New to the Desert? Here are Some Things NOT to do When in the Desert

sunset near troonBeautiful sunsets, majestic mountains, unusual plants. The Scottsdale desert is so inviting, yet so dangerous if you don’t prepare. When moving here from wetter climates, people may not know what to expect when spending time in the desert. Here are some things NOT to do when living in the desert area.

1.Don’t forget the sunscreen! Especially in the winter, when the sun may not feel as hot. It’s easy to forget that the UV rays are still just as strong if not stronger in the winter, and that even if it’s cloudy, the sun can still burn your skin.

2. Never leave the house without water. Always bring a full bottle of water with you when you leave, especially if you will be outside for a period of time. Like sunburn, dehydration can come on quickly and you may not realize you are dehydrated until it’s too late. Early signs of dehydration are dry mouth, sleepiness, headache, lightheadedness, and nausea.

3. Don’t drink alcohol; it can make you more dehydrated

4. Do not wear dark colors. Dark colors attract heat. Stick with light colored or bright clothes that reflect. If you think you will be in the desert at night, be sure to wear bright colored, reflecting clothes.

5. Be sure to tell someone where you are going. Leave information about your trip date, destination and expected date of return.

6. Never go alone! Take a friend along with you.

7. Don’t leave the house without a first aid kit. Make sure you pack it along with your water.

8. Avoid snakes. That means staying alert when you walk, climb or hike. Stick to well used trails and do not walk into tall grass, underbrush and weeds where snakes may be hiding. Do not stick your hands down any holes and don’t sit on tree stumps or logs without first checking inside.

9. Take a camera. There are so many beautiful and unusual plants and animals in the desert; you don’t want to miss a great picture opportunity!

10. Enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. You never know when you are going to see a coyote running across the desert, a rabbit hopping before you, or a hawk flying high above you.

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