Like the wilderness and most other environments have their own unique survival tips, the desert does as well. Although deserts survival tactics are a bit different from normal wilderness, urban and jungle survival tips, they still require you to have the same resources, food, water, and shelter. As with most people, you may think that a desert trip is a fun and exciting adventure or trip, and it is, that is of course unless you get lost in the sweltering hot and dehydrating desert. Here are a few suggestions that may save you the next time you decide to go on a desert trip, just in case the worst case scenario plays out and you become lost or stranded.
The first thing that you will need to do is locate and secure a shelter for yourself or group. For a desert environment the most popular types of shelters to build are a sandwich shelters or a lean to shelter. These types of shelters are not very difficult to build and can most certainly protect you from the sweltering sun and sand consumed wind that can create terrible sand burn. You will want to make sure that you begin building your shelter when the sun starts to go down because of the dangerous levels of temperature or heat your body will be placed in. You will want to make sure that your body stays hydrated and cramming yourself into a shelter for prolonged periods of time during the hottest parts of the day will certainly lead to a substantial amount of dehydration.
You can use many things to create a sufficient shelter such as blankets, cords, rope, and even ponchos and most if not all of these items should be placed in your desert survival kit before going on your desert adventure. It is very important to build a shelter for yourself or group prior to nightfall however, because there are a variety of animals that hunt for prey during the night in desert environment and having an adequately built shelter can prevent animals from bothering you or injuring anyone.
It is also very important to have a clean water source or water packs available in a desert atmosphere if you are lost or stranded. Because the temperature is so hot in the desert, your body is more easily dehydrated than you would be in a wilderness or similar atmosphere. It is also much more difficult to find a good water source in the middle of the desert, which is why most survivalists will build their very own water filter system to create water without the use of a stream, river, or any other body of water.
The only materials that you will need is a plastic sheet, this method is most commonly called the solar still water method. The first thing you need to do is dig a hole in the soil and then place the plastic over the hole. The hot sun will then hit the plastic and cause an evaporation of water from the cool soil, leaving you with a condensed form of water on the inside of your plastic.
Another option is to consume water through the help from cacti. Many deserts are filled with cacti and can easily be punctured and opened to give you a much needed water supply. So if you are finding it difficult to find plastic to build the solar still method, then look for cacti to provide you with water to rehydrate your body.
Even though the desert is smoldering hot environment, you will still need a fire source to safely cook food and heed off other predator animals. Ensure that you build a fire located as close as possible to your campsite so that you can still use the fire source as a protection mechanism. Making sure that you have a reliable set of waterproof matches or a lighter can help you build a fire in a quickly, although it can be a difficult task finding wood in the desert it is still possible. Many survivalists will opt in to packing along a portable grill because of the lack of wood in the desert. So many people when packing up their survival gear for the desert will find themselves taking along a handy portable grill also… because you never know.
It’s also very important to pack a first aid kit loaded with essential medical items for minor injuries as well as a good compass and navigational map to assist you with your navigation through the desert. The desert can seem to be endless and you want to make sure that you still keep in contact with your campsite at all times. Most of the time when rescuers are trying to find people, they will find the campsite, and then in turn will find the missing person. So ensure that even if you venture offsite trying to find your way back that you provide yourself with the right landmarks or markings in the sand to distinguish exactly where you are. There is nothing more frightening than being lost and getting even more lost.
Although desert survival is a bit different than most other environments you still have to make sure that you have the common necessities to ensure that you survive such as water, food, and proper shelter. So the next time you decide to go on a desert trip or adventure make sure that you pack your survival kit with tools and equipment that you may need as well as water and food sources in case you can find any if you become lost. Use these tips and more when it comes to desert survival.