The desert is a strange and beautiful place wherever you go to this world. There are more than 20 great deserts on our planet and each of them is different in its own way. A desert is the place where difficult living conditions, such as lack of water, large temperature differences between day and night, and high or low temperatures during the day, make it a hostile area.
At first glance, the desert is exactly what it seems: a deserted area, so survival in the desert is very different from surviving in the forests where you can find wild food and water almost everywhere. At second glance, you begin to realize that even in the most impossible conditions to live, there are plants and animals that enjoy calling that place home.
Usually when you think of the deserts, a large area covered in golden sands comes to mind. Even so, most of the deserts on the outside are covered in rocks because the wind blows the small particles. There are two main types of deserts according to the prevailing temperature. Therefore, we have warm deserts like the Sahara and Atacama, where the sun shines all day and can kill a healthy and adult man with its heat and there are cold deserts like Gobi with low temperatures.
Regardless of the type, the deserts have a special and magical beauty that seduces us with amazing landscapes, curious creatures and plants that are worth seeing at least once in a lifetime. This explanation comes in case you are wondering why and how you would ever get to a deserted area. We can not tell you how, but we can definitely tell you that you’re going to love it! More and more people discover the magical beauty of the desert and choose to spend their vacations here, exploring an unknown and exotic world.
A trip in the desert can be one of the most beautiful journeys you have ever made, so do not rush to reject the idea. Even so, the desert is like a beautiful woman: mysterious, attractive and full of dangers. For those who are not prepared, the desert can mean the end of their own journey. To be prepared for a survival situation in the desert, you must understand the environment (it is very different from what you usually experience) and determine the necessary tactics to apply.
The first enemy and the most important when you are in a survival situation in the desert is the environment. In the desert nothing is what it seems and everything can be very confusing. It is quite scary to find yourself in the middle of an ocean of sand and not knowing which way to go. Try to imagine how you would react if your plane crashed in the Sahara desert. You have very little water and there is nothing but sand to see for miles. Nobody knows where you are and there is no means of communication. Do you think you will be able to get out of this situation as a survivor?
Surviving in the desert requires a period of training and preparation so that you can develop special skills that will help you to be on the edge of the desert safe and sound. We collect some tips and tricks on how to survive in the desert and what are the elements that you should have with you.
What you need to know before exploring an arid area
Finally, he has decided that it is time to see the desert for the first time and he needs to know what elements should occupy a special place in his survival team.
Most specialists recommend these items as absolutely necessary for a survival situation in the desert:
- Mobile phone – Keep the lines of communication open. This way, in case something goes wrong, you can ask for help;
- Satelital phone – If you are going to venture into the desert, you should have a backup for your phone. Many areas are not covered and you should not risk your life based on a presumption;
- GPS – Make sure the vehicle you are going to use has navigation. Also make sure that the GPS can guide you through the desert;
- A personal beacon locator (PLB) – It can save your life when all communication systems fail. If you go into the desert and get lost, this beacon will send a distress signal with your position to the nearest rescue point;
- Water – If you are traveling with a vehicle (recommended), make sure you have enough water for everyone. The main idea is to have at least one gallon per person, per day;
- First aid kit and proper medication.;
- Flashlight with an extra set of batteries. – It can be bright and sunny when you leave home, but nights in the desert are as dark as nights everywhere. Keep in mind that this may be the only thing that keeps you company during a very cold night, so be sure to buy high quality batteries and a good flashlight;
- Sunglasses – These are extremely necessary when going on a trip through the desert. The glare of the powerful desert sun can hurt your long distance vision and can cause headaches. Protect your eyes when you are in the desert if you want to keep your eyes healthy;
- Lipgloss – It may sound a little weird, but a little lip gloss can save you from cracked and cracked lips. Due to the dry air and the heat of the sun, you will feel the need to moisten your lips. Do not use your tongue because dry saliva will make your lips dry even faster;
- Suitable footwear – Make sure your feet are covered at all times. Usually, the ground is 30 degrees hotter than the surrounding environment, so you do not want any part of your bare feet to touch it.
- Appropriate clothing: make sure that your entire body is covered. Wear large white clothing that allows your body to breathe and keep your head covered at all times. During the day, a covered head will be protected from the sun and during the night the cover will keep you warm.
- Sunscreen – To protect any exposed skin from sunburn. Do not think that if your skin does not burn with the sun when you go to the beach, the same will apply here. The desert sun is extremely hot and can kill a healthy adult man.
- A knife – To protect yourself and to cut dry vegetation like cactus and grass. During the night, you will want to make a fire to keep warm, which is when the knife will be very important.
- Firestarters and matches – As the air is always dry, you can find dry vegetation to light the fire. Make sure you dig a hole and protect the fire against the desert wind.
Next the video explains what basic kit of survival in the desert must contain.
Actions and tricks that you should know.
Now that you gather the basics of your survival team in the desert, you need to know some tips and tricks on how to stay alive in case you get lost in the desert. Make sure you remember them well, as they may be the only thing that stands between being killed in the desert.
- The first survival rule: share your plans with a person you trust. Let them know your route, the people you are traveling with, the vehicle you are going to use, the supplies you take, etc. It may seem strange to share much of your trip with someone else, but when it comes to finding it in the desert, all the details are important. One of the most important aspects is the type and color of your car. In this way, a pilot will know what to look for.
- The second rule of survival in the desert is Have the right vehicle to drive in the desert.. Take a vehicle that has offroad capabilities and that has been tested in the desert. We know that you love your car and that you like to trust it every time, but if you do not have the right car, the desert will not forgive you. It is better to leave your car in the city and rent a suitable terrain vehicle.
- Test your vehicle before driving in the desert – There are no auto shops or car services, and you do not want your car to break down in the middle of a sandstorm. Take it to a local store and verify that everything is in order.
- Always check for have a tank full of gas. If you can take more (safely), take it, but the tank should always be full when you start your trip.
- In case your water supply is limited, do not waste it. Keep your mouth closed, limit your activity, avoid eating as much as possible, do not drink alcohol and do not eat or drink anything salty. All these activities lead to dehydration that automatically leads your body to ask for more water. Water is extremely important In an arid environment like the desert.
- If the worst happens and you get lost, do not leave your car. It is the best opportunity you have to find yourself. Pop your hood and your trunk to indicate the warning sign (universal sign that pilots recognize) and aim the mirrors to reflect the light. A mirror that reflects a beam of light can be seen from miles away. Use the car to get comfortable and stay hidden from the sun. Use the car seats to sit (never sit on the floor!) And try to keep your water as hidden as possible from the sun.
- Do not take your clothes Thinking that you can lower the temperature of your body. The sun can burn your skin even through a thin layer of clothing, so be sure to have some layers to protect it.
- If you have to go through a dust storm. cover your mouth with a cloth to prevent dust particles from entering your lungs. It is very dangerous to inhale this powder.
- If you find a road, stay in it. If you’re lucky, someone will eventually go.
- Be attentive to the weather. In the desert everything is upside down in some way. For example, you might think that it never rains in the desert and you will be surprised to discover that there are actually flash floods that come and go very fast. These temporary floods are very powerful, but they occur in a very small area that does not help the environment much. Still, if you’re not careful with the weather, you can drown in the desert.
- Do not drink all the water As soon as you feel thirsty. Remember, you are no longer in the city and can not get water in the desert. Try to rationalize each sip throughout the day. One or two sips of water are enough to moisten your lips and stop your thirst for a while.
- Do not panic! Once you let your emotions free, you will not be able to control yourself, which can only lead to bad things. There is always a solution if you stop to think about the situation. We know it’s terrifying to see the sun shining on your head and nothing but sand around you.
- Do not eat too much! Eating makes you thirsty and sleepy because the body needs time to digest. Eat enough to keep your energy levels high, but do not eat to feel full. In case you have a limited proportion of water, it is better not to eat anything. You will resist much more time without food than you would without water.
One last advice that any desert adventurer will offer: respect the desert and understand it before venturing blindly into it. It is a large area with all kinds of traps, dangers and unknown situations.
How to find water in the desert?
Everyone knows that water is a scarce resource in the desert and it is better to have something with you than to wait for the rain or an oasis. Still, if you get stuck in the desert without enough water to reach the limit, there are some creative ways to find the real gold around here: water.
Read the following very carefully because you will want to remember it if you find yourself in a survival situation in the desert:
- Just look for water. Hire the land (climb on a sand dune or on a larger rock) and look for reflections. In the arid sun, the water will shine like a diamond. It also helps if you have a pair of binoculars with you. You will see further and if you are lucky, you will see something useful.
- Look for signs of life The animals usually stay near the water. Try to detect birds; Usually, they fly over areas where there is water. Knowing that pigeons or pigeons can not survive without water is extremely useful in an arid desert area. Bees also fly only about 1000 m from a water source. So keep your eyes and ears open!
- Search vegetation There can not be vegetation without water, so if you see cactus or grass, there is definitely some water around. In addition, a recessed tree root may contain water if there was recent rain in the area. Make sure you know your vegetation so you can know how far the water is from your location.
- Dry beds of rivers and lakes. – the heat causes the water to remain below the ground but very close to the surface. These dry beds will be refilled as soon as it rains. If you see any of these, dig a little below the surface and you will find water.
- Dew on the plants – It is a very good source of water when a lot is needed. Just before the sun shines again, the coldness of the night forms drops of dew. You can use a cloth to collect the spray and then squeeze it in a container (or directly into your mouth).
- Cactus fruits They are juicy and can make you forget your thirst for a while. Make sure you know your cactus before you eat your fruits or drink your juice. Many species are highly toxic and will make you feel sick to your stomach.
As you can see, there is water in the desert after all. You just need to know how to look for it. Keep in mind that these tricks will not offer you enough water to prevent dehydration.
Even so, they may be enough to keep him alive long enough to find him or to be safe. Be sure to keep an eye open when looking for water because there are many other dangers lurking in the sand. Scorpions, for example, also like to be near water sources and do not like being disturbed.
The final conclusion we can draw from all this is that the desert is a wonderful place that will test your limits to the fullest, but if you are strong enough to face it, you will be amazed by its beauty and grace. The only recommendation we make regarding the desert is to first learn how to survive in the desert and then take a trip there.