Just how long can someone last in the desert without a drink of water? That’s something listeners asked us after our recent episode about Claire Nelson, a solo hiker who took a fall in Joshua Tree National Park and ended up spending days waiting on the ground for a rescue. In this episode, we provide the answer in the form of a remarkable story from our archives. In 1905, a gold prospector named Pablo Valencia reportedly wandered through 110-degree heat in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert for six days before stumbling into a geology camp. He was about as close to dead as you can get while still breathing. His tale forever changed our understanding of the limits of human endurance.
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