The desert’s unique biome is characterized by very low rainfall. There are both hot and cold deserts, but hot deserts are much more prevalent, and this article discusses hot deserts only. I grew up in Southern California, and visited the nearby Mojave desert, and also Death valley, the lowest and hottest location in the United States. I always found the desert to be interesting, and quite hot during the day.The desert is interesting because it is different. It looks different, and its animals and plants are different. People who are adventurous like to visit the desert. The desert has special hazards, and anyone planning a desert visit or trek, should be aware of the hazards, and plan accordingly.
Deserts of the World
The desert has its seasons, and is less hot in the winter,. plan your desert visit or trek for the winter. Take along plenty of water- a gallon per person a day- and dress for the hot days and cold nights. Loose fitting light colored clothing should cover all exposed skin surfaces, except face and hands. A hat with broad brim and strap is mandatory. Never enter the desert alone- a companion is necessary just in case of injury. And, notify the authorities in advance. Let them know your route, and when you expect to be back. There is a great deal of preparation necessary to ensure a safe desert visit or trek. I can only touch on the basics here, but there is a book available on the subject. Here it is:
‘HOW TO Survive In the Desert’ http://amazon.com/dp/B009UGES94. $2.99.
This book provides very useful information in depth concerning a desert visit or trek. It is well worth reading, in fact, it could save your life. I highly recommend it.
At first glance the desert may appear lifeless, but many animals and plants make their homes in the desert. Desert animals are nocturnal, they come out at night, and have/ special adaptations to conserve water. The camel can go 50 days without drinking. The kangaroo rat never needs to drink water. Desert animals blend into the light colored desert environment-. watch out for the desert scorpion- it likes to sleep in your warm boots overnight, and its sting can be fatal.
The desert is a harsh environment, where both water and food are hard to get. As a result desert plants are either very thorny, or poisonous. The interesting barrel cactus stores water, and has saved many a person’s life. Thorny cactus can be chewed for water, or cooked and eaten, once its thorns are removed. The purple prickly pear cactus fruit is edible, and may be for sale in grocery stores.
Desert cactus flower.
There is a special beauty to the desert, that brings many visitors back to it. There are also special hazards, but by reading and following the recommendations in ‘HOW TO Survive In the Desert’ you can have a safe and pleasant desert journey. Good desert trekking to you!
Phillip Duke Ph.D. author of ‘HOW TO Survive In the Desert’ http://amazon.com/dp/B009UGES94 $2.99.