Water and Food: Dry Camping
One way to deal with huge distances between water sources is to plan to dry-camp. It's not uncommon for water sources in the desert to be spaced so far apart that you can't walk from one to the next in a day. Rarely, however - at least on established hiking trails - are reliable water sources spaced more than a 2-day walk apart.
Here's the basic strategy:
- Arrive at your last water source before the big dry stretch in time for siesta. Drink as much as you can while you're lolling around.
- At the end of your break in the late afternoon, cook and eat dinner, drink some more, and walk on in the cooler evening hours, carrying enough water for the evening's walk, the night, breakfast, and the day's walk ahead.
- And be generous to yourself: On an extended hike, you need to be adequately hydrated throughout. Enough water for a day in the desert is still a heavy load, but it's not as heavy as it would have been if you had to carry your cooking water, too. And it breaks up the distance you have to walk the next day to reach the next sure water.
- When you get into camp, you can sup on cold food.
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