Sahara Desert Packing List: What To Pack For An Overnight In The Desert
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If you’re heading to Morocco and planning to go Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga, you may want to check out this Sahara Desert packing list I made. I did quite a bit of research before I left for Morocco and I was pretty happy with what I brought with me so I thought I would share it with anyone who is getting ready to go. We went with a company called Sahara Bereber which we loved and would recommend to everyone.
My Sahara Desert Packing List – (links are clickable and are affiliate links. Please see note at bottom of post)
- Water – I am not sure how much you drink but it is the desert and very arid. It’s vital to stay hydrated. I bought 2 x 1.5 Liters. You do have the option to buy some at the camp but we stocked up at Carrefour supermarket in Essaouira since I was sick. Pick up some bottles if you have the opportunity or at least buy some at the riad where you may be storing your things.
- Large capacity external battery – I take a ton of photos so having backup power was vital. I am glad that I took my Goal Zero solar-powered generator. If you are bringing a smartphone, action camera, and other equipment you may want to consider something a bit more substantial. I packed my Goal Zero Sherpa 50 kit and it kept my multiple cameras and smartphone charged. We had 1 outlet of power in our tent but it wasn’t working. I was sharing the room with my brother and his wife so it was important to be able to have my own since I bring so much gear. I charged the Sherpa via an outlet in my hotel room prior to arriving at the desert but brought my solar panel just in case. Bringing the battery was good enough for me. Here are other options by Goal Zero.
- Cameras – I brought 3…yes 3. Haha. I had my GoPro Hero 4 Silver, my Canon DSLR (mostly to use the zoom lens), and my Sony RX100m3. You have to be very careful with camera gear and the sand. I thought for sure I messed up my cameras so I really relied on my GoPro for a lot of shots. I also took along my GoPro 3 Way which is a tripod slash selfie stick.
- Camera Protection – sand is your camera gear’s enemy so while you’re walking around the dunes or travelling by camel, you may want to have your camera in a sealable bag like a Stasher or even special casing. A professional photographer I know brought several plastic shopping bags for protection.
- Charging cords – don’t forget them!!
- Headlamp – I packed my Petzl Headlamp which is one of my favourite things from my round the world trip and this still comes in handy. I used this to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Remember you’re in the desert and there are no lights after lights out. It was helpful to be hands-free so I could…you know…wipe and flush.
- A long scarf or sarong or a hat – I’m a huge lover of sarongs for all-purpose uses and I used this as a head wrap to protect myself from sand and the wind (see photo below)
- Travel power strip – because I carry so much gear I need a power strip always! I used this with my solar generator to charge multiple items
- A small backpack or bag – we rode camels into the desert so you can pretty much only carry a small pack. I had a lot of camera gear so I packed my DSPTCH Ruckpack. I also have a North Face similar to this which would also be a great option.
- Another small bag – I had another small bag which I carried my gear up the dunes. I was also able to use this to prop up my GoPro tripod when taking self-portraits. You may need to bring something else so you can capture photos without any motion blur. I read online that some photographers brought Solo/plastic cups for stabilization in the sand.
- Basic toiletry kit – I packed my eyeglasses, contact case, mini contact solution, facial wipes, small sunscreen or lotion with sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, mini deodorant, antibacterial hand wipes (in this instance wipes were better than lotion or cream). I also packed tinted moisturizer with sunscreen with my face, blush (because I look dead otherwise), and an eyelash curler (because I look dead otherwise). Do bring lip balm because the Sahara will suck out any moisture in your body haha. My lips were so dry after I ended up buying some Carmex in Spain to save them.
- Sunglasses – no explanation needed. I’m pretty partial to my Raybans these days
- Clothes – I wore loose-fitting pants, a basic t-shirt, and sneakers (don’t wear sandals or flip-flops because they will fall off) for riding the camel into the desert. I wore the same shirt and a pair of leggings to sleep in. I also packed a cardigan in case it got cold. They provided us with blankets so we were fine. For the next day, I wore one of the caftans I bought in Marrakech to climb the sand dune and to ride the camel back to Merzouga. I wore the leggings underneath so I wouldn’t chafe for any reason. Some of the other campers just wore the same thing so they could carry very little. Some people suggested denim but I didn’t pack any since it was so hot in September.
- Medicine travel kit – Check out this post with what kind of things I pack in my travel first aid kit. I brought things with for my overnight camp because I got a stomach bug in Essaouira
Extra Sahara Desert packing list items you can bring in case your camp doesn’t provide it:
- Snacks – I wasn’t hungry because I was sick but I usually bring granola bars and/or nuts to snack on. You probably don’t want anything overly salty because it will just make you more thirsty
- Sleeping bag liner – If you’re wary about your bed situation, bring a sleeping bag liner. I didn’t bring one for this trip but in the past, I used one like this.
- Toilet paper – our camp provided us with toilet paper but since I had a stomach bug I also brought extra
Using my sarong to protect me from the elements
A Snapchat of my Goal Zero charging my gear
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