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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mojave Desert, United States, Cautions

Besides the heat during the day and the cold during the night, the Mojave Desert can present you with some other, unpleasant surprises.

In case you get lost, don't wander off. It is best to remain where you are and find shade or build a shelter. If that is impossible or unbearable then leave clear signs pointing in which direction you went and repeat that often along your path.

Beware of dangerous animals. The Mojave Desert is home to the most venomous snake in the U.S.; the Mojave Rattlesnake. Its color can be greenish, greenish gray, olive-green, or sometimes even with a shade of brown or yellow and is mostly found in the high desert and lower mountain slopes where it resides in the undergrowth, crevices and burrows.

Another poisonous creature is the scorpion, just like the Mojave Rattlesnake they are nocturnal, but they are small enough to crawl into almost anything. Check sleeping bags, shoes, etc., well before use and also be on the look out for spiders. In particular the Tarantulas, Black Widows and Recluse spiders; their bite can cause a lot of painful problems.

Should you get bitten; stay calm and lay down. Don't elevate the bitten area, but clean it with soap and water and cool the bite if possible. Don't eat, drink or smoke and do not cut the bite open or suck out the venom. Get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Coyotes, gilla monsters, centipedes and killer bees are more inhabitants of the desert and are best avoided and left alone. The best thing to do is never to go alone and inform someone of your whereabouts.

Have a safe trip!

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