Monday, September 17, 2012

Now I understand.....  (to be continued)

"I always tell people that when this happens to you it's not going
to be cool. It's not going to be as exciting as you think it is.
In the moment afterwards it's going to be awesome and you'll never
forget about it. You'll probably think about it endlessly. Nothing else
will matter for a short period of time. You won't want to go to work, you
won't want to watch TV,  you won't care who won the VMA's that year.
All you'll think about is what happened, but in that moment it can be
utterly terrifying."

- Matt Pruitt

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I've been conversing with Devin the resident audio expert for the BFRO and all I can say is WOW. So much to learn about this subject. His website is here and contains a goldmine of information on audio recording.

Thus far I've identified these as must reads for anyone new to audio recording and wanting to learn how to get the best audio in the field and how to further enhance it when you get home.

Map and GPS Fundamentals

A more detailed look at the fundamentals of Map and GPS use.

Google Earth and 7.5 minute quads

One of the most annoying things I have found with Google Earth is it's inability to tell you what USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle you are currently looking at. The USGS 7.5 minute maps are great to have on hand and can be purchased relatively cheap from the USGS store ( but you need to know what 7.5 minute quadrangle map you want.

I found really cool Google Earth overlay by an Engineering company which lets you see just that. Download the KML file here:  and then open it in Google Earth.

You simply need to check the Search Results box on the left as well as the 7.5x7.5 option underneath it. Then presto, the names of each 7.5 minute quadrangle map will show up as an overlay on the current terrain.

This KML overlay has some other cool features as well. It allows you to overlay topographic maps onto the current Google Earth view. This makes for a good reference to a handheld map if you are trying to match up terrain in Google Earth onto a topographic map you have in front of you.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Configuring the Midland GXT1000 Radios

The Midland GXT1000 is one of Midland's high end FRS/GMRS Radios. I haven't tried any other brands but so far I am happy with this model of Midland. It does have a tricky menu system so I put a quick tutorial on setting them for silent mode and turning off unnecessary features.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Configuring the Zoom H2

While not the best handheld digital audio recorder out there, it is pretty simple to use and accepts standard SD cards. Since it can be found online for around $100-$150 the Zoom H2 seems to be a commonly used recorder at expeditions.  I put together a short video clip which shows how to configure it to maximize audio quality, storage, and battery use.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Google Earth Problem Importing GPX File

Recently I attempted to import a GPX file of waypoints that was created from my favorite mapping program National Geographic Topo into Google Earth. It didn't work. For some reason Google Earth did not like the file format of the GPX file that the NatGeo Topo software created. I found a workaround using a website called to convert the GPX file into native Google Earth format. Below is a video of how I did it.

The video is best viewed full screen