A trip to explore what the desert has to offer is something that attracts many people nowadays. Whether it is to go on camping with friends, to go on hiking adventures or just to have a feel of the atmosphere, the desert provides countless opportunities to have fun and create remarkable memories.
However, it must be noted that desert environments aren’t always the most hospitable places to find on the planet. The desert is a tough setting for any type of survival scenario. As such, it is important to have survival skills and ideas at the back of your mind, just in case a situation arises where they'll be useful. The 10 desert survival tips listed below will help you:
1. Get a lot of water
The chances of getting rapidly dehydrated in the hot desert environment are very high. Hence, it is necessary to go with plenty of water. You're recommended to keep a gallon of water with you per day. While that could add some extra weight to your pack, it would help keep you hydrated as you enjoy your ride in the hot afternoon.
2. Cover your body
You need to cover your body properly to avoid getting it hurt during your stay in the desert. Wear a wide hat to protect your head and neck from direct contact with the scorching sunlight. Put on sunglasses so you don't damage your eyes from the harsh exposure in the desert environment. You are also advised to wear long sleeves and trousers that will provide protection to your skin during the hot afternoons and the cold desert nights.
3. Do not drink cactus water
According to research, taking more than a few sips of cactus water can lead to severe sickness. You could easily be infected with diarrhoea and that would be the worst to happen to you in a desert environment. Diarrhoea intensifies the dehydration process, increasing your need and consumption of water in multiple folds as well as unbalancing your body system and making you weak.
4. Make a shade
This is highly recommended if you plan to spend multiple days or very long hours. The desert doesn't provide any shade structure, so you need to be prepared a shade for yourself. Whether you just want to take a short rest in the afternoon or you want to sleep at night, having a shade will be of great value.
5. Get your car stocked
While no one expects it, it is necessary to be ready for the possibility of a survival situation. Whether your vehicle runs out of fuel, gets a flat tire or encounters any problem that would prevent it from working, being prepared for the possibility of hiking your way back to the city or staying tight until assistance arrives is vital.
6. Signal for help
Getting help as soon as one needs it in a dangerous environment such as the desert is priceless. If you're stuck or need the attention of others to return to safety, don't hesitate to raise timely alarms. Making a fire will send smoke into the air and attract the attention of prospective helpers. A pocket mirror can also be used to reflect sunlight and call for notice.
7. Don't over-worry on food
Many people get very scared and desperate when they run out of food in the desert. To start with, it is advised that you calculate the number of days you want to spend in the desert before you set out and ensure you hold more than enough food with you.
But, if you somehow fall short due to certain unplanned situations, don't get too desperate. Research reveals that a healthy person could stay alive for three weeks in the absence of food as your body will start by making use of your fat reserves and later stealing your muscle fibers to keep you going. So, save your energy and use it on other priorities like water.
8. Beware of dangerous animals
Taking a look at passing animals could add to your fun when you're out in the desert. However, you need to put your safety above everything. Always stay away from dangerous animals and trail at a safe distance if they’re moving towards the water. Also, do not put your hands under or into rocks as there could be ants, scorpions or snakes hiding there.
9. Get to the highest point
Being lost in the desert is really frightening as you won't be able to see anything around you other than dry sand and just a few plants. In such a situation, standing on the ground level would make it difficult for you to have a proper view of the things around you as they'll all look the same. So, it is advised that you should hike up to the highest point of your location whether you could spot a road nearby or find people to call upon.
10. Don't panic
When you find yourself in an emergency in the desert, the best thing you can do is to remain calm and take a proper look at the situation. Panicking will not allow you to think properly and that would only lead you to take inappropriate measures and approaches to the problem. No matter the situation, don't panic.
You will need these tips only if you decide to go to the desert on your own. But if you are traveling with us, you will never be in a situation where you will need this. As the desert is our home, we know it as you know the back yard of your house. We know exactly what to do, when to do it and where to do it.