Hiking in the desert can be even riskier than hiking in other places--mostly, because people go there unprepared! It's not that the hike itself is inherently more dangerous, it's that those who are ill-prepared and think it will be simple find themselves lost and without water.
So, when preparing to hike in the desert, make sure to prepare at least the following!!
- Water, Lots of Water
Bring more than you need, even if that means you'll have to carry more weight, because it is possible that you will end up in a situation where you have to stay longer, and there are few (if any) places to refill in desert hiking situations. Be over prepared.
Sunglasses help with the sun glaring into your eyes the entirety of a hike. 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.
Just bring it! Having a map or some sort of GPS will enable you to navigate your way along the trail without ending up on the outskirts of the desert. Even if you're good at navigating, it's better to be extra careful.
High SPF, waterproof, sweatproof, enough said. You need it!
- Proper Clothing
Light colored clothing to beat the heat. Layers to put on as it goes to the evening and gets cool. If you're going to be in the sun for a really long time (or on a multi-day hike) make sure to include a lightweight long sleeved shirt, because that much sun exposure can really hurt you, even if you don't get burnt.
- Energy-rich, high-protein food
SNACKS! And lots of them! You need to keep your energy up to get through a difficult desert hike.