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Bare Essentials for Desert Trips-What to Carry

by Madhav Srinivasan 1800 days ago

When you think of a desert, the following comes to your mind: vast sand dunes, searing heat and a parched landscape with minimal vegetation. A trip across the desert is often a test of physical endurance.


What to Carry on a Desert Trip:

  • Water: Deserts are subject to intense heat and dry winds. Prolonged exposure to the elements leads to loss of fluids from your body, thus leaving you dehydrated and weak. The recommended fluid intake per person in an equable climate is 2 litres. In the desert scenario, this minimum fluid intake doubles. Make sure to carry at least 5 litres of water per day for each person and sip fluids constantly.
  • Clothing: Cottons are recommended as the material allows for circulation of air and allows sweat to dry. Whites reflect heat and are the usual choice for long sleeved shirts. Wear khakhi trousers and cotton socks. Desert boots should be broken in before use. Carry a hat and ensure that the nape of your neck is covered all times when you are out in the sun. Carry a lightweight jacket as the nights on your desrt tours in Rajasthan can get really cold.
  • Sunglasses and Sunblock: Sweatproof sunblock with the highest SPF is recommended to prevent sunburn. Look out for sun blocks with coconut milk and Aloe Vera additives as these effectively soothe the sun burns. Dark sunglasses protect your eyes from the harsh glare.
  • Food: Carry protein-rich energy bars to replenish nutrient loss. Avoid starch- and sugar-rich foods as these are likely to result in fluid loss. Carry plenty of electrolyte sachets to make up for mineral loss. Muscle cramps are a sure sign of dropping electrolyte levels in your body; so, make sure that you have a packet or two of electrolytes dissolved in water every day.
  • Sleeping Bag and Powerful Torch: In case you plan to camp out in the desert, carry a warm sleeping bag as temperatures drop drastically in the desert. Also, carry a powerful torch to check out your surroundings and to signal in case of distress.


Driving Across the Desert

  •  Plan the route well in advance and advise your friends and family about your daily itinerary. Also, call them without fail daily and let them know your location. This will alert them if you are in distress and in case they miss your regular call
  • Carry a good GPS navigational aid and a cellular or satellite phone.
  • Get the vehicle serviced in advance .It is a good idea to get familiarised with carrying out basic repairs and maintenance in case of break down in the desert.
  • Carry spare tyres, extra headlights and sufficient water and fuel to cover your trip to India.


Driving across the desert in your vehicle is an adventure in itself. As with all other adventure activities, planning ahead and taking a few precautions can make the experience an enjoyable one.

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