how to dress for the desert

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Desert Safari is an extraordinary adventure tour in the UAE. Tourists from all over the world come to join the desert adventure. We have received the same question from many tourists that “What to wear in Desert Safari Dubai?”. So today we are sharing the top-listed recommendations regarding outfits.

desert clothing style

How To Dress For The Desert

What to wear in Desert Safari Dubai

sahara desert clothes

Keeping the UAE country dress codes we will recommend the best outfits idea to wear in Desert Safari Dubai. Women must cover the shoulder and legs below their knees, so they won’t violate any law.

As the desert gets colds in the early morning and evening. So tourists must wear clothes that are pleasant and practical in hot and cold weather. Relax and Loose clothes are recommended for being comfortable while doing sand surfing and other safari rides. The desert heat stays while the sun is up. Tourists on an evening safari tour and overnight safari must carry a light jacket or hoodie.

Desert Safari Footwear

Desert Safari in Dubai Outfits Ideas

Wear Snickers, Sandals, Flip Flop while visiting the desert. As you have to multiple activities from Dune Bashing to camel ride, sand ski’s to desert wali. As per the tourist’s votes we found that the sandals and flip flop do the best because in snickers you don’t want to take the sand with you to your hotels or home.

How to choose desert footwear

Looking after your feet is paramount to any desert expedition and this starts with a lightweight and breathable pair of walking boots. Here’s some of our top tips for desert boot selection:

They should be well broken in but not too old.

Make sure they’re still a good fit after a long day on your feet, feet tend to swell in the heat!

They should have a structured sole unit that is not too soft, you need some protection.

A gusseted tongue helps to keep sand out of the boot and reduce rubbing.

Beware that a gore-tex lining in a boot (for waterproofing) can reduce breathability.

We prefer fabric boots to leather for maximum breathability and minimum weight.

Some brands worn on our expeditions include include Magnum, Lowa and Meindl.

It’s well worth getting your feet measured and finding a boot that you’re really happy with. A desert expedition can be hard on your feet so take the time to find the best desert boot for you.

2) Socks for deserts
Socks are a very personal thing and something you will really only get right after trying a few options. Choose something that keeps your sweating to a minimum and is capable of wicking away moisture. Whilst it may seem counterintuitive, wool is actually a very good option, thanks to its natural wicking properties. Blisters commonly occur because moisture sits on the skin and combines with friction – reducing the number of blisters you might experience is a really good idea!

We prefer a sock that is made of natural fibres but avoid cotton as it retains moisture. A synthetic liner sock for wicking and reduction of friction is another option, just remember to see if it works for you and specifically in your desert boot.

What To Wear In The Desert - 6 Essential Clothing Items

3) Trousers and underwear
The best type of trousers are lightweight cotton combat trousers. These are the most comfortable in desert conditions and the additional pockets on the sides provide really handy places to keep bits of kit within easy reach. There are also some alternative nylon options with elastane for extra stretch. A convertible pant (zip off) does give the option of shorts which can be handy if you want to cool off, however bear in mind the zips can often fail when filled with sand.Above all you will want to consider sun protection by covering your skin; imagine you are walking in the permanent shade offered by your loose fitting clothes..

Think breathable and ventilated but with some toughness in the material, as deserts tend to be full of abrasive rocks and prickly things! As with all your gear, give them a good test and make sure they don’t rub in unexpected places or sit awkwardly on your boots.

Cotton underwear may be comfortable, however beware that it also retains moisture and may increase chafing. Another alternative is a synthetic material with moisture-wicking properties. Much like socks, it’s a personal thing and one that should definitely be tested before any hiking situation. Just remember the most comfortable underwear for sitting at a desk may not translate to desert hiking!

4) Shirts and t-shirts and insulation
Cotton has a bad name in the outdoor clothing industry because it can retain moisture, but the desert is one place where cotton comes into its element as it is comfortable and its moisture retention can really help keep you cool.

All t-shirts should be made of cotton and preferably be long-sleeved which gives additional sun protection and is also a bit warmer in the evenings. Many of the more technical shirts give a UPF rating which can be a good guide, and some come with mesh ventilation flaps. Flat lock seams can also be great for reducing abrasion when you’re carrying a backpack for long periods.

It’s also a must to take a jumper or jacket for the evenings as it does get really cold in the desert once the sun has gone down. There’s some great synthetic fill, or down filled insulated jackets that pack down really small and have a really good warmth to weight ratio. You’ll be glad to pull one of these on when the temperature drops at night.

5) Sunglasses
These should be of a good quality with category 4 lenses. Here’s a guide to how categories for lenses work. Choose a reputable brand and remember price isn’t an indication of protection. Brands such as Bloc are relatively inexpensive but have clear category labelling.

6) Hats
Desert hats must be wide-brimmed and made of cotton or breathable natural fibres. Do not bring a baseball cap as they do not provide enough sun protection. A hat can be a huge relief when there’s no option of shade from the sun. Check the UPF rating and it’s always an advantage to have a wind cord to keep it in place when the desert winds pick up. Remember, even heads expand in the heat so don’t go too tight on the fit.

What To Wear In The Desert - 6 Essential Clothing Items

The dunes are also surrounded by a variety of environments, including grasslands, wetlands, aspen forests, and alpine lakes. Nearby, a grove of 200 ponderosa pine trees, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was historically peeled by indigenous tribes for food and medicine.

From the best ways to explore the dunes to where to stay when visiting the area, here are 10 things you should keep in mind to make the most of your trip.

1. There Are Many Ways to Play

There are more things to do at the dunes than you might expect. Medano Creek, a popular stream for tubing and beachside activities, curves through the edge of the dunes in the late spring and early summer. Minimal light pollution allows for a clear dark sky, which is ideal for stargazing and nighttime photography. These sand slopes are the perfect spot for sandboarding and sand sledding, as well as hiking or even backpacking. East of Great Sand Dunes National Park is more public land—Great Sand Dunes National Preserve, Rio Grande National Forest, and BLM land—where there are more trails for hiking and backpacking.

Grab a sandboard and hit the slopes. Great Sand Dunes National Park/Joseph Tumidalsky

2. Come Prepared for All Kinds of Weather

The summer season delivers temperatures in the range of 45 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit from day to night. If you’re thinking of hitting the dunes during the warmer months, keep in mind that while the air temp. might not be that bad, the sand can skyrocket to 150 degrees and afternoon thunderstorms can roll in, so plan to spend time on the sand in the early morning. (If you see lightning, get off the dunes as quickly as possible!)

Winter temperatures can drop below 10 degrees and reach highs near 45 degrees. If you visit during spring, be prepared for possible high winds in the afternoon. The months of March and April deliver the most snow of the year, so pack for any type of weather conditions during the spring.

3. A Few Essentials Will Make You More Comfortable

To ensure that you’re safe and comfortable during your trip, be sure to pack the proper gear and clothes. Grab your bathing suit for those warm summer days and splashing around in the Medano Creek. Bring a hat, gloves, wool socks, and a warm jacket for the night year round, because temperatures can drop. For sun and sand protection, pack a sun hat, sun gloves, sunglasses, long-sleeve shirt with UPF sun protection, and a bandana or lightweight face and neck cover like a Buff or Discrete neck buff. Consider packing earplugs to keep sand out of your ears when it gets windy. And don’t forget your camera and tripod!

4. There are Plenty of Nearby Lodging Options

If the kids are exhausted or the weather hits the fan, a hotel is a great alternative. Options in Alamosa range from the Sunset Inn to Fairfield Inn & Suites Alamosa. Monte Vista also offers overnight options, including the Movie Manor Motel—a Best Western attached to a historic drive-in movie theatre—and the Mansion Bed & Breakfast. A tad further west in Del Norte, you can choose a higher-end experience at The Windsor Hotel, or enjoy a more laid-back, budget-friendly choice, the Divide Riders Hostel.

Spend a night under the stars at the Piñon Flats campground. Great Sand Dunes National Park/Patrick Myers

5. There is Also Great Car Camping and Backpacking

It’s not often that you get the chance to camp among sand dunes. If you enjoy backpacking, pick up a free backcountry permit from the Visitor Center Backcountry Office and travel 1.5 miles from the park entrance to reach a 30-square-mile dune field. (This is one of the most popular places in the park for overnight camping.)

For car camping, travel one mile north of the visitor center to Piñon Flats, a National Park Service campground that has restrooms and a campground store. From the park, you can also travel west to Hooper where Sand Dunes Recreation offers sites for RVs and tent camping. On the northwestern edge of Alamosa, the Alamosa Economy Campground is open year-round and has showers. No matter where you choose to camp or backpack, make sure you pack enough water for hydration, cooking, and cleaning.

6. There Are Plenty of Food Options in Town

Definitely plan ahead and carry prepared food for the sand dunes, or bring a cooler with fresh ingredients to make your meals on site. After your adventures on the dunes, head to Alamosa for a bite. Woody’s Q Shack in serves barbecue, while San Luis Valley Brewing Company offers vegan and pub fare. For coffee, breakfast, and pastries, try Blessed Brews Coffeeshop and Roastery and Milagros Coffee House.

7. Definitely Rent a Sandboard or Sand Sled

There’s a pretty good chance you don’t own your own sandboard or sand sled (snowboards and trash can lids won’t work well here). No problem! Rentals are available at Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, Great Sand Dunes Oasis in Mosca, and Sand Dunes Recreation in Hooper.

Rent a sandboard or sand sled from a local store or outfitter. Great Sand Dunes National Park/Patrick Myers

8. Book a Local Guide for a Fishing or Paddling Trip

Why worry yourself with all the logistics? If you want to enjoy some of the best fishing or paddling in the area around the park, hire a guide. The Upper Rio Grande Guide highlights top-notch local outfitters and guide services like South Fork Anglers.

9. You Can Shower at Certain Campgrounds

After a long day outdoors—especially a day spent in the sand—a good shower can be a great relief. The showers at Alamosa Economy Campground are open year-round, and the showers at Sand Dunes Recreation are open 24 hours.

10. The Park is at Altitude

The park is in the mountains where elevation ranges from around 7,500 feet to over 13,000 feet. Even if you are coming from the Front Range, take it easy at first if you haven’t spent much time at higher elevations. If you are coming from sea level, take it even easier, and plan more strenuous activities for later in your trip after you’ve acclimated a bit.

If you get a headache, nausea, or feel more fatigued than normal, you may be experiencing mild altitude sickness. This can usually be prevented by drinking lots of water, but you may also need to take ibuprofen and rest. If you start vomiting, feel confused, have difficulty walking, or your headache doesn’t go away, see a doctor immediately.

A Few More Resources for Trip Planning

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve offers free ranger programs, and the majority of the workshops are offered from late May through October. Some summer evening programs feature documentary films or slideshows, presented on a large screen in the open-air amphitheater.

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