Find a place to sleep that cannot be seen from far away. There is a risk of being attacked in the desert. And if you want to sleep near a village because you feel safer there, you should at least ask residents beforehand. Otherwise people are guaranteed to come at night – or dogs.
Do I have to Sleep in a Tent in the Desert?
No, not really. The danger of snake bites is completely overestimated. This also applies to scorpions. I have seen four snakes and three scorpions in my entire travel life, and it has been quite a long time – and they did nothing to me. In my opinion, it is absolutely responsible to sleep outside. There is nothing better than a desert night under the stars. However, a tent in the desert can be useful if you need to protect yourself from sand and mosquitos.
And how do you dress properly on extreme trips?
Here too, you definitely have to differentiate between extreme heat and cold. In polar regions I recommend the onion principle – four layers have proven useful for me: thermal underwear, a layer of fleece on top, then functional pants and jacket and, for the top, a jacket and pants filled with down. Down is light and provides maximum warmth. It is also important to have decent headgear that also protects the ears and good gloves. These should definitely be mittens, so the hands warm each other better. If necessary, a frost protection mask is also advisable.
It is much more relaxed in deserts: you can basically dress according to your own style. For me personally, jeans and a T-shirt are enough. But sun protection for the head, sunscreen and sunglasses are of course not missing. But it is much more important to have sufficient water supplies with you. This should be the focus of the planning.
And what do I do if I freeze Despite Wearing the right Clothes?
Move, move, move. This is important! And look for a windbreak, because most of the time you cool down with the icy wind. It really helps to stand behind snow or a hill. Of course, it also helps to warm yourself with hot tea from the inside. A decent thermos flask is a must for polar tours. I also sometimes use heat pads. They only cost a few cents and help very well with cold feet.
But I Probably Shouldn’t be Sweating?
No, it is important to avoid that. You get a cold with wet clothes. If you feel like you sweat when you move, take off your clothes. But get dressed again during the rest. Incidentally, this also speaks for the onion principle.
Do you also have Nutrition Tips for the Cold?
At very low temperatures, the body has an extremely high calorie requirement. You can burn 10,000 calories a day on skis – and you have to add them first. It works well with nuts or chocolate, but you can’t avoid freeze-dried food in polar regions.
I feel like I always take too much with me on a trip. How do I find the right measure?
For extreme trips, I would advise you to take essential things with you twice. After all, it can easily happen that you lose a pair of gloves or the thermal underwear is blown away. But you can reduce comfort: You may not necessarily have your favorite jeans with you. You can also limit yourself when reading travel.
Today there is a huge range of outdoor Equipment. What makes sense – and what can you safely do without?
You really don’t need desert sandals. Not even in the Sahara. A couple of old boots do the same. But proper equipment is essential in the ice regions. Arriving there with an old denim jacket is fatal. Good polar shoes are also useful. Or also frost protection for the nose. And when it comes to technical equipment, a GPS device is always useful – but only in combination with good map material.
Is there a typical Travel Mistake you often see?
Today’s travelers plan far too much. I think that’s the biggest mistake. Some people already have all the storage bins on their route in mind. This creates only unnecessary stress, the feeling of absolutely having to reach a goal. I would give myself a lot more flexibility, just give the whole trip more space and decide things from the gut.
But should you inform yourself about security beforehand?
Yes, you can use the possibilities of the internet. The Foreign Office website is a good place to go. But you should also inform yourself on the spot, talk to people – for example with the police, with truck drivers or simply with the locals.