Search This Blog

Monday, June 30, 2014

Vacation Preparedness

Enough procrastinating, it is time to work on those mid-year work resolutions.  Near the top of the list is getting back to writing for the Arizona Emergency Information Network blog.

At the end of this summer I am spending a week hiking and camping in the cool Sierra Nevada Mountains at Yosemite National Park in California.  This sounds like heaven after hiking in the Phoenix desert in the early morning to avoid the heat.  But hiking longer distances, at a higher altitude and carrying a 20-pound backpack will not be heavenly if I don’t do my prep work.

Munds Park
At work or at home, preparedness surrounds me.

I started my research a few months ago to identify what hazards I might encounter at Yosemite.  Weather in the High Sierra’s is unpredictable, temperatures can range from the low 30’s at night to the high 80’s during the day.  Now throw the possibility of black bears and mosquitoes in the mix.
Once I knew the hazards, I started my packing list with items that will minimize their impact. I will dress in layers; bring a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, knit cap, gloves, lip balm and mosquito repellant.  As far as the black bears go, I will store food and scented toiletries in a bear-resistant locker. I’ve also studied what to do if I encounter a bear.  Lucky for me, yelling—one of the recommended actions to take-- comes natural..  The challenge will be NOT running away.

Another hazard that I may encounter is altitude sickness.  I hike around Phoenix multiple times a week, but with the highest Phoenix peak about 2,500 feet that is really no match for the Yosemite altitude range of 7,100 feet to 10,100 feet. A couple weeks ago I hiked at Munds Park and Snowbowl in northern Arizona to test my skills.  Good thing I did, the altitude and the heavy backpack definitely slowed me down.  There is more high altitude hiking in my Yosemite preparedness plan.
So what vacation do you have planned?  Have you done the research to know what hazards you might encounter?   Do you think we put the same energy into knowing what hazards are in the city we live in?

No comments: