How Not To Die Of Thirst In A Desolate Desert

Camping Tip Of The Day

Only those in our audience who were born in the desert are natually equipped to survive in the desert. Of course, those rare souls didn’t know it right out of the chute. They learned by observation and training. They had many years to pick up their craft. You don’t have that luxury. What you read here just might save you on one desert adventure.

The biggest concern you face in the desert is getting lost. Oh, sure, many of us are already lost, but I’m taking in terms of not knowing where you are. Oh sure, many of us don’t know where they are in life, but I’m talking about being physically lost.

God forbid you are walking in circles or going deeper into trouble. For now, we’ll assume you know how to get back, and it’s only a matter of sticking to plan. Obviously, you’ll need drink to keep you hydrated as you meander back to civilization.

Tips for keeping hydrated so you don’t die of thirst in the desert.

* Looks can be deceiving. In the desert, objects are further away then they appear. A rule of thumb to apply is to multiply the distance you estimate by a factor of four. The relevance of this in terms of hydration is that you can determine how much water you need to have with you. Generally, a human can mosey on along at 2-3 miles per hour along flat land.

* Now, humans need at least 64 liters of water a day in such an environment. What is that in glasses? Oh about 8 glasses. And, frankly, I’m saying you need AT LEAST THAT AMOUNT. Of course, I’m assuming you travel early morning and late afternoon, and possibly at night.

* Wet food is best, however, try to keep eating at a minimum as it steals hydration necessary to digest the food. But, alas, we all need some grub, but try to mounge on wet foods.

And, if you’re hell-bent on getting out of the desert alive avoid salt, alcohol and caffeinated drinks! Yeah, I know, bummer.

* Travel light. No surprise here, the heavier the load the more toll on you, and the more energy that is consumed. So, wear only the least necessary to keep the sun off you, and warm enough. Not a layer more, dear.

* Try to reduce stress. I won’t try to say eliminate it for I feel it’s easier said than done and setting too lofty an objective, such as human nature elimination, is asking too much. It will just discourage you if you try for the moon.

Try to avoid panicking and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. This only serves to make you sweat profusely. You want to always remember that sweating too much is no good, especially when it’s cold! Sweat is all about dehydration. Conserve your fluids.

* Remember gym class? I do, I had to wear these ugly, pewtred green shorts. Why green? School colors. Ugh. My trick was to always wear sweat pants. I digress a bit. I do remember, however, running around in the heat and getting all wiped out. Then, when I got really exhausted, I’d be panting like a dog, through my mouth. My p.e. teacher was on the ball and would run alongside me and swat me upside the head yelping, “Breathe through your nose, punk!” Breathing through your nostrils actually helps you conserve internal liquids. How so? Keeping your mouth shut keeps your the juices in, so to speak. And, inside is where they belong.

* A common ingredient in survival is to take it slow. If one hasn’t eaten in a long time, they should take it slow. A nibble here, a nibble there. Same applies to dealing with thirst. Take a small sip. Wait 20 seconds and take another sip. Take it slow, sip water, don’t slug it down as if you were gulping a beer to get the courage up to ask someone out on a date.

Okay, you now have a few tips to ponder and file away for the unlikely event that you get lost in the desert. I won’t kid you, there are many other desert dangers such as snakes, mosquitoes, scorpions, odd balls, thunder storms, hypothermia, and so forth. But, that’s for another time. Please stay tuned for more survival tips!

Happy desert camping!

Chris James, Editor

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