Hiking for H Day!

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When hiking in the desert, you have to take precautions.  People die every year here in the Sonoran Desert – most of them who do pass away do so because they didn’t bring enough water, and are hiking during the summer months in the daytime.  I should state at this point that most of the deaths are people who are attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States and are doing so illegally – they’re not hiking for the pleasure of it, or to get healthy.  Often times, they don’t know what they’re getting into.

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The Sonoran Desert is beautiful and peaceful – as well as hot, dry and a potentially dangerous place.  The two biggest issues are heat and dehydration – when combined together these two can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and possibly death.   So what do you do?  Be smart!  First – choose which hikes you’re going to do based on the length of the trail, the level of difficulty, the daily temperature, and the time of year.  For example, I’m not hiking Pass Trail during the heat of the day in July.  Why?  July is our monsoon season, so it can be very humid – 30% to 60%, the temperature during the heat of the day will range from 110 – 115, and the trail is 7.5 miles long with a rating of difficult.  However, hiking Pass Trail would be great to do in March or early April (during the morning hours).  Second – carry PLENTY of water!  I always have a backpack with me, and will carry six to seven bottles of water with me.  Third – wear light colored cotton clothing, proper shoes (no flip flops!), and a hat.  This is NOT the time to work on your suntan!  Oh….make sure you’re wearing sunscreen and carry it with you so you can reapply it during the hike.  The sun can be very strong here, and people have gotten nasty sunburns.  The last thing I always do – carry my cell phone with me with the number of the sheriff’s office programmed in, and I always tell family and friends where I’m hiking at, and how long I’ll be gone.  That way, if something happens and I can’t call for help – people will know where I’m at!

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I hope I haven’t scared you away from visiting our desert, and enjoying its beautiful hiking trails.  Hiking – like all things – is a matter of being smart, paying attention, and taking precautions.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. C.B. Wentworth
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 03:32:52

    My husband and I have a running game in the summer called spot the tourist. Whenever we’re hiking on a trail and we see someone carrying a small bottle of water, we know they aren’t from around here!

    Reply

  2. Julia Stevenson
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 12:24:29

    LOL Small bottle of water? DEFINITELY a tourist!! 🙂

    Reply

  3. S. L. Hennessy
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 13:21:32

    I’m going on a big hiking trip this summer. Should be hot but I can’t wait!

    Happy A through Z posting.
    pensuasion.blogspot.com

    Reply

  4. Another Clean Slate
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 22:41:52

    Hiking is something i haven’t really delved into but have wanted to try. Enjoyed reading your post. I’ll be sure to not be spotted as a tourist!

    Reply

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