What You Need To Survive In The Desert

 Summer is the best season to go for adventurous trips such as hiking or camping. However, scorching heat is the big deterrent to the adventurers. They may succumb to heat-related illnesses.

If you know the skills to survive in the desert, the hardships in the trip can be tackled and managed easily. This article will look into the tips and steps that you can follow to avoid any unfortunate incident/emergency in hot places. 

Related Articles:

1. Tips On How To Survive In The Desert 

Following tips to survive in the desert will help you to battle any mishap that may occur.

1.1 Drink Plenty Of Water And Stay Hydrated

The first step to surviving the heat is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration include exhaustion, dizziness, less urge to urinate, dark-hued urine, or dry mouth. Consuming electrolyte-rich substances and plenty of water can prevent dehydration. 

Electrolyte contains minerals that help to maintain the level of water in the body. You can also consume other electrolyte-rich substances such as yogurt, milk, coconut water, and spinach to maintain the water level in the body.

Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks because they increase the chances of dehydration.

Research done by the International Society of Sports Nutrition compares coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men.

In another study conducted by the American Medical Directors Association, various ways to treat dehydration have been discussed.

1.2 Walk At A Slow Pace

If you walk at a slow pace, the leg muscles won’t turn sore. Hiking very fast leads to over-exhaustion of the body.

Performing simple exercises or stretches will prevent over-exhaustion. You can stay energetic by walking at a slow and comforting pace.  

1.3 Eat Watery Fruits

Intake of fruits having water as the chief constituent, such as watermelon and coconut, improves the water level in the body. 

Consuming cucumbers help to cool the body and will be extremely beneficial in the torrid environment. Consumption of electrolyte-rich fruits such as bananas, raisins, and strawberries keep you hydrated. 

1.4 Dip In Cool Water

Swimming in the cool waters helps to lower the body temperature and is also quite relaxing. However, you won’t be benefitted much if the temperature of the water is high.  

1.5 Keep Spray Bottle of Water

 A spray bottle is easy to use and forms an important part of your survival gear. In the absence of any other source of water, it can be used to cool yourself.

1.6 Don’t Use Hand-held Fans

Hand-held fans create an illusion of fake comfort. Avoid using them at a place having soaring temperatures. The energy you spent on them, in turn, warms up your body.

Though they apparently make an individual feel cool, it does not lessen the body temperature. 

1.7 Use Cold Water At Pulse Points

You can easily cool down by applying an ice pack or cold water to the pulse points of your body (wrists, forehead, and neck). 

1.8 Wear Light And Comfortable Clothes

 Wearing light and comfortable clothes helps keep your body cool at high temperatures. Jeans or denim wear may make you feel uncomfortable.

Light-colored/white clothes reflect most of the light from the sun, hence keeps you cool.

In deserts, the temperature at night falls rapidly, and you may experience chilly nights. Packing some warm clothes will help you with those cold nights. 

1.9 Wear UV Protecting Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses protect your eyes from the adverse UV rays of the sun. Individuals having blue, green, or grey eyes are more sensitive to the rays of the sun. Therefore, they must carry an extra pair of shades.  

1.10 Wear Hats Or Scarves

Hats or scarves protect the head from the rays of the sun. You can also use wet handkerchiefs to cover the head. It will help you to stay cool. 

2. Heat-related Illnesses Prevention

 Usually, infants, aged people, or obese people are more prone to heat-related illnesses. The following sub-headings will discuss the various heat-related illnesses and their remedies.

2.1 Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a condition of the body which involves increased heart rate, fainting, sweating, fatigue, vomiting, and cramps in the muscles. If unchecked, heat exhaustion may result in heatstroke.

If you notice any symptoms of heat exhaustion, shift the victim to a cool or shaded area. Drinking lots of water and electrolyte-rich liquids and fruits help to restore the health condition. 

Taking a bath in a cold-water source improves the health condition of the affected person. Massaging the body of the victim with a wet towel also helps. 

How To Treat Heat Exhaustion, Signs & Symptoms – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

2.2 Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke is a fatal heat-related condition. Its symptoms include the following.

  • The temperature of the body will soar higher and higher, recording up to 103 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Extreme headache or dizziness and any other indication of weak mental condition.
  • Frequent convulsions may occur, accompanied by unresponsiveness and being inert.
  • Dry skin with no traces of sweating. 

If the above-mentioned symptoms occur in any individual, immediately move the victim to a relatively cool place or under the shade of a tree. 

By applying cool towels or ice packs, the body of the victim has to be cooled down. If the breathing of the victim seems to be irregular, it is better to start the procedure of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

2.3 Heat Edema

Heat edema may occur if you have sensitive skin that remains exposed to heat. The swelled ankle is a symptom of it.

 The only remedy to heat edema is seeking shelter in a cool environment. 

2.4 Heat Syncope

Heat syncope is characterized by fainting and dizziness. It happens due to dehydration and loss of body fluids through sweating. 

The only remedy is to take a rest in a cold environment. Intake of watery fruits and other electrolyte-rich substances will lead to a rapid recovery. 

What is syncope? | Causes, symptoms, prevention

3. How To Survive in the Desert

Since hot places include deserts too, it becomes imperative to discuss the tips to survive in the deserts.

3.1 Shelter In The Desert

 Constructing a shade shelter in the deserts shields you from the scorching sun rays. You may look for cactus or small shrubs that can provide the requisite shade. 

Traveling in the early morning and evening helps you to stay safe from direct heat.  

The sun rays are slanted on the north side of rocks and in the ravines. You can seek shelter in such areas. 

You can make a desert shelter by using canvas, a long piece of cloth, a poncho, or any other similar material with rocks or dunes.

The side of a dune can also be used for creating a desert shelter. Anchor the top of the mound using sand. Then extend the other end of the material so that the shade is large enough to protect you. 

No Food & Primitive Shelter in the Desert

3.2 Staying Calm!

By keeping the mind cool, you can solve any problem. Carrying shades or any other protective shades helps you to stay fit.

3.3 Leaving Trails 

Leave trails on the path you have traversed. It prevents you from getting lost. Rocks or sticks may act as marks on the traversed path. 

If you spot any other notable object, use it as a landmark. Leaving behind trails reduces the risk of getting lost in the desert. 

3.4 Avoid Unnecessary Conversations

Talking to a required limit helps your body to save energy. Being quiet for a while saves a lot of energy and prevents the risk of dehydration.

 An effective way to reduce the loss of water is tying your mouth with a piece of cloth. This will deter you from talking. Thus, you will have limited energy expenditure. 

4. How to Find Water in the Desert

Finding a viable source of water in the desert is quite an arduous task.

Human beings can survive without food for 3 to 4 days, but only a few hours without water.

The following points discuss the varieties of tricks to follow to derive water and quench thirst.

  • Looking for signs of life and vegetation such as birds, insects, or plants gives you a clue about the availability of water.
  • Rocks hinder the evaporation process, and dew or raindrops may be found there. Collecting these in a bottle help you obtain water. 
  • Collecting rainwater in a bottle or any other container helps you to get access to water. Constructing a water-catching tarp helps to collect the rain or dew drops.
  • Underground water can be collected by digging a hole in the ground and then collecting the water that will seep in. 
How To Find Water If You’re Ever Stuck In A Desert

5. Survival Gear To Survive In The Desert

Carrying the best survival gear solves a majority of your problems. The following sub-headings will discuss the important survival items. 

5.1 Bandana or Similar Piece of Clothing

Scarfs, masks, handkerchiefs, and bandana help to keep the face covered from the dust of the deserts. You can directly purchase them from any local store or any other e-commerce website.

5.2 Sleeping Bag

Sleeping directly on the sand or heated ground is quite uncomfortable. Sleeping bags provide you comfort in hostile and hot temperature conditions.

5.3 Portable Water Purifier

Water is an utmost essential survival item as it prevents dehydration. LifeStraw Plastic Portable Water Purifier has a capacity of 200ml and filters about 99.99% of bacteria and germs. It also reduces the turbidity of water by filtering down to 0.2 microns.

5.4 Portable Lighters

Waterproof lighters help to start a fire. Fire can be used for cooking food, keeping yourself warm on cold desert nights, and to send signals for rescue.

5.5 Medical Kit

Needless to say, medical kits are a must for outdoor journeys.

5.6 Burner Stoves

Carrying burner stoves while going hiking or camping makes lighting fire easier and also makes cooking convenient.

5.7 Knife

Knives form an integral part of the survival gear. These are specially designed to suit hiking activities.

6. What are the 3s in Survival

The 3s in survival is also known as the rule of threes. It is used to define the priorities that a survivalist should keep in mind while they go out in the forests, mountains, or wetlands.

These rules help an individual to take a tactical decision in the moments of crisis.

  • The second rule is that an individual can survive only for 3 hours in a hostile environment that has inhuman and extreme temperatures.
  • The third rule is that a survivalist can thrive only for 3 days without consuming pure drinking water.
  • Lastly, a survivalist may survive for 3 weeks without consuming food.
Surviving 24 Hours Straight In A Desert


Survival in hot places is all about drinking plenty of water and watery fruits, along with electrolyte-rich substances.

By following the skills to survive in the desert and carrying all the essential survival items, you’ll be able to come out of the desert without any mishaps.

By taking tactical decisions at the moment of crisis, you can avoid emergencies.

Select the best survival gear and get ready for the adventure!


Leave a Comment