Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Desert Safety


Last updated 4/19/2022 at 11:32am

Carry water AND drink it

Saving your water for the hike back has led to death in Anza-Borrego. Drink plenty of water before you leave home, while you hike, and on the return route. If you feel thirsty, it is already too late. Drink lots of water and drink often.

Make sure your vehicle is desert-ready

Equip your vehicle for the desert. You should always carry extra water, a shade tarp, a shovel, a tire pump, and extra food.

Leave snakes alone

Many venomous snakes live in the desert. If you threaten them, they may strike. It is illegal to harass, catch, or kill any snake within Anza-Borrego. If bitten, remain calm and seek immediate medical attention.

Do not split up the group

Stay together. Never leave anyone behind to rest.

Prepare yourself

In addition to carrying water, you should have protective clothing, sunscreen, a hat, a good map, food, and a first aid kit that includes a comb and tweezers.

Have a plan

Leave all your trip information with a friend. Tell him/her your destination, the route you intend to follow, your expected return time, a description of your vehicle with license plate number, and the time by which he/she should notify park authorities in case you do not return.

When emergencies happen

Stop. Stay calm. Seek shelter. If you are with your vehicle, remain there; do not leave it. Signal with mirrors, white cloth, whistle (three short blasts on whistle, pause, then three more, repeat frequently), and put your hood up. It is much easier to find a vehicle in the desert than a person.

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