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5 Tips for Staying Safe Hiking in Phoenix This Summer

Taking a summertime hike in Phoenix, Arizona can expose you to extreme heat. Temperatures can rise well past 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Grand Canyon State, putting hikers at serious risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries. While it is possible to have a safe and rewarding hike on one of Phoenix’s many trails – even in the height of summer – it takes knowing how to keep yourself safe and healthy on the journey. The Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Knapp & Roberts want you to stay safe this Summer – follow these tips to reach your destination without sweating the heat risks.

1. Leave Fido Home

First, note that it is illegal in the state of Arizona to hike with a dog on any trail if outdoor temperatures are greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The state enacted this law in 2016 to keep canines safe from extreme heat, which they cannot handle without going into heat distress. It is a misdemeanor to break this law, punishable with up to $2,500 in fines and six months in jail. The law does not permit dogs on the Cholla Trail in Phoenix at all due to the danger of heat illnesses.

2. Train Before the Hike

Most hikers in Arizona get into trouble because they underestimate how dry Arizona’s heat waves are. If you plan on hiking a trail in the middle of summer in AZ, don’t do so unless you’ve trained to hike in hot, dry temperatures. Your body must adjust to the dryness of the air just as it would to high altitudes on a mountain hike. Run or hike with more layers than you normally would to prepare for what hiking in Arizona’s summer will be like. Experts say it takes two to three weeks of training to acclimate to the environment.

3. Don’t Hike Alone

Hiking by yourself can run the risk of you not realizing you’re overheating until it’s too late. Hiking with a group, on the other hand, means everyone can look out for one another. Someone else in the group might notice that one person is showing signs of dehydration, when that person might not have noticed on his or her own. If you insist on taking a solo trip, be extra sensitive to signs that something is wrong and always take a kit with you in case of emergencies.

4. Avoid Peak Times of Day

The sun is at its strongest between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in Phoenix. Avoid hiking during this part of the day if you can. When you do hike, cover yourself in SPF of at least 15 and reapply your sunscreen often. Cover exposed skin with lightweight clothing and wear a hat. Sunburn and sun poisoning are serious risks that affect Arizona’s hikers. Wearing sunglasses is also a good idea to protect your eyes from the sunlight. Dress appropriately, watch the weather, and stay in contact with someone who knows where you are.

5. Stay Hydrated

Of course, one of the most critical tips for hiking in Arizona’s summers is to stay hydrated. Do not underestimate how much water you will need for a hike. Hikers running out of water is one of the main phone calls Arizona’s emergency personnel receive. Know where the hydration stations are in Maricopa and Pinal counties in case you need them. You will need plenty of water to avoid common illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

You might be experiencing heat exhaustion if you notice dizziness, cool or clammy skin, fainting, excessive sweating, nausea, weak pulse, or muscle cramps. If so, get to a shady place and drink water. Symptoms of heat stroke include a throbbing headache, rapid pulse, red and hot skin, no sweating, nausea or vomiting, a body temperature over 103 degrees, or loss of consciousness. Call 911 immediately if you notice symptoms of a heat stroke.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.