How Do People Live in Deserts?

A compass is a valuable tool if you become lost.
A compass is a valuable tool if you become lost. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

It is not easy to do but people can survive in a desert if they find themselves stranded there. People can become lost while exploring, or get stuck in a desert if their car breaks down. If this happens to you, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death.

Pack supplies to keep in your car if you are driving through a desert or to carry with you if you plan to hike in one. Include plenty of water, nonperishable food items, a compass, flares, a knife, matches, a blanket and extra clothing.

Find a shelter as soon as possible. A desert can become dangerously hot during the day. If you are out hiking and become lost, look for any place that can provide shade during the daylight hours.

Cover your skin as much as possible while you are in the sun. If you have a hat, wear it. Roll down your sleeves and leave your pants, socks and shoes on when the sun is out.

Drink some water every hour, but ration it out to make it last as long as possible.

Stay inside your shelter during the daylight hours and travel only at night, using your compass, if you plan to try to find help.

Keep a fire going and burn it brightly at night to try to signal help. Use your flares if you see someone flying nearby.

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