Stephen W. Hinch
At first glance, Stephen W. Hinch’s biography would hardly seem to paint the picture of an outdoor adventurer. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, he entered the high-tech industry as an engineer. His career includes executive management positions at Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, and TeamLogic IT, where he has managed product lines having revenues in excess of three hundred million dollars per year. He holds three patents in telecommunications technologies and is the author of the groundbreaking professional reference book, Handbook of Surface Mount Technology. In 1988 the international industry trade association Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits (IPC) presented him with their President’s Award for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the electronics industry.
But there is another side to Steve’s background. Born in Seattle, he grew up in the Southern California coastal city of Redondo Beach. Starting at an early age, his avid rockhound parents would pack up the family and head out to remote desert locations in search of semi-precious stones nearly every weekend. These trips inspired a love of the outdoors that remains an indelible part of his life today. An avid landscape photographer, Steve has traveled the Southwest’s canyon country since 1983, either on solo hikes into remote areas or with like-minded photographers on multi-day expeditions.
Steve is a recognized expert on outdoor navigation. His book, Outdoor Navigation with GPS, now in its third edition, is a bestselling guide to the subject. He has taught courses on wilderness navigation to police and fire personnel, search-and-rescue teams, hunters, hikers, and backpackers for venues such as REI and Santa Rosa Junior College for many years. He is also the author of Hiking and Adventure Guide to the Sonoma Coast and Russian River, now in its second edition. His latest work, The Slickrock Desert, is an entertaining exploration of the Four Corners Region of the American Southwest.
Though it is an ordeal to get to the Four Corners Region from his home in Santa Rosa, his travels into canyon country have been a necessary counterpoint to a busy life as an industry executive—a way to exercise portions of his brain that would otherwise atrophy. The wonders he has experienced are woven inextricably into his text—wonders that too often become routine for those who live with them every day.