Part of my spring break trip last year included two nights camping in the Sahara Desert. This is one of the most extreme climates in earth, therefor there are specific precautions to take to stay safe (as well as have fun) in the region. Here are seven important things to know before making the journey.
1. Don’t forget the trinity of must-haves: sunscreen, sunglasses, head wrap. The scorching heat only lasts while the sun is at its highest (it’s actually quite cool in the morning and evening) but while the sun is up, it is HOT. Taking all necessary precautions will ensure you can focus on just having fun!
2. Bring as much water as possible… plus one more bottle. If you booked your camping with a company, they will have showers and sinks set up for you. However, its not safe to drink the water so the bottles you bring will be for drinking as well as brushing your teeth. It’s better to overestimate how much you will need rather than resort to stinky breath.
3. Make sure whoever is preparing your meals know you can’t have the tap water. Or anything washed with tap water. That means no raw fruits or veggies. Cooked is fine, though.
4. Bring medicine in case you do get sick. Nothing is worse than hot, dirty, in a foreign country, and sick because of the tap water.
5. Learn to like to dance. The locals sat on a sand dune above our tents for hours playing drums and dancing with each other into the night. How many people can say they danced with locals on a sand dune in the Sahara Desert? Not many, so if your ever going to let loose and just go with the flow, this is the time to do it.
6. Bring dry shampoo. One thing I didn’t have and I wish I did. While there are showers, we were exploring during the day and its a bit scary to shower at night with the risk of big flying bugs and spiders. The result of that was me going three days without a shower.
7. Make sure your tent is closed while your away. No, nobody is going to ransack your tent and steal your belongings, but you never know when a dust storm will pick up and you don’t want to come back to a bed full of sand (trust me, I know from experience).