April 2007

RVers, Hikers

Minimize The Risk Of Dehydration

PHOENIX – After an unusually cool winter, many folks are heading outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful weather. However, the warmer temperatures can prove to be a danger to outdoor enthusiasts’ bodies as they tend to underestimate the possibility of heat exhaustion and dehydration.

To avoid becoming dehydrated, outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to drink plenty of water! 

In addition, rethinking outdoor activity schedules may be necessary. For example, individuals who love hiking one of the many trails available throughout the Maricopa County park system should schedule hikes early in the morning when temperatures are cooler.

It is especially important to take hikes during cooler temperatures when RVing or just traveling with a small child or family pet.

Remember, an animal’s cooling system operates differently than a human’s, and family pets may experience heat exhaustion or dehydration during a mid-morning hike. In addition, hikers are encouraged to triple water supplies, dampen pets’ coats and take frequent water breaks.

If traveling with a small child, consider hiking a barrier-free trail. These trails are generally easier for children and will help them retain strength during the hike.

Hikers should also have hats and sun protection available for the little tykes.

When hiking in a county park, hikers are encouraged to place a piece of paper on RV or other vehicle dashboards indicating the time of departure, trail name and number of hikers in the party. If anything were to happen, this information may be used by the Sheriff’s Office to help locate a party.

In addition, it is always wise to carry a cell phone with either the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (602) 876-1000 or 911 programmed into it in case of an emergency.

For more information on barrier-free hiking trails, visit the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Website at www.maricopa.gov/parks.