Attention hikers: Take ample water, a water filter, and electrolytes

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Pacific Crest Trail in Washington 
photo courtesy National Park Service
The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office recently related a story about rescuing dehydrated hikers from the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office and Kittitas County Search and Rescue have responded to three medical emergencies from backcountry hikers in the last two days, all related to heat exhaustion and dehydration. 

One subject was airlifted out of the Deep Lake area after a rescue ground team reached him and found him unable to walk or even ride a horse due to severe dehydration. 

Two others had to be provided emergency care in the field, including IV fluids, before they could walk out with the help of ground teams to get full medical care. All three were experienced hikers in good physical condition.

August in Kittitas County sees hundreds of northbound Pacific Crest Trail hikers and other backcountry users in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

In the kind of extreme weather in our near-future forecast, all backcountry users need to have ample water (and a water filter) and electrolytes to mitigate the heat.

Hiking up switchback trails and over passes in 90+ degree heat will deplete even the toughest of hikers. Heat-related illness and emergency can come on very suddenly and can be deadly.


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