In the past couple of weeks, you have been learning several different strategies for surviving in the desert as a Grand Canyon traveler through our multi-part series, Desert Survival Guide Tips for Grand Canyon Travelers.

grand canyon desert shelter

To date, you have learned about the temperatures that are common to the various regions of the national park, and the clothing types that are most beneficial in the desert. You have also learned how to discover water – a life essential – while in the Grand Canyon.

This week, you will learn how to build a desert shelter.

Creating a Desert Shelter

desert shelter

1903 wigwam

It is a known fact that the desert is often too hot to travel during the day. If you have a means of lighting, it is best to do your traveling at night – when it is cool. However, you must be especially cautious of the wildlife, treacherous terrain, and other dangers that may be present in the night time hours.

Once the first light of day starts shining through, you should focus on building your shelter. Basically, your shelter will consist of sticks, some brush, and any type of tarp, sheeting, or cloth that you may have that will provide relief from the rays of the sun.

When traveling through or around the Grand Canyon, it is important to ensure that you pack emergency space blankets. You may use these on your shelter to reflect the sun’s rays off of the shelter – which results in your shelter having a lower temperature.

When building a shelter, you should always make certain you do it on a hill. Flooding has been known to occur within the Grand Canyon. Make sure to be on top of weather alerts.

In order to make the task easier, opt for hills that include outcroppings, sturdy ledges, and/or boulders that aid in the creation of a natural type of wall. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for insects and snakes that could be potentially harmful. If you are in an area that is immensely warm, take the following steps to create a shelter:

  1. First, look for an area in the ground that is shallow.
  2. Next, dig out a space where you may lay in the ground.
  3. The sand or dirt that you have pulled out should be placed all the way around the hole/trench that you have created.
  4. Then, take four sticks and place them around the hole. Immediately thereafter, use these sticks to put up your protective covering.
  5. Leave a bit of space to optimize air flow. Then, place sticks and your second roof with the emergency space blanket, sheet, or other cloth that you have. This will help reduce the heat and intensity of the sun.

Now that you know about the temperatures that may be experienced in and around the Grand Canyon, know what to wear, know where to obtain water, understand that it is important to learn about the edible plants in the national park, and have learned how to build a desert shelter, you are ready to survive in the desert!

If you would rather tour the Grand Canyon with a trained guide, there are many tours to go on. Simply visit us at Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours

Read Part 1 of this Series
Read Part 2 of this Series

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