Wilderness survival is one of the core merit badges a scout must achieve before advancing to the rank of Eagle Scout. It focuses on survival in every inhospitable condition there is (a scout must always be prepared) and is one of the most difficult and rewarding to achieve. In order to get the merit badge, the scout must discuss ways to survive in unfriendly conditions including desert, snow, forest, plains, and oceanic environments. Below we will discuss wilderness survival in the desert, then continue with more posts on snowy, wet, and water environments.
The Importance of Water Filtration
Water is crucial to survival, especially in an environment where the heat of the day can leave you easily dehydrated. On top of this, most natural water sources (including rain) will often be contaminated with bacteria that can make you sick, drain you of energy, and make you even more dehydrated. Due to the importance of clean water, it is highly recommended that you bring a portable water filter in your survival pack, or learn about how to fashion one out of materials you may have available to you in an emergency situation. If you are currently crafting your survival pack and are unsure about which filtration system to get, you can check out EpicGifts water filter reviews, or head over to Practical Survivor and learn how to make one yourself.
Finding shelter is important, but in a desert environment it is almost as crucial as finding water. Due to the sparseness of the land, it is important to make sure that you find a place that is both comfortable enough, and offers protections from animals, debris, or insects/poisonous plants. In desert environments particularly, the days can be blisteringly hot, but the temperature may drop drastically at night, exposing you to harsh colds and the potential for freezing. To combat this, make sure your shelter can give you shade during the day, and some sort of shelter at night from wind and other elements. If possible, it should also be in a place that makes it easy for you to signal for help.
Getting Food in the Desert
The desert is infamously sparse, with very few animals, plants or people inhabiting it. Because of this, it is crucial to not only know where to find food, but also what kind of food is safe for you to eat. Some common desert edibles include prickly pears, agave, and chia sage. You can find a more complete guide on edible plants in the desert online, so I would encourage you to do some researching on your own.
There is no doubt that the desert can be one of the most inhospitable places to find yourself in a survival situation in. However, if you remember the basics of finding water, finding food, finding shelter, and finding help, you should be able to pull yourself out in one piece.
Special thank you to the contributors of the information in this post (credited below)
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