Hiking the Grand Canyon - Young, Stupid & Lucky
Hiking in the Grand Canyon can and should be a rewarding experience that you will never forget. But you should know that a Grand Canyon hike is rugged, even for experienced hikers. Make sure your Grand Canyon hike is an enjoyable adventure, not something you'd rather forget.
Here are some tips on hiking in the Grand Canyon offered by a hiker that learned from experience.
Grand Canyon Hiking
by Trevor Paetkau
Twenty years ago I nearly set the Grand Canyon National Park on fire. I was young, stupid and lucky. Unfortunately, young, stupid and lucky also seems to characterize a whole host of latter day Grand Canyon backpackers. Hikers die in there, every year in greater numbers than one would at first imagine ... at least six during the summer of 2005.
Accidents and heatrelated ill'nesses are the leading causes of d'eath in the Grand Canyon. What is striking is how easy it is to avoid either through proper preparation and common sense. What does this mean?
Be in Good Physical Shape.
Be Hy'drated. Bring Provisions to Stay Hy'drated.
Know Where You Are Going.
Prepare for Self-Rescue.
Just in case I haven't made my point, I'll let the Grand Canyon National Park Service make theirs. The following is from their web-site.
Got it?! People die down there.
Here, by-the-way, are the abbreviated facts of my own moments of stupidity.
During the late spring of 1981 I lit an illegal cook-fire on sandy soil, which in turn lit a root, and travelled underground to a fallen log. Smoke tendrils gave away the momentous stupidity of the act and I spent the entire night digging and waiting, digging and waiting, digging and waiting. By the time I was confident that the fire was out, I was dehy*drated, my back and arms ached from the digging, and I was thouroughly chastened. What made it worse was the walk out, and the knowledge that I had to tell somebody. The tongue-lashing I received from the Grand Canyon Service Ranger almost seemed like a relief, tempered as it was by the water he passed me from the jug he had stored in his truck. It turned out fine, but another 8 hours without water, or a different sort of luck with the fire, and I or somebody else could easily have been a pile of bones.
In addition to his lifelong interest in the outdoors recreation community, Trevor Paetkau is the proprietor of Moraine Adventure Books, an independent source of Adventure Travel and Outdoor Recreation books, articles, advice and resources.
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