1. Double your water
An arid climate demands constant hydration. Even if the weather is temperate, you’ll need more water than you would in more humid climates. And don’t count on purifying fresh water: Springs and creeks may be few and far between. The best rule of thumb is a gallon per person, per day, but you should pack at least twice that volume to be safe.
2. Prepare for cold nights
It might be bright, sunny, and comfortably warm during daylight hours, but the short days and thin air will nullify this in a hurry after sundown. Pack cold-weather clothing, including several layers, hats that cover the ears, and heavy gloves or mittens. You might not need the extra clothes, but you’ll be grateful you did when the winds start to whip.
3. Leave no trace
The desert is a more sensitive ecosystem than most; its climate drastically slows decomposition. You must take all of your trash and waste with you after camping in the desert. Visit the site of the nonprofit organization Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics for additional information.