TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Temperatures are warming up and many around southern Arizona know what that means - hiking time!
There are a few things that the Rural/Metro Fire Department would like hikers to remember before heading out, they are:
- Fatigue and dehydration are two of the primary causes for hiker injuries seen over the years. As fatigue sets in, so does one’s ability to navigate and negotiate around the trails and obstacles. Many times, this is what causes fall injuries on the trail.
- Recognizing early signs of dehydration is key to hiker safety on the trail. Once someone starts feeling their energy start to dwindle, that can be an early warning sign that they are dehydrated. Deceased energy is a big red flag many people ignore. Most people think its better to “Solider on”. That can get a person into trouble.
- Hydrating the day before is essential. It takes time to properly hydrate all of the tissues in the body. When hydrating, small sips throughout the day work better than gulping all at once. Fresh fruit is also helpful for electrolytes.
- Headache, muscle cramps, nausea, and confusion are a later sign. When this happens, that person must stop and get help. And please remember, don’t hike alone.
- Pick a trail that meets the hiker’s experience level. Remember hiking can be intense exercise, especially in the heat. Again, do not hike alone.
The most important thing hikers need to remember is listen to their body's early warning signs; their body will let them know that hot dry weather may have a greater negative effect on them than they anticipated.
First time hikers, or are new to the southern Arizona climate, do some research before hand and choose a trail that is suitable for their level - there are many to choose from.