May
18
2010
1

More on Oral Rehydration Supplies

Over the weekend I had a chance to talk with the district health and safety person about oral rehydration mixes, and passed on the question about whether we should be emphasizing keeping a satchel of gatorade (or similar mix) with the first aid supplies.

His response was interesting. Basically gatorade at full strength is about 2-3 times more concentrated than it should be, and therefore can be quite a shock to the system. Basically it can make someone who is more than marginally dehydrated vomit and become worse, unless you dilute it or follow it with a lot of (clean, purified) water.

The non-sugar containing salt pills might actually be better simply because they would allow for slower salt uptake due to lower amounts of active transport. (you could always have a hard candy for the sufferer as a morale booster, and that would give about the correct amount of sugar at the more or less correct rate.)

Written by Rob in: backpacking,outdoors,scouting |
May
10
2010
3

Great Sailing

A high pressure front came through this weekend with 5-15 MPH winds on the lake.  So we took the sail canoe out (see sailboats to go or my earlier post for a picture).  Even with relatively high winds and waves (we stayed in a cove so they were tempered), the boat performed very well.  It was especially fast tacking downwind (broad reaches).  Unfortunately I didn’t bring a gps, but it felt as fast as a small motorboat.

Written by Rob in: outdoors |
May
06
2010
1

Beneficial effects of lightweight packing

Just back from CIBCB’10 which was held in Montreal Canada.  Great city, a fun chance to practice my small amount of French, good food, good company, and great science.  GSU actually showed up quite well with three (of about 25) accepted papers (two from my lab – but all the graduate students whose papers were accepted share the same office). You can get the details from the conference website, and the proceedings – so I won’t bore you with them here.

I was surprised at how light-weight I packed.  For a 4-day trip, I went easily on carry on, which isn’t surprising.  However, I went with a daypack!.  My lighter weight bias has resulted in using lighter more compact clothing, and fabrics that are rinse and wear.  Since it was so light I could sprint around the airports or to catch the 747 bus to the airport (Montreal has a direct express bus to the airport, $7 buys a daypass for it).  Since the clothes wash so easily, I came back with only one set of dirty clothes – so as usual – I overpacked.

May
01
2010
3

An Alcohol Stove that Might Actually Make the Grade

On something of a lark, I blew part of my REI rebate on a Vargo titanium triad stove. I’d seen them reviewed and Vargo outdoors is on my short list of good places to look for lightweight gear.  I could get it a bit cheaper by ordering, but I wanted a chance to heft it first.

It is a little heavier than a typical beer can stove.  However, it includes a stand and stakes to stabilize it.  One of the big troubles with most EtOH stoves is the need to place the pot a centimeter or so above the burner, and most of the ways to do that are a bit dodgy.   More than a bit dodgy actually, as I’ve had pots tip when trying them out.  If they aren’t dodgy then they are heavy.

Under summer conditions, (a.k.a. the driveway test), it lit easily – though was hard to see that it was lit, and brought a cup of water to a rolling boil in about 7 minutes using a covered titanium cup.  No guaranty that it will work in winter conditions.  A cup or so (and I’m sure it could bring 2 cups to a similar heat without too much difficulty) is all you need for one person with many of the “freezerbag” style of meals.   It wouldn’t do for a group of people cooking together in one big pot, but none of these stoves will.

One neat thing with this and other alcohol stoves is that you can hover over them safely.  If you need heat because of incipient hypothermia, that may be a really useful feature.

Written by Rob in: backpacking,engineering,outdoors,scouting |

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