Reminder to hikers: Stay hydrated and know your limits

Heat surprising hikers

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Like bees to honey, hikers are drawn to the trails as soon as the sun comes out.

Take Jim and Nancy Reale for example. They’ve been drawn back here to Sabino Canyon since the 70s.

"We used to hike with our baby back in 1977.” said Nancy.

But the pair says Friday’s heat felt different.

“I was shocked when I opened the window and that hot air hit me.” said Jim. It even cut their hike in half.

"After we walked a half a mile…or 4/10ths of a mile and then we realized where we were on the map so we decided to turn around and come back.” said Jim.

It doesn’t take long to start to sweat under this hot sun. And if hikers are not replacing fluids as quickly as they lose them, it could mean the difference between a fun family hike and a trip to the ER.

"The weather changed 20-30 degrees it makes a big difference to prepare your body for that kind of a situation.” said Deputy Steven Chuk with Pima County Search and Rescue.

The importance of staying hydrated in this heat was proven Friday after a hiker had to be rescued.

The two men had been hiking when they ran low on water, with one of the hikers suffering from heat exhaustion, they could not make it down the trail.

According to officials the hikers called 911 for assistance. A DPS helicopter came in and made the rescue along the Finger Rocks Trail. The one man was taken to Banner University Medical Center to be checked out.

Thankfully, the hikers were able to call for help. But Deputy Chuk says if hikers are not careful, that one tool to call for help can be useless.

"A lot of people depend on their cellphone a little too much and they drain their battery before they even need it,” said Chuk.

And at the end of the day, take Nancy’s advice. "If you feel like I can go a little further, you should turn around and go back.”

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