eli5 Conserving energy and water in the desert, by simply only moving at night

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Shouldn’t you be able to drastically conserve power while also having a lot less headach by just driving or walking ar night?

Let’s say you’re driving with a bike, several liters of water and a tent.
You stay in the tent at day, always being in the shadows. (Putting up covers and “sunshields”. You’re drinking as normal and when the sun goes down, you start driving until it rises again, the cycle repeats.

Wouldn’t that be the most relaxed way through the desert possible

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Depending on exact desert, it could be the most relaxed way. But deserts aren’t about just extremely hot temperatures, they have extreme climate overall – it could be 35C during day, and close to zero during night.

Desert nights are very cold. If you sleep during the day and travel during the night you’ll get cooked in your tent and freeze on your bike. If you travel during the day then the breeze can at least cool you down a bit and you’ll stay warm in your tent at night.

Never done any desert survival myself but I’ve read multiple resources that say this is the move.

Moving during the day makes you sweat, so you need way more water. If you try to stay as cool as possible when the sun is out and only move when it’s cold you save the water you would have sweated out. The risk of hypothermia is a concern though so it might have to be a judgement call.

well if you want to enjoy the scenery its kind of hard at night. and its easier to get lost or lose your footing. there are venomous snakes out and about as well. you can have a balance by being most active at dawn and dusk. many desert animals cope with extremes this way too so these are the best times to observe wildlife. the warm light washes over the landscape saturating the colors of everything. of course in a survival situation you are more likely to be spotted by other humans during daylight! but its always best to avoid activity during the hottest part of the day.