Dangerous Situation

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On our return journey across the country in June, my wife, son, and I decided to visit Arches National Park in Utah.We arrived around 1:00 a.m., set up the roof top tent and fell asleep unaware that we were going to wake up to one of the most spectacular sunrises

that we had ever encountered.

We awoke around 6 a.m. to yellows, oranges and reds rising over arches of brown. We were in awe of the beauty and excited to begin our day. We quickly ate a breakfast of granola bars and fruit and started to explore the geological wonders of the park.
    After reading about several hiking areas, we decided to hike to one of the most famous arches at the park. The sign read that is was approximately a three mile hike round trip. We went back to the vehicle, applied sun screen and realized that we had only one full bottle of water left.
We felt that we were well hydrated, and we did not want to go several miles out of our way to refill our water supply, so off we went (first mistake).
    After hiking for approximately one mile, the slope of the hike changed. It became a step uphill climb. The heat of the day began to set in and we were feeling fatigued. We found a rocky shaded area and sat down to rest. We discussed going back, but could see our destination in the distance so we continued on (second mistake). As we hiked we realized that our destination was further than we thought. At this point we were down to 1/4 of a bottle of water for three people to share, and realized that we put ourselves in a dangerous situation, but instead of turning back, we continued on because we were almost there (third mistake).
    Exhausted, we reached the Archway. It was spectacular, however we were unable to fully appreciate its beauty due to our physical state. Thirsty and down to just a few drops of water, we had to hike back (unaware it was about 115 degrees at this time). Thankfully the hike back was mostly down hill. We arrived back at our Jeep safe, but exhausted and dehydrated.
    I realized that this was an important learning experience. Without realizing it, we put ourselves in dangerous situation. Anyone of us could on gotten hurt or passed out, and there was no help within miles. After this incident I will no longer take a risk like this again. I will always try to be prepared with necessary supplies of water, food and first aide.
    I have added to my Jeep an onboard water system (14 gallons), and a Sawyer water filtration system so that I am able to filter from any water source. A four drawer storage system to carry supplies (emergency foods, first aide, etc.), and a Engel fridge/freezer for plenty of ice.


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