Hiking Safety Tips

Over the next couple of years, there will be an increase in the number of mountain rescue related incidents. Because of the easy access to the town’s mountainous terrain, a growing number of citizens and tourists use the area for recreational activities.

For a wide variety of reasons, victims become stranded and/or injured: the Fire Department is then called to assist in getting these victims to safety. Sometimes it involves a simple walk-down and, at times, it involves a very long complex technical rescue.

Be Prepared
First and foremost, like any good Boy Scout, one must “Be Prepared.” Don’t be fooled, although the preserve is within our town limits, they are still remote and wild places that can present dangers in a multiple of ways to the unknowing hiker.

Be in good physical condition and match your condition with the trail that you plan to hike.  Some of you may have underlying medical conditions that prohibit you from heavy exercise. Those that suffer from any condition should check with their doctor first before venturing on the trails.

Hiking Safety Tips
  • Plan your hike. Tell a family member or someone else about your location and expected time to return.
  • Hiking clothes should be lightweight and light-colored.
  • Use the appropriate footwear and bring a hat and sunglasses.
  • Necessary supplies: sunscreen, cell phone, tweezers and a comb (for cactus thorns), and snacks- in addition to plenty of water.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol to prevent dehydration.
  • Try to hike with at least one other person, placing slower hikers in front to pace the group.
  • Stay on the trail and be aware of your surroundings.
In addition, be aware of dangers posed by some of the insects, animals, and reptiles who live within our preserve. There are poisonous snakes within the preserve. Never disturb a reptile along the trail. If bitten by a rattlesnake, call 911 as soon as possible. Insects also pose a danger. We have seen several serious attacks from bees. Never disturb a bee hive! If allergic to bees, always carry Epinephrine as prescribed by your physician.

Information for 911
Please give emergency authorities the following information in case of an accident:
  • Number you are calling from, so the dispatcher can call you back for up-dated information.
  • Nature of the emergency
  • Location of the emergency, trail name, and trail marker number that you are closest to.
Our preserve system offers us a variety of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the McDowell Mountains. In order to be safe on the trail, please always be prepared and aware of your physical condition. As always, if you become injured or lost, please call 911.