Rescue workers in southern California's Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties have recently seen a spike in the number of helicopter rescues for hikers and backpackers, Santa Barbara's KEYT reports. Dehydration was the leading cause behind the assistance calls.
The increase in rescues has lead officials in those counties to remind hikers always to bring basic survival gear with them on the trails, such as a map, hiking buddy, a cell phone, and, of course, water.
The recommendation might sound obvious but serves as a good reminder that even the simplest of trips can quickly turn from bad to worse. How bad? Take another look at the 12 of the hairiest survival stories ever told—and the life-saving tips you can learn from them—from our November 2007 issue.