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HowStuffWorks looks at the popularity of hiking in the U.S.
Author's Note: 5 Critters to Beware Of While You're Camping in the Desert
I'm lucky enough to live in a cool, lush part of Los Angeles near the ocean, but when I drive about 70 miles to the north I find myself on the fringes of the Mojave Desert, which is one corner of the great deserts of the American Southwest. As Aladdin once said, at least in a Disney movie, it's a whole new world up there -- dry, mountainous, brush-covered and sandy. I haven't encountered much of the local fauna up there yet, mostly just tumbleweeds and Joshua trees. But I think it would be fascinating to see a rattlesnake or a mountain lion in its natural habitat -- as long as I'm seeing it through a pair of binoculars and have my car nearby to make a quick getaway. Still, I might try camping up there one night with my girlfriend, and writing this article has given me a good idea just what to keep my eye out for -- and what to keep out of my sleeping bag.
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- DesertUSA. "Killer Bees." (July 24, 2012) http://www.desertusa.com/mag98/sep/stories/kbees.html
- DesertUSA. "Prairie Dogs." (July 24, 2012) http://www.desertusa.com/dec96/du_pdogs.html
- DuHamel, Jonathan. "The most dangerous venomous animals of the Southwest." The Tucson Citizen. (July 24, 2012) http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2011/10/05/the-most-dangerous-venomous-animals-of-the-southwest/
- National Geographic. "Mountain Lion." (July 24, 2012) http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/mountain-lion/
- National Geographic. "Scorpion." (July 24, 2012) http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/scorpion/
- Ninh, Amie. "First Case of Bubonic Plague in 2011 Appears in New Mexico." Time - Healthland. (July 24, 2012) http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/10/first-case-of-bubonic-plague-in-2011-appears-in-new-mexico/
- Stone Canyon Adventures. "Desert Safety - Animals." (July 24, 2012) http://www.stonecanyonadventures.com/safety_animals.htm
- Tchester.org. "List of Mountain Lion Attacks on People in California." (July 24, 2012) http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/lion_attacks_ca.html