Tips for desert camping all revolve around coping with the arid clime and thoroughly “off-road” conditions which typify desert locations. As it happens, this involves a lot more than simply learning to cope with the intense heat. For one thing, getting to the desert usually involves travelling for some time into places far from large population centers. This presents all sorts of concerns involving nutrition, safety, and transport across a large area. These are the sometimes-neglected dangers of camping in a desert.
Nevertheless, desert camping is popular and a terrific way to experience nature at its most extreme. Moreover, despite associations with dearth and lack of interesting features, you don’t need to look long for desert landscapes that are truly stunning. Tourists flock to the deserts of the Southwest just to see some of the most stunning rock formations anywhere. Truly, desert camping has a lot to recommend it – but the rules are different.
It is very unlikely that you will be able to visit any desert camping location without a vehicle of some sort. Deserts are, by their nature, far from major roadways and cities and, even if they’re not, the terrain will change quick enough as soon as you leave the highway or city and into the actual area where you will be camping. This raises an important concern when driving with camping cargo is concerned.
Rollercam, a company specializing in tie down and cam lock straps for outdoor pursuits, say that securing large cargo is especially important with desert camping. The ground over which you will drive can be perilous and plenty bumpy. That means potential damage to your vehicle or the important cargo it is carrying. On top of this concern, you will also need to ensure you bring enough gas.
Another typical feature of desert camping trips is that the ability to reach any supplies, independent of what you have brought, can be very difficult. You will typically be in an uninhabited place with no nearby commercial campsites or small towns where you can stock up. More importantly still, it is pretty unlikely you’ll be able to find any natural source of water – that’s kind of what deserts are known for. And to make this challenge even harder, you need to drink a lot more water in desert conditions.
Tips for Desert Camping
So, with some of the more important points out of the way, here follows some of the top tips that will help you ensure your trip into the desert is actually for camping – and not survival.
Pick the Right Time
Here we see a stark difference between traditional and desert camping. Summer is well known to be the favored time for camping. For obvious reasons, this is not the case with desert camping. Overwhelmingly, people desert camp in the spring or fall. The winter actually brings with it freezing nights.
Prepare for the Cold
And speaking of cold nights, deserts are typically very warm during the day but quite cold at night. Do not assume that you can get away with not preparing for low temperatures.
As mentioned above, you need to drink a lot of it, and you need to have a lot of it to drink. This brings with it logistical problems relating to transporting so much of a heavy substance. It is also wise to bring with you a hydration pack or electrolyte tablets to replace lost minerals as well.
Desert camping is tough; there is no denying that. But that said, it is not a massively popular camping choice for no reason.