Preparation is key to enjoying a safe hike. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
Warm weather means more people are hitting the numerous hiking trails around Phoenix, taking in the beauty Mother Nature has to offer. But what seems like a leisurely day on the trail can turn dangerous in a matter of minutes.
"It's probably the most misjudged things that people do when they come out on the trail is not bring enough water," Rural Metro spokesman Shawn Gilleland said.
This time of year Rural Metro can get about two calls a day for hikers who get dehydrated.
"It seems like every Saturday and Sunday, there's always a rescue," hiker Jake Duffy said..
He hikes about three times a week and never heads out without a bottle of water, no matter the time of year.
"It's pretty strenuous," he said. I'd equate it to going out and running 5 miles. If you’re not used to it, you can put yourself in a bad place."
Hiker Kristen Karr has seen plenty of people without water and has even given her water to people she's seen struggling.
"I bring like two or three bottles with me because you get tired, and you're climbing rocks, and if don't have water it really takes its toll on you pretty quickly," she said.
That's exactly what happened to a couple visiting from Kansas City.
They left their water in their car and knew as soon as they started their hike that wasn’t a good decision.
"That’s why we stopped and didn't go very far," Karen Abernathy said. "The last time I felt my legs get tired, I was in Colorado, and that's kind of the feeling you get when you get up there and you think, 'I better not go any farther.'"
The symptoms of dehydration can come on fast, even in 80-degree weather.
"Some of the signs of dehydration are nausea, lightheadedness, definitely muscle cramps," Gilleland explained. "If you are feeling that, you need to stop, sit down and rest."