A Man Fascinated by the Desert and Extreme Heat

Jul 25, 2012 No Comments by

Ripley Davenport, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, is a dedicated explorer and adventurer of desert regions. His curiosity and awe of the desert environment has led him to discover the wonders that the desert has to offer. By crossing the desert on foot Ripley has become very intimate with the landscape and the crucial preparation needed to survive.

Mr. Davenport is about to embark on a Death Valley Man Haul. Lucky for him, he has had on-foot experience crossing desolate and arid deserts. Recently in 2010 he man-hauled his way across the Manchurian Steppe and Gobi desert covering a little over 1000 miles and again in 2011 he walked another 1000 miles, leading an International team with 12 Bactrian camels, from West to East across a section of the Altai Mountains and Gobi desert.

His intent in Death Valley is to be completely self sufficient and entirely on foot throughout the 153 mile route from North to South through the Valley itself by manhauling a specially fabricated wheeled desert trailer, which will carry minimal water and provisions that weighs approximately 441 pounds across Death Valley, which consists of sand dunes, jagged mountains, salt-pans, washes and canyons. Read more about Ripley’s Death Valley Man Haul.

man haul desert trailer - photo courtesy of Emmanuel Berthier

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America with the highest reliably reported temperature in the Western Hemisphere at 134 degrees F. The average daily temperature is 114.7 degrees F.

Extreme temperatures, dry conditions and sparse vegetation will push ones mental, physical and physiological limitations, therefore, strategic preparation is essential for a successful trek. Mr. Davenport says, “I travel very light and take minimal gear. There’s no point in taking anything that you are not going to use. If you have to question why you should take something, you shouldn’t take it at all.”

Ripley needs sun protection he can rely on while in Death Valley. His gear list includes the Coolibar sun gaiter, full finger gloves, ultra sport hat and face sun shield to keep him safe from UV. We will be checking in with Ripley throughout his man haul. Stay tuned for more on Ripley Davenport and his wild desert- loving adventures.

 See Coolibar’s UPF 50+ gear for Ultimate Sun Protection.

Ripley Davenport - photo courtesy of Emmanuel Berthier

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