El Paso Fire Department provides tips on hiking safety


In this Wednesday, March 4, 2020, photograph, a hiker sets off on a trail through Franklin Mountains State Park near El Paso, Texas. With the spread of the new coronavirus, people have turned to the great outdoors for exercise and entertainment in these turbulent times. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Fire Department is reminding the community to keep safety considerations in mind when hiking, especially as weather conditions are changing.

Tip 1: Check the weather before leaving. It is important to make sure you are properly equipped for the anticipated. Pack cold-weather gear and dress in layers in the event the weather changes. Consider that nightfall comes early during this time of year. If conditions are not ideal, it is advised to not take chances.

Tip 2: It is safest to hike or camp with at least one companion. If someone gets hurt, the other person can call for assistance.

Tip 3: Share your plans with a family member or friend. Include details such as the make, year, and license plate of your car, your intended hiking route, and when you plan to return. Stay alert of your location and any landmarks that could be used to find you in the event of an emergency.

Tip 4: Keep your cell phone battery fully charged. Searching for a cell signal can quickly drain the phone battery. It is best to consider turning off the phone or activating airplane mode until it is needed.

Tip 5: Pack your essentials, such as plenty of water, a first aid kit, a whistle, any necessary medications, sunscreen, cell phone, candles and matches in a waterproof container, flashlight, sunglasses, and a hat for protection from the sun.

Tip 6: Take breaks often. Know your limits and pay attention to how you are feeling when on a hiking trail.

Tip 7: Eat snacks and drink water. Hiking can drain your energy quickly. Dehydration can occur even during cooler weather. Stay hydrated during your hike and ensure that you and any companions have plenty of water. Snack on nutritional foods such as trail mix, nuts, and granola bars to keep your energy high.

Dial 911 if you need help.

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