French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent die

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French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent die

Postby keithy » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 12:29 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... -heat.html

Seems a sad story, but luckily for the boy his mother's body was found with a camera showing that the boy and father were with her, sparking the search for the two of them on the hiking trail.

The White Sands National Monument in New Mexico looks amazing, and quite an arid place. But at temperatures >38C feeling unwell it would be easy to get disorientated from the heat and sunstroke sets in.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby photohiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 9:28 am

Lucky boy.

There have been similar incidents in Australia with foreign tourists not understanding the risks of venturing into the outback in summer.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby wayno » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 2:18 pm

not just about the temp, its about being in the midday sun, the radiant heat from direct sunlight adds to the heat effect driving your skin temp up and increasing sweat... no hat or clothes that don't ventilate well adds to the issues.
I read somewhere about a cows skin temp was taken in NZ on a summers day in the twenties. skin temp was over fifty degrees....
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby photohiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 2:53 pm

Yep, but it's not just the radiance from the sun hitting your body.

In the outback, it's common to see 40C+. In summer you could be up for 50C. That's the ambient temperature. Your standard body temperature is 37C. The ground, the air, everything around you is radiating long wave heat at you driving your body heat up and apart from perspiration there is no way of keeping to a normal temperature without good shade and or airconditioning. Not much of that in the outback. People from cool countries like the EU or Japan, even some NZ'ers, just don't understand because they have never been in temps like that before. The classic case is they have some car trouble and they decide to walk to town:

Inquest into the death of Gabriele Grossmueller on the Halligan Bay track

When you get to 38.3 (37.5 core temp) you've arrived at Hyperthermia and you are in for trouble.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 3:32 pm

It's just tragic. Can't understand the thought processes of the parents, especially the father.
Just move it!
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby wayno » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 3:49 pm

um i've been to Japan, its not a cool country in summer, i'd say its worse than most of australia... try 40 degrees with 100% humidity, your sweat can't evaporate to cool you down at all, it maybe one reason why they like so much cold food and massive underground malls?
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby photohiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 5:03 pm

lol @ wayno.

Aren't we talking about risk of people dying in a desert environment? Hot and humid in Japan is a different kettle (of fish)
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby Gadgetgeek » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 5:46 pm

In a lot of ways heat-stoke is a lot like hypothermia. Long before your body is in an irreversible state, your brain has lost a large portion of decision making capacity. Sadly a classic case of should have stuck together. Unfortunately neither of them realized how much danger they were already in.
When I was in mexico the days were not all that hot, I think the hottest was mid 30s. But when we went to some of the ruins all the white limestone really magnified the heat. Shade did little to help. I've been out on blacktop in hot weather and for some reason the heat from the white surfaces was much worse. you didn't feel it the same way, as the air was not as hot, but you felt seared like standing in front of a hot oven or BBQ.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 7:23 pm

Talk about it. Visited the Grand Canyon many years ago in 100+ deg F heat and it was just murder. Walked a little way down the trail and realised that it won't be fun to walk back up. Turned around and headed back. Spent the next hour in our A/C hotel room to recover.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby keithy » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 9:49 pm

They updated the article with more info http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... water.html

The couple had given the boy two sips for every sip they took. But they didn't take enough water.

The father seems to have been disorientated from the heat and walked further off the trail:
"He kept telling the son that the vehicle is 'right over here, right over here,'" Sheriff House told CNN


The mother had only made it 100m from where she turned back before collapsing.

photohiker wrote:Aren't we talking about risk of people dying in a desert environment? Hot and humid in Japan is a different kettle (of fish)


I think in certain conditions the humidity can be just as bad for heatstroke. The high humidity means the sweat doesn't evaporate and doesn't cool you down, so your core body temperature rises. I remember doing the hike to the Pinnacles in Mulu National Park in Borneo, and had brought 3 litres of water for the hike, with the high humidity, even though we started before sunrise, I was sweating more than I've ever done before, and finished my water before the return leg. The sweat wasn't evaporating so much as dripping off me. I was suffering some effects of the heat with some dizziness when we got to the peak. The peak was cooler and stopping in cooler temperatures helped.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby photohiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2015 10:38 pm

Sure, I'm not saying hot and humid is risk free. These people didn't expire in a hot and humid environment, it's different.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby wayno » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 5:28 am

i was merely correcting the statement
People from cool countries like the EU or Japan

most Japanese are experienced with hot weather conditions very well.

deserts can get humid too, do we know for sure it wasnt humid in this mexican location, if its next to the coast it can still be humid,
a location in the middle east recently experienced the relative temp of 70 degrees C when the humidity was taken into effect. if you have an onshore wind along a desert coast the humidity could be very high...
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 8:00 am

In this case, since the white sands area is pretty centrally inland, I suspect it was rather dry. I've been in low enough humidity conditions that even high temps feel not to bad with even a little breeze since your sweat is very effective. The problem is you dehydrate far faster than you can take in water, and far faster than you think possible. I remember more than a few days on the farm that after only a couple hours outside, guzzling water, it still wasn't enough. They probably weren't even that hot, but the wind pulls the water out of you so fast, its hard to gauge it. Like I said, when the humidity is low enough, it doesn't feel too bad. Then things get fuzzy and everything feels bad.
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby photohiker » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 8:52 am

wayno wrote:i was merely correcting the statement
People from cool countries like the EU or Japan

most Japanese are experienced with hot weather conditions very well.

deserts can get humid too, do we know for sure it wasnt humid in this mexican location, if its next to the coast it can still be humid,
a location in the middle east recently experienced the relative temp of 70 degrees C when the humidity was taken into effect. if you have an onshore wind along a desert coast the humidity could be very high...


The general climate in Japan in Summer is warm and humid, not hot. (unless you think 30-35C is hot) Average temperatures are 5-10C below Outback average temperatures, and the extreme weather conditions are also at least 10C less in Japan. When a Japanese person comes to the Australian Outback in our summer, they are coming from their winter. They are not acclimatised to a hot, dry desert environment.

I agree we do not know the exact humidity at White Sands, but I would point out that it is in the USA, not Mexico. New Mexico is a western inland state of the USA:

Image

I have been to New Mexico in summer, and I can verify that when I was there it was very hot and dry, maybe not as hot as Coober Pedy in the middle of summer, but hot. I couldn't wait to get back to the coast.

New Mexico Climate:
The average annual temperatures can range from 64 °F (18 °C) in the southeast to below 40 °F (4 °C) in the northern mountains.[11] During the summer months, daytime temperatures can often exceed 100 °F (38 °C) at elevations below 5,000 feet (1,500 m), the average high temperature in July ranges from 97 °F (36 °C) at the lower elevations to the upper 70s (°F, up to 26 °C) at the higher elevations.


The NPS issues a park safety brochure: White Sands Desert Safety
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby wayno » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 11:23 am

With high humidity the feels like temp is a lot higher than in dry conditions. Ive been in japan when its been forty degrees and its felt a lot hotter and more debilitating than the same temps in aus
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby wayno » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 11:47 am

article here about a runner who died in death valley in california, i refer to this due to the detail it goes into about heat problems in the desert and water requirements
http://www.outsideonline.com/1902996/mi ... ltrarunner

aussie friend of mine who works outdoors inland in lowland victoria says he finds the humid heat in nz in the twenties worse to cope with than the heat in the forties in aus, even in NZ people will often try to avoid exercising in the heat of the day if they can, its not uncommon for people to be helicoptered out of the mountains with heat stress in NZ, theres a lot more to heat stress than temperature..
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Re: French boy found alive in New Mexico desert after parent

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 11 Aug, 2015 1:41 pm

Just crazy to run out there in 120+F heat! Even if there's enough water, salt loss and imbalance would be so severe that there'll be more problems than just dehydration. Some fitness fanatics forget that to be fit, one has to be alive foremost.
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