In case you find yourself bugging out in the desert, it’s perfectly possible to do so without risking personal harm. It’s simply a matter of being prepared.
Although desert survival tactics are a bit different from your normal wilderness survival tips, they still require you to have the same resources, food, water, and shelter.
Here are a few tips on how you can survive in one of the world’s most demanding of settings.
First and foremost you will need to secure a shelter for yourself.
For a desert atmosphere the most common types of shelters to create are a sandwich shelter or a lean to shelter. These types of shelters are very easy to build and can protect you from the blistering sun and sand filled wind that can create awful sand burn. You want to make sure that you start creating your shelter when the sun starts to go down because of the levels of temperature your body will be placed in. You want to make sure that your body stays hydrated and cramming yourself into a shelter for long periods of time during the hottest part of the day will only lead to a substantial amount of dehydration.
You can use many things to create your shelter such as blankets, cords, rope, and even ponchos and all of these items should be placed in your desert survival kit. It is very important to create a shelter for yourself before nightfall however, because there are many different animals that lurk in the desert and having an adequately built shelter can prevent animals from bothering you or harming you in anyway.
Having enough food and water
When it comes to desert survival, having enough food and water is typically the first concern. However, it’s not impossible to keep a significant amount of food and water on your person without overburdening yourself. This is especially important in a setting where foraging is practically impossible. However, with various freeze dried, dehydrated, and vacuum sealed foods available, you can carry several week’s worth of food in your pack without exhausting yourself.
It is also very important to have a water source available in a desert atmosphere.
Because it is so hot in the desert, your body is more easily dehydrated than you would be in a wilderness atmosphere. It is also harder to find a water source in the midst of the desert, which is why most survivalists will create their very own water filter system to create water without the use of a stream, river, or any other body of water.
The only materials that you need is a plastic sheet, this method is most commonly called the solar still water method. The first thing you want to do is dig a hole in the soil and then place the plastic over the hole. The sun will then hit the plastic and create an evaporation of water from the soil, leaving you with a condensed form of water on the inside of your plastic.
Another option is by consuming water through the help from cacti. Many deserts are filled with cacti and can easily be punctured and opened to give you a water supply. So if you are finding it hard to find plastic to create the solar still method, then start searching for cacti to provide you with water to re-hydrate your body.
Even though the desert is smoldering hot, you still need a fire source to cook food and heed off other predator animals.
Make sure that you create a fire somewhere very close to your campsite so that you can still use the fire source as a protection mechanism. Making sure that you have a trusty set of waterproof matches or a lighter can help you create a fire in a hurry, although it can be a difficult task finding wood in the desert it is still possible. Many survivalists opt in to bringing along a portable grill because of the scarcity of finding wood in the desert. So many people when packing up their survival gear for the desert will find themselves taking along a handy portable grill also… just in case.
It is also very important to carry a first aid kit for minor injuries.
First aid kits are also important for desert survival. When you have the risks of heat stroke, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other conditions on top of the usual risks of injury. When it comes to a quality first aid kit, it’s important not to skimp in these matters. Typical desert survival kits include bandages, disinfectant, pain killers, cooling aloe cream, and other supplies. It’s also a good idea to keep a guide of different flora and fauna in your area as well. This is useful for identifying various species of venomous snakes and scorpions as well as different edible plants and insects. In some particularly severe situations, having the right equipment available can potentially life saving.
The desert can be endless and you want to make sure that you still keep in contact with your campsite at all times. Most commonly when rescuers are trying to find people they will find the campsite and in turn find the missing person. So make sure that even if you venture off trying to find your way back that you provide yourself with the right landmarks or markings in the sand to distinguish exactly where you are. There is nothing worse than being lost and getting even more lost.
Finally, the key to desert survival would have to be your navigational equipment.
These include everything from simple devices like flashlights, maps, and compasses to more complex equipment, such as emergency flares, ham radios and GPS receivers. The latter is important in that not only can it help you learn your exact location, but you can also alert the authorities if needed.
Although survival in the desert is a bit different than wilderness survival in the woods you still have to make sure that you have the common necessities to ensure that you survive such as water, food, and shelter. So make sure that you fill your survival kit with tools that you may need as well as water and food sources in case you can find any if you become lost.