I have been working on adding a variety of packing lists to the site. I have covered what to wear in the Arctic Circle, how to dress in London, and what to bring to the beach. Today I am sharing my Desert Packing List, because when you are heading to a place as remote as the Sahara Desert, you don’t want to forget to pack anything.
Last year my sister and I took our mother to Morocco and the highlight of our trip was spending two days glamping deep in the Sahara Desert. If you have the opportunity to go, you should, it was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life.
Desert Packing List
You are going to want to dress in layers. The desert tends to be hot during the day and cold at night. I wore athleisure clothing, since it is easy to layer and is comfortable. I wore leggings or joggers topped with a tank top or long sleeve shirt.
At night it does get cold, so you will want to bundle up. I slept in sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
When it comes to shoes, I hate to point out the obvious, but they are going to get sandy. At the same time – the sand gets super hot during the day, so you will want to wear shoes. We brought hiking boots and sandals and wore both.
Neck Gaiters – While these are not the most attractive accessory, these stretchy tubes of fabric will help you keep sand from getting in your ears and mouth. When it is windy in the desert, sand goes everywhere. When the wind picked up we pull the neck gaiters up over our mouth and nose. I usually wore two, one over my ears and another around my neck that I could pull up as necessary. It’s hard to get sand out of your ears, so wear a neck gaiter. I realized that I am channeling Woody Nelson in this photo, but hey, my ears weren’t filled with sand and my hair wasn’t flying around getting tangled. This is one of the most random and most important things on my desert packing list.
Sunglasses – Sunglasses are absolutely necessary because you need to protect your eyes from getting sand in them.
Hats – You might want to pack a baseball hat as an attempt to limit the amount of sand that will get in your hair.
Rain Sleeve – Sand gets everywhere, so we bought rain sleeves for our cameras to minimize the chance of sand getting inside.
Camera – I bring a Canon Rebel and a 24 mm lens because it is a small, light, affordable, and versatile camera to bring when I travel.
Go Pro – I loved using my Go Pro since it is made in a way that prevented sand from getting all inside of it. And it took amazing videos!
Other Desert Packing List Essentials
Sunscreen – A must on a sunny day, especially if you are going on a long camel ride.
Wipes – My sister packed every type of wipe imaginable, and we did use most of them. The thing is, the shower is really just a bucket of warm water, so wipes are a good thing to have on hand.
A Head Lamp – A super handy thing to pack since it is very very very dark in the desert at night.
Hand Sanitizer – My sister won’t go anywhere without it.
Medication – I always pack a bag of essential medicines with me, and I recommend that you do the same. You also want to be sure to pack any prescription medicines that you may need.
Tampons – Just in case, and because there are no drug stores in the desert.
Travelers insurance that covers medical evacuation – Because you would rather be safe than sorry.
How to Pack
We had completely different bags for the desert and for the rest of our trip. This meant that when we left the desert we had fresh clothing that wasn’t sandy. I used a waterproof Bric’s bag to pack. I highly recommend this because since it is waterproof, you can easily rinse it out with water to clean it when you return from the dessert. Bring a bag that is easy to clean. We left out other luggage at our hotel in Marrakesh – this is a pretty normal thing to do and your hotel in Marrakesh (or whichever city you are coming from) will store your bag so it can remain sand-free.