Hiking in an arid desert environment requires carrying a large amount of the most important resource for the desert and sustaining life – water. At the rate of about 4 liters per day. Plus contingency reserve.
Minimum wearable emergency reserve for the desert, orientation, equipment and clothing for the desert, preparation for sudden changes in temperature in the desert.
However, a liter of water weighs quite a lot – almost a kilogram. And if you carry a load weighing more than 6 kg, then you will lose more liquid than you will be able to compensate for with the water you took with you. In addition, you will need to carry equipment for cold weather, which you can not do without at large temperature differences characteristic of the desert.
But each item will also weigh somewhat. However, if you tow a load, the energy costs will be only 20% of what you would spend, bearing everything on your own. Therefore, it is important to have a device that allows you to carry luggage.
An expeditionary wheeled trolley of the simplest design is ideal for towing equipment in the desert. You can either buy it or make it yourself from PVC pipes and bicycle wheels. It is better to install two wheels, as shown in the figure above, since on a hot surface dotted with sharp stones, you can puncture the tire very quickly. The second wheel located nearby will allow you not to stop during a puncture and not waste energy on replacing a tire.
Cross the desert at night and sleep during the day. This option will help you easier to tolerate the sudden changes in temperature characteristic of the desert. When the sun sets, the heat decreases very quickly, and the temperature can drop by 30 degrees. Reconfiguring the body to stay awake at night will save on water and energy. Since you do not have to spend much more fluid with sweat, walking in the heat. Your body will not spend precious kilocalories on warming during sleep on a cold night.
It is difficult to navigate on a fairly flat terrain that does not have any features, even in the afternoon. During nighttime crossings, you will be worse at seeing in the dark. But then you will have a useful navigation asset – a lot of bright stars in the sky. At night in the desert it is not at all as dark as you think, but after sunset the perception of space worsens. To make traveling easier in these conditions, use hiking sticks..
When it comes to orienteering, it is always safer to assume that one or more of your tools may not work, and therefore you need to have backup options. In addition, before you travel, prepare a very detailed route map for the desert. The more you learn about the area before you travel, the better prepared for potential emergencies..
If there are no visible landmarks, count the steps. This will help you at least approximately track the distance traveled in any given direction. Count every second step. In an adult, the stride length is approximately one meter. Therefore, when counting hundreds of double steps, we can assume that about 200 meters are covered.
Use every opportunity to replenish stocks. If clouds appeared in the sky or it began to rain, try to climb a higher section of the terrain. In the desert, torrential streams can occur very quickly. With every rainfall, replenish your desert water supply.
Outfit and clothing for the desert.
The correct shoes are of great importance. Trekking boots specially designed for high temperatures will prevent foot irritation. It can lead to painful blisters that interfere with walking. Take wet callus patches, foot powder, and more interchangeable socks.
Even in desert conditions, cotton socks can cause a dangerous disease — the trench foot. Lightweight wool socks help keep your feet dry and prevent tissue death..
As a material for clothing, cotton fabric may well work. Although manufacturers of synthetic fabrics claim that their products are already superior to natural fibers in cooling and moisture removal parameters, under the scorching sun no other material can replace breathable cotton. Synthetics, especially when it comes to soft, non-friction synthetic underwear, is good if it is not exposed to direct sunlight..
To protect the neck and face from the wind and sunburn, as well as during a sandstorm, a light scarf is useful. If in doubt about clothing, see how the local people dress..
Preparing for sudden changes in temperature in the desert.
Preparing for sudden changes in temperature in the desert means that you will not travel light. Among other things, you need to stock up on clothing in case of cold weather. You will put it on yourself when making transitions at night. The saying “It’s easier to carry a light bag, of course, but you’ll freeze at night” is true not only for arctic conditions, but also for the desert.
Based on the book Survival in the Wild and Extreme Situations. 100 key skills in the special services methodology.