As summer is nearing, many people will be venturing outside. Warm weather is the time to go on new adventures and explore new places. Many people like to explore places like deserts, which are known for sand duning, beautiful views and exotic vibes. But hot, dry places like the desert can be dangerous if you are not properly prepared. Spending too long in the hot desert sun, running out of water or getting stranded in the desert can spell disaster. Luckily, there are some precautions you can take to ensure your safety while enjoying the desert. These survival hacks could make all the difference in an emergency situation. To learn more about what to do if you are ever stuck in the desert, check out these 8 times for surviving in the desert.
Regulate your body temperature.
If you are ever lost in the desert, one of the first things you need to do is find a way to cool your body. The direct heat of the sun will totally dry your body out. If you can find something to use for shade or even have some materials to build a small shelter, this is a number one go to.
Do not drink cactus water.
It is a common idea that you can get hydrated by drinking the water from a cactus. This is a misconception and can cost you your life. Most cacti water is not pure enough for our human bodies to handle, and could actually end up poisoning you.
Keep all your clothes on.
If you are stuck in the desert and burning up, it may feel like a logical step to take off your clothes to get cool. But this is not a good idea, in that disrobing will leave your body exposed to direct, blistering sunlight. This will likely cause painful sunburns and also lead you to dehydration sooner.
What many don’t know is that flooding is common in the desert. Research shows that more people die from drowning in flash floods than dehydration in the desert. Canyons and ditches can fill up fast if there is excessive rain. So find higher ground as soon as possible.
Make a fire at night.
Another little known fact about the desert is that it can actually get really cold at night. Some desert locations can drop below freezing temperatures during seasons like the spring. Try to locate some brush or sage as kindling and work on making a fire as the sun goes down.
Do not go searching for food.
It may seem like a good idea to go looking for food or some source of water. But this will waste valuable energy and will likely get you even more lost than before. Studies show that an average human can survive for up to three weeks without food. But that survival number is drastically reduced in terms of dehydration. Don’t risk dehydrating yourself more by wandering aimlessly in the heat.
Let someone know where you are going prior to your adventure.
Making sure that someone else is aware of your plans can be a critical factor in your survival. Let a friend or family member know exactly where you plan on going, the activities you will do and for how long. If you are not in communication with them in a reasonable time, this could be the warning they need to send out a search party.
Bring emergency supplies.
You may think you’re just going on a quick excursion in the desert and want to pack light. But if the situation turns dire, a small pack of emergency supplies could just save your life. Bring things like a map, extra water, first-aid kit, satellite phone or handheld GPS, extra medication, flashlight, flares, swiss-army knife, matches/lighters and firesticks. Even a few of these tools can make a huge difference.