As the temperatures start to heat up here in the Coachella Valley, firefighters want to remind people, especially those visiting, that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous. NBC Palm Springs visited some hiking trails today and learned some tips on what to do if you catch yourself in an emergency situation.
“I hike a lot, I ride, I’m actually a racer, so I’m getting geared up for the next coming races that I have,” explained Jocelyn Martinez, visiting from Chino Hills.
When it comes to the outdoors Jocelyn is highly experienced as she trains for competitions, but even those with high endurance like herself need to know when to call it quits.
“I was only able to be out here for an hour and then I was already losing the amount of water that I brought. I was kind of scoping out the next mountain range and kind of seeing where it was going to go, and I thought that it would be safe to kind of hold back, maybe come back and explore it,” said Martinez.
Palm Springs Fire Captain Nathan Gunkel agrees with Jocelyn’s tactics and offers other helpful tips for those who may not be used to the desert heat.
“Being hydrated the night before getting out there, and bringing with you at least one liter of water per hour that you are there, and that is minimal that you need to drink. people do not bring enough water,” said Gunkel.
Captain Gunkel also explains that heat-related emergencies are common out here in the valley, especially as we head into the summer months.
“Early recognition is going to be a huge component here, when you’re sweating that good, that’s your body’s natural way it cools the system down, but once you see somebody you’re with and they’re not sweating anymore, they’re out of fluid, call us as quickly as possible. People wait until the last second till they are having their emergency, remember we are coming from the fire station, and yeah we are going to respond quickly but we can be an hour away from getting to you,” added Gunkel.
Avid adventures agreeing, saying not to mess around with the heat.
“Because by the time heat hits you, it is kind of already too late, you kind of already should have been taking the preventative measure beforehand,” said Martinez.
And if you’re thinking of bringing your pet with you on an outdoor adventure, Captain Gunkel says to think twice.
“If you don’t have to bring your pet, don’t. think about the warmth, and the ground is always the hottest,” said Gunkel.