Home » Travel » Camping

The Do's And Don'ts Of Desert Survival

Aug 17, 2007
Should you find yourself lost or stranded in the desert, your ability to survive will depend on how quickly you can find a source of water. Most of us take water for granted; it's always there in convenient, little plastic bottles at the corner store or our own refrigerators. Not so in the middle of the desert. The hot sun, dry air, and lack of shade can suck every bit of moisture from your body without you realizing it. Unless you're a camel or a Joshua tree, your chances of going for any long term period of time without hydration are pretty slim.

In the desert, shelter might be difficult to find. If you can, look for an outcropping of rocks that cast a shadow for some shade, or if you have a blanket, use that as a lean to for shade against the sun. The idea is to keep those burning rays off of your body until nightfall when you can move on. The desert is so dry that you might not realize exactly how hot it is until it's too late, and then heat exhaustion sets in. Stay covered as best as you can.

If you find that you are stranded in the desert for a prolonged period, adjust your sleeping schedule to make yourself nocturnal. While in your shaded refuge, take inventory of the survival supplies that you have. When traveling in the desert, you should carry a penknife, water purification tablets, something small to store water, small first aid kit, mirror, rope or chord, and a space blanket. Also, while you are waiting for nightfall, look for water sources.

If you have a space blanket, your first job once the sun sets is to set up a lean-to using your chord and any available trees, cacti, or rocks. If you have water with you, you need to ration it carefully. Do not drink more than you must have. The best way to judge if your water intake is sufficient is through the color of your urine. If it is excessively dark, you are not getting enough water.

Now you are ready to look for water. If you see any dry streambeds, dig at the lowest, outside point. Make sure you do this at night! If you have a plastic bag on your person, wrap it around the limb of a tree or bush that is exposed to the sun. As the sun warms the bag, it will cause the plant to transpire, and you will be able to collect the resulting water.

Finally, if you have a good knife, you can cut open cactus plants and squeeze water out of the moist flesh inside. Use caution when working with cacti since they are full of painful spines. The easiest cactus to use for water procuring is the prickly pear. You can burn off the thorns and then eat the meat of the plant. It is sweet and full of needed moisture.
About the Author
John Edmond writes regularly for Living And Camping Outdoors where you can read many more articles on outdoor living and safe camping.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 195
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources