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Desert Hiking Tips


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Aaron Zagrodnick

To me, the spring season means backpacking in the deserts of the southwest. No matter which part of this region you plan on exploring, there are a few rules of thumb that will make your trip much more enjoyable.

Ted Ehrlich with tips to on making desert hiking more enjoyable while staying safe. Check out all the tips below in Issue 14:

Desert Hiking Tips

Issue 14 Page 1

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  • 4 weeks later...

To me, the spring season means backpacking in the deserts of the southwest. No matter which part of this region you plan on exploring, there are a few rules of thumb that will make your trip much more enjoyable.

Ted Ehrlich with tips to on making desert hiking more enjoyable while staying safe. Check out all the tips below in Issue 14:

Desert Hiking Tips

Issue 14 Page 1

One of the characteristics of desert hiking I initially overlooked as someone from the east coast was ignoring the potential consequences of a lack of humidity. While most of us may appreciate losing that blanket of humidity feeling when hiking in places like the southeast the flip side is that when it's very low in humidity, like in ther southwest, I personally, dry up making me feel even thirstier and possibly lethargic. That's not a good combination for desert hiking. I want my mind working at full alert status in the desert.

My solution is to work myself into my desert hikes, possibly hiking only during the coolest parts of the day or even better, if able to see clearly underfoot, hiking at night(full moon desert hiking is awesome!), drinking liberally, obviously applying sunscreen/moisturizer, slowing my pace, at least initially, until I'm low humidity acclimized, and always when important desert hiking decisions are being made.

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