A Guide to Desert Travelling

Deserts are some of the most desolate places on Earth. For this exact reason, they make for an excellent destination for exploring. They have a unique environment and unique wildlife that often cannot be found anywhere else on the planet.

While the deserts of the world are full of wonders, they can also be dangerous places if you aren’t adequately prepared to deal with them. The heat of the desert can be unforgiving if you are not ready for the intensity.

Before you head off for your desert exploration, make sure to take note of these tips.

1.    Take Shade Often

The sun is at its most intense in desert regions, which is dangerous for your skin and for you in general. Wherever you can, take to the shade. There probably won’t be many chances for this, so when you do see a spot of shade, take advantage of it, and rest well.

2.    Ration Yourself

It’s easy to get thirsty in the heat, but don’t go drinking your water all at once. It’s impossible to carry liters and liters of water, so you must ration yourself so that you have enough to keep you hydrated until you can get more water. The last thing you want is to be dehydrated in the desert.

Plus, avoid stocking up on water you find along the way. Stick to bottled water. Water in the desert could be contaminated and make you sick; if you mix it with your bottled water, then that will go to waste too.

3.    Cover Your Head

When you can’t get to shade, you still need to cover your head and your mouth for continuous protection. The best option for protecting yourself is to use a shemagh wrap. This wrap will protect your head and neck, and you can adjust it to protect your mouth as well. If the wind suddenly picks up and whips sand at you, you’ll be thankful for this protection.

4.    Prepare for the Cold

When you think of the desert, you think of the heat, but they are also prone to extreme cold temperatures after the sun goes down. When nighttime arrives, make sure you have adequate resources to keep yourself warm or find a warm spot to shield yourself from the cold.

You may be tempted to travel during the evening to avoid the heat as best you can, but you should stay vigilant of the colder temperatures as well.

5.    Don’t Rely on Your Phone

As the desert is, well, deserted, your phone will probably not have reliable service, so it’s best not to rely on it for location information. If you need to contact someone in an emergency, you will need to have installed apps that can help you out in this situation.

Phones can also overheat very easily; ensure that it is covered and out of the direct line of sunlight.

Exploring the desert makes a once in a lifetime experience, but it also takes a lot of preparation and care.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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