Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Take enough water - and then some

Wire services report three hikers died this week as temperatures soared and personal water supplies were low. Sure, water is extra weight, but it's a requirement for life, so don't skimp. Carry more than enough.

Dave Buschow, 29, died Monday near Boulder, Utah, on the second day of a 28-day survival course offered by the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, Garfield County spokeswoman Becki Bronson said. He was with 11 other clients and three staffers. Temps were in the low 90s.

"All day Monday they were hiking in the heat with very little food or water,” Bronson said. “He (Bushchow) was complaining about lack of water and cramping and still given very little water, and it was still hot.” Students are intentionally given little food or water to simulate hardship conditions in the course, Bronson said. School reps did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

On Sunday, Elisa D. Santry, 16, died during a three-week Outward Bound Wilderness course near Canyonlands National Park. The temp was about 110, said San Juan County Sheriff Mike Lacy. The girl was with five other teens when she lagged behind, officials said. She was later found in a small side canyon.

In southwestern South Dakota, a woman hiking on a short but steep Badlands trail died Sunday, when the temperature was well over 100 degrees. Other hikers found the body of Joan Kovach, 52. Her water bottles were empty, an official said.

TIP NO. 2 -- As we've mentioned before on this blog, don't hike alone and don't leave a hiking companion alone. If a hiking buddy is lagging behind, there's probably a reason - and it's not one a hiker can rationally figure out alone.

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