Summary: It is exciting. It is full of adventure. But if you are not aware of the rules, you might be in danger. Follow these camping tips and enjoy!
You dream of the Wild West. The desert heat and the sands send shivers down the spine. You want to be where vultures dare. Desert camping is not an easy job. If you are an avid camper, you may already know the do’s and don’ts of desert camping. However, those who crave for the deserts after looking at a stunning photo album somewhere on the internet must know what it is like to be in the desert. Desert camping is different; way different than any other camping. You don’t have the shade nor do you have any relief from wild temperatures.
You can easily have single digit temperatures at night and triple digits during the day. Be prepared for all types of climates. If your body is not flexible enough to adapt to fluctuating temperatures, desert camping is perhaps not your cup of tea.
Tips on Desert Camping
Remember, the days are hot, very hot. A journey to the desert without a shade is a journey to death. To exist, you need a shade. Try and set up the shade around a natural shade, like Arizona’s Joshua tree. If no natural shade is visible, build some kind of structure like a gazebo on poles that will act as a shade.
Freezing nights must also be in your consideration. In deserts, a high temperature is not the only problem. In fact, most people fall sick or in some extreme cases die because of their negligence of night temperatures. It is our common perception that desert means hot. It means cold as well. If you are geared to protect yourself from the heat but the not the cold, you are in for trouble. A portable heater and nice warm sleeping bags are a must for desert camping.
Deserts are deserted. They are barren and harsh. You may not find anything that can be of use. So carry your own firewood. You can’t really expect juniper or oak wood lying beside your camp. Plan your travel well and take enough firewood. Anchor your camp well else you might be swept away by a sudden sandstorm or strong winds. They will come and destroy without any prior warning. Lastly, stay away from the desert washes. They fill up rapidly and become water graves.
Live like the locals. Always have locals with you. Respect the wildlife. Carry double the water you think you would need. You have no idea how draining it is in the desert.