Safety tips, reminders for the new hiking season - Tucson News Now

Safety tips, reminders for the new hiking season

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Search and rescue crews say yesterday's efforts are the beginning of their busy season.  As the weather warms up and more residents start heading out on to the trail, officials want everyone to know and do more to be safe. 

The Catalinas are a popular spot to hike, and they are the number one place where search and rescue crews are sent to find missing hikers. 

To help your chances these are the three things you want to bring with them, plenty of water, there is no such thing as too much.  A cell phone, so a person can call if they get lost; and a map, it doesn't do a person any good if they look at it and then leave it in their car.

But safety actually starts before heading out on the trail, pre-plan.  Let someone know where they are going and when they are expected to be back.  That way if they don't come back on time, search crews know where to start looking, a big advantage in finding a missing person quickly.

And by know where they are going, a hiker sets themselves up to avoid what officials say is the most common mistake.

"Most people overestimate.  They think they can do 15 miles in these mountains, it's not the same as walking 15 miles in town," said Shawn Degan, from Pima County's Search and Rescue. 

If the worst scenario does happen and a hiker gets lost, search crews say the best thing the person can do is to stay put. 

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