Snowbird tip on safety when hiking the southwestern deserts



By Russ and Tiña De Maris

If you are a solo fulltimer the odds of this happening to you are slim, but the danger does exist. so it is a good idea to recognize it and deal with it. What am I talking about? Read on. 

Famartin on wikimedia

Every year thousands of RVers descend into the Southwestern deserts, looking forward to a great time of exploration and relaxation. And every year, reports a representative of the Quartzsite, Arizona, fire department, a body is found in the desert, usually of someone who wandered off, got disoriented, and never made it back to their RV.

It turns out, many of these folks were solo RVers, and since there wasn’t anybody “home” waiting for them, nobody put out the cry for help when that RVer vanished. Here’s an immediate thought: If you’re planning on setting out to explore, if you’ve made an acquaintance with someone near your rig, it might be an act of good foresight to let them know you’ll be away for a bit and that you’ll check back in on your return. That way, if something does come up and you can’t make it back, they’ll “have your back.”

Paramedics also ask you to go one step further: If you’re a solo RVer, please put emergency contact information on your person and in your rigs. The latter is the so-called “vial of life,” something as simple as a jar inside your refrigerator with your personal information inside. At times government officials finally wind up going inside an apparently abandoned RV to try and get to the bottom of a missing owner. Often they’re able to identify the owner from vehicle registration information, but just who to contact may not be clear. In one instance the police found a cell phone in an “abandoned” rig and kept it charged up and at the station until a concerned friend called to find out why they hadn’t heard from their loved one.

A few steps in advance could save a lot of heartache – and maybe even your life.