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After boy scout's death, hikers urged to plan ahead, bring plenty of water

Fire Chief's recommendations to stay safe
Posted at 1:32 PM, May 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 15:12:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — David Reilly has gone hiking every Sunday for the past seven years. But before he hits the trail, he takes the necessary precautions to stay safe.

"Have a cellphone that is fully charged, ready to go," Reilly said. "Travel with at least one other person so you've always got a buddy system that's going on"

For Reilly and other hikers hydration is essential. Thats why, Rural Metro Battalion Fire Chief John Walka recommends drinking plenty of water the night before and during your next trek, to prevent heat from quickly taking over your body.

"Don't keep hiking when you run out of water," Walka explained. "When you're about half way through with your water, that's when its time to turnaround, because you're going to need that water on the way back down.."

It's a factor that possibly played a part in a teenage boys death last week. According to Pinal County Sheriffs Office, before the boy collapsed from dehydration, he ran out of water at the top of Picacho Peak State Park.

"We recommend that people bring food with them as well," Walka said. "Fruits are very good to bring with you, bananas are a great source of potassium, and that helps a lot too, and there's water in those foods."

Both Walka, and Reilly stressed the importance of listening to your body even if you haven't hiked as far as you planned.

"If you start to run out of portable water or If you start feeling a little bit light headed, dizzy, your body is telling you do not go any further, turn around and call it a day," Reilly said.