Hiker disoriented by weather spends night on Flagstaff trail

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A hiker who became disoriented in whiteout conditions on a Flagstaff trail prompted an overnight search and rescue operation.

The 55-year-old man was reported overdue by his girlfriend at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The man had taken his dog on a day hike on the Kachina Trail and was expected to return home in the afternoon.

Members of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit found clues to the man's path near the Weatherford Trail and searched for the hiker into Friday morning.

The hiker self-extricated and contacted the sheriff's office.

He told the sheriff's office he took shelter until daylight after becoming disoriented.

The search and rescue unit is reminding hikers and hunters to leave a detailed trip plan with a trusted person and to be prepared for an unexpected night out.

Hikers are advised to carry extra water, food, warm clothing, navigation equipment, a headlamp or flashlight, a first aid kit, shelter material, a fire-starting kit, a pocket knife and signaling equipment.