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Heat kills 2 hikers in 3 days; U.S. Forest Service urges caution

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Heat kills 2 hikers in 3 days; U.S. Forest Service urges caution

CREATED May 21, 2012

Reporter:  Jessica Chapin
Web Producer: Chuck Meyer

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The heat has already proved deadly for two hikers in Tucson.  A 35-year-old woman collapsed and died Monday hiking in the Tucson Mountains.  Saturday, a 23-year-old female hiker lost her life hiking Dove Mountain.

The heat won't let up until at least mid-week, so Forest Service officials are warning everyone to be prepared during outdoor activities.

"A lot of times we'll see people that just are unprepared, they get on a trail and take off, they may not have enough water, they may be from another part of the country and not know what it's like to hike in this kind of heat," said Heidi Schewel with the Forest Service, "If you're going to be hiking out in the desert in the summertime there are three things at a minimum that you need to do.  Be prepared, have a plan, know your limits."

Here are Schewel's top tips for hiking in the heat:

  • Bring: a map, plenty of water and a cell phone
  • Dress appropriately
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Research your route
  • Tell someone about your plans
  • Never hike alone
  • Know your limits

"It's important for people to really know what you're going into and plan accordingly," said Schewel.

Some national parks like Saguaro National Park and the Grand Canyon no longer sell bottled water, however they have installed several bottle fill-up stations for hikers.