Maybe you think of a desert as a dry and dead piece of land where you can find nothing in particular. Yes, but that’s just wrong, I must say! It is alive and full of beautiful plants and wonderful animals. But don’t forget hiking in a desert can be riskier than most other nice places in the world.
Technically speaking, a desert is a place that gets less that 50 cm of rain a year. So you see, a desert is a place of extremes with really hot days and very cold nights and that means a hiker must be ready for both kinds of weather. When one thinks about camping in a desert, first everyone thinks about getting and keeping water. Well that’s true! But there are other things, too. Finding the right way or fighting the wrong animals or insects are good examples to make a hiker think more about preparation. One small mistake in a desert can cause big problems!
Precautions To Take For Safety
- Even in an environment like a desert, with a few precautions, we can enjoy our camping trip. The first thing we must think about is the heat stroke. Many people die in the world each year because of hyperthermia. It happens when a person spends too much time in the sun until the body cannot cool itself down. When one gets a heat stroke they feel chills, confusion or dizziness. They cannot think or speak well. In the case of hyperthermia, the best thing you can do is to get to a cool place and drink lots of water.
- The most important thing to do in a desert is to drink enough water (about 4 liters a day). But generally, the amount of water that a body needs depends on the physiology and the amount of exposure and movements. Also, breathing through nose and eating less fatty foods can help to avoid dehydration. If you think one needs to feel thirsty to drink water in a desert, you are wrong! The only way to stay hydrated in the dusty area is to reach for the bottle regularly even if you are not thirsty.
- Getting lost in a desert is easy because there are few good landmarks. So it is a good idea to have a good map, a GPS or a cellphone. Always let your friends know exactly where you are going.
Getting Ready for Bad Weather
- The less sunshine you get, the cooler your body will remain. So having a large cool hat to give you enough shade is necessary. Be sure to be prepared for the strong sun by bringing a good sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Your potential enemy in the desert is not only the sun and heat. What is it? It is the cold! Yes, temperature can change as much as 40 degrees in 24 hours! So you need warm clothes, too.
- Another danger that one may never think about is flash floods. They can take you and your whole life away if you camp in the wrong place. These wrong places may look nice because they are flat areas and good for camping, but even with a little rain, that place can be your last camping spot!
- If you are not travelling by camel, which is extraordinarily fun, you need to be well equipped in desert adventures. A broken car can ruin everything even your life! So it is very important to stop by a garage before hitting the dry dry land. Remember that a sedan car is not suitable for a desert trip; you need a high clearance car for off pavement paths.
You Are not Alone In Desert
Sure a jungle has a more various wildlife that a desert, but with a more careful look at the right time of the day (I mean when the sun is either setting or rising and the air a cooler), you can find many wild animals like birds, insects and reptiles.
Wildlife is beautiful and interesting, but not when you are going spend a night or two among them especially the venomous snakes and insects like scorpions, spiders.
Although many of bites and stings are usually not fatal, they can be very painful and can definitely ruin your whole camping trip. So the best thing is to avoid them. Always sleeping in a well-sealed tent, and carrying enough equipment for such bad situations can are strongly recommended.
Adaptation To a Desert
- Very few people like cowboys and Arabs feel totally comfortable in a desert because, frankly, it is a real harsh spot on earth. Why they feel so? If you look at them, you will notice one thing in common: They cover their body! The less exposure to the sun, the less amount of water they lose. But as for what is the best to wear in a desert area, there are different opinions. Some prefer synthetic clothes and some choose cotton clothing which is cooler for hot days. But remember, while you are feeling cooler in a cotton shirt in a day, you must not forget the cold night
- As for the tent, for this kind of changing weather, a camper needs a three-season tent. Don’t forget to remove your things from the tent during hot days because temperature can go much higher inside the tent by the greenhouse effect.
Gotten from an Article BY MARK BOYER
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