Deserts are one of the most fascinating places on the earth and can be the perfect destination for a peaceful trip. You can trek across the natural landscapes or gaze at the stars and enjoy the breathtaking views. Desert hiking can be an adventurous and peaceful experience. The dramatic landscapes, peaceful silence, sand under the feet, sun above the head, and unique wildlife around; can be a wonderful experience to visit or hike in deserts. However, the temperature and environmental conditions might be different in deserts. So, here we have prepared a desert hiking essentials guide with the comprehensive desert trip packing list items that you must have. Continue reading to discover things you should carry for a trip to the desert.
Desert Hiking Essentials
Deserts are hot and sunny, and you may require certain different essentials. Here are the top desert trip packing list items that you must carry for your trip.
It’s a no-brainer that you will need plenty of water for your trip to the desert. It might get difficult to find a river or water station nearby if you get lost. Therefore, you shouldn’t take the risk and pack an additional supply of water. Have a backup supply of water in your vehicle.
2. A brimmed hat
The mornings can be extremely hot in deserts. To protect yourself from the sun above your head, you will need proper protection. A baseball cap or a visor will not perform the job and provide you with complete protection. In contrast, a brimmed hat will provide better protection, and shield your eyes, and neck from sunburn. Therefore, you must consider packing at least two brimmed hats in your bag.
3. Sunscreen and Sunglasses
These are the two most desert hiking essentials that you can never miss out on. The chances of facing sunburns are extremely high when it comes to sunburns. Therefore, you must carry sunscreen protection according to your skin type and the desert you are traveling to. Protect your eyes and invest in the right pair of sunglasses.
4. Maps and Compass
Whether you’re planning to go to deserts or on a beach vacation, you can never travel without maps and a compass. It is one of the biggest mistakes that most travelers and hikers make. Remember, the technology may fail anytime and your GPS may stop working. In such a case, a compass or a paper map would be so handy. You should also conduct some basic research about the location before planning your trip. It will be better to be aware of the environmental conditions and potential risks in the area.
5. Fire Starters
If you’d have to camp overnight, these items will be essential. You will need fire starters such as lighters or matchsticks. Keep them handy in your bag to protect yourself from facing any hassle.
6. Healthy Food
Some hikers only like carrying a small feast whereas some hikers pack an extra bunch of food. Whatever your preference, do not load up on the junk food. Choose healthy snacks and drinks that will provide you with sufficient energy in the sun. Choose the essential food items that you may need and avoid overpackaging.
7. First-Aid Kit
Be it any kind of adventure, your safety should be your top priority while traveling. You can never miss out on packing the first-aid kit. Make sure that the kit carries all types of essentials. Make a kit of your own or buy a first-aid kit from the nearby pharmacy store. You may also take a basic class to learn about the potential dangers in the deserts and how you can deal with them.
A flashlight will be handy at night. You cannot rely on your smartphone’s flashlight to travel at night. Remember, using a smartphone all the time will also drain the battery of your phone. Therefore, you should carry a flashlight or a headlamp and keep them as a priority on your desert trip packing list.
Many people would be confused about how a mirror can be one of the desert hiking essentials. Note that, you will have sun above your head. In such a situation, a mirror can be used as a reflector for signaling and asking for help. If you forget to pack your mirror, you may also use the screen on your phone as a reflector.
If you get lost, you can use the whistle to reach out to other fellow hikers. It can be helpful for signaling and would be better than shouting in the middle of the deserts.
11. Neck Gaiters
When it is windy, the sand may go anywhere and might enter your ears and mouth. Neck gaiters will help protect your mouth and ears and could be an excellent accessory. This is one of the most random desert hiking essentials that you must consider carrying along with you.
Be it desert, mountains, or beaches, a multi-tool kit is a versatile hiking gear and one of the most essential things you must pack. You never know when you might need it. To be on the safe side, you can consider packing a multi-tool kit.
13. Sodium Replacement Powder
These supplements are helpful and will help your body replenish electrolytes. These will also prevent the risk of hyponatremia. The warm weather can increase the risk of experiencing this condition. Therefore, you must be on the safe side and add these supplements to your desert trip packing list.
14. Insect Repelling Wristbands
Deserts may have bugs and annoying insects. Protect yourself from those annoying insects, ticks, and mosquitoes by investing in insect-repelling wristbands.
It might not be comfortable to wear a hat during the entire journey. Therefore, you can consider getting a few bandanas. The best thing is that they are multi-purpose and you can use a bandana as a face mask, headband, camp flag, and more different ways.
16. Tent and Camping Gear
If you are going camping, then you must consider buying a breathable tent with mesh filters. You must also take a picnic blanket, waterproof tarp, and other essential camping gear to make your camping even more convenient.
17. Portable Charger, Powerbank, and Universal Adapters
Deserts are magnificent places, but you may face difficulties finding the right spot for charging. Therefore, you must carry a portable charger and a power bank. Consider investing in a universal adapter to save yourself from the hassle and charging multiple devices at once.
18. How to dress for Desert – Clothing Essentials for Desert Trip
Buy synthetic, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking clothing pieces for your desert trip. You can wear a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the scorching heat in the summer. Take some warm clothes too as it gets extremely cold during nights in the deserts. Avoid wearing jeans as it may make it uncomfortable for you to walk.
19. Right Footwear Gears
Remember, the sand will be super hot and your feet are going to be sandy if you wear the wrong footwear. Therefore, you must consider investing in hiking socks and hiking boots to protect your feet from the hot ground surface. You may also consider getting gaiters to prevent sand from entering your boots. For the evening, get trekking sandals to make your feet feel breathable.
Desert Hiking Essentials: Tips
Here are some tips you must follow to make your trip safe and enjoyable.
- Do not rush and take it slow. You may face difficulties in walking under the sun. Drink water, and take a break, if required.
- Avoid taking your dog along. Most hikers love to take their dogs, but desert temperatures can impact their health. You must check the weather before planning to take your dog to the desert.
- Try to go hiking in the desert with a friend or a group.
- Do not bring a large camera or load up on the electronic essentials.
- Turn off your phone in between as the battery may drain or the phone may malfunction because of the extreme heat.
- Do not eat the Cacti as it will dehydrate you faster.
- Have a proper plan before you think of desert hiking. If you are going alone, consider informing your friends and family members about the entire trail and route.
Desert Hiking Essentials: Summing Up
These are some of the desert hiking essentials that you may need on your journey. We have also enlisted some critical tips to keep in mind while planning your trip to the deserts. Keep these things in mind and plan a safe and enjoyable trip. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment down below. Stay tuned to Scott and Ben for more such tips and travel guides.