Knowing how to camp in the desert can be a unique and spectacular experience for any nature-lover. Stunning scenery can be found in deserts across the world; the US alone has more than its share of beautiful desert camping, from the saguaro-riddled mesas of the Sonora, to the Joshua-tree peppered national parks of California. When camping in the desert, there are a few basic precautions to keep in mind that will keep you safe and well-prepared in the desert’s ever-changing terrain and arid climate.
- Pack plenty of water. Even in cooler months, the dryness of the desert wicks away sweat and moisture quickly. When travelling through the desert you should plan on going through at least a gallon of water per person each day, with extra water always available for emergencies.
- Wear thick leather boots that cover the ankle. Camping in the desert can mean encounters with both wildlife and plants, both of which are potentially harmful.
- Pack sunscreen and a long-sleeved shirt. If the weather becomes exceptionally warm, a long-sleeved shirt can help retain moisture and prevent severe sunburns.
- Bring a fine-toothed comb and a roll of duct tape for accidental brushes with cacti or thorny desert plants. The comb is a terrific tool for removing thorns and cactus needles, and tape can help pull out smaller burrs and stickers.
- Tell someone reliable when you are camping in the desert where you will be, and how long you will be gone; stick to your plans. Camping in the desert can be a remarkable adventure, but should always be handled with care and consideration.