SALT LAKE CITY — A wilderness-survival school where a hiker died of thirst is now allowing campers to carry a 32-ounce water bottle instead of a smaller cup during a grueling course in the Utah desert.
Participants used to be given a 24-ounce, lidless cup and were told to drink water only from natural sources, such as streams, canyon pools or springs. Allowing the bottle now means they can more easily take water away after filling up.
"They're allowed to carry them and drink as they go," said Andrew Wright, an attorney for the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, known as BOSS.
The adventure is designed to test physical and mental toughness; campers find their own food and water and carry few essentials. But last July, after guides didn't find any water for about 10 hours, 29-year-old Dave Buschow of New Jersey collapsed and died on the second day of the 28-day expedition in searing heat.
The U.S. Forest Service, citing Buschow's death, partially suspended the school's use of Dixie National Forest until the school got advice on providing food and water.
The agency lifted the suspension May 25 after the school filed a plan that allows the bottle for "obtaining and transporting water" during the early phase of the field course and two bottles during later stages.
Buschow's parents are suing the school, claiming guides were negligent in the hours before their son's death.
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