4 Results in category Desert hiking

Hiking is a great way to loosen up and have a great time. Desert Hiking involves travelling through uninhabited places that may lack quick rescue response in case help is needed. While hiking  in Phoenix or Tucson area the harsh desert environment can make things worse very fast. For this reason, adequate preparation is required to ensure all the essential items for the trip. The most essential items for any hike include; 

Hydration – water is life, and the desert is a brutal environment and can make one dehydrated at alarming speeds because of the high temperatures.  It is especially important when following unmarked trails. Having enough water is the essential item while hiking.

Nutrition –carbohydrates give one the energy to get from one place to the next through the day. You might be out longer than you've expected and hunger is not something you want to deal with when you need the energy to stay warm or to get back to the trailhead.

Protection – The desert sun is brutal and it’s important protect yourself. Carry with you Sunscreen (at least 15 SPF), lip balm with sunscreen, clothing with UPF, a brimmed hat and sunglasses.  Due to unpredictable weather patterns, you may include a poncho just in case you are out and it begins raining.

Right clothing – this includes footwear. Wearing bad and uncomfortable shoes and socks can cause sore feet, blisters and twisted ankles.  Make sure you have good, open, breathable hiking shoes or boots.  Seek expert advice about proper hiking gear. On the other hand, know your limits. Consider the situation of your health and lifestyle. Failure to prepare physically could lead to very dangerous repercussions. Different people have different limits so find your own.

Navigation – you do not want to get lost in the desert with no help coming your way. A GPS or phone app could be very useful in the circumstance that you find yourself lost. In addition, have a topographic map of the area. A compass could get in handy.  These items are durable and very reliable. However, you need to know how to read a map and use a compass for these circumstances.

Insulation – This involves clothing. anticipate to be out in the wilderness longer than expected. Even when timing is perfect, sometimes the weather changes without notice. For example, hiking in the summer is not necessarily the best idea in the desert for temperatures can reach extreme limits. On the other hand, hiking anywhere in AZ during the Summer months can bring you thunderstorms resulting to extreme drops in temperatures, winds and heavy rains and sometimes lightning and other hazards. People hiking in the Phoenix area in March can find themselves enjoying temperatures as high as 70 degrees which is perfect for light clothing. During the sunsets, temperatures can drop as low as 50 degrees and lower very quickly which may lead to hypothermia. You need to have proper clothing to protect you from environmental elements. Be very well prepared especially if you expect to stay overnight in the desert.

Communication – people go out into the wilderness to disconnect and have some alone time. However, emergencies may arise and you may need to connect to the outside world and call for assistance. Although a cell phone might be handy, the lack of signal might be an issue. However, a satellite device will work. A Spot communicator or Garmin InReach will allow you a quick connection to emergency services if needed. It is of crucial importance to have a means to communicate with the outside world. Also keep in mind that you could be hours to days from any sign of rescue. Therefore, all these essential items you are bringing will get in handy.

Illumination – It is possible to lose track of time while hiking. Additionally, we just misjudge the amount of time a hike will take. Worst case scenario, the possibility of getting lost in the wilderness. In such cases a flashlight could be of great to light your way back to familiar grounds. Not only can you see, but also, a search team will be able to spot you from a distant. A glow stick is a nice piece to have too.

First Aid Kit – another overlooked but essential thing to include while packing for the trip is the first aid kit. Ensure to include all the basic components of the kit. It could be a life saver.

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