Carson City Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Vice Commander Jeff Moser said it’s important to bring the 10 essentials if you’re going hiking.
They are: Navigation; headlamp (light); sun protection; first aid; knife; fire; shelter; extra food; extra water; and extra clothes.
These items, even for a short hike, can become handy and can make the difference if you run into any problems.
Moser said the most common call for physical distress in western Nevada is heat exhaustion and dehydration. Many people don’t prepare by bringing enough water or dressing properly for the heat. Prevent this by always bring more water than you think you’ll need and wearing proper clothing.
Moser said you’re able to recover from heat exhaustion on your own by finding a cooler spot and shade. He said loosen up clothing, take off socks and boots and drink water. Usually symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cold and clammy skin and nausea. If you stop sweating and get delirious you get heat stroke.
When it comes to dressing, Moser recommends wearing lightweight, loose fitting clothing rather than short and tight. He said it hides your body from the sun. Since sunscreen needs to be re-applied every two hours, covering your skin with clothing is much easier and safer.
“With sunscreen, eventually you’re going to get burned,” Moser said. “With loose clothes you can stay out all day.”
Moser said it’s very important to carry a headlamp or a flashlight all the time. He said a common call Search and Rescue receives is when someone is stranded somewhere like Prison Hill at dusk because they didn’t realize how long they’d be out there.
“A headlamp can make all the difference of getting back to the trailhead,” Moser said.
MORE SEARCH AND RESCUE TIPS
Here’s some tips from Moser:
Some preparations before hiking:
“If no one knows where you are, you can be up there a lot longer,” Moser said.
“You might buy something and get out there and not know how to do it,” he said. “Like setting up a tent.”
Rattlesnakes are also a part of our local backcountry, but if you stay on trail and don’t bother them, they are rarely a problem. Moser said it’s usually pets that are the biggest risks. Also, he said older methods for removing venom are outdated. Lots of anti-venom kits that stores used to sell aren’t the proper procedure, he said.
If a rattlesnake bites someone, it is best to get the person to sit and remain calm. Moser says keep your heart above the wound. Remove any tight clothing or jewelry because you swell up (e.g. your hand could swell up and a ring on your finger could cut off circulation)
You should call 911 right away and you possibly could be helicoptered to Reno.
So be prepared and prevent a catastrophe. Carry your essential items at all times and get used to hiking with them.
Kyler Klix is a designer for Nevada News Group. He also writes about the outdoors and entertainment. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.