On August 31 the Albuquerque Journal published a story about a hiker rescue in the Sandia Mountains. I’ll quote the article in full, because this time I want to comment on the story as well as the incident.
In the space of three days, New Mexico news services posted two stories about hikers who got into trouble. Happily, both survived. As usual, I’ll break down the stories to see what hikers can learn from them.
Two days ago I caught a carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp.) engaging in nectar robbing. I do have a few words to say in favor of the defendant.
A hiking companion passed along a story about a hiking accident in The Taos News (June 20–26, 2019). You can find the story online here. There’s a happy ending: the victim will make a full recovery.
How much water do you need in the desert, on a hot summer day? Let's take a look.
On July 27 last year I wrote a blog titled, "Want to die? Falling is all it takes." On May 17 the Albuquerque Journal carried a brief story, "Hiker killed in fall near Questa." I'll repeat the full story.
On August 9 I put up a YouTube video about a bear encounter, and on August 10 the Albuquerque Journal published my guest column on Forrest Fenn's treasure.
This morning's Albuquerque Journal carried a story titled "Hiker dies in fall at White Rock Canyon." Hikers tend to be most worried about lightning or bears, but many hiking deaths are due to falls.
For me, hiking is not about distances or other goals, but about a healthy aesthetic experience. I want to be in a beautiful place—so I'm a lousy candidate for through-hiking the CDT and its long stretches of road. And when I eat on the trail, I like the food to taste good—no ramen packets for me! Hence my previous blog on taking red and green chile on a hike.
Given that attitude, it's no surprise that I wasn't fond of my standard bear bell. It warns bears as well as any other bell, I'm sure, but the sound is harsh. When I wear it all day, it gets downright annoying. For anyone else out there whose bear bell annoys them, here's one solution.
On a different page I show how to create a storm-resistant, ground-hugging shelter using a DD tarp. For years, when I needed an open-sided awning for milder conditions, I winged it. No longer, thanks to Dutchware's continuous ridge line.
This morning I was jogging past Hyder Park when I saw this kids' play house, made from branches that came down during a storm. I had to take a picture because it's the kind of shelter you can make if you're stuck in the woods overnight.
One problem with remote hikes in New Mexico is the frequent lack of cell phone service. In an emergency, someone may need to hike out, then drive, just to call 911. If you’re hiking alone, an immobilizing injury could be a death sentence. When a pay raise allowed a one-time splurge, I purchased a satellite messenger.