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Don’t be fooled: Winter hiking can be as dangerous as summer treks

PHOENIX — As the weather cools down for winter in the Valley, hiking season starts heating up.

Phoenix Fire Department officials warn that even though the Valley is seeing temperatures well below 100 degrees, that does not mean hikers can be careless when heading up a trail.

They suggest that hikers take all the same precautions they would during the summer especially when it comes to hydrating.

“A lot of our customers tend to veer away from drinking enough water because it is cooler out; but still, when you hike these mountains, you can still get dehydrated,” Capt. Benjamin Santillan said.

Santillan said it is also important for hikers to research the trail and mountain they plan to hike.

“Really understand where you’re going to be hiking, how long you’re going to be hiking for and understand the trail that you’re going to be hiking,” he said.

“If it is your first time hiking it’s probably a good idea you get more of a novice trail.”

Santillan also suggested hikers bring enough gear with them, wear proper clothing, and always have a cellphone.

“If you get disoriented and you don’t know where you are at, we can ping your cellphone,” he said.

“We actually have a satellite that tells us where your cellphone is located.”