“How to survive in the desert?” is one of the most important questions. Not exactly breaking news to inform you that deserts aren’t always the most friendly places on Earth. Just ask Mauro Prosperi, who discovered this place during a walk in Amalfi’s city center.
While we don’t want you to go out into the desert and get lost, we also don’t discourage anyone from seeing everything the world has to offer and taking some daring steps.
Things You Need to Know To Survive In The Desert
If you find yourself stranded in the desert and wondering “how to survive in the desert?”, here are some useful hints to assist you.
Everything hinges on careful preparation
You’ll almost certainly wind up in the middle of nowhere if you go off on a whim. Make plans for when and where you’ll travel, how you’ll get there and back, where you’ll stay, and how thoroughly you’ll plan everything ahead of time. You can’t go anywhere with no strategy in the desert. It’s not the greatest environment to get lost, but it’s also not the best location to have no plan.
Take the appropriate survival equipment
Take everything you’ll need for a few days (including food) with you, just in case. You’ll want:
- A knife or multi-tool
- First aid kit
- Compass (in the desert, you can’t trust GPS)
- Water purification tablets
- In the event of a sand storm, bring a scarf, bandana, or dust mask with you.
- A headlight or lantern, for example.
- Something to get the fire started
Tell people where you’re going and why you’re doing it
After you’ve made your decisions, let everyone know about them. Tell them where you intend to be and when so they can keep an eye on you. If you don’t show up, someone may take action immediately. In the desert, you won’t be able to rely on GPS or cell phone service, so don’t assume that you’ll be able to call if you get lost.
Keep yourself safe and secure
If you don’t have a hat, try and fashion any other spare clothing into a headpiece. Wear thin gloves to reduce sweat loss through evaporation, especially if you’re going in the sun.
Darker clothing is better at reflecting heat, however, darker clothing offers greater UV resistance. Wear light-colored clothing with a UPF of at least 15 if possible.
Of course, you should use sunglasses or goggles to safeguard your sight from the sun.
Keep covered while wearing light clothing to avoid overheating. You may be motivated to remove your clothes to keep cool, but you must remain clothed.
Bring enough water with you.
You’ll need a lot of water. Every hour, the typical person loses 900ml of sweat when walking in bright sunshine and temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius. To minimize leakage and keep from heating up, try dividing any liquids across as many water carriers as possible.
Pack the right foods, but don’t eat them.
You can eat it, but only in moderation. As you consume more water, you’ll become thirstier, so only consume as much as you need to keep hunger at bay. You could also wind up doing more harm than good if you pack the wrong food. Keep perishable food in reusable containers, such as mason jars. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables in water for better taste.
If you have to trek across a desert, try and do it at night if at all possible. This will decrease your risk of becoming dehydrated and save you about three liters of water each day.
At night, you should seek refuge in any structure you have to avoid the intense rays of the sun. If you don’t have a place to hide, construct your own using any sticks or poles and cloth to make a shaded area.
Prepare for chilly evenings by wearing a coat.
Even though the daytime in a desert is hot, at night it can drop to dangerous levels. As a result, if you can, bring warmer clothes with you. Walking any distance during the night will also assist to keep you warm.
Should you remain in your company or should you go?
It’s also a big decision whether to stick with one discipline or try something new. If you have a place to live and plenty of water, you may be best staying where you are, but if you run out of water, you’ll need to search for freshwater somewhere.
Make a distress signal
You may also attempt signaling for assistance if you have the required equipment. Smoke will be created when you build a fire, but using a pocket mirror to reflect sunlight might attract attention. It may sound unrealistic, but even spelling ‘SOS’ or ‘HELP’ in bamboo or stones is preferable to nothing at all.
Finding water in the middle of nowhere
If you run out of water in the desert, finding a new supply as soon as feasible is critical. Here are some pointers on how to find water in the desert…
- If you notice any vegetation, go there immediately.
- Dew may accumulate on the ground or on rocks at dawn.
- Following a rainstorm, you might notice water accumulating in rocky regions.
- Be a follower – if you come upon animal or their footprints, you’ll almost always be near a water source, especially if the tracks are heading downhill. Even swarms of insects might point to a nearby water supply.
You may have to dig for water. If that’s the case, follow these steps
You should carry water purification tablets with you. Although the water you discover may not be safe to consume, it may make you sick. If you don’t have any tablets, drink the water anyway, as dehydration will have a bigger impact on your health.
Keep an eye out for potentially dangerous animals
You should stay away from any animals you see, and follow at a safe distance if they’re heading towards the water, of course. You shouldn’t approach any animals that may harm you. Keep your hands out of and under rocks, which may conceal spiders, scorpions, or snakes.
Try to remain cool
If you panic, you won’t be in a clear state of mind to figure out what to do, and you’ll also waste energy. It might be difficult, but try to stay cool.