Getting out into the desert for hiking is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have, and there are many ways you can enjoy it. However, you should be prepared for the risks you may encounter and prepare for them. This article will cover some of the tips you need to take into consideration when planning your trip.
Avoid the hottest part of the day
Whether you are planning a hike in the desert or simply enjoying a day in the sun, it is important to avoid the hottest part of the day. This can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be very dangerous. To prevent these, there are several tips you can follow.
A general rule of thumb is to start your hike in the early morning. This is when the temperature is cooler and less crowded on the trail. You can also pack an evaporative cooler, which can help you cool off during a desert hike.
You should also plan your route and know where the shade is along the way. If you do end up in the heat, take advantage of the shade as much as possible.
You should also wear a hat to protect your head and neck. You can also use a bandana to soak up some of the heat and stay cool. This will also help you conserve water.
It is also a good idea to bring extra food and clothing on your desert hike. These will help you stay hydrated and keep you warm at night.
To prevent heat exhaustion, you should drink a lot of water and eat salty snacks. This will replace the electrolytes that your body loses through sweat.
You should also wear sunscreen on all exposed skin. This will help prevent blisters from occurring in sandy terrain. You should also check your clothing for chafing and irritation. If you have any of these issues, you should rinse off and apply a sports lubricant or aloe vera.
You should also carry a compass and a map. This will help you avoid getting lost.
Wear a rain jacket
Regardless of whether you are hiking in the spring or the fall, it’s always a good idea to wear a rain jacket. The greatest challenge when you are out hiking in the rain is hypothermia. It can be mild to moderate, but it can quickly get serious.
Rain jackets are also designed to reduce the maelstrom of the rain. They feature a hood, pit zips, and a waist cinch. They also usually include two or three pockets. Depending on the model, some of these pockets are low and designed for hand warmers, while other models try to put them higher than usual.
One of the best features on a rain jacket is a hood. Some models offer a velcro flap in the back for adjusting the hood, while others offer toggles or drawstrings. Ideally, a hood should be articulated, meaning it moves with your head.
Another feature is an internal chest pocket. This allows you to stash your cell phone or wallet without having to unzip the jacket. This is a good feature, but some people prefer external chest pockets.
Some rain jackets have pit zips, which are designed to reduce heat buildup. The zips should be long enough to keep water out of your shirt. The fabric should have a durable water repellent finish, which causes the water to bead up and roll off the surface.
The fabric should also have ventilation, which helps prevent heat buildup. If your jacket doesn’t have enough ventilation, the moisture in the jacket will soak in and clog the pores.
The bottom line is that when you are out hiking in the rain, you want to be able to access your hand pockets and your phone. Make sure the zippers are reliable and easily operable. This is especially important if you’re wearing a backpack. A poorly made zipper can be a real pain when you’re in a storm.
Bring a compass
Taking a compass when desert hiking can be a life-saver. You may get lost or even separated from your hiking partners. These low-tech navigation tools require patience and understanding.
A compass is a small device that has a magnetic needle. The compass is lightweight and can fit into a backpack. The compass is also easy to use. It responds to the earth’s magnetic field.
One of the most important uses of a compass is the ability to take a bearing. This is the process of setting a course on a map and using the compass to find your destination.
Whether you’re hiking the desert or the woods, you’ll need a compass to navigate the wilderness. While many people are tempted to try to make do without a compass, they’re missing out on a valuable skill.
When you’re desert hiking, you’ll need to carry extra food, water, and layers to keep warm in the evening. It’s also important to take frequent mental notes of where you are.
If you’re planning a long distance hike, a headlamp will help you see in the dark. Alternatively, you can use smartphone apps that can show you the route home in the dark.
You’ll also need a map, a watch, a pencil, and a compass. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, you should study a map to identify landmarks and nearby trails.
You should also note the nearest rivers and streams and any roads you’re planning to pass through. A compass is also a life-saver when you’re in the woods. If you accidentally turn off your GPS, you can use your compass to guide you back to where you were.
Keep your skin hydrated
Keeping your skin hydrated while desert hiking can be a challenge. It’s important to have the right amount of water and snacks. You can also help keep your body cooler by wearing the right type of clothing.
Before you head out on your next desert adventure, check the forecast. If the forecast shows rain or a dust storm, you’ll want to stay away from that area. Those areas can turn into dangerous flood zones. You’ll also want to pack extra warm clothes for the nighttime.
During the day, you’ll need a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face. You’ll also want to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You can also apply sunscreen to your exposed skin.
You’ll also want to bring a headlamp. This will help you navigate your route. If you’re not familiar with the topography of your hike, you could get lost.
When it comes to foot care, you’ll need to make sure your shoes and socks are free from debris. You can also put a bandana around your face to protect it from dust.
If you’re going to be hiking in a sandy environment, you’ll want to wear sandals instead of sneakers. This will help protect your feet from blisters. You’ll also want to make sure your socks are breathable.
You can also use a light rain jacket to protect your skin from sudden weather changes. You can also take advantage of shade when it’s available. This will also help you conserve water.
You’ll also need to take breaks. Leaving your shoes off for breaks can be a good way to prevent blisters. This will also allow your feet to dry.
During desert hiking, you may encounter scorpions, which can be a real bummer. Luckily, there are many ways to keep them from getting to you. One of the most important things to do is to protect your hands. If you get bitten, you will need to seek medical advice immediately.
Another way to avoid scorpions is to stay in open areas. You want to hike in cooler seasons when they are less likely to be around. Also, you should avoid side canyons without maps. If you get lost, you risk running out of water before you can find your way back to civilization.
It is not uncommon to see a scorpion crawling into your shoes or boots. Similarly, you can find them in your clothing, or in your sleeping bag. Depending on where you are, you might encounter a scorpion lying under a large rock or a tree branch. Luckily, you won’t be bitten if you just stand still.
When you’re planning your next desert hiking excursion, you’ll need to think about what to do if you do happen to encounter a scorpion. Luckily, they aren’t particularly aggressive. They will usually just hide, but they are attracted to the smell of food.
The best way to prevent scorpions is to pack chemical-rich repellent. You can also use a black light to help you spot them at night.
You should also be aware that snakes and spiders are capable of stinging you. While they aren’t as dangerous as scorpions, they can be very painful. You should also carry a small black light when taking a dip in a river.
When camping, you should always clean up any food and debris. Leave the food in sealed containers, and take care to shake out your gear before packing it away.