Safety tips for motorist, hikers traveling through the desert

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Many people chose to travel by way of a vehicle during the summer months.  Especially, during the 4th of July holiday. And for those living in the Las Vegas valley, every which way they drive could have them traveling through the desert.

Experts say it’s important to carry extra water, food and fuel should your trip take you through the desert.

“Our mission is for people to have a fun enjoyable experience out here,” said Christie Vanover, public affairs officer at Lake Mead National Recreational Area. 

According to Vanover, safety should be a priority.

“You want to have a lot of water when you go out to the desert or even if you are driving because if your car breaks down you might need that water;  you might need to hike to safety,” Vanover said. 

For hikers, it’s always important to use the buddy system and tell friends where you are going and when you are expected to be back.

If you are in a vehicle and you find yourself stranded leave a note in your car.  That way if you don’t return rangers will know where to find you.

“Cell phones are great if they work; if you’ve got a good signal, but you do have to realize when you are in a remote setting; when you are in the wilderness, the likelihood of you having a cell phone is pretty minimal,” Vanover said.

Another advantageous device that can be used by those hiking in Lake Mead Recreational Area is a marine band radio.

During monsoon season, rangers recommend people bring extra food and head to higher ground during heavy rains.

“Some of our roads will wash out,” Vanover said. “It’s just a routine thing that happens here because a lot of the roadways were built in the washes. 
We actually find ourselves doing search and rescues more for people who are young and who are healthy, and that’s often times because they overestimate their capabilities. They don’t come with enough water; they think they are invincible.”

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