How to Survive a Desert

Marathon De Sables, or Marathon of the Sands, is one of the toughest foot races on earth. Six marathons back to back, carrying all your own bedding, food and gear on your back. Brutal. Marathoner Mauro was in the lead, until… This is how you can survive a desert. Number 1: In a sandstorm, stay put. Number 2: Always stay hydrated. If you’re well hydrated, and your pee is clear, like that, a large proportion of that is going to be fluids that can help hydrate you. If you’re dehydrated though and your pee is stinking, thick brown colour, that’s just pure waste product and that’s not going to help you at all. But Mauro was smart. He drank while he was still relatively hydrated, and horrible though it was, it helped keep him alive. It’s about digging deep, doing the unimaginable, and that’s how these guys were learning the hard way. Number 3: When night falls, keep warm. Soon as the sun goes, the temperature just plummets and fast. And steadily the heat is going to come through and heat your core. The important bit to keep warm is just this bit. You can really feel that warmth coming through the ground now. And normally that’s the place where you lose most of your heat. The next day, Mauro decided to strike out into the desert. Mauro saw something that was a definite sign of civilization. Goat droppings. Mauro’s gamble had paid off. The facts speak for themselves. He travelled 300 kilometers, he’d lost a quarter of his bodyweight and he made it back to civilization unassisted. Now, there’s a hero.