The desert is a harsh place to travel in, even if you are in an air-conditioned car. Conditions are dusty, the overwhelming heat possibly lethal and buildings often absent for long stretches of road.
If you are on a trip that takes you through a desert, there are certain precautions you need to take to remain safe.
1. Carry extra water supplies
In the summer, temperatures in Nevada deserts may reach up to the hundreds. Heatstroke and dehydration are very real perils with the potential to lead to the shutdown of your body or even death. Having enough water is integral to survival, especially if your vehicle breaks down.
2. Fill up your tank when you are able
Besides making sure your gas tank is full before embarking on your journey, you also need to take the opportunity to fill up at any gas stations you see, even if you are not running low. The desert contains many long tracts of barren land without a single town, city, store or refueling station. Obtaining gas whenever you get the chance to may keep you from running out in the middle of one of these, miles from civilization.
3. Watch for dust storms
Haboobs, as Nevada residents call them, are one of the desert’s worst weather hazards. These may arise suddenly, blocking visibility. If you notice signs that one approaches, you need to begin slowing down and pull over to the side of the road to wait it out. Do not park in the middle of the road or the emergency lanes. Turn off your lights to avoid confusing other drivers and causing a wreck. Do not leave until the storm is over.
The desert is wild and dangerous. Taking appropriate steps to prepare for your journey may save your life.