What to Pack for a Trip to the Desert
There are 23 deserts around the world, and whether you're planning a trip to the Sahara to ride the dunes on a camel or the Mojave to check out the Las Vegas houses for sale and do a little exploring at the same time, there are certain essentials that you won't want to forget.
So what you'l need:
Sturdy Closed-Toe Shoes
Sandals and flip-flops are great for the beach but not for the desert. When you're out there wandering around, you'll need something that can not only withstand the heat when temperatures are soaring, but depending on where you are, to stand up to prickly plants and insects like scorpions. High ankle hiking boots are ideal, heavy enough to protect your fee but light enough not to way you down.
No matter which desert you're traveling to, sunscreen is a must, even when visiting in the winter. While temperatures in the Mojave are often pleasant during the season, for example, those UV rays can lead to a serious sunburn all year-round. Don't forget your lips either, lip balm with built-in sunscreen is worth the small investment.
If the top of your head is exposed to the sun, not only can you end up with a nasty sunburn, but your body as a whole will have to work harder to keep cool, meaning a hat is absolutely essential - it could even prevent sunstroke. Bring a wide-brimmed hat, ideally with extra built-in protection from UVA/UVB rays and a neck cape.
Deserts tend to get windy, and a bandana can be used as a dust mask when those winds start to pick up. If you get too hot, you can also soak it in water and wear it on your neck to help you cool down. There are even special cooling bandanas you can buy that cool instantly when activated with water, like the Mission Cooling Bandana that cools to 30 degrees below average body temperature in less than 30 seconds.
A Water Bottle
If you'll be doing any exploring on foot, a water bottle is a must as it's easy to become dehydrated under the scorching desert sun. The dry atmosphere sucks the water out of you, which means your body will need lots of water just to meet its basic needs, and you'll be losing plenty through sweat and even breathing. A Camelbak water bottle is great as you can wear it on your back and just sip when you're thirsty, so you don't have to stop for a drink.
The Right Clothing
While you might think shorts and tank tops are the way to go, it's better to wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants for protection from the intense sun. If you'll be riding camels on your desert adventure, shorts are a definite no as you'll end up with a rash and likely a bad sunburn too. Cargo pants are your best bet.
🙌🏻 Another thing to consider is that the desert tends to get quite cold at night, so you'll probably need clothing that will keep you warm if you're going to be spending time outdoors after dark, like a fleece jacket and gloves.
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