You have decided that you would like take a Morocco Sahara Desert Tour, and you have also decided on the level of your desert camp. The most important question now is: What to pack for the Sahara Desert?

This is Part 3 of a series of informative Morocco Travel Blogs on Morocco Sahara Desert Trips.

Read Part 1: Morocco Sahara Desert Tours: Everything Important You Need to Know

Read Part 2: Morocco Sahara Desert Camps: How to Choose

What to Pack for the Sahara Desert: A Small Backpack!

My first piece of advice on what to pack for the Sahara Desert – don’t bring your big suitcase or big backpack!  This assumes that you have booked a stand-alone Morocco Sahara Desert tour that isn’t already part of a larger tour.  You can’t carry a large heavy huge suitcase on your camel ride in the Sahara Desert, so whatever you desire to bring for your overnight in the desert should fit in inside a small backpack.

Some deluxe or luxury Sahara Desert camps will actually transport your large suitcase for you by 4×4 to your own personal tent, so then you’ll only want to keep utmost essentials with you, such as your camera / phone for pictures, and valuables such as yourpassport, money and credit cards.

What to Pack for the Sahara Desert – Your Sahara Desert Packing List Should Be Based on Your Level of Desert Camp

If you want to pack properly for your Sahara desert tour, you should be aware of many things about the sort of desert camp at which you will spend your time.

  • What are the sleeping arrangements at your Morocco Sahara Desert camp? Will you need to bring a sleeping bag, or is a bed provided with blankets?
  • If taking a Morocco Sahara Desert tour in winter, do the tents or common areas have heaters?  If not, you will need layers of warm clothing, heavy socks, long underwear, even possibly a hat and scarf!
  • What about the bathroom facilities?  Will you be able to take a shower at your desert camp? Do you need to bring your toilet paper, towel or toiletries / hygiene products?
  • Will your level of desert camp offer meals and beverages, or will you have to bring your own drinks and food, both on the way to the desert and at the camp?

As soon as you have the replies to the above-mentioned questions, you will know exactly the appropriate things on what to pack for the Sahara Desert. 

Basic Sahara Desert Packing List

But irrespective of the type of your campsite, the following items should always be included on your Sahara Desert Packing List:

  • Pair of trousers which should be baggy and convenient. This could mean a relaxed style of jeans for men or women, as well as sweatpants or leggings, and which are suitable for camel riding.
  • Comfortable undergarments which won’t ride up or fall down as you are riding the camel
  • Long-sleeved loose shirt
  • A long scarf to wrap around your head so as to save you from both sun and sand and wind
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat to protect you from both the sun and the wind
  • Socks
  • Walking shoes or tennis shoes or sandals which strap around your feet.  Ideally, you don’t want to wear flip-flops while riding your camel in case they fall off your feet.  They won’t be easy to pick-up without disrupting the entire camel caravan!
  • Medicine, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. You may need this, especially if you haven’t ridden a camel before – your body may feel sore the following day!
  • Camera with a sand-resistant bag
  • Power bank to recharge any of your electronics
  • A small flashlight or headlamp
  • A first-aid emergency kit. 
  • Beauty or hygiene products you may want
  • Any valuables you may have brought along, like your passport, money and credit cards.  It’s always best when traveling to keep these items close by.

What to Pack for the Sahara: Traveling on a Sahara Desert Tour in Winter

Temperatures in the Sahara Desert may drop low at night, even at, or below freezing, in winter. That’s why if you decide to take a Morocco Desert tour in winter, here is what to pack for the Sahara Desert, specifically in winter: 

  • A pair of wooly socks or additional pairs of socks to wear while sleeping at night
  • A thick jacket to wear at night
  • A vest or additional tier of clothes to put on
  • Long underwear to put on in the evening or for sleeping
  • A scarf or a shawl to protect yourself from sun or wind, that can also double as a lap blanket, if you feel yourself in need of it
  • Mittens, gloves or hand-warmers

What to Pack for the Sahara: Traveling to the Sahara in Spring or Fall

Spring is the most popular time in which tourists visit the Moroccan Sahara Desert, especially for the experience of watching sandstorms. But don’t think that I am telling you NOT to visit the Sahara at this time. Actually, personally viewing a real sand storm can be a remarkable event to experience, though you should be prepared for this probability.

Besides the basic Sahara Desert Packing List above, you should also bring:

  • An additional water resistant and/or sand resistant bag in case you have a camera and accessories

What to Pack for the Sahara: Booking a Sahara Desert Tour in Summer

You may think you have a good idea on what to pack for the Sahara if you’re visiting the desert in the summer – as little as possible!  But while you may typically choose to wear a short-sleeved shirt or tank top during the summer, remember that the sun will be harsh on your complexion, and the whirling sand can hurt you as well. It is preferable to choose open, baggy long sleeves with a light weight (both for women and for men) in order to protect yourself. I would recommend not to put on shorts, because they are inconvenient especially when you are going to ride a camel.

Besides the basic list of what to pack for the Sahara Desert, other things to add to your Sahara Desert Packing List in summer are: 

  • Additional bottles of water
  • Sunscreen
  • A hand fan that is powered by the sun or battery, even a paper fan can help to cool you off
  • Cooling bandana that can be utilized to cool down and freshen up

What to Pack for the Sahara Desert, if you’ve booked an inexpensive Sahara tour

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many budget camps are very rudimentary.  Because they are maybe not well-stocked and very simple, you may need to add more things to your Sahara Desert Packing List.  Some things to consider as to what to pack for the Sahara desert cheap camps are:

  • Sleeping bag or even a light blanket
  • Toilet tissue and hand antiseptic.
  • Flip-flop sandals
  • Lots of water bottles and light meals and snacks. You can possibly purchase this on the way too, but assure to have them before entering your camp.
  • If you have any food sensitivity or follow other diets, you should be well-equipped with anything you need. 

(Content provided by Dema, edited by Morocco Local Insider)