Just recently news of a French couple who died during a hiking trip in the New Mexico dessert flooded the internet. According to the report, the two set out on a hiking trail along with their nine year old son in White Sands National Monument, a vast desert 226 miles from Albuquerque. With the intention of admiring the beauty of the wave-like sand dunes, they took a mere 20 ounces of water with them. Long story short, both parents were found dead due to heat stroke and dehydration. The boy survived probably because he was given more water. The lesson: don’t underestimate the desert. Here are some useful tips in case you somehow find yourself in a desert.
1Keep the sun out
One of the biggest dangers to survival is exposure to the sun which usually speeds up dehydration. Wear a hat to cover the top of your head and as much as your face. The hotter your body is, the more water your body will use to try and cool it. If you don’t have a hat, then try and make use of any materials at hand.
2Sip don’t gulp
If you are not sure where your next bottle of water will come from, start rationing what you have immediately. Drink only sips throughout the day. Instead of taking a drink whenever you feel thirsty, use your urine as a gauge- yellow meaning you need water, light meaning you’re still fine. Another thing to remember is not to get too excited if you do find some water. Drinking contaminated water will only increase your chances of getting diarrhea which will make you lose even more water.
3Close your mouth
Breathing heavily through your mouth will increase the rate of dehydration so as much as possible, breath through your nose and cover your mouth with a bandana. In ration to your mouth, eat as little as possible since eating increases your thirst.
4Make a track
Without any landmarks, you may find yourself moving in circles. To try and get an idea where you have been, make marks as you walk along. These can be arrows made from stones or piled up sticks-anything that will capture attention of someone who may be looking for you.
Although the chances of one getting lost in the desert are quite low, there are many stories of people getting lost and ending up in the desert. These are just four vital tips that you can store for now. They may just keep you alive.
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