Death Valley is one of those iconic U.S. locations any adrenaline junky dreams of visiting. This desert reserve is a spot so hot it attracts visitors into the millions each year. And, a little research makes it easy to see why. Aside from its terrifying yet alluring name, Death Valley is home to sites like Zabriskie Point and Devil’s Golf Course. In short; it could form the backdrop for one of the most impressive road trips of your life.
There’s just one issue; this place didn’t get its name for nothing. The sky-high temperatures and treacherous landscapes result in at least two heat-related deaths most years. That may not be as worrying as you’d think, given the vast amount of visitors. However, it is enough to make you sit up and take note when planning a trip here, especially if you’re taking a car. Get this wrong, and the heat could take its toll before you know. Dogs die in hot cars, and people do too when it comes to Death Valley. With that in mind, consider the following three essentials for keeping cool on your rendezvous here.
Consider your vehicle
You can’t take any old car on a road trip here. The sheer level of heat rules out the use of dark vehicles straight away. For obvious reasons, a white car would be your best bet. Failing that, aim for a lighter colored option which reflects those scorching rays. It should also go without saying that advanced air conditioning is essential. While you won’t be able to keep this on at all times without damaging your car, short bursts of cold air could help along the way.
Take shelter for your stops
Even with a white car and working air conditioning, the heat will become harder to deal with the further into Death Valley you go. In extreme cases, you’ll even find that you need to take breaks from your car every half an hour or so. But, stepping out into the scorching sun won’t be much of a relief. Instead, then, take along awnings like those found at 4WD Supacentre. You’ll find that the option of a little shelter outside your car will work wonders. It’ll certainly save you from nasty sunburn and even risks of heat stroke. What’s more, awnings are pretty easy to set up, so you won’t need to roast in the process.
Fill your trunk with bottled water
This last point may seem obvious, but I can’t stress it enough. If you think you have enough water, you need to buy a whole load more. People notoriously underestimate how much water they’ll need, but a good rule is around 20 liters per person. Bear in mind, that you need to regulate how you drink this. Sipping water will work better for hydration than big drinks would. If you can, you want to focus on drinking one cup across every half an hour of travel. That way you can stay hydrated and healthy for the duration.
Even though everyone is ready to say goodbye to Summer, you do still have weeks left to enjoy the rest of summer with a quick road trip. Maybe, the cooler temperatures of Autumn will call you to visit even though you will still need to take precautions.
Have you ever visited Death Valley? Would you ever visit a climate like Death Valley? Tell me your hottest trip in the comments below, I want to hear all about it.
Until our next rendezvous…