Safely Taking On The El Paso Desert
The deserts around El Paso are fun but, they're not very forgiving!
Hueco Tanks, McKelligon Canyon and Franklin Mountains State Park offer lots of hiking and climbing spots. Other desert areas offer places to go 4-wheeling or ride dirt bikes and ATV's. Shooting and mountain biking are fun too!
Sh** happens though so, be ready! Bring:
- First aid/survival kits. (See video.)
- 4-wheelers need a working jack, spare tire, (or 2), "fix a flat" stuff that also inflates, (or bring a small compressor), simple tools and a good tow strap/chain.
- Guidebook of venomous critters. (If in doubt, leave it alone and watch where you put your hands and feet!)
- A snake/insect bite kit. The only deadly animals around here are a couple of different spiders and rattlesnakes but many things bite or sting.
- Water. Carry some via a "Camelback" type device and leave more in your vehicle.
- Motorized adventurers should have extra gas. Gauges can malfunction and getting lost or detoured burns extra fuel.
- GPS device. Bring a map and compass too, reception is spotty in some areas.
- Easily carried, but not easily spoiled, food. If you're making a day of it, you'll get hungry. If you get lost or stranded, you'll get REALLY hungry.
- Light jackets. It sometimes gets chilly out there at night.
- A weapon. Most animals are scared of us but, if you get cornered by a mountain lion, wild dog, javelina, etc; you may need to protect yourself. (Note: Some areas prohibit weapons.)
It's a lot but, you'll probably be in or near your vehicle so, you won't physically carry much of it. One last tip; always tell someone where you're going and never go alone!