Some items that one would need to survive in the desert include clothing that provides both protection from the sun and warmth for cool night weather, a compass, at least a gallon of water for each day, either sports drinks or salty foods for electrolytes, an umbrella or an appropriate emergency blanket for shade, a reliable source of fire and signaling equipment for emergencies. A multi-purpose knife is also useful.

The desert is one of the more difficult environments to live in comfortably, but the right equipment makes all the difference when it comes to both survival and comfort. Obviously, protection from the sun is of the utmost importance, and a large enough parasol or even a sizable garbage bag gets the job done. However, an all-weather blanket serves the dual purpose of protection from the sun and the cold. The amount of water needed varies from person to person, but it is better to have more than needed rather than less. A small signaling mirror is a good asset for emergencies, but aluminum foil can work in a pinch. A loud whistle is also good for signaling. For starting fires, waterproof matches are more reliable than ordinary butane lighters. A Swiss Army knife is invaluable in numerous situations.