How Do People Survive in the Desert?

people-survive-desert Credit: Ingram Publishing/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

According to Discovery, avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures and staying hydrated are the two most important considerations in the desert. Because the body needs to work harder to keep cool when the head is exposed to the sun, covering the head with a hat or other article of clothing is first priority. CNN recommends traveling during the cooler hours and seeking shelter when the midday sun hits.

If there is water available, Discovery recommends conserving it, taking sips only when necessary. Dark urine means that the body requires water, and light-colored urine means there is time to wait. Discovery also reports that extreme caution must be used when drinking natural water, as vomiting or diarrhea from drinking a tainted water source can cause further dehydration.

Discovery advises against eating food unless it is absolutely necessary, as eating can cause further dehydration. CNN states that it is nearly impossible to survive in the central Sahara for more than three days without provisions, so planning ahead is essential if possible. Discovery notes that it is important to minimize energy expenditures while seeking water and shelter. People can do this by traveling slowly to avoid sweating and shutting or covering the mouth to slow the rate of hydration caused by breathing.