I was at AAA the other day when I overheard a man getting angry with the clerk who was helping him. The man was at the travel section of the office hoping to use their service to help him plan a trip to Death Valley. Here is how the conversation went:
AAA Clerk: I'm sorry, Sir. We cannot plan a trip for you for Death Valley in September.
Man: What? Why not?
AAA Clerk: There are weather issues and we cannot plan the trip due to weather advisories
Man: What?! There is no weather in Death Valley! It is dry!
What I guess the man didn't understand is that weather, whether present and visible or not, is always there. That extreme heat has and will kill.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping so freakin much. I have been exploring the backcountry for close to 10 years. When I got into this amazing lifestyle, permits were always available, park overcrowding wasn't a thing, and the REI parking lot was loaded with empty spaces. I have seen the backcountry, hiking trails, and camping spots turn into something to fight for and hope one gets reservations for.
Let's face it, people have finally discovered what they need. While it is great that people have realized what makes life worth living, too many are failing to understand that weather, trail conditions, poor gear, and lack of proper outdoor education are a real threat. Weather can come in all forms. Rain, snow, hail, heat, freezing temperatures, and humidity can kill even those with the best intentions and gear. Weather is nothing to be messed with. Exposure can kill someone within just a few hours.
At Wilderness Trio, we not only take people on epic adventures they will remember forever, but we educate adventurers while we are out there. We don't want to hear about another missing hiker, another person having to resort to drinking their own urine, and we certainly don't want to hear of another person dying in the scorching desert heat. Look at the recent reports of missing hikers, the increase of rescue operations from some of the most basic trails, and the increase in hikers dying. Please take nature, the trail, and weather seriously. We are always here and available to not only teach classes, but we give free advice and love to share what we know to prevent accidents.
Hope to see you on the trail soon,
- Chris Duarte