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Franklin Mts State Park Cautions Visitors After Recent Dehydration Incidents

EL PASO, Texas – In the last 30 days, 13 people were stranded and suffered dehydration during four different incidents within Franklin Mountains State Park. All received prompt assistance from authorities and park staff and none suffered serious injury, but the rash of cases involving visitors who went out in mid-day heat without sufficient water is prompting park staff to call for common sense precautions.

Hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing are among the popular outdoors activities among state park visitors in El Paso area. The number of persons enjoying the outdoors is increasing. However, as temperatures rise in the area, heat related incidents are also increasing.

In all four recent incidents at the park, visitors were able to use mobile phones to call for help. But park authorities caution visitors NOT to rely on mobile phones for emergency assistance, as service is unreliable in some areas of the park.

People planning outdoor activities should consider these recommendations:

  • Take plenty of drinking water (more than you may think you will need).
  • Take light snacks.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Use sunblock lotion, wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants, and use a cap or hat.
  • Do activities with someone else. If you do activities alone, let somebody else know about your plans.
  • Stay on the trail always. Walking off-trail increases your chance of suffering an injury, getting lost, or encountering rattlesnakes. In addition, desert soils are fragile. Cutting across switchbacks tramples vegetation, erodes the soil, and eventually destroys the trail.
  • Have a cell or mobile phone for emergencies, but do not rely on them only. Carry with you a whistle, mirror, flag, flashlight or other means to signal your location.
  • Check weather conditions and avoid doing activities during extreme temperatures. Seek shelter in the event of strong winds and thunderstorms.

For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441

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