On March 9, 2016, a husband and wife called for search and rescue, explaining that they were lost. Alonzo Cruz and his wife were in the area of Briggs Road, and the call had been transferred from Cochise County. Cruz reported that there was “wildlife” around all them, and that they were intensely afraid for their safety.
The couple had been hiking for roughly two hours, and did have a flashlight but turned it off. They had parked off the trail, and beside a no trespassing sign. Eventually, search and rescue vehicles were sighted by the couple. However, the walk was too distant for them feel comfortable with because of the wild animals surrounding them. Ultimately, search and rescue were able to come closer to their location so that they could be retrieved from the wilderness.
Luckily, the couple had been able to make a call in to request the aid of search and rescue. However, one can only imagine what could have happened if they had gone hiking in an area without cell phone coverage. However here are some helpful tips to help keep you from getting lost.
When planning a hike, always bring a map along. Also, if you can afford it, bring a GPS unit. Many people have a GPS unit in their phones, but numerous individuals don’t know how to use their GPS. However, do not rely completely on the GPS unit. If you are hiking and suddenly your GPS unit falls into a crevice, you will be in a very sticky situation. GPS is a good thing to have in the possibility you get lost, but it shouldn’t be the thing you rely on completely. Even if you avoid getting lost, while in the more rural areas of Arizona, it is best to be aware of wildlife. While you are on a hike, keep an eye on your surroundings. In Arizona, as soon as the sun sets, predators come out to hunt. The times of sunset and nighttime are the highest peak of the predatory hunting time. While there are always rattlesnakes to worry about, there are also larger predators such as mountain lions, wolves, bear, and coyote.
If you find yourself lost, the most important thing is to stay put. If you are able to call for help and it is on the way, moving will only make things worse. Try to stay hydrated and rested. Also, attempt to remain very visible to rescuers. The motto of the hiker when lost is: Stop, think, observe, and plan.