Knowledge is everywhere about survival in the deserts. Books, videos, and survival courses are all over the place. On the Dirttime forum you will find in-depth information.
A few basic items and forethought , called “planning”, is what is needed.
A few yaers ago, from the date of this article, two people died in the Joshua Tree National Park. The word “park” is a little misleading for this area. First it is larger than the state of Rhode Island, some 1200 square miles, that is not a walk in the park. Sure riding along in your air conditioned car/truck you are protected from the full force of the summer heat. In reality it is a thin security blanket and it is a false sense of security, really. Those horror stories would never happen to me! Really?
Not far from the park. From the time I was about 12 years old until, and right up including now, I have hiked, camped, tramped, off roaded, and batted all over the “Tree” and adjoining deserts. I know much of the area very well. I do know exactly where these two were found.
Number one, set a tire on fire. That black smoke would have been seen for miles, and help would have been there in a heartbeat. By heeding the advice at the entrance and having water it could have saved them. Even waiting until night might have been a huge difference. I have no idea if they had water or cokes, or beer, but it seems they had nothing. Stock what you feel is a prudent amount of water for the deserts, then times that by four. Not soda, not beer, not juice , water. Some will add Gatorade, that's okay but have more water. Then stash some more water.
” Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey, has never been out of print. It is really a series of essays , observations that are deep, profound and original. It gives you a ride that is tough, rough and combative, just like Abbey, his look at the deserts is “beauty”, harsh , hostile and unique. Plus you will learn from the many object lessons in the book. In a word “eloquent”.