The word desert probably does not pop into mind when you think of camping. What if we tell you it should? The nomadic Bedouin lifestyle has its own charm. To help you prepare for the experience, we bring to you survival tips and some of the best tents for desert camping.
Deserts are magnificent sights to behold. Do not be fooled by the serenity though, the desert environment is unpredictable and unforgiving. There are massive temperature changes to deal with out in the open.
Survival Tips for Desert Camping
1) Stock Up on Water
Ideally every camper should carry with them at least one gallon of water per day. That is a lot of added weight, but it is vital. It could save your life. The harsh weather conditions in the desert can dehydrate you very quickly. DO NOT skimp out on this!
2) Wear Appropriate Clothes
During the day, the desert can be very hot. You may be tempted to put on a tee and tank top. But soon you will find yourself burning under the heat and searching for shade. You may not find it!
Out in the desert, your clothing provides you cover from the sun. Make sure to wear long sleeved shirts and full length trousers. Otherwise, you may end up with some serious burns on your body.
3) Pack Extra Layers
The temperature drop experience in the desert at night is huge. You will want to bring out your jackets as soon as the sun goes down. This temperature change is why you see campers huddled around a campfire in the middle of the desert on Pinterest. It gets really cold, so pack accordingly.
4) Avoid the Midday Sun
The midday sun is ruthless in the desert. Ideally you should complete all your chores and activities early in the morning. Being out in the open at midday is an invitation to a heat stroke. Exposing yourself to excessive UV radiation is not a smart choice either. It is best to avoid being outdoors during the time the sun is at its peak.
5) Bring a 4 Season Tent
We have already established that you experience extreme high and low temperatures during a day in the desert. It is also common knowledge that the weather can change unexpectedly. A dust storm may start on a calm day, ending in a downpour. To protect yourself, opt for a tent that is weather, water and wind resistant.
Apart from basic navigational skills and survival skills, a good durable tent is a must have for your camping trip. Below we mention some of the best tents for desert camping.
The SHIFTPOD 2.0 features a new synthetic micro fiber insulation technology. The new super composite fabric reflects the sun’s ray. This keeps out heat during the day and retains body heat during the night.
SHIFTPODs have been tested to stand against winds up to 100 MPH. No camper has yet faced winds stronger than 50 MPH.
It is extremely easy to use. The SHIFTPOD currently holds a setup record of 22 seconds. The Reflective, wind and weather resistant technology not only keeps out the heat but also reduces noise coming into the shelter.
- Wind Resistant
- Easy to set up
- Reflective surface
- Noise reduction
The Black Diamond FIRSTLIGHT
The FIRST LIGHT is s ingle walled tent making it an ideal candidate for desert camping as it keeps the dust out. It is extremely lightweight and can be easily carried around.
The seams of the tent are double sewn for added durability. The roof of the tent is made up of water proof breathable NanoShield Fabric.
For added ventilation the front and rear door and window are covered with a no-see-um mesh. The mesh can keep insects sized even 1-3mm out.
The tent comes in two sizes, a two person and a 3 person tent. Both sizes are extremely spacious and can fit one extra person if required.
- Single door entry
- optional vestibule for gear storage
- Two internal DAC Featherlite poles
- Three interior mesh pockets
- Zippered mesh panels at rear end and door for ventilation
- Optional ground cloth
- Single-wall fabric
- 70D poly floor
10T Camping Tent Desert
This family sized tent by 10T Outdoor Equipment is ideal for desert camping. It is made up of 35%, which ensures a pleasant atmosphere inside and out. The high cotton blend also provides high UV protection as compared to other tents with an increased synthetic composition.
Steel frames provide a sturdy set up that can hold its own during storm. The tent features sealable windows with a transparent film. The water proof floor covering ensures that no moisture seeps in from the soil making for a very comfortable experience.
- 65% polyester and 35% cotton
- Easy to assemble
- 100% waterproof tarpaulin floor cover (PVC)
- Fits 8 – 10 people
- Steel frames
- High UV resistance
SHIFT POD MINI
The SHIFTPOD is describes as the ultimate shelter. The SHIFTPOD MINI combines all the best features and compressed them into this mini package.
It is made from high tech 12-layer BLACKOUT super composite fabric. It features synthetic down thermal insulation and highly reflective UV layers. SHIFTPOD MINI provides coverage from the heat, cold, wind, dust, rain, and sun. The fabric not only reflects the sun but also block out the light so you can sleep peacefully even during the day.
With the MINI you have the option to purchase either aluminum or plastic stakes to make it even lighter for backpacking.
- Weather resistant
- Water resistant
- 1 door with bug screen
- 4 windows with bug screens
- 2 ceiling vents
We started with the SHIFTPOD we ended with a SHIFTPOD. It is truly a masterpiece. With its NASA inspired technological innovations, it provides the ultimate desert camping experience. For more details, you can check out the 2019 SHIFTPOD Catalogue.
When choosing a tent you should look out for the following features:
· Aluminum Poles
Aluminum poles are sturdy and durable yet lightweight. They are easier to carry around and will still keep your tent upright through thick and storm.
· Folded Seams and Double Stitching
Double stitching ensures that the tent won’t leak. If you hold the seam up close and are able to see through the stitches, then the tent won’t hold well. Either buy a double stitched tent or use a seam sealer before you take your tent for the trip.
· Roof Vents
Roof vents give you air circulation ensuring your tent remains well ventilated. They add to the breathability factor making sure you do not suffocate in an enclosed tent.
· No-see-um meshing
A no-see-um mesh protects you from insects and bugs. It can stop insects up to 1mm in size. Bugs and insects are a huge problem in open air. Make sure to buy a tent with a no-see-um mesh as it provides optimal safety.
· Water Resistance/ Rainfly
This one is definitely a no brainer. You do not want to be soaked at a camping site with nowhere to go. Your tent should be completely water proof, even the floor. Moisture seeping in from the ground does not make for a pleasant sleeping experience.
We hope these tips, guidelines and suggestions help. Desert camping is an experience of a life time. Do give it a try!