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Dry Heat of a Desert

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Old 05-26-2016, 08:25 PM
Jon Starr (Offline)
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Default Dry Heat of a Desert


I haven't been in a desert before. Here in MTL it can get hot (for Canada at least), but it's mostly a humid heat. The humidity can make it feel as high as 40-45 degrees celsius.

Can't seem to find much info about this, but has anyone been in a desert. What does it feel like to be in a dry heat in a desert, especially compared to a humid heat?

Does shade make a big difference in dry heat?

Anyone get heatstroke from this type of heat? What did it feel like?

Any thoughts or experiences would be helpful. Thanks!

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Old 05-28-2016, 02:18 AM
parvezmahmood (Offline)
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I am from Pakistan and have lived in desert as well as on sea coast.
Dry heat can be more tolerable than humid heat but, and this but is significant, without water and adequate shade, the summer desert can draw water from body very rapidly and leave a dehydrated skeleton within hours.

Humid heat (>45C @ > 95% humidity) can suffocate a person.
Dry heat >=50C can suck out the water and leave the 10% behind in a heap.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:01 AM
Jon Starr (Offline)
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Thanks for the response!

I know that in humid heat, at least in the minor humid heat I've felt, it's not so much the air that make's you thirsty, just the sweating. You're right about it making it hard to breath.

So by drawing water from the body, does the dry heat draw moisture from your mouth, making you very thirsty very fast? It dries up your sweat quickly too then?

What about shade? Does it really help in dry heat compared to humid? Or does the reflection off of sand and other surfaces take away any relief?
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:51 AM
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I've been in the sahara a few times and like parves says, dry heat is the killer.

Humid heat makes everything feel ten times more difficult, it felt like it was hard to breathe even.

Dry heat is more dangerous because your sweat evaporates as soon as it is produced and so you don't realise you're sweating, so you don't realise you're dehydrating. It doesn't make you thirsty, which makes it even worse. You have to just keep on drinking.

Shade is really good, it takes away the intensity of the sun, but the air temperature is still high so that dehydration is still taking place.

And don't forget in the desert at night it can get really cold.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:02 AM
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I spent a lot of time exploring the Sonoran desert. Lake Powell area and down into Northern Mexico. Attire in this environment is usually long sleeve shirts and light colored clothing.

You sweat, clothes get damp and evaporates, cooling you down. No bare skin or you'll be toast in a short time.
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Old 06-15-2016, 01:31 PM
Jon Starr (Offline)
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Thanks! This is all very helpful!

Originally Posted by wyf View Post
It doesn't make you thirsty, which makes it even worse. You have to just keep on drinking.
Hmm, didn't know this. I was writing it where my character was constantly thirsty (he's dehydrated a lot). So in reality you won't feel thirsty at all? Even if severely dehydrated?
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