Deserts aren't just barren places, despite that's what most people think. They can be beautiful and great places to visit. Deserts are very much alive, and they are home to many animals and plants that are very interesting. But the landscape isn't something to be taken lightly. In harsh environments, campers and hikers must adhere to a different set of rules than in mild environments. Desert camping requires serious preparation and, above all, respect. If you do something careless in the desert, you could get into a lot of trouble. In this article, we will guide you on how to plan and what to pack for a desert camping trip.
How to Plan Your Desert Camping Trip
Planning a desert camping trip can be the perfect way to escape everyday life and get out in nature. Here are steps to plan your desert camping trip:
Learn Before the Trip
Before camping in the desert, planning and packing correctly are essential to any camping excursion, especially when you're heading into a desert climate. Resources such as water, medical care, and vehicle repairs are scarce in the arid landscape so it's important that prior to your journey you have packed properly for both enjoyment and safety!
Pack for the Desert Camping
What to pack for desert camping? Here are some desert camping essentials that you will need before doing desert tent camping.
The most important thing you can do when camping in the desert is to drink plenty of water. Pack twice as much water as you believe you'll need! Even if you plan to camp near a water source such as a river or stream, you should anticipate that it will be dry. A good rule of thumb for camping is to bring one gallon of water per person per day to drink, plus an extra gallon per day for cooking, washing, and cleaning.
Fill up your gas tank whenever you see a gas station on the way to your desert campsite. Some remote places are hundreds of miles away from the next gas station. Some people even bring a full gas can in case of an emergency. You don't want to run out of gas and be stuck on the side of the road with no cell service and not many people around to help you.
Most people hear the word "desert" and immediately think of sunshine and scorching weather. Although it is true that you must be prepared for heat and sun, the desert could also be cold! Even during the summer, overnight temperatures in the 30s are frequent, and during the shoulder seasons, temps in the teens are not uncommon. You must pack and prepare clothing and equipment for a variety of climates.
Some essential items such as chapstick and eye drop to protect your lips and skin from the dry desert air, tweezers in case you accidentally touch a cactus (which happens more often than you might think), insect repellent, a GPS device or compass, and first aid kit. Besides that, you may want to consider bringing a portable power station if your devices need electricity. There are many portable power stations that you can buy, like the Anker 757 Portable Power Station, which has a 1229Wh capacity that can power up your essential devices.
Things You Should Remember
There're lots of things you need to remember for desert camping.
Bring extra water and food that doesn't have to be cooked or refrigerated in case you get lost or stuck in the desert.
Look for the forecast to be aware of the weather conditions and prepare for them. If there is a chance of rain or showers, be ready for mud and watch out for flash floods.
Wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes for protection from sharp objects and animal bites.
Use sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect your skin from the harsh sun and wind.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times and watch for signs of danger, such as snakes or scorpions. And you need to know what kind of animal you'll meet in the desert.
Stay on trails as much as possible and make sure to leave no trace after camping. If you get lost, stay in one place and wait for help to arrive.
Don't hike or stand in washes or slot canyons, and choose a campsite on the higher ground instead. When camping on slippery rocks or terrain too hard for stakes to penetrate, guy wires are your best bet to secure the tent. If available, opt for a campsite with some protection – trees can provide ample shade and large stone walls will block out gusty winds.
Safe fire practices, such as putting out the fire completely and completely cleaning up the campsite, are essential in desert camping. Make sure to have a shovel or stick ready for this purpose!
Respect the land and the wildlife by not disturbing their natural habitats. Take only pictures and leave only footprints. And remember to bring your garbage with you when you leave and dispose of it properly. Leave the area as clean as you found it!
The desert is a beautiful landscape to visit. But with few resources, an unforgiving, harsh environment, and a delicate ecosystem, preparation and planning are crucial for desert camping. There are many things that you need to pack, such as water, fuel, clothing, and other essential things like GPS, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. It is also a good choice to learn about the area before you go there for desert camping. Knowing about what animals and the nearest hospitals will help you in case something bad happens.
FAQ about Desert Camping
Is Camping in the Desert Safe?
When wandering in the desert, be aware of your surroundings and know that most creatures won't hurt you unless they feel threatened. To ensure everyone is safe at night, always close off your tent completely and wear shoes around the campsite; additionally, take a few moments to shake them each morning just in case anything has nested inside during the night.
Why Do People Like Camping in the Desert?
Camping in the desert is an exciting way to experience nature in a unique setting.
It offers breathtaking scenery, amazing sunsets, and star-filled night skies. The serenity of being away from civilization allows campers to relax and appreciate the beauty of the natural environment.
Desert camping also provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and exploring the local wildlife.
Plus, it is usually less crowded than traditional campgrounds and allows for more time to unplug from technology and reconnect with nature.
What to Do in Desert Camping?
Here are some camping desert ideas or activities you can do when camping in the desert.
Searching for different animals and plants.
Stargazing under the clear night sky.
Enjoying the playground.