an image of a person standing underneath a sand dune on the Bushmasters desert venture trip

Packing for a Desert Survival Venture

The desert is a truly stunning adventure destination: the rolling dunes, the sensational sunsets, the blood orange hue covering all that can be seen. However, the desert can be a deadly excursion if you have not packed the correct equipment. The rough, unpredictable terrain combined with intense weather changes can make for a desert survival trip that will push you to your limits. Below, Bushmasters have provided five essentials items which should be stashed within your travel kit to ensure that your desert experience is a successful, fruitful one.


The desert is known for its blistering, unwavering heat during daylight hours. The Bushmasters Desert Survival Venture takes place in Jordan, across the Wadi Rum desert, where temperatures can hit highs of 38 degrees in the tough summer months. It is, therefore, vital that sunblock is a part of your kit list, protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays and preventing a painful sunburn. Carrying around a tub of lip balm or petroleum jelly is also a good way to ensure that your lips, which are often forgotten about in desert survival situations, are sheltered from the sun.

High protein food stuffs

When trekking through the desert it is unlikely that you’ll stumble across food that is safe to consume. To keep you sustained throughout the trip, packing food stuffs such as high-energy energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit. Try to avoid salty snacks, such as peanuts, to fend off further dehydration.

Sleeping Bag

If there is a lack of humidity and cloud cover in the desert, the blistering heat beating onto the horizon during the day will quickly disappear with the sun, leaving a colder atmosphere. Selecting a light but insulated sleeping bag is a surefire way to ensure that your desert evenings are comfortable and protected. A good night sleep is vital for keeping energy levels up during the desert venture and the right sleeping bag will help to achieve this.


Insect repellant is crucial for staving off sand flies, who can administer strong and nasty bites, and painkillers will be a lifesaver when it comes to the intense sun headaches.

Hydration pack

Plain water will be a literal lifesaver in the desert, as you will not come across a water supply whilst trekking. A hydration bladder such as a CamelBak is ideal for many travellers because you can strap the bladder to your back and bring the straw round to your mouth so that the water is conveniently available at all times. If you don’t have a bladder pack, carrying four litres of water instead is the general rule of thumb to stay hydrated in the scorching sun.

Ultimately, a desert venture will test what you’re made of – the unrelenting heat and stark environment changes are hard to adapt to and the lack of hydration is arduous. A comprehensive kit list can be found on our Desert Venture page, covering an entire rundown of necessary clothing pieces and additional extras for the trip. The next Bushmasters Desert Survival Venture takes place in October 2017, so do not hesitate to enquire further if you’re interested in joining us!