How to Prevent Sand From Entering Your Shoes
There are several solutions for walking calmly in the desert without having to empty your shoes every 5 minutes:
- Wear sandals: choose well-ventilated sandals! Note that leather soles feel nicer than plastic ones in hot weather. The advantage of sandals is that they let the foot breathe freely. Because your feet are exposed, make sure to not be too scared of insects, sharp rocks or the thorny plants of the desert.
- Choose high-top shoes: choose lightweight shoes to avoid dripping-wet feet at the end of the day, and, if possible, without any holes in the upper to prevent fine sand from entering the shoe. Make sure to properly cover the shoe with your trousers to prevent sand entering through the top of the shoe.
- Use anti-sand gaiters: for those who prefer to walk with low-top shoes, opt for lightweight gaiters, which cover the entire shoe to ensure a perfect seal. And if you want these gaiters to last for a long time, avoid zips...
How to Protect Your Eyes From Desert Sand
The most unpleasant thing about the desert is getting sand in your eyes (and between your teeth).
In the event of a sandstorm, it is imperative that you protect your face and especially your eyes. Here are two methods for doing this:
- Use a desert scarf: the desert scarf is perfect for protecting the head and neck from the sun, but it can also be used to protect your eyes during sandstorms by wrapping a piece of the fabric over your face.
- Use a ski mask: it's not the most stylish option, but it is super effective! But be aware, sandstorm or not, your sunglasses and goggles will not come back intact. Plan to take old sunglasses that you're not worried about damaging, or invest in a very good anti-scratch coating on your glasses!
- Don't forget: saline solution to clean your eyes and avoid irritation. You can find this in pharmacies as well as in some supermarkets. Has a grain of sand managed to slip into your eye despite your precautions? Wash out your eyes with the saline solution.
How to Protect Your Electronic Devices From the Sand
Sand has a nasty habit of getting in everywhere, especially in small spaces where it can't be dislodged...
The best way to protect your valuables from sand (phone, camera, etc.) is to put them in a waterproof pouch to avoid malfunctions and scratches:
- A freezer bag with Ziploc system is an economical but not very durable solution
- The “storm” pouch, which folds in on itself and which is also found on waterproof or dry bags (canyoning bags for example), is also very effective. A waterproof pouch will allow you to continue to use your phone to take photos or send messages without having to expose it to sand! Of course, it's a little less convenient for phone calls.
A Few Additional Tips to Protect Yourself From the Sand...
1. Avoid zip fastenings at all costs
Sand may well feel soft under the feet, but it's actually very abrasive! Zips are the main victims because they seize up very quickly.
To avoid any inconvenience or to repair a stuck zip fastening:
- Apply a lubricant as quickly as possible before the teeth of your zip are completely damaged. If you have some to hand, wax is a very effective lubricant.
- If the zip has completely seized up, try to unblock with the graphite from a pencil.
But the most effective solution is not to have a zip in contact with the sand at all: press studs, for example, are a very good alternative!
2. Cut your nails before trekking in the desert
As sand gets everywhere, it can also end under your fingernails. Again, it can be very abrasive and painful if you cannot remove it quickly. There is only one solution: cut your nails extremely short before setting off on a trek!