PHOENIX — As the weather begins to warm up, more people will be getting out and getting active, which means more people out on the miles of hiking trails the Valley has to offer.
That has the Phoenix Fire Department and Phoenix Park Rangers stressing the need for safety.
“Even if it’s nice in the morning when they head out, it does warm up and it warms up quickly,” said Park Ranger Dan Gronseth. “We might have 40 degrees of temperature change in a day.”
The warmer temperatures make it easier for people to become fatigued or dehydrated, so Gronseth advised hikers to take some common-sense safety precaution before heading out on trails.
“(It’s) best to hike with good shoes — probably not new shoes but good shoes, comfortable shoes,” he said. “Probably want to wear a hat to provide shade…and sunscreen, even in the winter time.”
But most importantly, Gronseth said to always bring plenty of water.
“Even if you think rescue is only a few minutes away, it can take quite a bit of time for anybody to get to you,” he said. “So if you don’t have extra water, you think, ‘Oh, I’m only going to need a little bit of water…because I’m only going to be out for so long,’ well, if anything happens you might be out considerably longer.”
Gronseth also stressed the need for hikers to stay on posted trails and not to deviate.
“If you stay on the trails, we can find you easier,” he said. “We can get to you and get you out a whole lot easier than if you’re off trail.”
In 2011, 25-year-old hiker Clint McHale fell to his death at Camelback Mountain after hiking off the marked trail. Now his sister, Chelsey, has become a strong advocate of hiker safety and reiterated the advice given by city officials.
“The most difficult thing, (when) dealing with his death is the fact that it was so preventable,” she said. “It was such a preventable death.”
Last year Phoenix Fire crews responded to 164 mountain rescues, and McHale thinks many of those can be prevented with some forethought and preparation.
“I want people to think twice before you make the decision to go off trail, think about it first,” she said. “Know your limits and stay on the marked trails, and make sure you’re prepared with enough water.”
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments