“Deserts have a definite singular mystic charm associated with them. And the one thing that you discover on your trip to the desert is that it is so drastically different from the wastelands all littered with bones and carcasses as depicted in some of the typical cowboy films. From an exotic landscape to the experience of living in different climatic conditions, from unusual plants to some equally fascinating indigenous animals, the deserts have it all. Yes, an outdoor trip to a desert is quite different as compared to an outdoor trip to any other natural surrounding. But if you are a true adventurer with an insatiable thirst for adventure, thrill and excitement then a desert camp is something that you definitely must plan to go to while you still have time on your hands. And even if you are not the kind of outdoor pleasure seeker stated above but have been contemplating your options about where to go for having that ultimate experience, then going to a desert camp is the answer. Do not be discouraged by what you hear about the conditions of the place being too harsh, of course, they are harsh, but just enough for you to adapt to them in time. The key to any outdoor trip is preparation. There are just a few tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind that will not just help you in packing your stuff for the trip but will also come in handy during your adventure. As long as you are well prepared to counter every possible situation with the right preparation there is nothing you cannot accomplish. After all, what is life if not a challenge.
Here are some tips on how to begin your planning and some on how to execute those plans successfully.
- Water, Water and lots of Water: The first thing that comes to your mind when a picture of the desert pops up in your imagination is a lot of sun with sand blowing in your face and you feeling thirsty. That’s right! It is of paramount importance, and there is certainly no way to emphasize on just how important carrying lots of water on your desert camping trip is. Deserts have a hot and dry weather and even if you do as much as move inside your tent, you will feel thirsty because dryness and heat are in the air during the daytime. If you are on the move, there is even more reasons to have a lot of water supply to replenish all the energy you are losing while treading on the hot sand. Given the conditions, you will feel thirsty more frequently than you usually do and you will drink much more than you usually do. Considering all this, the first threat that any desert camper faces is that of getting dehydrated in case he/ she doesn’t have enough water. Stick to the rule of having, at least, one gallon of water supply for each person per day. Study the area carefully and identify the water sources so that you can direct your route towards them in case you need to refill your supplies. Carry water purifying tablets if you fill water from these sources. One tip that you definitely must remember throughout the trip is to keep drinking water at regular intervals. Waiting to drink water till you start feeling thirsty means that dehydration has already made its way to you. One of the ways to gather the supplies is to opt for MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat that offer packets of water. These MRE packs contain water in packs that are rugged and impact resistant.
- Have respect for nature: If you are a first-time camper, then here is one rule that every camper lives by, and that is reverence for the natural surroundings. Be it a plant or an animal, or just the landscape itself, do not attempt to bring back anything apart from memories and leave behind anything other than footprints. Deserts are flourishing with some fascinating creatures that you will find at no other natural surroundings on earth. From lizards, snakes, foxes, scorpions and more, make sure that all you do is act as a spectator. Most of these creatures pose little to no harm but unless you are a wildlife specialist who knows which creature is what and what kind of injury it can cause, try not to breach their territory. There is a difference between being adventurous and being foolhardy.
- Watch your step: Take each step after you have had a good look that your path is clear because creatures like rattlesnakes and some kinds of lizards are so well blended with the desert environment when it comes to color that even if you slightly overlook you might find yourself stepping on one. Rattlesnakes especially come out on dirt roads and paths to get some heat from the sun. It is, therefore, also important to do your personal research on the kind of wildlife you might encounter in the desert where you are going to. The research will help you prepare yourself in case if any of these creatures bites or attacks you so you can pack appropriate first aid supplies. Since rattlesnakes are a big threat, you might consider packing a compression bandage to slow down the spreading of the venom while you wait for paramedic help to arrive. The desert ecosystem in totality is quite fragile. The soil is already hard, and the vegetation that is present prevents that soil from becoming barren and the desert from turning into a wasteland. Do not trample any plants. It is a desert, and there is plenty of room when it comes to vegetation free muddy paths.
- Extreme weather: Deserts are famous for their extreme weather conditions. Moreover, depending on where you are going and the time of the year, the desert night can be quite cold. Don’t be misdirected by the heat and the sun and pack nothing but sleeveless cotton shirts and shorts. Since the humidity in the desert regions is low, the night temperatures there can at times even drop below the freezing point. All that a few warm clothes will do is take up a little space in your bag but will give you all the comfort you need during the cold nights in your desert camp. So go ahead and roll in a blanket, a warm lower and a sweatshirt.
- Plan your day: If you are going for a trip that will last for a few days then you need to plan your days with dexterity. Deserts at times, get uncomfortable hot during the day, therefore, reserve that part of the trip for relaxing inside your tent, reading a novel or learning some facts about the desert. Plan activities early in the morning after dawn when there is a little light and close to dusk. During these times, the temperatures are fairly moderate, not too hot like midday and not too cold and chilly like during the night. This kind of planning will protect you from the heat of the sun, and you will reserve your energy for a time when the temperature outside is suitable enough for your body.
- Research of the area: Apart from doing some research on the wildlife of the area, also do one on the area itself. If you are a first-time camper, then you need to stick to the basics unless you have someone experienced accompanying you. Try not to be too adventurous when it comes to exploration in a such case the chances of you getting lost are quite high. Desert camping is fun, but it has its catch too. There are many situations that you might face for the first time, so you need to be at someplace where you can get instant help. Again, we are implying hard on the fact that there is nothing that you cannot counter if you have prepared yourself thoroughly but prevention is always better than cure.
- Sun Protection: Deserts mean the sun and your skin, unprotected and exposed to the sun means tanning and sunburn. So it is vital to pack a superior quality sunscreen lotion with a high SPF. Choose one that is not sticky because with the high temperature you will already be sweating and with the added stickiness it can get all gooey and that is not at all pleasant. Apart from the sunscreen also, pack a hat with a chin tie. Pack and wear a comfortable pair of jeans or pants rather than shorts to prevent exposure of legs to the sun. Carry a bandana or a scarf to wrap around your face if it gets too windy and a pair of sunglasses.
- Food: The heat and the exhaustion will take a toll on your appetite because by the time the day ends, all you would want to do is go and jump in your sleeping bag. But having a healthy, nourishing meal is a crucial part of any camping trip, more so for a desert camp where exhaustion level runs high. Because it will be quite hot, you need to take food that does not get ruined in the heat, lasts you your trip and gives you the healthy dose of nutrition you need. Just like the MRE water packets, there are MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat food packs. Here are a few of the many reasons why you must take these for your desert camping trip.
These Meals, Ready to Eat are impact resistant and rugged, so you don’t have to worry about them getting affected by the climatic changes.
MREs are packed in a hermetically sealed environment so the nutrient level never degrades for as long as they are designed to last.
Each pack of MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat comes with approximately 1250 calories that are enough to keep you powered for the day.
A day pack of MRE comes with the meals for the entire day, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. So the MRE packs become a space saving alternative. You can check some of our products that fits the description here.
The quality of food regarding both the taste and the nutrition level exceeds that of any food that you will eat while in the camp. The variety too is overwhelming. From coffee, milkshakes, personal favorites, pickles, dessert to eating utensils, water packs, and napkins, MREs have it all.
- Navigation Tools: Maps, magnetic compass, pioneer star chart, GPS whatever you have in the name of navigation tools, just bring it all. Even a drive on the main road may not lead you to the destination you plan to go and to get lost in the desert nothing short of a nightmarish experience. If you find people on the way, stop and ask for directions. If there are any shops in the way, they are most probably owned by a local who knows the area well. Take a break from the ride and inquire them about the local surroundings and get a clear idea of how to reach your destination.
With the right preparation, we are sure of you having a fantastic time in the desert.”