Environmental Factors to be Aware of While Travelling in Desert Regions



Summary:  Desert climates are hot arid zones of the environment. If one is not aware of the factors that govern such hot zones then surviving in them becomes a daunting task causing immense discomfort and sickness such as dehydration, dry skin and more.

The first thing one should be aware of in desert climate is the prevailing weather conditions that influence the environment. The desert areas are hot and dry with extremely less rainfall. Arid and semi arid desert climates have hot dry spells of weather with cool to cold evenings

Travelling in desert areas is best done in the evenings to avoid the heat. Day temperatures in intense heat can rise to 60 centigrade. This will increase the body’s requirement for water. Heat borne disease, eye irritation, skin infections and sunburn are typically common ailments in desert climates. This coupled with the possibility of dust and sandstorms make travelling virtually impossible during day time. The intense heat can cause heat stroke or exhaustion in even strong and healthy persons.

Another factor to keep in mind is hazards like insects and reptiles. Scorpions, snakes and wasps are the most dangerous and tend to inhabit shelters chosen by humans during travel. Mice and flies are carries of disease and can easily infect food and water.

Extreme temperature range can cause sickness.

The temperature changes in desert areas are rapid.  While daytime temperature may shoot up to 60 degrees centigrade night temperatures may fall to 10 degrees centigrade. Rapid changes in temperature within a body can cause a person to catch chills and colds. That is why it is best to avoid the day and travel at night, thus being exposed to a stable climate. It is advisable to carry warm clothing for the cold desert nights

Sparse vegetation due to low rainfall is environment factors that govern desert climate. While travelling, it is necessary to keep a good supply of food and water as one cannot hope to depend on natural sources of food. Deserts are high in mineral and salt content especially in surface soil. Water found in deserts is undrinkable. One should also avoid using such water for washing or even cooling off because upon drying on the body tit is liable to cause skin rash.

Sandstorms are among the greatest environmental factor to keep in mind while desert travel. Storms ranging at speeds of 4 km per hour can occur. The biggest danger one faces in a sandstorm apart from getting ones mouth full of sand is getting lost. During sandstorms it is advisable to sit huddled in a group near the side of a car for suitable protection. Goggles and scarves covering the face and ears are necessary.

Regions with desert climates are always hot. It is best that one keeps hydrated with sufficient water intake. Drinking ORS formulas is also a good habit in order to avoid dehydration.