2 Hikers Die in White Sands National Park

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by WT, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. WT

    WT Millennium Member

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    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?
     
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  2. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR

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    I'm wondering what their physical condition was.

    Plus I would bet they had no clue what they were getting into.

    To the best of my knowledge France has no deserts.
     

  3. KWalrad

    KWalrad No Wire Hangers!

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    Now they've got to change the signs... "White Sands - It's to Die For!"
     
  4. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    :upeyes:

    A kid just lost parents and you quip a joke.'08.
     
  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Ancient Member Millennium Member

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    The heat out there is brutal. I went on a short hike on the lava flows in New Mexico during mid-day (I know, dumb) and had two quarts of water. I went through those in under two hours and was in sad shape when I made it back to the truck.

    NEVER underestimate the ability of desert country to dry you out on short order. I watch these so-called 'survival' shows and find it impossible to believe the participants are not being tossed Ozarka water bottles between takes.

    I have made do in a pinch with the 'tunas' (prickly pear fruits) but they are slimy and only contain a bit of moisture. Chopping open a barrel cactus without a machete is guaranteed to leave you with a handful of cactus spines.

    Ronaldo
     
  6. Wil Ufgood

    Wil Ufgood GTDS #88 CLM

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    Sad story, glad the child survived.
     
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  7. Syclone0538

    Syclone0538

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    http://news.yahoo.com/boy-survivor-us-desert-hike-killed-parents-returns-174450570.html

    It's sad that things that seem so obvious to any of us that read this forum, are either thought to not matter, or not given any thought at all by others.
     
  8. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

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    Don't hike with French people?
     
  9. MinervaDoe

    MinervaDoe

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    I hiked to the top of Yosemite falls one time It's three miles one way, with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It was a nice workout.
    We came down in the late afternoon. When we were near the bottom, we ran into a young Swiss guy with two young Swiss women. They were stopped on the side of the trail drinking beer. When they asked about the hike, we told them it was a little late to be getting started. They blew us off and asked us if there was a hotel or a kiosk at the top where they could buy food. If you put those people in the desert, they would hike in the mid day heat and drink their diuretic alcohol.
    I like the desert, but you need to learn a few basic rules first.
     
  10. actionshooter10

    actionshooter10 CLM

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    I'm guessing that there was alcohol involved in this event. Sucks for the kid. He survived, but now has no parents.
     
  11. wjv

    wjv RIP Stan Lee.. . .

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    Wife and I drove through Valley of Fire State Park in a rental car. Just in case, I stopped at a grocery store before we left and picked a case (32 bottles) of water and threw it in the car. it was over 110 that day. I knew if something bad happened (car dying) that we would need LOTS of water.
     
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  12. MinervaDoe

    MinervaDoe

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    Beware of alluvial fans....


     
  13. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    Dead in 4.5 hours? How badly out of shape and dehydrated do you have to start out, for that to happen? We have soldiers who walking around all day in 100-120 degrees carrying 100 lbs of equipment.
     
  14. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

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    The thing about White Sands is its hard to get lost if you pay even a little attention to the surrounding landmarks. White Sands sits in the middle of a large valley called the Tularosa Basin. There are north/south running mountain ranges to east and west that form the edges of the valley. To the east are the Sacramento mountains and to the West are the Organ Mountains. The mountains are distinct and easily visible from the top of any dune at White Sands. So as long as you mark the shapes of the mountains and remember that those shapes lie to the east or west its almost impossible to lose your orientation. Unless you don't pay attention.
     
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  15. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    Now for the specifics. The woman indicated that she was ill. She turned back. Did her husband turn back? Of course not.

    Some one is ill. She wants to turn back. You are not only in a foreign country; you are in a remote area. Of course, the logical thing to do is to press on and demonstrate your superiority.

    Don't let your ego push you into danger or confrontation.

    This may serve as a reminder and then again it might not. Shtf doesn't have to be fighting off hordes of teenagers. It doesn't have to be mindless threads on "what if" with examples of your being in a retreat. Shtf is someone being sick and you being responsible for that person.

    If there is a widespread shtf, it isn't going to be you dealing with a gunshot wound. It will be your understanding that you wash hands and deal with a small cut without using superglue.
     
  16. Paul53

    Paul53 You local friendly Skynet dealer

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    White Sands is so named for the gypsum sand it's made of. It's as fine as baby powder and reflects the suns heat. Much worse than being on the water in the sun. The park stays open on full moon nights, and you can easily read a book or map it's so bright.

    Mad dogs and French men go out in the mid day sun!
     
  17. actionshooter10

    actionshooter10 CLM

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  18. pugman

    pugman

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    Something here still makes no sense.

    My wife and I just returned from Las Vegas in July. Walking the strip at 3:00 for even 30 minutes made you feel like you needed a Big Glup of water. We are both in our early 40's and in good shape.

    When hunting in South Dakota last year when it was surprising warm even no more than a few miles from our cars we each carried a minimum 1/2 gallon of water JUST for the dogs.

    Did they bring cell phones? Anything to eat? On a 14 mile bike ride I bring almost a gallon of water.

    Were they just this naive?
     
  19. burnsoft

    burnsoft

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    Always care a day bag when hiking, crap happens even when you just plan on being out a short while. You get use to the weight, and it's better then nothing if you need it. Poor kid.