experience - but we still all learn...

[ Follow Ups ] [ Death Valley Talk - Archive Set 5 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Whitepaws on August 19, 2003 at 10:33:39:

In Reply to: rent a 4runner posted by Dude on August 16, 2003 at 16:39:51:

Even experienced desert rats encounter problems.

Just recently, several of us did a day hike up in the local mountains (Angeles National Forest) and all of us ran out of water about two miles from the trailhead. Although the temperature was about 95 deg/f and this we could handle and came prepared for. What we did not prepare for was the warm winds coming up from the canyon bottom and evaporating our sweat at an alarming rate.

This process required us to drink more water as to replace the sweat (primary cooling mechanism for the body) and eventually lead to us running out of water and bringing on the first stages of dehydrated – VERY DANGEROUS.

We all made it out safely, but very dehydrated. I would hate to think what would have happen if we had to go another mile under these conditions???

So even experienced “rats” can be caught off guard. What we should have done is sought after shade and waiting until cooler hours to hike out. But where we were at, this was not possible.

FOR THE RECORD: Each of us brought about 200 oz of water (just over 1 3/4 gallons) for a 10 mile hike with an elevation gain of 3,400’. We did check the weather conditions; highs in the upper 90’s and no winds forecasted for that day.

When we did run out of water, we slowed down our pace to almost half and rested about ever 10 minutes. Also, the buddy system went into full force – checking on each other consistently for heat related injuries. We covered exposed areas as best possible and those that wore long sleeve shirts rolled them down as to preserve sweat and to slow down the evaporation process.

Follow Ups:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Death Valley Talk - Archive Set 5 ] [ FAQ ]