Desert survival is among the most feared situations for survivalists, but with proper planning, it's actually not that intimidating. Having a proper emergency kit filled with pertinent pieces of survival gear can make desert survival feel almost easy. When going into a desert, be aware of your top survival priorities. Water, of course, is scarce. Bringing a large supply is critical. Heat is also dangerous, so make efforts to pack your emergency supplies accordingly. So, what exactly should you pack?
Assuming you have a decent supply of water, your next biggest emergency kit priority is a way to filter any water you find. This could be a metal container for boiling purposes, activated charcoal, or a survival straw. There are two reasons you need water filtration. First, you are going to go through your water supply faster than you think. Second, many water sources in the desert are polluted with animal feces and decomposed bodies. This happens because it's often the case that animals living in the desert need to travel far and wide to find water, most of them coming to the same source frequently.
While a short sleeve shirt and shorts seem like a good idea, you can get a sunburn in practically no time. This would make for a miserable and overheated survival experience. It's best to opt for loose, light, long pants and shirts. Also, you absolutely must bring a hat. This keeps the heat off your head, and while you're standing up, a hat can shade a good portion of your body. Remember, if you don't stay cool in the high noon sun, you could expose yourself to heatstroke.
While deserts bake you alive during the day, they can get down to freezing at night. Huge temperature swings can wreak havoc on your body over time. Lighters, matches, and flint strikers are all great options to bring. If you find yourself without these supplies, you can still make a hand or bow drill. While this is one of the trickiest survival skills to execute, it can (and has) saved lives.
If you neglect to pack an emergency kit for a hike in the desert, you will most certainly learn why people fear surviving there. If you are prepared, however, you will realize the beauty and blissful solitude it has to offer. As always when wandering out into the wild, pack for the worst case scenario. Doing so could just save your life.