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Increasing heat threatens hikers around Las Vegas valley

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 22:00:23-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From all around the country, people have been drawn to the beautiful visages of Red Rock Canyon on the outskirts of Las Vegas for decades.

Mid-summer heat has been known to take people by surprise, especially those who aren't used to the bone-dry air.

"We're from Mississippi," Chuck Satcher said standing beside his wife Penne. "This is a big change for us."

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The Satchers were visiting Red Rock Canyon for the first time on Thursday as temperatures soared well over 100 degrees, and coming from a humid environment, they may have fallen victim to a common misconception about desert survival.

"You step out of your vehicle in Mississippi, you just immediately start sweating," Chuck said. "Here, it's just a lot different. You hardly sweat."

John Assselin, Bureau of Land Management Communications Director, said everyone is sweating when they are outdoors, they just don't know it.

"You don't feel it because it's evaporating immediately, trying to keep you cool," he said.

Asselin said people will need to drink a minimum of a quart of water an hour to stay healthy while hiking.

"Take your water with you when you hike," he stressed. "Water in your car does you no good on the trail."

He said people should dress properly for the trail as well, and that didn't include shedding layers to stay cool.

Asselin said long sleeves, long pants, and a hat can keep a hiker cooler than stripping down to shorts and shoes.

"When you start pairing those high temperatures with the sun beating on you, that heat is going into your skin rather than coming out of you," he said.

His final piece of advice was to get out early in the morning before the heavy heat of the day has a chance to settle in.