San Antonio has some amazing hiking and biking trails, but as the summer months continue to heat up, people continue to fall ill due to heat-related illnesses.
At least, that’s the case at the very popular Government Canyon.
So far, park officials have made eight heat-related rescues this year. It’s par for the course for this time of the year, but park officials said it’s a dangerous problem they hope to eliminate.
“There’s a learning curve it seems for the public. Trying to get the message out and trying to get people to learn that you need to take it seriously,” said Government Canyon State Natural Area Superintendent Chris Holm. “If you’re going to go out on the hiking trails, you need to be prepared.”
Holm said part of that preparation is dressing appropriately, going to the park when it’s cooler and especially having enough water.
“That’s a common issue on most heat rescues, they run out of water. We always try to tell people, a good rule of thumb, when you’ve run out of half of your water, turn around and go back. But a lot of people just keep pushing it,” Holm said.
People also often underestimate the trails and rough terrain. That’s why there are plenty of signs posted across the park to remind people of the dangers. There’s also the warnings that come from park rangers.
“Our main injuries that we have out here are heat related and people just over do it, over exert themselves, they don’t come prepared and we have to go out and rescue them on the trails, because basically they’re done,” Holm said.
Government Canyon will also see heat related injuries to pets. Holm said in some severe cases, pets have died from over-heating while hiking at the park. That’s why he wants people to remember their four-legged friends too.