The desert is a harsh place that tries you mentally & physically.
The day brings 100+ degree weather and it can drop below freezing at night. It's full of unfriendly critters & plants. Water is next to impossible to find. Depending on the time of year, you can end up drenched in rain & freezing cold. The desert is the only place where you can die of heat stroke and hypothermia in the same day.
I'm in the desert camping for up to 8 days at a time.
That said, here's how to deal with a short stay in the desert.
This is just a basic overview of what you'll need. Remember to get all the essentials, but also that you'll be carrying it all so don't over-do it.
- Large Backpack
- Hiking Boots
- Long durable cotton pants (carhearts, dickies, etc.)
- Few T-Shirts
- Water jugs (a few 2-3 liter jugs)
- Sleeping Bag (rated below freezing)
- Rain Gear
Large backpack to put all your stuff in. You'll need durable, waterproof, boots to protect your feet from bites, uneven terrain, etc. Make sure to always shake your boots out in the morning before you put them on. Favorite hiding place for scorpions and spiders. Also, when you overheat you can wet down a bandana to cool you down. Make sure to drink 6-8 liters of water a day! Less than 4 and you'll become dehydrated which is absolutely no fun.
Staying Fabulous List
- Alcohol (preferably scented)
- Baby wipes
- Shea Butter
- Baby Powder
Also, depending where you are, keep an eye out for pottery and any other signs of peoples that used to live in the area. If you find something, have a look, take a picture, then put it back exactly as you found it!
Some people don't like to use tents because they feel it makes them more 'at one with nature'. Only idiots do that. Get a tent. Use it. There are all sorts of dangerous critters that come out at night and it's better to have some sort of barrier between you and them (i.e. tent).