In all parts of the country, the summer heat can bring scorching temperatures up to the 120s, and humidity that drains us of every ounce of protective water in our bodies. Yet, because summer is the time when most of us travel with family and friends, it’s imperative to take any type of heat-related precaution when it comes to safety during company-run field trips and hiking excursions. We sign up for river rafting trips, take part in group hikes, and ship our children off to summer camps. In the summer, these areas can become danger zones and death traps if someone isn’t paying attention.
In Arizona alone, the Grand Canyon remains a popular destination for travelers from all over the United States and worldwide. Visitors range from European tourists, to college-aged students from New York and other parts of the East Coast. According to the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC), the Grand Canyon and its breathtaking views are also the scene of many dehydration hospitalizations and heat-related deaths.
If you are taking part in a field trip excursion where you might see weather conditions foreign to you, here are some things to keep in mind so that you avoid dangers in the wild and on the trails:
- It goes without saying to remain hydrated, but it’s amazing how many tourists and casual hikers under-stock when it comes to water. One little water bottle is not enough, and you may find yourself having to hydrate someone else if that person didn’t bring water along. Where does that leave you? You should have a quart of water every half hour while hiking.
- Pre-hydrate before you even start the hike.
- Never hike alone, particularly in unknown areas. Always bring a friend just in case. That friend could prove to be your lifeline.
- Make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing for the activity. This means covering up parts of your body if you’ll be in brush, and wearing materials that will wick the sweat away to keep you cool. As tempting as it may be to strive for that summer tan, do not hike or engage summer activities with a tank top or less. You body will need the protection from the elements and from a severe sunburn.
- Preserve your cell phone battery by not keeping it on. Check ahead to see if you can obtain a signal in the area where you will be taking part in your activity in case of emergency.
Tour and hiking guides cannot pay attention to everyone and sometimes accidents on the trail do happen. Before you jump on the field trip list, be sure the company is reputable for what the intended activity will be. If you do find that you are injured or hospitalized, or if someone you know has died because of neglect in this area, you will want to seek a specialist in law to help you with your case.
Stay cool in the summer by paying attention to weather conditions and other elements on the trail. Exploring the country is a wonderful activity and will serve you well when you play it safe.