From the Sonora to the Sahara, deserts have some of the world’s most beautiful views and landscapes. Not to forget Southern Utah, which is the destination for many vacationers. Whether you want to enjoy rock climbing, adventure, or hiking, deserts provide the most ideal places, far from the hassles and bustles of the city. But traveling through a desert is dangerous. Some wild animals and snakes can harm you, not to mention the extremely high temperatures that can lead to health complications. Follow the tips below to stay safe in the desert.
1. Plan your vacation carefully
Your trip to a desert should start with choosing which dessert to visit and then planning your trip. Take your time to research the desert and what you may need. Learn how to read the compass and use topographic maps before hiking. Also, ask about which trails to follow and which to avoid.
2. Stay hydrated
Some parts of deserts do not have water. As a result, you must carry plenty of water. You never know what may happen in the desert. It’s best to bring vitamin water, which contains vitamins and minerals. In a desert, vitamin water can replenish electrolytes that are quickly depleted from your body.
3. Carry salty snacks
As you sweat, your body loses a lot of salt, which can cause a homeostatic imbalance in your body. You can maintain this balance by eating salty snacks like raisins, fruits, nuts, and pretzels. These foods will not only provide the salt your body needs but also the energy to keep you exploring the desert.
4. Know the signs of heat stroke
Heat stroke is deadly. If you experience it, get a place to rest as soon as possible. If it’s extreme, call 911. Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• No sweating even when it’s hot
• Confusion or disorientation
• Muscle cramps
• Throbbing headache
5. Take breaks regularly
When trekking in a desert, take advantage of any shady spot you come across. Resting allows your body to rejuvenate and conserve the water you need to stay healthy. Allow your body to cool off as you enjoy the beauty of the desert.
6. Don’t hike at noon
Deserts get extremely hot during the day when the sun is up. Temperatures begin getting unbearable as early as 11 a.m., and they continue that way until 2 p.m. So, if you are a fan of hiking, do so in the morning hours or the evening. If you have to hike during the day, make sure the path you take has some resting places, preferably cool resting places where you can get something to eat.
7. Ensure the safety of your skin
Extremely high temperatures aren’t good for your skin. So, you must take every step necessary to protect it. For example, you can wear loose-fitting clothes, long-sleeve clothes, and hats with wide brims. Also, don’t forget to apply sunscreen every time you go out. It’s also a must to have sunglasses to protect your eyes against the dangerous UV light from the sun.
8. Keep checking the weather
Desert weather changes rapidly, and in some cases, it can be catastrophic. Your smartphone can come in handy for tracking the weather. Rain can cause floods regardless of how far on the mountains it falls. Flash floods are precarious, so don’t walk on dried waterways. Also, remember that storms and lighting are common in high-altitude areas. It’s advisable to take cover when you notice any adverse weather changes.
9. Bring extras
Whether it’s water, sunscreen, or snacks, ensure you have them in excess. You also need a first-aid kit, bug spray, and extra clothing. If you are a fan of hiking, you may need flashlights or headlamps.
10. Beware of dangerous animals and plants
Some animals and plants like cacti aren’t friendly at all. When cactus touches your hand or leg, your day can be ruined. The plants may look attractive, but don’t touch them.
Also, deserts are full of reptiles and snakes that hide in the shade during the day and hang out on rocks when it’s cold. So, before you rest under any shade, check for any animals. Don’t push your hand under a rock or into cracks and holes.
Before setting out on your desert trip, ensure you have enough cash for your trip and inform your relatives and friends before you leave. It may also be helpful to hire a guide for your desert trip.