The Right and the Wrong Shoes
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You will be expected to take your shoes off frequently when visiting people so they need to be easy to get on and off. But you may also want to keep the sand off your feet and the beetles and insects off them too so flip flops are not ideal. Neither are lace ups. Shoes with Velcro fastening would be ideal - wish I had taken some!
Keeping the sand in the desert, not in your bags
Luggage and bags: If you pack absolutely everything in sealable plastic bags inside your bag the sand has less chance to get into everything. You should also take spare ones to bring back any litter - don't leave it in the desert.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The chech (traditional head cover) is much more effective than a sun hat. It is much better at keeping the sun off and is cooler. It also covers your hair when it hasn't been washed for days.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Wet wipes and anti-bacterial hand wipes are essential when there is a scarcity of water.
Photo Equipment: Keeping sand out of the camera is much more difficult as the wind blows the sand around, particularly at the top of the dunes and if you want to get that sand dune picture you just have to get the camera out. Some of the smaller digital cameras now have dust covers to fit them, a bit like Ipod cases. Unfortunately mine doesn't so I had to take my camera to have the sand cleaned when I got home. It was worth it for the pics though!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: It gets quite windy at night in the desert so if you don't have a tent, a wind break is a good idea for protection from the sand that blows around.
A good torch is also essential for trips to the "loo" in the dark.
Miscellaneous: For women travellers. If you take gifts such as pens for the children, it is also a good idea to give gifts to the women such as hair slides or something pretty, as when you go to visit villages or nomads it helps to break the ice and you are more likely to be given permission to take photographs.
An oasis in a hostile environment
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In winter, light clothes covering the whole body - for cultural and practical reasons. Wear the taguelmust! the traditional tuareg cheich has excellent properties for protecting your head against cold and heat. For nights in the desert, take a good sleeping bag, especially against wind. Moreover, the temperature in the mountains can go very low (up to -10 in Assekrem in winter) - take one set of good clothes (gore-tex jacket) if you go to such places.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: For toiletry in the desert, you will have really few water : learn how to wash yourself completely with a cup of water! Take pills again headeake : it is difficult to deal with the sun for us at these places... and warm-cold variation is an usual problem.
- Budget Travel