Driving in the Desert

Once you pass your driving test the big wide world is waiting for you to explore it! Like Bear Grylls it’s tempting to pack the bare essentials and hit the road. There’s no knowing where your adventures could take you! But it is highly likely that you will come across some difficult terrain on your journey.

Deserts are an ‘unusual territory’ that you could be faced with if driving through the United Arab Emirates or parts of Africa for example. All sand dunes and no recognizable roads to drive through can make any journey a little difficult!

First of all one must prepare for the obvious- The heat! If you can find an alternative way to travel to your destination without going through the desert then perhaps try that. If however there is no other option then it would be wise to take the following into consideration: Make sure the air conditioning in the vehicle you are travelling in is in perfect working order. This is especially essential when travelling with small children and vulnerable adults that are susceptible to heat stroke.

Keep as much water as possible with you. Supplies in tanks in the boot and back seats of the vehicle are advisable. Also make sure your vehicle has it’s own stores of water to run efficiently. Your oil supplies should be topped up before you set off. The last thing you want to do is have any sort of break down in the middle of nowhere. This could be potentially fatal, as you could be driving along particular stretch where there are no services available. It would be a good idea to learn how to change a Tyre, bring a spare with you just in case. On any occasion that you do come across a service station stop and do the relevant checks. Take the valuable opportunity to fill up your gas tank and buy supplies of food.

If you have a mobile phone keep it topped up with credit and fully charged. You do not know when you will need to use it. Keep a note of the emergency service numbers for the country you are in stored on the phone. Surprisingly it is also recommended that you pack warm clothes and blankets for the cool evenings-useful in case you are stranded overnight. Supplies that would be useful are also food. Dried food and other supplies that will keep for the duration of the car journey will be useful.

Not a good idea to drive off the beaten track, especially if it’s a country you do not know well. If you manage to find a dirt track road then great, follow any traffic you come across- It will be sure to lead you to a larger main road.

While all this may seem like common sense and can be applied to most long journey’s it is even more applicable to more inhospitable desert climates. These precautions are worth taking the time to do- you will ensure that your journey will be a safe one.

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