EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) - As the weather warms up, hiking is an activity many people in the community enjoy with family and friends.
First responders urge everyone to keep certain tips in mind to enjoy a safe hike.
This weekend two hikers were rescued after becoming lost at McKelligon Canyon and Chuck Heinrich Park trails. No injuries were reported, but Combined Search and Rescue teams had to be deployed to search for the missing hikers.
A lack of planning is what most first responders say will get a hiker in trouble.
“They have no idea where they’re going, how far they’re going, how high up they have to climb, what the terrain is, and a lot of times they don’t tell people where they’re going," says Assistant Chief of Montana Vista Fire Rescue Juan Carlos Etienne.
Hikers should let friends or family know of their planned route or trail for a hike, the time the are setting off on the trek and their estimated time of return. Also a check in with loved ones, to let them know your location and advise if you are in need of help.
“It’s always a good idea to keep company, and let people know where you go, just in case they don’t hear from you in a while,” shared hiking enthusiast Orlando Marquez.
Experts urge the community to know their physical limits and utilize proper foot gear and equipment. Many inexperienced hikers forget to pack plenty of water, and realize how quickly they can dehydrate. It takes a few hours to fully hydrate.
“The ten essentials are important, something to make a fire, a warm jacket, extra food and water, snacks, something for shelter, or a pocketknife, because you never know if you’ll get stuck or injured somewhere,” shares experienced hiker Linda Wagoner.
If hikers find themselves injured, lost or stuck on a trail, emergency rescue crews say it is best to stay put and call 911.