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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Nevada is not only popular for its vast expanse of desert landscape but also for the hidden surprises of Mother Nature that’s waiting to be discovered. Desert hiking, however, needs more preparation and carrying the right gear can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
This is why you must have these essential items in your backpack before heading out to hike.
Things You Must Carry on a Nevada Desert Hike
1. Enough of water: Even though this sounds obvious, many people ignore the need of carrying water in large quantities and end up suffering later. Nevada desert is indeed arid and receives negligible precipitation, so it is very likely to assume that water supply would be scarce.
Hydration bladders are the best way to keep hydrated. Sipping water from time to time will keep you hydrated and make the extreme conditions bearable.
2. Sun block: Again, this is one of the essentials every hiker must have in their backpack, but don’t due to their own negligence. Desert hike will expose you to the harshness of the sun for extended periods of time that may cause serious damage to your skin.
Always go for sweat-proof and higher SPF level sunscreens that will act as a shield to keep your skin safe. Remember, Sunburn is not just an EDM concert; they’re a real thing and can be very nasty!
3. Hats and sunglasses: Admit it or not, most of us forget to pack these two essential items before leaving on a trip. Not having sunglasses will make you regret the whole hike as you’ll be facing the sun glaring into your eyes most of the time.
A wide-brimmed hat comes in handy for extra sun protection for your face and neck, so be sure to include this in your backpack before leaving.
4. High-energy food: One thing that you must carry during every hike is high protein, energy-rich food that can replenish you with the lost calories and other nutrients. Snacks are excellent things to eat on a hike because they contain plenty of healthy carbs, protein, and calories to keep you energized.
While walking in the Nevada desert, you’ll need the energy to persevere through difficult stretches of terrain. Munching on snacks will make traversing through this land a bit easier.
5. Map/GPS: Ever heard about mirages? While the appearance of a Mirage may not entice you with visions of an oasis and fair maidens, it can certainly make you get lost in the desert. This is why you always keep a map and a GPS, particularly when hiking in the desert.
The last thing anyone would want to experience is to lose their trail and end up in the outskirts with nothing but stretches of desert in sight. A printed map and a GPS are must have things in your backpack. Oh! Don’t forget to tell someone that you’re going hiking in the desert.
Also, a cell phone can come in handy if their is an emergency. More and more remote areas now have cell phone service.
Things to Include in Your Survival Kit
Hiking is no doubt very enjoyable, but in the wilderness, things can take a turn for the worse in a matter of minutes. This is where an emergency survival kit comes in handy and may as well pull you out of a life-threatening situation.
This kit generally contains items that are not one-size-fits-all; meaning an excursion in the desert would require things that are much different than a hike in a cold area. So before you head out, make sure you’ve got these things in your survival kit:
• A police type whistle that can act as a vital signaling device
• A multipurpose, sturdy two-bladed knife
• A trusty magnetic compass to keep you on the route
• A small size signal mirror
• Magnifying lens
• At least a dozen water purification tablets
• Adhesive tape for first-aid, repair of clothing, and the removal of cactus thorns
• An energy source if possible
• Flint and steel for the purpose of starting a fire
• At least a dozen pack of matches that are waterproof
• A solid, low energy flashlight
The Beauty of the Nevada Desert
The majestic desert of Nevada boasts of little creeks, rock formations that are a thousand years old, and native wildflowers that bloom once in every ten years or so. To discover all this destination has to offer, you’ve got to be prepared.
So, don’t ignore the essential items we discussed in this guide and get ready to have the best time of your life. Happy hiking!
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV