Be Safe in the Desert

April 12th, 2011 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

 4-Wheel driving and camping in the desert is  a fun and enjoyable family pastime. However, the desert is a dangerous place when you get stuck, or lost.

 Take elementary  safety precautions whether travelling on your own with friends or with a guided tour:

  •  Always travel with at least two vehicles with you
  •  Tell family and friends of your plans and have some prearranged check in times
  • Take plenty of water and some for the car just in case it overheats
  • Have some basic desert driving kit with you, such as a shovel, sand mats and tow ropes
  • We also recommend you take a GPS with you, so should you get stuck you can know your position when calling for help
  • Take a first aid kit
  • Take spare fuel
  • Ideally take a 1 day 4 wheel driving course to learn the basics of how to set your tyre pressures, how to park on a slope etc
  • A map and a charged mobile phone – Binoculars are useful – many 4 wheel cars have a compass- in a sandstorm it maybe the only  ay to find your way back to a main road.
  • Remember it gets dark quickly in this part of the world – the desert also gets cold at night
  • Though the desert may seem lifeless you may still encounter scorpions and snakes and stout footwear rather than sandals should be considered if you leave the vehicle . Camels , goats, or other vehicles may appear unexpectedly when you cross the ridge of a dune.
  • A brightly coloured flag can help people locate you.
  • Take care that you are not exposed to sunburn through a side window when you are driving in one direction for a long period – a tinted screen or long sleeves may be needed – sunscreen cream makes sense
  • Check your spare tyre . Tyres vary considerably, and desert driving for example needs different tyres and tyre pressure than wet driving. Most UAE cars should be fitted with tyres to withstand heat, but some imported cars may not have appropriate tyres.
  • A parasol or sun hats if you want to get out
  • Don’t expect to find loos, or shops, or fuel stations close by
  • Be aware – it’s easy to get your car scratched and bumped – and yourself – Check your insurance both for yourself and your car- to see what is excluded.
  • Enjoy yourself and come back safely! Remember:
    •  you will need to reset your tyre pressures at the first opportunity
    • the rules of the road apply when you leave the desert.
    • donlt forget to make your pre-arranged check in call so your emergency contact knows you are at a fast food restaurant and not stuck in he desert
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