Summer Just Got Cooler

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Address: 1400 Old Forge Road #2603
Little Rock, AR 72227
Email: [email protected]

On June 19, 2000, I learned how it feels to know you're about to die. Obviously, since I've written about the experience several times, I didn't die. I was lucky.

About ten that morning, I set out from my campground on Arkansas' Mount Nebo for hike. The trail I had in mind was four miles long. I was in pretty good shape, had food and water, and felt confident I could complete the hike.

The only thing I forgot was a map.

My hike went well for a couple of hours, at which point I realized that I had no idea where I was or which of three branching trails to take. I did an eeny-meeny-miney-moe and chose a trail. Later I learned that if I had gone right at this point instead of left, I would have made it back to camp safely.

The trail I did choose led me on a winding path and finally dumped me out on the main road to the state park. Having driven up the mountain the day before, I recognized where I was--three or four miles down the mountain, at a guess, on a steep mountain road with hairpin curves. Even if drivers recognized that I was in trouble and not hiking for pleasure, they couldn't stop. There was nowhere to pull over and cars coming up the mountain couldn't see around the curves.

If I was going to make it to camp, I had to walk up the mountain.

So I started walking. But I soon realized I probably wasn't going to make it. The camp site was, by my guess, at least two miles up the mountain. I was so exhausted I could only take small steps, and my legs had stopped aching and gone numb. Blisters on my feet were screaming in agony. Worst, I was out of water and had stopped sweating.

I was in the early stages of heat stroke, and I was too exhausted to do the only thing that would help--get back to camp faster.

I kept walking, until I couldn't walk another step. My body cried out for rest. I knew if I sat down I would have to stretch out, and that if I did that I would fall asleep, and if I did that...

I would die of heat stroke.

I made a deal with my aching body. One more curve, and then I'll think about resting, with all the consequences. But just one hundred more yards. Just to the other side of this curve.

This is where fortune stepped in.

As I rounded the curve I saw the campground. My tent was a still couple of hundred yards away, but over more level ground, and once I reached it I could rest, drink water, rest, and drink water.

I made the campground, poured cool water over my head to cool off, slowly drank water, and fell asleep. Four hours later, I woke aching and stiff, but alive.

I didn't know about GlacierBands then, but I'll never go hiking without one again.

In fact, my hiking gear now contains the GlacierBand around my neck and another, soaked and wrapped in a plastic bag. I should never need the second one, but why take the risk? They weigh almost nothing, they take up very little room, and they can save your life.

© Copyright 2002 GlacierBands
Note: GlacierBands is intended for use as a comfort aid only. It is not a medical device and should not be used as such. If you believe you have a medical problem, seek the advice of a licensed professional.