A Days Buggying

Thursday is the start of my weekend and the wind looked OK, so buzzed off to my local playground. It was warm today at 47ºC, so parked under the shade of my usual ghaf tree. These trees are ancient and it is estimated they can shoot their roots down 30 to 40 metres but don’t quote me on that. The leaves are thin needle like. It isn’t a tree one can climb without being stabbed to bits as it is full of sharp thorns. Having said that, birds make their nests in it. You can’t see the nests in the  pic (01) but there are about 4 or 5 nests in it.

I took this pic (01) tonight as I was packing up, that’s why you see the long shadow.
Notice how flat the branches / leaves look underneath the tree. That’s not natural but just where the camels can reach up to nibble on the leaves.

Besides my buggy, note  the Mrs’s quad driven on to the trailer already.
It was handy she joined me today because she could help pack away the 6.5 Blade I’d been flying in some very choppy wind.

At the end of the afternoon, we watched the camels (03) trudging back to their pen for the night. I never get bored watching this sight. It reminds me of back home watching the nearby farmer herding his cows towards the barn at the end of the day to milk them.

Keep in mind I’m quoting shade temps and once I leave the shade of the tree, it is all the time under the hot sun. I sometimes stick a thermometer in the sand & it is not uncommon to register 80ºC Everything is so hot that we have to be careful about what we touch.

Things to avoid:

1) Don’t touch any metal bits. 2) Don’t touch tyres. 3) If OBE’ing, don’t lie too long on the sand because all exposed bits of skin burn. 4) Make every effort not to drop kite especially in the dunes as walking in the sand is totally knackering.

Things to do:

1) Drink water. I carry a 3 litre Camelbak bladder strapped to my buggy. I pack this with ice and some cold water before leaving home. This warms up fairly quickly but better to drink warm water than none at all.

2) Take dehydration powder (sodium & potassium) just before starting to buggy. Take another powder after a few hours.

3) If kite is down and needs to be sorted, walk slowly, try & conserve as much energy as possible by gentle & efficient movements. (You won’t feel like running anyway).

4) If cramps start usually in the hands & then the feet, lethargy becomes an issue & you feel nauseous, get in car to get A/C blowing cold air ASAP. Drink more water & take dehydration powders.

5) I use 30 block sun cream on all exposed bits of skin.

Note that there are 3 major issues in the desert heat 1) Dehydration – easily fixed by drinking plenty of water. 2) Heat exhaustion – Recognise the symptoms, do something about it immediately and you will be OK. 3) Heat stroke. This is the next step from the previous point. It is extremely dangerous and you need to get to hospital ASAP otherwise you can die. You might still die anyway.

An interesting observation is that despite drinking a lot, I don’t pee. Even drinking 3 pints of cider last night I didn’t pee until gone midnight and then the colour is very dark yellow. I’m told that it is due to dehydration but one’s belly can hold only so much water.