Desert backpacking: skills and gear

Earlier this week, Andrew and I hosted a tutorial covering the foundational skills and gear needed for backpacking in the desert. I wanted to share it with you in case you missed it!

You can watch the replay here.

We discussed:

  • Leave No Trace in the desert
  • Trip planning: seasonality and daily flow
  • HazardsWater: how much to carry, how to find it, carrying capacity, favorite bottles, treatment, electrolytes
  • Footwear: ideal characteristics, favorite models
  • Clothing: tops, bottoms, accessories
  • Camp selection: best and worst desert camps
  • Dry camping
  • Best shelters for the desert
  • Pitching shelters on slickrock and sandGear care and special gear
  • Desert navigation
desert backpacking

Desert backpacking gear lists and trip reports

Here are a few from my favorites desert hikes:

And my favorite sugar-free electrolytes:

It may feel like deep winter in many parts of the northern hemisphere, but the desert hiking season kicks off in just a few short months. I hope these resources help you feel prepared to get out there!

If you’re interested in our healthy, lightweight backpacking course, check out the details here (it’s free!).

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