Desert Survival – Water and Terrain Tactics

You must prepare and understand the environment your facing in order to survive an arid or desert climate. You’ll need to determine your equipment needs, the tactics you’ll be using, and how the environment will effect your equipment and tactics. Your survival will depend on your knowledge of terrain, basic climate elements, your ability to cope with these elements, and your will to survive.


Most desert areas have several types of terrain.

  • Mountainous
  • Rocky plateau
  • Sand dunes
  • Salt marshes
  • Broken, dissected terrain

Desert terrain makes movement complex and demanding. Land navigation will be extremely complex as there are very few landmarks.


A key factor in desert survival is understanding the connection between physical activity, air temperature, and water consumption. The body requires a specific amount of water for a certain level of activity at a certain temperature. For example, a person performing hard work in the sun at 43 degrees C requires 19 liters of water a day. Lack of the required amount of water causes a quick decline in an individual’s ability to make decisions and to perform tasks efficiently. Your typical body temperature is 36.9 degrees C (98.6 degrees F). Your body gets rid of excess heat by sweating. The hotter your body becomes the more you sweat. The more you sweat the more water you lose. Sweating is the principal cause of water loss. If a person stops sweating during periods of high air temperature and heavy work or exercise, he or she will quickly develop heat stroke. This is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.

Make the most of your water supply!

  • Find shade and get out of the sun
  • Place something between you and the hot ground
  • Limit your movements
  • Conserve your sweat by wear a full outfit. This will protect you from hot-blowing winds and direct rays form the sun, also your clothes will absorb your sweat wich will in turn help you stay cool longer.
  • If water is scarce try to limit food intake. Food requires water for digestion.
  • At temperatures below 38 degrees C. drink half a liter of water an hour.
  • At temperatures above 38 degrees C, drink 1 liter of water every hour.

Source by Mac Ward

Spread the love

Leave a Reply