Quick Page Navigation
Staying Cool in the Desert
Desert camping can be entertaining as well as adventurous. A few safety measures are a must to prevent any unpredictable situation and enjoy the camping most. Research on weather and wildlife and adequate preparation can help to have fun in extreme conditions.
We think that deserts are barren landscapes and full of dangers. There is no doubt that desert camping is a bit riskier. However, you can enjoy it most with the right preparation. The key is prior planning and research to prepare for any adverse condition.
For some links, we may receive a commission if a purchase is made.
Deserts – Dangerous and Beautiful
Deserts are alive and relaxing. Camping in the desert can be entertaining and fun. You will find a great place for spending your leisure time. It can help to create many lifetime memories. You will explore many new animals and plants. The environment will be new to you. Therefore, it is important to know the situations that you might encounter during camping.
You do not need to do much research on positives. We are always open to embrace positivity and beauty. But here, you will have to protect yourself from wildlife and extreme weather condition. You will have to take extra safety measures for desert camping since no one will be there to come to your rescue. You will have to be your savior. Does it sound intimidating? It should not. After all, you will be on an unknown land, and precautions are a must to ensure safe camping.
As revealed by scientists, deserts receive less than twenty inches of rainfall. Even if these are beautiful and natural places, you need to prepare for the weather. It is not going to be favorable. You need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for this challenge. Once you are mentally prepared, it will be easier to explore some of the iconic deserts such as Monument Valley, Death Valley, and Grand Canyon.
What Makes A Desert Camping Safe?
Camping in the desert can be entertaining if you love adventures. You will be in a different world. The experience will be unique. Even if you are a regular camper, it is going to make a difference. When it comes to the risks, the first thing that will come to your mind is extreme weather conditions.
Most of the deserts are hot in the day time. However, it is going to be extremely cold in the dark hours. So, you will have to prepare yourself for both these extreme conditions. You cannot roam around in the hot afternoons. But you can enjoy the relaxing morning hours. The morning and evening hours will be favorable. We will discuss more on this in the following.
When in Doubt Bring More Water
In a desert, you will need more water to keep your body hydrated. This is the most important thing and you should never ignore this while planning for camping in the desert. Plan the camping carefully and make sure that you have enough liquid to keep your body hydrated throughout.
No exception should be made. In addition to the water, you will have to take care of a few other things to make camping safe and fun for you. In a desert, it might not be easy to find trails in the absence of landmarks. You might get lost as well.
Another concern is the desert creatures. We are not familiar with the desert creatures. They might be dangerous and can spoil camping in no time. So, you will have to be vigilant to avoid such an unpredictable situation.
In brief, you can say that deserts can be the best place to explore with adequate preparation. One mistake in the desert camping can land you in serious trouble. Let’s cover some more points to make it safe.
What to Expect in the Desert
The first thing you need to deal with the harsh environment. However, you can be comfortable using the right equipment. When you are fully equipped, it will be as easy as normal camping. The key is to choose the right gear. While planning for a desert camping, you will have to take extra caution to prevent any major health issues.
Heatstroke is a condition that campers experience in the desert camping. It is worth mentioning that around four hundred Americans die due to excessive heat every year. In a desert camping, heat is going to be a major concern. It can be overheating after spending your entire day in a desert. In extreme conditions, you can experience heart stroke when your body will be exhausted.
During this, one can experience dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and chills. These are the symptoms of heart stroke. You can avoid this condition by taking rest in a shaded place when the sun is unbearable. Also, you will have to drink enough water.
Water and rest can help to fight the harsh sun. In a desert camping, your prime focus should be on the hydration. Experts recommend drinking at least one gallon of water every day while being in a desert. You might need more depending on the level of sun exposure and exertion.
Safety First & Always
You can minimize the water loss from your body by focusing on nose breathing. Also, avoid consuming fatty foods as they need more water for digestion. The best way to stay hydrated is to consume more water. For this, you will have to always carry more water than you need to deal with an emergency.
In a desert camping, there will be no landmarks. Without any landmark, you might be lost or disoriented. You will not certainly like to face such a situation. Therefore, you will have to act smart and carry a GPS or map. Your cellphone can be helpful if you get the coverage. While planning a desert camping for the first time, you should always accompany an experienced camper.
However, you can explore on your own if you are confident enough to face the challenges. But make sure that your family and friends are aware of your plan. They should know all the details such as the dates so that they can come to your rescue when you need it most.
Now you know how to make a desert camping safe and what you should expect. Next, we will cover more details to make a desert camping much easier for you. Camping is always exciting and fun. But when you are heading towards a new destination, there will be a mixed feeling.
You will be excited to explore a new adventure and your mind will be a bit scared about the unknown challenges and dangers. Let’s not allow the challenges to outsmart you. You can do all the preparations to covert challenges into positive experiences. Here are more details.
How to Plan the Trip
- If you are exploring a desert for the first time, then it is suggested to join those who are already experienced in desert camping. Regular campers should also consider being a part of a group especially when they do not have experience in desert camping.
- Do thorough research on the desert you are planning to camp and go through the experience of campers to be familiar with the positives and negatives. It can help you to prepare for the adverse conditions. Always stick to the location. Otherwise, you might get lost without knowing the right direction.
- Check your vehicle condition and fix all the issues before heading towards your destination. You can consider 4x4s vehicles as these are recommended for desert camping. Deflate the tires of the vehicle.
- Talk to your family and discuss your plan in detail. They should know the desert, your preparation, your returning date, or any alternative plan. Make sure that they can come to your help.
Are You Fit Enough?
Before planning a desert camping, you should make sure that you are physically and mentally fit for the adventure. Desert camping needs extra caution since you might face many unpredictable situations.
Get all the emergency medicines ready and think twice if you have any existing health conditions. Needless to mention, you might not get any emergency medical help in a desert. You know your health better and should not take any risk.
Gear to Pack
In a desert, you should expect a temperature swing and prepare accordingly. Always pack additional supplies and clothes. You will need an additional layer of clothes to stay warm in the chilling environment at night.
- Pack a sleeping bag. In the current condition, it is easy to find a sleeping bag that is specially designed to support desert camping. The day environment will be dry and hot and at night, the temperature will drop significantly. So, pack clothes that can help you to stay comfortable in both these conditions.
- Pack all the essentials to get protection from the harsh sun. You need to pack suitable clothes, sunscreens, hats, goggles, and awnings. All these will help to minimize the impact of the sun.
- Pack a tire pump so that you can re-inflate your tire whenever needed. Also, pack a tow rope and shovels to deal with an adverse condition. Your vehicle might get stuck and you will need these gears in that condition.
- Get your first aid kit. Make sure that you have packed everything to deal with an emergency. You do not know the desert environment. In addition to common health issues and skin issues, you can prepare for snake bites and similar situations.
- Pack an adequate amount of the water. We all know that water is the first requirement while planning for any type of camping. In a desert camping, it is more important since you are going to face challenging weather, and water is the only way to keep your body hydrated. Always pack more water bottles than required. Remember that you cannot collect water during the day time due to the extremely high temperature. Also, pack a cool box for your beverages and food.
- You will need some other essentials that include a phone charger, fastening tent, firewood, and lights.
Additional Tips to Ensure Safety
While being in a desert, you should always be careful of the sun. Many get dehydrated without following adequate precautions. You need to avoid the mid-day sun. Make sure that you are doing most of your adventures in the early morning hours.
The evening environment will be friendly as well. So, try to limit your intense activities to morning and evening hours. Always use sunscreen even if you are inside your tent. The heat can damage your skin and can cause burning as well.
Wild animals are always dangerous. They might not harm you unless you provoke them. But you will have to take extra caution to prevent poisonous snake biting. Scorpions can be harmful as well. Whenever you face this kind of situation, call the emergency immediately.
If it is not possible to take emergency medical help, use your first aid. You can also use a compression bandage or even cloth piece to prevent the spreading of venom. Wrap the affected area firmly. Also, carry insect repellents to protect yourself from the buzzing insects.
Camping in a desert can be fun if you are fully prepared. Choose the right desert, pack all the safety gear, and prepare yourself for the adverse conditions. Stay positive and enjoy every bit of camping!