How to survive in the Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert is a challenge, surely one of the hottest and deadliest places on the planet where hundreds of dehydrated people die every year trying to cross it. It is located in North Africa and is so large in extension that it occupies a quarter of the African continent, it covers no less than 11 countries.

Characteristics of the Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert or Sahara “the Great Desert” is the largest hot desert in the world and the third largest after Antarctica and the Arctic. Covering more than 9,065,000 km2, it covers most of North Africa, occupying an area almost as large as that of China or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean Sea coast, to the Atlantic Ocean. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a semi-arid tropical savanna belt that forms the regions that cover the north of sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the sand dunes of the Sahara can reach 193 m in height.

How to survive

If you get lost in a desert the chances of survival are one in a million, you will die dehydrated or from a heat stroke. No person could resist it, certain death in a matter of hours.

If you want to fight for your life and not give up, the first thing you have to do is cover your head to avoid a heatstroke. That is the first step to survival. Remember that this is the hottest desert in the world and in summer 58 degrees are easily reached.

Food is also important, you must do it often and in small quantities, if you eat too much, the digestion will absorb all the water in your body, you will get dizzy and you will not be able to avoid dehydration that will leave you dry.

If it is your lucky day and you come across a palm tree, take the opportunity to eat a date and then protect yourself from the sun in the shade by digging a bit in the sand. Rest there until the sun begins to set. Take a breath, regain strength, and never let up. The power is in your mind, not in the body. Do not get carried away by the situation. We know, you are on the edge.

High temperatures often cause headaches, if you stop sweating and tides you are probably suffering the consequences of heat stroke. Calculate that in the desert you can lose up to a liter of water per hour. Recover fluids as soon as possible.

If you think that without clothes you will be less hot, don’t be so sure. Clothing is a protective filter against the effects of heat and wind that can dry out your skin. Don’t take it off, it will protect you.

Orient yourself in the Sahara

Orientation in a desert like the Sahara is not easy, the only guide is the sun, always head in the same direction taking the sun as a reference.

If you find a bird flying over your head, follow it. Birds are always close to where there is water, perhaps an oasis. So, start looking for sure that there is a source nearby where you can hydrate to continue.

Finally, as long as you have good orientation, go at night, you will avoid the effects of the devastating heat, but be careful, there may be poisonous snakes lurking. They also like to go out at this time for a walk. The key to avoiding them is to stomp on the ground to cause vibrations and drive them away.

Now you are ready for the adventure. Good luck!

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