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Outdoor experts urge hikers to plan ahead and prepare for rising temperatures

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Rising temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses for campers including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Experts like Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Scott Safechuck recommend planning ahead, dressing appropriately, and staying hydrated.

“No matter how good you are at hiking or new to the sport, it's important that you always carry a proper amount of water. You carry various signaling devices such as a cell phone, maybe a whistle, have a flashlight with you, even some type of compact mirror for flashing or you can use a compact disc,” said Safechuck.

Avid hikers like Sophia Hurtado keep a watchful eye out for rattlesnakes.

"And they did get bit by a rattlesnake. And what happened was they they carried him down the trail, tried to keep him calm so the blood circulation wouldn't take the venom everywhere,” said Hurtado.

She talked about how one friend’s encounter with a rattlesnake almost 12 years ago, has forever haunted her.

“Kid’s totally fine now. But like, I keep that in the back of my mind. Watch the trails for snake,” said Hurtado.

“When you're walking around, you want to be really alert of your environment,” said Safechuck.

Santa Barbara County Fire recommends hiking with a friend who is already familiar with the trail and starting hikes before 10 a.m. to allow ample time and avoid peak heat.

“You hear a lot about people on e-bikes these days going too far in the backcountry and not being able to make it back with their battery. I would just say know how far it is and how strenuous it's going to be,” said Sage Ritchie, an off-duty firefighter who was hiking to Inspiration Point.

If someone is experiencing a medical emergency on the trail, experts say it is best to immediately call 911.

For more information visit the Los Padres National Forest website here.

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.

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