EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Fire Department is preparing for more search and rescues across hiking trails in El Paso as warmer weather approaches. They have responded to several missing hikers since March 26 and are now offering tips for those who want to go up into the mountains.
El Paso Fire Public Information Officer Enrique Duenas-Aguilar said safety begins with the preparation before the hike. This includes having plenty of drinking water and snacks so that you do not get dehydrated and can maintain your energy.
Proper preparation also includes making sure you wear the right clothing.
“You have to have your boots. You have to have the appropriate clothing, preferably something long-sleeved, some light clothes, something that’s not as tight fitting so you can keep cool,” Duenas-Aguilar said.
KTSM spoke with experienced hiker Bruce Moyer about what advice he would give to those just starting out. He said that for new hikers it is best to go with a partner.
If you do end up going alone, communicate with someone beforehand to make sure they know where you will be.
“Tell people where you’re going so tell a close friend, ‘Hey, here’s where I’m going. Here’s when I’m leaving. Here’s when I’m due back and if I don’t get back, here’s what you need to do.'”
Both Duenas-Aguilar and Moyer say, no matter how experienced a hiker is, do not go beyond your limits. If you do end up lost, stop where you are and look at your surroundings to find your way back.
“Chances are you’re not as lost as you think you are, but people get out there and they tend to start to panic and then they head off in all kinds of crazy directions. So sit down. Make a plan and think where was I the last time I knew where I was and you try to get to that point if you can,” Moyer said.
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