Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Desert Survival Skills Practice - Part Two - Water, Wildlife and Plants

Wildlife and plants can be a good indication that water may be present in a desert environment. Water in a desert environment can be an extremely difficult item to locate. Many forms of wildlife would simply cease to exist if they were not skilled in finding sources of water. In addition to the presence of wildlife, plants can also be an indicator of recent rains or the presence of water nearby. 

Many plants in the desert will bloom profusely after a rain. This can be indication of recent rains or a source of water that is nearby. The desert willow is a prime example of this type of plant.

Many animals will also leave signs which indicate their presence. Tracks in a dry stream bed will often give away their presence in the area. Even though you may not see them, you will know they've been in the area.

The dry stream bed eventually entered a closed canyon after about a quarter of a mile. 

At the entrance there was also a creepy crawler in the form of an orange and black millipede. The orange and black coloration is a good indication that it may have had a nasty sting or might be toxic and it was left to proceed to whatever destination it had in mind.

Inside the closed canyon there were numerous pools of water that had collected in the depressions in the rock.

There was also another creepy crawler found in one of the pools. This was a small checkered garter snake. They are also quite harmless, unlike some of the other snakes that reside in the desert.

The dry stream bed which entered the closed canyon continued on for approximately a mile before reaching a fairly steep drop off of 25 to 30 feet which would have required some additional gear to proceed any further. This is commonly referred to as a pour-off.

The drop off fed into the waters of the Rio Grande. Although the river couldn't be seen from the vantage of our starting point, by following the dry stream bed we were eventually led to the river.

Plants and wildlife are always good indicators of your natural environment. When combined with local information and knowledge of the area in which you are traveling, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges of a natural environment.

Nature will always give you the signs you need to survive but you will need to be able to recognize them. 

Got desert skills?

Staying above the dry stream bed!



Sixbears said...

I gave the desert Southwest a try, but after a month I realized definitely that I'm a water person.

Good to know that about myself. It has its own beauty, but give me something a bit more lush.

riverwalker said...

To: Sixbears

I can manage the desert type environment but prefer it a little wetter. As long as I'm pretty close to a creek, stream or river, I can do pretty well.

Cold is my main weakness...lived in a warmer climate too long and can't handle cool temperatures very well.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I leave by the rio grande in the chiuahuan desert.

Say, how much water do you take with you this days?

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:11

On a short half day hike, I normally take my Sport Berkey (and a bandanna to filter water) on a paracord lanyard and pack an additional bottle of Gatorade.

If it's going to be a full day hike, I take a soft-sided cooler with an extra 4 or 5 Gatorade and a couple of extra bottles of water ( about 5 pounds) along with my hydration backpack (100 ounces)and a small survival kit. In the desert, water is the main item required for survival.

The majority of weight is in fluids but the load gets lighter as the fluids are consumed. I also like to take frequent breaks when I find a shady spot.

It's also important to make sure you are fully hydrated before starting out on your trek through the desert.

Thanks anon.


joecoles said...

Unique Outdoor Survival Skills

Don't you find it ironic that even with all this scandalously expensive education, people today know so little?

If they can't even fix their car, how are they supposed to handle a - let's say - long term food shortage?

You can't possibly hope they'd know how to garden and produce their own food, save seeds for next year, and use leaves plowed under to fertilize the soil.

Not to mention trapping, catching, skinning and cooking a rabbit...

These may seem advanced outdoor survival skills now, but back in the days, they were merely called "Living".

Watch this short video now and discover a set of unique and fantastic survival skills used and perfected by our ancestors.

Don't wait for the next crisis to hit and live to regret you had the chance to learn these skills but didn't.

Click here to watch video!

Thanks again.


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