From various news sources. A French couple died during an afternoon hike across the White Sands National Park desert in New Mexico. Their nine-year-old son survived. The couple appeared to have died of heat-related causes, The family had two 20-ounce water bottles when they set out on the hike along the national monument’s Alkali Flat trail about 1pm. The woman’s body was discovered at 5:30 P.M. and the husband’s shortly thereafter. There is no vegetation or shade and the National Park Service warns hikers carry at least a gallon of water for each person. Dead in 4-1/2 hours! My observations. 1. Don't hike in the desert during the high heat hours. 2. Carry enough water. 3. Carry your own shade - a tarp and some hiking poles could be used to set up a lean-to. Any other suggestions?