An Agonizingly Thirsty Crawl Through the Desert

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.

This episode of the Outside Podcast is brought to you by the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, a 4×4 SUV with seven available G.O.A.T. modes that enable it to go over any type of terrain. Learn more at

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