A French couple and their 9-year-old son went hiking last Tuesday afternoon at White Sands National Monument, 15 miles southwest of Alamogordo. The couple had two water bottles, but that was not enough to keep them hydrated. A New Mexico deputy who found the dead woman's camera made a life-saving discovery. It appeared she and her husband were hiking with their 9-year-old son. At one point the couple split up. The mother had apparently turned around, while the boy and his father continued on the trail. Both parents died of heat exposure and dehydration, but the boy was able to survive. 3 Tips for Desert Hiking 1. Know the terrain and geography. If you don't know whether or not a trail has a water source or shade, don't go on it. Bring a map, bring a compass, and understand your directions. Sense of direction and knowing where to go could have saved this couple. 2. Understand Temperatures Do research on what the highs and lows will be for that day. The difference between 10 degrees could mean death. If you feel warm in the late morning, you're going to feel BAKED at mid afternoon. Choose your hiking times carefully. 3. Water It's better to be weighed down by too much, than it is to run out. On an unknown hike, in the middle of summer, is a desert, your number one resource is water. [caption id="attachment_985" align="alignnone" width="787"] French Couple Dies From Dehydration On Hiking Trail[/caption] The boy has been handed over to his grandmother who will take custody.