If you were stranded in the desert … what would you do? The question may seem simple enough, but in reality it’s one that many of even the most knowledgeable travelers cannot answer with conviction. Though it may not be an extremely common occurrence, desert emergencies do happen. However, with these tips you will learn how to not only prepare for your trip, but you will learn five tips on how to stay alive in this unpredictable environment.
1. Bring Communication Devices
If you’re going to be setting out on an adventure into the desert, you cannot always rely on your cell phone as it may not be able to receive reception depending on your location. Before beginning your travels, make sure to download emergency apps to your cell phone, and consider purchasing a satellite phone. This will help to provide communication with an emergency service to bring you back to safety. Also, don’t forget to tell multiple friends and/or family members where you’ll be traveling to before you leave.
© Rennett Stowe
2. Safety First
Like you would for any other trip, make sure to bring an emergency kit. In it, include medical supplies such as bandages, compress dressings, cloth tape, etc. It’s also very important to bring any required medications you may need, and make sure you bring extra. Always pack extra sunblock and a flashlight. You also may want to bring fire starters and possibly a knife, as well.
© Ian D. Keating
3. Cover Up
It may seem a little strange to wear a lot of clothes when you are in the desert, but the goal is to cover up any exposed skin as it’ll help keep you save from the scorching sun. Exposing your skin will dehydrate your body very quickly most likely causing you to become tired and ill. So, make sure you cover up your arms, legs and head.
© Jared Eberhardt
4. Limit Your Food and Water Intake
Of course it’s extremely important to stay hydrated and well fed, but if you’re stranded in the desert, you must ration the food and water that you have (if you have any at all). Eating your food will cause you to become much thirstier. So, eat in small amounts to prevent this from happening and to keep your energy at an acceptable level. Also, drink your water in small sips to make it last throughout your journey. It may be hard to find small areas of water within the desert, but if you do find one make sure you bring it to a boil to kill off any harmful bacteria.
© Wolfgang Staudt
5. Stay, Stray and Signal
If at all possible, it can be a good idea to stay by your car if you have traveled in one. This will ensure shade throughout the day, warmth during the cold desert nights, protection from dangerous animals and may make you easier to spot by an aircraft. If for some reason you must leave your car in search of water, food or rescue, leave a note at your car explaining your situation and in which direction you have traveled to. Signal for rescue by arranging rocks or other easily distinguishable items in an SOS formation.
© Maher Najm