The Rhythm Method
(or 13 keys to Desert Mindfulness)
1. Vehicle: Take care of any maintenance/servicing needed before. Check that the fluids are up and not leaking. Make sure that the car contains a spare tire, jack, tools, and a flashlight. Have the registration and license up to date.
2. Clothing: Summer and Winter wear (no matter what the weather is like at “home”), hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
3.Water & food: enough for an additional two days (you may stay by choice or circumstance).
4. Stealth: Be low-key when “near” the vicinity of the gathering. Make any fuel, food, and rest stops prior to the last.
5. Speed: Mind it. Dust clouds attract attention, animals may cross your path, and road hazards might have developed (ruts, sand, water).
6. Trash: Contain it. Keep the area around your camp tidy. Bag all spent bottles and cans. Collect any refuse.
7. Cigarette butts: Put spent cigarettes in tins, baggies, or pockets. Cigarette butts are toxic to the environment and blemish the land, plus, some innocent will end-up picking it up.
8. Exploring: Stay on established trails. Keep the site in sight. Stay within the “sound”. If going on a further hike, go in a group, take water, food, warm clothing, a signal device, and let others know which direction you will be heading. If Search & Rescue is employed to find you, give word to all parties (Sheriff, friends, family) when you are safe.
9. Native critters: Do no harm, but, be aware that some can harm you.
10. Environment: Be delicate and leave no trace.
11. Trash (pt. 2): Pick up trash that you may encounter far from the gathering. It might have been there for years, interrupting the flow of nature. Rusty, bullet ridden cans make for cool souvenirs. Think of how much nicer the walk would’ve been had you not encountered trash, make it a better Desert experience for future folk.
12. Officials: Be respectful to BLM agents, Sheriffs, and Border Patrol, they are doing their job. Demonstrate that you are good stewards to the land. Be in control, polite, helpful, and properly vague.
13. Count your Blessings.