Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Sept. 28

Book Review: "How not to die at Grand Canyon," a pocket guide
First-aid pocket guide gives Grand Canyon hikers, river runners step by step prevention and tips

"How Not to Die at Grand Canyon" pocket guide provides prevention and first aid tips for Grand Canyon's top 12 most common hazards. (Photo/Grand Canyon Conservancy)

"How Not to Die at Grand Canyon" pocket guide provides prevention and first aid tips for Grand Canyon's top 12 most common hazards. (Photo/Grand Canyon Conservancy)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — If you’ve ever been to Grand Canyon National Park, you likely have noticed that there are dangerous hazards up high along the rim, down below in the Colorado River, and on the trails in between.

From heat illness to falling, from drowning to cold exposure, there are many ways to die in Grand Canyon. How Not to Die at Grand Canyon is a new pocket guide published by Grand Canyon Conservancy that educates Grand Canyon visitors about the 12 most common hazards that visitors experience, how to avoid them, and how to perform first aid on the spot.

Written by Thomas M. Myers, M.D., "How Not to Die at Grand Canyon" is a waterproof pocket guide that will fit in your pocket or backpack so you can take it with you.

“One of the problems with most of our visitors to the backcountry, by the time they get to the rim or Lee’s Ferry or some other trail, they’ve already made up their mind and feel convinced they know what they need to know about Grand Canyon safety and they’ll blow by the signs on the rim,” Myers said during a recent Facebook live event.

Signs posted along the rim and specifically on trailheads explain the dangers of heat related illnesses and Hyponatremia — when the body holds onto too much water because of a lack of sodium, as well as other potential dangers.

“I think the ideal situation would be — the hiker or river runner wants to go on this once in a lifetime trip but they get this long before they journey in. They look at it, they scan it and they try not to scare themselves and they use that information to empower themselves on how to have a great trip, how to have fun and do it safely and walk away with good memories,” Myers said.

Myers worked closely with the National Park Service’s Preventive Search and Rescue (PSAR) team and numerous experts in the emergency medicine field to create this potentially life-saving guide.

“How Not to Die at Grand Canyon” provides prevention and first aid tips for the top 12 common hazards at Grand Canyon:

  1. Heat illness
  2. Traumatic falls
  3. Drowning
  4. Heart attack
  5. Flash floods
  6. Cold exposure
  7. Lightning strikes
  8. Falling rocks, tree limbs
  9. Water intoxication (hyponatremia)
  10. Hantavirus
  11. Sacred Datura poisoning
  12. Rattlesnake bites/scorpion stings

A physician at Grand Canyon Clinic since 1990, Myers has treated thousands of canyon visitors and residents. He has devoted much of his medical career to understanding, treating, and preventing medical problems for those who explore the Grand Canyon region. Dr. Myers is co-author of the bestselling “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon” and author of many other Grand Canyon-focused publications.

“How Not to Die at Grand Canyon” is available in Grand Canyon Conservancy Park Stores, online at, and at independent booksellers.

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