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In the Desert

Content including photographs are Copyright ©  2014 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
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What to look for
In the Desert!

Safety off Road
Safety Page Header

Safety items you need

Printable Safety in the desert Tips

X -Tell someone where your going and an approximate return time.
X -Try to travel with friends, especially during the summer.
X -Always carry enough water to last for at least 3 days. We carry a 24 pack of small water bottles.
X -Have a good first aid kit  -- lighter for a fire.
X -Some people will say don't use a snake bite kit -- and this is correct for snake bites but they work great  for bee stings, spider bites and the like.
X -Tire repair kit -- to include an air supply (see below), small battery screwdriver with a drill bit; as some tires are hard to penetrate with the tire plug.
X -Tools -- for small repairs -- duct tape for radiator hose repairs and tie raps.
X -Extra parts -- some vehicles are noted for broken parts; fuel pumps, fan belts(particularly serpentine belts as they run everything), and belt idlers (we keep all 3 idlers and a new serpentine belt in the Cruiser).
X -Tow strap --- to get towed out, or tow a friend out.
X -Shovel and small pick.
X -MRE's commercially available. Enough for at least 3 days.
X -Blankets for cold nights, and long sleeved shirts and hats for sun protection.
X -Flashlights - traveling at night is better in the summer -- LED flashlights last longer - easier to carry extra batteries.
X -A CB radio, or a cell phone if your not in a dead spot. Some pay as you go cell phones are as cheap as $60 year.
X -GPS -- with it, you can take shortcuts to get to a main road or find your way out.
X -Make sure if you have anti-theft wheel locks that you have the special socket for the locks. In case of a flat!
X -2 or 3, 12 inch long pieces of 2" X 6" to support a jack in sandy or soft soil.
X - 4 good tires and a good spare are a must have.
X -Air supply for you vehicle, a cheap one may not do the trick and they don't last very long. Buy a good quality one or get a C02 tank. The biggest advantage of a C02 tank is the large volume of readily available air you have with you. Initial Cost around $300.
X -Now your ready to hike out --- you should have a backpack for each person to carry their belongings, water, and food. Just get cheap ones for an uexpected emergency.
X -Don't try to overdo it in the summer heat --- dehydration and heat exhaustion will kill you if you can't re-hydrate.
   Some of the items above are obvious right? What do you carry when off-road? First Aid kit, tow strap, tools, all obvious, but look again; some are not obvious but could save you from having a really bad time in the desert. Like; carrying a few short pieces of 2 X 6 to use under the jack in sand. Carrying extra water is an important tip also!
   You see a snake while out walking in the desert -- what do you do? The simple answer is; leave it alone and back away slowly. But suppose you didn't see the snake and it bites you. What should you do? There's a lot of old wives tales about how to handle a venomous snake bite, but you should know what to do to save your life, or that of a family member or friend. Here's the correct way to handle a venomous snake bite!
   Well you know what they say will kill you in the desert; don't you?  Of course "Dehydration" and or "heat" is one and "Drowning" is the other major cause of death in the desert. How can this be? "Drowning" you say? For those of you that are unfamiliar with life in the desert; here's one of the ways your life could be in peril in the desert.

Sequence of events leading up to a Flash Flood.

Flash Flood
Flash Flood
Flash Flood
Flash Flood
Flash Flood
Flash Flood

Upstream flooding starts - not raining here.

Water just approaching the road.

Water has now crossed the road.

The wash is starting to fill.

Road is no longer passable. 4 minutes elapsed.

Gila River in flood stage near Wellton, Az.

   If you get caught in a flash flood in a wash you could be in real serious trouble. Many people have been rescued from flash floods in the desert near towns and cities -- areas where they never thought this could happen. It's also a real danger to off-roaders. A wash can flood from a storm miles away and it may not even be cloudy in your location. So stay alert and keep an eye on the weather.
   I can't stress enough the importance of not touching one of these flares that are dropped from military aircraft. The parachute and steel cord attaching it to the flare is the detonation cord! Everybody wants the parachutes - why? You could end up with great bodily harm and maybe even 3rd degree burns. This one was found right next to a main road (Cipriano Pass) in the Gila Mts. on the Barry Goldwater Bombing Range. It was still live and didn't detonate when dropped.
Military Ordnance
   There are other types of unexploded Military Ordnance to be found in the desert. Most Military bases and ranges have stiff penalties for taking, or even moving ordnance. They have signs in these areas - heed them for your own safety!

Safety in the desert!

Flash Floods

Snake Bite

Military Ordnance

   This true story was sent to me from Ron Mears our Web Design Researcher, and Programmer. He's also an avid desert explorer in his Jeep and in fact lives in an isolated part of the desert Southwest. This story was from one of his first adventures in the desert on a stormy day. How would you survive an encounter like this?
Flash Floods     Real life true story of being caught in a flash flood ------

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   Events     Weather     Writer's Cafe     City Profiles     Life in the Desert      Local Happenings


    Wildfires in the desert are a major concern - how are they started, how are they put out? How much does this cost us? Some interesting facts can be found here.

Be safe out there!

Road Signs

   Either off or on the road in the desert these signs could be important to you. We've got a small collection of signs you might find fascinating. Want to add one of your own, follow the link.

Airing Down, Safely

   Do you know what a Staun Tire Deflator is? This is it ------------->
Why would would you want to deflate your tires before going off road? Pros and Cons and some equipment you'll need to do this. Go out with any off road group and I'm sure you'll see what this is all about. This article should be very helpful.
Staun Tire Deflator
   Not an incurable disease, but one that needs your help!