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Hiking

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Sedona
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for Sedona
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Hiking

My husband found an older lady who was lost on the trail a couple of days ago. She had been lost for about an hour and a half and was pretty scared and panicky.

He asked if she had water. She had finished her 8 oz. bottle. She said her husband who was waiting in the parking lot was going to be worried about her. My husband suggested she call him, but she didn't have a cell phone with her. Fortunately my husband had both.

It's so important to have water in the desert,especially as temperatures rise. No one plans or expects to get lost, but it happens. As our bodies dehydrate, we become disoriented and are more likely to get lost. In the heat there are risks of heat stroke.

Please take plenty of water, at least 16 oz. per hour. If you run out and someone offers water, take it. (My husband can tell you from his own experience that you may not want to because of pride!) If you have extra, you can share it if you run across someone who is lost.

Be sure to take your fully charged cell phone (if it works here). A cell phone can help Search and Rescue to pinpoint your location. The light can show searchers where you are after dark.

Start your hike earlier in the day before it gets hot. (Supposedly snakes are more sluggish then too.) I remember just after we moved here we started a hike in the late afternoon, then sweated whether we could find our way out before dark.

It is best to hike with someone and let someone know where you are and when you will be back.

Please be careful when you are hiking. My husband runs into a few lost people a year, mostly during summer.

Mike Ward, Search and Rescue volunteer, (and now on the City Council) has given popular lectures about the red rocks in Sedona and about hiking, advising people to remember it's not Disneyland out there.

These are informal hints, and no doubt others can add or improve on tips to make your hikes safer and more enjoyable.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Hiking

Its good that Cliff was there, or she could have been in big trouble.

Please people, follow Kate's advice and use common sense when you go hiking.

Phoenix, Arizona
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2. Re: Hiking

She only had 8 ounces of water?? Wow. Glad to hear she's ok, though. I always carry extra water, too, just in case someone needs it, and have given it out more than a few times. I'm always surprised when I see people hiking without adequate water. But then again, I've lived so long in the dry desert that I literally don't go anywhere without a large bottle of water (16 oz in winter, 32 oz in summer). Just a habit, I guess.

Visitors: This is why we tell people to take more water than you think you'll need. It IS extremely dry here, and if you end up hiking longer than you thought you would, you can easily become dehydrated if you didn't take enough water. Better to have too much, than not enough. And don't forget about electrolyte replenishing.

Good reminder about the cell phone, although it doesn't always work on the trails, so don't count on it as a guarantee if you get lost. Also, wear sunscreen and a hat. A bandana or the like is also useful; you can wet it and put it around your neck if you start to feel too hot. And of course, adequate (preferably closed toe) hiking shoes or boots is a must. The list can go on, but those are the basics.

Sedona
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3. Re: Hiking

Thelrose, yes, she had only a small bottle. Maybe she was an inexperienced hiker and had no idea about water. That's why I decided to bring this up. The longer we are here, the more we learn about the desert.

4. Re: Hiking

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