Did you know that desert covers nearly one-third of the Earth’s surface? Close your eyes for a minute and think of a desert. Which image comes to mind? Chances are you imagine deserts as a sea of sand with little plant life and turban-clad sheiks riding camels. While several deserts suit this description, not all look as they appear in movies. In truth, only around 20% of the world’s deserts are sand-covered. Pebbles, bedrock, arid soil, and, yep, oases make up the remaining 80%. There are different definitions of what characterizes a desert, but they all have one thing in common: water scarcity.
How Do You Backpack For A Walk In The Desert?
Living and working in one of the world’s most hostile locations without showers, toilets, running water, Wi-Fi, or access to the electrical grid may seem impossible to some. Still, it is quite feasible with careful planning, thorough preparation, and a little pure grit. Deserts all have one thing in common: they’re harmful if you don’t take the proper measures. Would you be able to survive if you got stuck in one of these hostile environments? Or would you rely on the compassion of a desert resident riding a camel? In this post, we’ll teach you some of the skills you’ll need to live in the desert’s challenging environment. We’ll lead you through the procedures to remain hydrated, avoid heatstroke, and avoid snakes, scorpions, lizards, and spiders while taking a walk in the desert.
Tips To Help You In Your Desert Walk
1. Begin Your Walk Early
Desert hiking necessitates a bright headlamp since it is crucial to get out as early as possible to cover some territory in the cool of the morning. Break camp as close to sunrise as possible, even if it means waking up before the sun rises and packing up in the dark. Ensure you have worn the right desert walking shoes. If you’re going to go a long distance that day, aim to trek approximately half of it before the heat of the day gets unbearable. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the desert is at its hottest.
2. Carry Salty Snacks
When you’re sweating in the desert, the sweat evaporates quickly owing to the low humidity, but your body is continually losing essential fluids as you move. A healthy quantity of salt in your diet will help your body retain and utilize water more efficiently and decrease the elimination process through urine. Snacking often will aid in the replenishment of essential electrolytes lost via sweat and keep your systems working smoothly.
If you’re eating many dry foods, remember to drink enough water because they absorb moisture from your stomach as they digest, which can lead to dehydration and digestive issues if consumed in excess. Soak dried fruit in a tiny quantity of water overnight and consume for a quick meal. The micronutrients on the fruit’s outer peel dissolve in the water, increasing the amount of nourishment absorbed by the body.
3. Cover Your Skin
When trekking in the desert, dress in breathable, lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes. Although long sleeves and pants provide better sun protection, many hikers prefer the breathability of running shorts or skirts. If you like wearing clothing that exposes your skin, carry enough SPF sunscreen and commit to applying it regularly. It’s critical to be aware of the sun’s angle and keep an eye on your skin throughout the day. Check for probable sunburn and cover-up if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, sensitive, or have a burning feeling. Sunburn may swiftly derail your vacation by rendering your body unable to control its temperature.
4. Protect Your Eyes
Protecting your eyes from the harsh desert environment will save you time and money in the long run. Too much light, heat, dryness, and dust can cause discomfort, migraines, blurry vision, and long-term damage such as solar spots.
A simple solution is to wear sunglasses and a hat. Choose an airy, quick-drying hat that has a wide brim or long bill to shade you from the sun.
Hiking sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection that are comfy to wear all day are a good option. Polarized lenses will help reduce glare and improve visibility in areas such as water, sand, and desert rocks, which are highly reflective due to crystalline quartz. Polarized glasses will keep part of that light out of your eyes, but they may make it difficult to view your phone or GPS gadget.
5. Carry Backup Water Filter
Desert water supplies differ significantly from one desert to the next and alter dramatically depending on your visit time. Most hikers like to plan their journeys in the spring and fall when the chances of finding ample and reliable water are optimum, but water can be scarce even then.
Study all of the information you can on the water sources along your route before going on your journey, and pick your water filtering technique appropriately. Your choice should depend on the probable quality of the sources as well as the amount of water you’ll likely filter in one session.
A large capacity filter that requires less pumping, such as the Platypus GravityWorks, is a suitable alternative for people hiking as a pair or a group and expect to filter four or more liters at each source.
However, when packing, pack light.
6. Notify Your Friends, Family, Or Local Rangers
With its harsh weather and poisonous plants and animals, the desert may be a frightening area. You might also get hurt if you fall into a chasm, lose your route, or succumb to heat-related ailments. You should be aware of both heatstroke and hypothermia indicators in the desert due to the high-temperature changes and the risk of intense storms. Do not put your safety at risk by going out unprepared.
Thus, informing your family and friends that you’re going on a desert walk is usually a brilliant idea. Tell them when you’ll be leaving, how long you’ll be staying, and when you’ll be returning.
If you’re hiking in a desert park, let the local park rangers know the path you’re traveling and when you plan to return.
7. Download A GPS App
We strongly advise you to get a GPS app for your phone. These applications are pretty precise, and they provide another weapon to your armory without adding any more weight (assuming you already carry your phone).
At a glance, see how far you’ve traveled, how far you still have to go, elevation profiles, and route possibilities. Some GPS applications may even keep you up to speed on water source information by allowing other hikers to leave real-time comments.
It’s a wise idea to keep a map and compass on hand if your phone’s battery dies, but this combination should keep you completely covered and engrossed in all that excellent trail info for hours.
If You Wander Off The Trail, Here Are A Few Basic Survival Skills That Will Keep You Alive
1. Make a Fire- A fire will keep you warm at night and will also act as a signal to rescuers looking for you. Sage and dry brush, as well as dry animal waste, make excellent kindling.
2. Preserve Sweat, Not Water- Aim for a body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid exposing your skin to the sun. Construct a shelter that allows the breeze to pass through. Don’t waste your time in the sun needlessly.
3. Don’t Drink the Cactus- The water inside most cactuses isn’t safe to drink and is poisonous to the human body.
4. Stop seeking food since the energy you’d squander is more precious than the food.
5. Keep Your Clothes On- Exposing your skin to the sun causes sunburn, accelerating dehydration. Stay on high ground and avoid anything that might mean disaster during a severe downpour.
Walking in the desert is complex and requires stamina, but the rewards of mystery, excitement, stunning beauty, and a deep sense of thankfulness make an effort worthwhile. After a week in the desert, nothing compares to a long, hot shower.
Take it easy, prepare yourself, take precautions, and create lasting experiences. You’ll find something fascinating in the desert. It is awaiting your arrival.
Last update on 2022-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API