Questions tagged [deserts]

A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Traveling in the desert requires different techniques and equipment than other climates.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
2 answers
482 views

Flight of the Phoenix (1965) -- how realistic would walking out be?

I was not sure where to ask this question. The 1965 version with Jimmy Stewart is the one to watch. Everyone from the flick is gone now with the exception of Barry Chase and Hardy Kruger. Warning: Do ...
user avatar
  • 203
7 votes
2 answers
415 views

What are these grayish plants with little white "hair" in Joshua Tree National Park?

While hiking Ryan Mountain (elevation 5457 feet) in Joshua Tree National Park last month, I saw several of these grayish plants near the top of the mountain. I did not see any at lower elevations. ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
265 views

Food for desert hiking

A recent question discussed how to maximize water retention on a desert hike. One answer suggested that 100g of protein lead to 800ml loss through urination, so protein intake has to be minimized. ...
user avatar
  • 43
10 votes
5 answers
384 views

Water preparation on desert hiking

I have heard that if you drink a lot of water as a habit, the body doesn't do much retention. Therefore, if you are preparing for a hiking in the desert where not much water will be available, is ...
user avatar
  • 103
11 votes
1 answer
515 views

Are Icelandic deserts so dry I need to worry about drinking water?

I am investigating the feasibility of a hike looping around Hofsjökull. This will take me through several “deserts” such as Hofsafrétt and Sprengisandur. On photos, this looks pretty dry, but ...
user avatar
  • 26.1k
7 votes
3 answers
922 views

Is it possible to drive through the Simpson Desert in an AWD?

To drive through a couple hundred kilometers of sandy landscape like the Simpson Desert (central Australia), do you have to have a 4WD? If so, what are the primary concerns?
user avatar
  • 377
9 votes
2 answers
6k views

Which is the best clothing in extreme heat?

If you are in a survival situation in extreme heat (i. e. in the desert), which is the best clothing and footwear to use? It's better to cover yourself up entirely, like the tuaregs, or to go about ...
user avatar
13 votes
8 answers
7k views

Is a smartphone or dedicated gps receiver better for navigation in the desert?

For most backcountry navigation I use a topo map and compass when necessary. Generally I'm following known trails and combined with some basic awareness of cardinal direction and land features I don't ...
user avatar
  • 2,138
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Train yourself to need less water

I'm interested in doing multi-day hikes (i.e. backpacking) in the desert where water sources are not readily available, thus requiring one to carry in enough water for the duration of the trip. On ...
user avatar
  • 361
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Storing food in the desert

I'll be doing some backpacking in sections of desert in Eastern Washington, U.S. and I was wondering if anybody has tips on food storage while hiking? There will be no trees to hang the food in. I'm ...
user avatar
  • 1,882
4 votes
2 answers
91 views

What are some good guides to the U.S. national forests, specifically those in California?

I was thinking of heading to some of the northern California national forests, but I wasn't sure which to pick. I've read all the relevant links in each fs.udsa.gov website, including attractions, ...
user avatar
  • 424
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Snake dangers while hunting in the desert?

I plan to start doing some hunting in the greater southern Nevada Mojave desert (say within a 2 hour drive of Las Vegas). I know that while hiking, there is some "safety" from snakes because you are ...
user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
898 views

Large Tents and Traditional Campsites

I am going to be relocating to the Colorado desert for a long-term research project and need a portable shelter. The only one I've found so far that will conform to my needs in the turtle tuff shelter ...
user avatar
30 votes
6 answers
22k views

Are dark or bright clothings preferable in the desert?

Natives from regions which are really hot and have a high sun intensity are wearing sometimes white/bright and sometimes black/dark colors. I mean there has to be a better strategy in terms of heat ...
user avatar
  • 12.1k
12 votes
1 answer
148 views

What are possible trekking routes in the Atacama region in Chile in mid April?

I would like to visit northern Chile and particularly the Atacama region. The goal would be to trek in the area, during about 10-12 days. It can be one long route or several shorter ones. What routes ...
user avatar
  • 920
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Should I expect reptiles in Southwest USA deserts in winter?

I'm aware there is a huge generalization which will have a lot of exceptions both in species as in microclimates, I'm looking for a general answer, yet specific for the region and time of year. I'm ...
user avatar
  • 1,125
10 votes
5 answers
6k views

What's the problem with electrolyte imbalance and how do I mitigate it?

In the past week I've seen two answers mentioning electrolytes; one about the grand canyon and one in an answer on a question that was actually about wildlife, but where other desert dangers were ...
user avatar
  • 26.1k
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Dealing with wildlife in the desert of California/Nevada in general and in the White Mountains in particular

I'm planning a hike in the White Mountains of California; see also this related question. So far, all my hiking have either been day hikes in the densely populated hikes, or treks for up to three ...
user avatar
  • 26.1k
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Material of shirt for desert hiking

I have pretty much always worn 100% cotton shirts when hiking but I have been reading more and more about the amazing "wicking" properties of other fabrics. Is there one that will keep me cooler ...
user avatar
  • 6,192
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Long or short sleeves on a hike in the Desert?

I have heard different things from different people, but here in the South West we do a decent amount of desert hiking. Protection from bugs is usually little concern because most of the time in the ...
user avatar
  • 6,192
19 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is it safe to camp in the desert without a tent?

I'm looking to hike the Grand Canyon (found out that as a single I do have a good shot at securing the permit!), and now I'm trying to make sure I carry as little as possible on said hike. First ...
user avatar
  • 1,402
33 votes
3 answers
8k views

How can I hike across the Grand Canyon if I don't have a backcountry permit?

I am going to try to hike across the Grand Canyon in May, from the South Rim to the North Rim, and back. Unfortunately, I have discovered that I am probably too late to secure a back-country permit ...
user avatar
  • 1,402
35 votes
9 answers
27k views

How much water should be carried while hiking in the desert?

I live in the Arizona desert, and during the summer, despite my best intentions, I always seem to end up doing some hiking in the summer heat. What is a good formula to figure out how much water I ...
user avatar