I had an experience this week that changed my thought process on walking vacant parcels forever. I listed an amazing hunting parcel sight unseen. A fellow Realtor from down state Michigan called and knew what he wanted to list for and I was excited. Around here land is usually listed for between $1,500 and $2,000 per acre so when I was told $1,000 per acre plus costs I signed him up.
Same day I decided to walk the parcel and take a few pics so off I wandered. Told my partner (my wife) I was going to walk a 40 and would be back in a couple hours. To access this parcel you take the two track at the end of the seasonal road back in. Not having a key to the gate yet, I parked at the road and took off afoot down the two track.
A hundred yards into it the humidity started showing up in my breathing and perspiration. Once I reached the parcel I was soaked in sweat and the heat was unbearable. Of course I had a black shirt on and my black hair added to the misery. I knew there were a couple old beaver ponds on the north edge so I hiked off the two track to get pics of the ponds. A couple hundred yards into the thick woods it happened. I looked down and I was drooling bad but had stopped sweating and without warning I got the worse head ache I have ever had. I was borderline coherent and was getting cramps all over. I knew I was in trouble. Having taken first aide classes I immediately took my shirt off and sat in the shade for a few. I made my way back to the truck ever so slowly stopping every few yards to rest. By the time I got to the truck my thinking was in and out but managed to find my bottle of water and poured it over my head and neck. Figuring the air would help cool me I rolled the windows down and took off. Must have had a pretty high temp cause the 90 degree air felt cool. By the time I hit the main road I was sweating again which I assumed was a good sign and slowly made my way home where I drank everything in the fridge to re-hydrate. A cool shower and rest did the trick. Still a little nauseous but much improved I took the rest of the day off.
Once back at the house, safe and sound, the reality of it all started hitting me. Here are a few things I should have done differently:
I should have left a detailed map where I was going before starting out.
I should have taken extra water with me being it was so hot.
I should have waited till morning when the temps were lower to walk any large parcel.
I should have asked someone to go along for a nice walk in the country.
I should have a first aide kit in my vehicle with aspirin.
I should have made sure I had cell phone reception before starting out.
I have walked miles and miles of two tracks and woods without incidence until this happened and it really came on quickly without warning. My first aide training may have saved my life as I am not sure anyone would have stumbled on me that far into the woods. Moral of the story is learn basic first aide and know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Most of all take that extra few minutes to prepare for any journey. Either take someone with you or let someone know your exact location and when you should be back. I have to meet a prospective buyer out there this morning at the same parcel to walk the land with him but this time I am better prepared. Best of luck in all you do and thanks for reading.