in my pocket. They weigh nothing. Losing your pack in a ravine sucks when your compass was in it. A whistle. A good orange floating whistle intended for the backwoods. Man can you hear that thing a long way off. And you don't lose your voice from shouting right when it's needed. A _good_ knife. Or two. You'll understand when you need it. Look - this has all been covered in this thread. My normal pack is six and a half pounds, give or take, depending upon the amount of water in it. I could live in the woods for a month quite comfortably with those six and a half pounds. Stories: How about the HAM/Hiker we pulled out? He radio'd for help after breaking his ankle about a mile and a half out in the woods. He had a GPS. So he gives us his cords (through a phone relay). We check the topos. Looks reasonable. There's a trail head not far. We muster, the dogs are antsy, this will be an easy one, off we go. Four hours later he's found by a chopper en-route - about 10 miles away. He had a flashlight (good man) and was signaling the chopper. In his immense pain and stress, he repeatedly was transposing the same two digits off his GPS. Then his radio batteries flatted. Then his GPS batteries. GPS? Radio? Phone? Cute toys. Plan on taking care of yourself with the basics until the posse arrives. Duh.
  19. Estimated depth currently is 450' - 500'. I don't think scuba will help and the amount of silt and sand blown into the lake since about 1960 will have buried the marks, anyway. John I did some research, and a rebreather (heliox was mentioned) could get you that depth. But it would require months or years of training and experience to safely dive that deep. It'd take a support team, and you would likely not have a huge amount of time to search. It'd still be a hell of an accomplishment! Would that be a found poor or just a found as described? Rebreather would not be the way to go. Rare-gas diving, yes. But as you mention, a heck of an undertaking. Back when I was doing the scuba thing pretty seriously, I did a confirmed 350ft dive. Your bottom time is nothing, and the decomp time is immense. So the upshot is - no, not practical. That said - those could be *easily* recovered with RPV submersibles. Even a "hobbiest" deep water RPV would pick those off. Even if they're under feet of silt, they can be blown and vacuumed. Treasure hunters do it "all the time".
  20. Take half a handful less trail mix. Voila. There's your 7-8 ounces. An argument I used to have as a cyclist all the time. If you're really THAT dedicated to light hiking, don't bring a GPSr at all! They're not all _that_ for hiking anyway. A compass, an altimeter, and a waterproof map. That's what light hikers carry...
  21. Just one more addition to the very valid point about having a compass, maps, and the knowledge to orienteer with them... Please don't forget an Altimeter. And please calibrate it before heading out. If you're using topos, this is almost a requirement. Also great for keeping an eye on the weather, as it works as a barometer too when you know what you're looking at. Of course, this is all kinda silly for grabbing urban micros. If I'm going out into the REAL woods, though, I'll carry two good compass' and a flat Silva in my first-aid kit. And at least one altimeter. You could feed my GPSr (a classic Garmin eMap - so take THAT, JV... As you well know - it gets me there... ) to your gators and I'll still happily find my way home. Another thing to think about: At least one compass should be on your body if you have one or two on/in your pack. I've lost a pack in a crevasse 14,000ft up. Nice to whip out the surviving compass in that situation!
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