We are going on a 12-day desert survival trip with Woodland-Ways in September. Looking forward to it lots… Here is a quick itinerary;
The course will start at 18.00 at Hotel Ali, Marrakech where you will be met by your desert survival in- structors, and the expedition team. Following initial introductions and a briefing we will dine in the Hotel and have an early night ready for the long drive the following day.
After an early rise we will alight into our vehicles and begin our 4×4 drive over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass to Ouzarzate, where after lunch we will be met by a local expert who will provide introductions too, and advice on, the wildlife of the desert. Our expert will also introduce you to some of the more dangerous fauna that inhabit the desert.
We then leave Ouzarzate and head towards Boumaine Dades, where we will leave the main route. Here it is all hands on deck to set up our first overnight camp. Following our evening meal we will discuss vari- ous desert landscapes and our desert survival strategy.
After breaking camp we continue with our drive onwards towards Er-foud, stopping along the way for lunch and to pick up provisions, and then on to the black desert where we build camp and spend the afternoon. Here we will look at the importance of shelter in the desert and look different shelters available to you in this environment. You will have the opportunity to sleep in your shelter.
Following breakfast we look at var- ious signalling techniques, includ- ing fires, smoke, signal mirrors, flares, contrast signals, EPIRB etc. Its then time to move on to the dunes, which we aim to reach by lunch time. We then head into a re- mote part of the Erg Chebbi Dunes and build our fixed camp where we will spend the next 6 nights.
The whole day will be spent look- ing at your most important piece of survival kit- your 4×4. Here our instructors will give you an introduction to vehicle selection, basic maintenance, vehicle recovery, desert driving techniques, emergency repairs and finally if it everything fails, using your vehicle as your survival resource.
Today we will cover navigation in a lot of detail, from the use of GPS, map and compass and natural indicators. We will also use these techniques to improve our chances of survival by locating resources and finding help.
On Day 6 we cover water;- sourcing, collection, purification, and preservation. As a group we will build several different water collec- tion devices and assess their effectiveness. We will also look at different heat related illness including prevention, symptoms and treatment. In the afternoon we will re-visit vehicle recovery techniques for some hands on practice.
During the morning we will look at emergency fire lighting techniques, and our instructors will also work with you to enable you to master fire lighting by friction, using the hand drill. During the afternoon we will also look at different ways of cooking in the desert.
Today is our last day in the dunes, and we spend time putting what we have learnt into practice. At this stage the instructors will then remove themselves from the situation and in teams you will look at utilising every resource available to you in order to undertake vehicle rescue and where necessary construct appropriate shelter, gain water and navigate through the desert- the emphasis here is on you putting into practice your own desert survival strategy.
After breaking camp we leave the dunes behind us and head west across a range of varied desert landscapes before reaching our final wild camp in the desert east of Zag- ora.
With an early start we then break camp and head back north over the mountains to the metropolis that is Marrakech. The late afternoon will be yours to explore the souks or just relax as you please. A hotel has been booked for the last evening and our instructors would like to invite you to an evening meal to celebrate and reflect on a successful expedition.
For those of you that are travelling home today a taxi will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the airport in time for your flight departure. You may have decided to extend you stay in Marrakech, if this is the case then our instructors will bid you farewell.
We now have pretty much all the kit for our little desert trip Really looking forward to it. Added bonus of my bestest Buddy Chum, Pal coming along too (his birthday present)!