2 years ago
happyrock
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Desert Hiking: Stay Safe Out There!
I've written about hiking safety for the desert before, but after reading really sad news about a French couple who passed away on a short hike in the desert near White Sands (their son survived them...). The cause of this disaster was likely that they were simply not prepared for the conditions: they didn't have enough water or other things they needed to consider.
So, let me run over some hiking tips for desert conditions again!!! Please take them into consideration!!

- Water, Water, Water!!

Bring more than you need.
Bring at least two liters. More if you're going for more than 2 hours.
Don't expect to find water sources--bring more!!
Expert tip: Chug as much water as you can at the trail head - at least a liter. Then top off your bottle so it’s completely full when you hit the trail.!

- Energy-rich, high-protein food!

Bring SNACKS! Try to pick energy rich foods that aren't salty to help keep your energy up.

- Take Advantage of Land Features

Use the Shade when it's there! If you're running out of water or feeling hot, find a rock or any sort of shadow and sit in it for 1-2 hours.
Breathe through your nose--it'll save moisture.
Carry on after the sun sets.
Look for deciduous trees or bushes as well, they might not be there, but if they are, they'll only grow near a water source.

Have a Way Out!

- Bring a cell phone. Keep it off until you have an emergency. Keep extra battery bc the heat can kill your main one.
- Bring a Map/Compass and a GPS. Bring BOTH!
- Bring a satellite phone (if you have it). You may not have service on your cell, but a satellite phone will help you get out safe.

Dress for the Desert!

- Sunblock
High SPF, waterproof, sweatproof, enough said. You need it!
- Proper Clothing
Light colored, long sleeves that are lightweight!
- Sunglasses
Sunglasses help with the sun glaring into your eyes the entirety of a hike.
- Hat
A hat is also a good addition for extra sun protection for your face.
Keep in mind a baseball hat will leave your neck entirely exposed, so a hat with a big brim is better.
Cover your head to protect from overheating and sunburn! If you keep your head covered you'll stay cooler and loose less heat.
To learn more hiking safety tips, check out my "Trail Smarts" Collection! Check out my previous card on hiking in the desert before as well.
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