Why Wear Robes In the Desert? Robes are loosely fitting garments that allow air to pass through freely and aerate the body thereby cooling it down, a prospect that is highly important if one must cope with the excessive heat in certain environments like the desert.
This air passage also speeds up evaporation and the release of body heat. The Bedouins are a desert-dwelling band of Arabs who exclusively live their lives there. They are known to wear mostly thick black robes almost always because it is believed this garment helps them to stay cool, according to research findings.
The ‘kefiyyah’ is the headcloth of the desert robe, which is equally the most distinctive part of any desert Arab clothing. It is maintained together by heavy woollen coils called ‘agal.’
The ends of this cloth can easily be wrapped around one’s face and neck too. When used like this, it acts as a kind of protection from the cold , a shield from the heat of the sun, and a screen to keep the wind and sand out as well. So, you see, the ends of the cloth also serve important functions too.
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The traditional Arab ‘djellabas’ are mostly made of two types of material fabrics: cotton for summer wear and coarse wool for winter. As a result, you choose which one to wear depending on the times of the year or type of the season.
On a general note, it is good to wear any loose white summery clothing in the desert summer. The white is not only meant to create a special appeal but also people claim that white is the most ideal means to keep yourself cool in the summer. On the contrary, wearing black clothes absorbs heat and makes you feel toaster.
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Yes, it is definitely not advisable to wear black in the sun for the simple reason that black absorbs heat and makes you really uncomfortable, while white reflects heat with a resultant cooling effect on the body. It is mostly for this reason that the colours of most roofs are plain white to ensure this cooling effect on sunny days.
Research studies have established reliably that the heavy black robes worn mostly by the Bedouins in the desert are for the purpose of heat control. To this effect, the outer layer of fabric in their robes does get hotter because black colour is known to absorb heat.
However, this absorbed heat by their robes does not get transmitted to their skin because of the thickness of the fabric. In addition, black colour does not easily show or reveal dirt as other colours, such as white are prone to do.
No, it is not. This is mostly because black colours are good absorbers of heat while colours like white reflect heat. Consequently, since colours like white tend to cool the body and the desert is known to be hot especially in the day, white coloured garments are preferred.
On the other hand, since temperatures in the desert are reputed to be extremely cold at nights, black garments can be worn at such times conveniently.
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What colour is best to wear in the desert?
The answer to this question depends on the perspective from which one looks at the issue. First, the Bedouins wear thick black robes which are expected to absorb heat and cause certain discomfort in the day.
However, it is explained that this absorbed heat does not cause any discomfort because the thick robes do not allow it to get transmitted across to their skins. This is why they prefer them.
On the other hand, judging by scientific findings, lighter colours such as white are better worn in the desert since they do not absorb much heat, a situation that is definitely preferable, especially in cases where the garments are not so thick as to prevent the transmission of diurnal desert heat. So, there you are on what clothes are best worn in the desert during the day.
The best shoes to wear in the desert are boots, which can conveniently be used as casual kick around shoes or for walking around across the sandy terrain. Gum shoes are also good for use in the desert too, due to their excellent traction on desert slick rock sand and stones.
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Taking everything into consideration, thick black clothes are good since, though they absorb heat, their thickness prevents this heat from getting across to the skin and making you uncomfortable.
In the same vein, light white clothes will also be good because, first, they are light and hence present less burden while walking, and second, they do not absorb much heat either.
Therefore, their combined lightness and easy access of air across to your skin make them great for dessert uses. All in all, thick black clothes and light white robes are both good for use in the desert.
Though there is the issue of white clothes getting more easily dirty as against darker colours, with water a scarce commodity in the desert. For this reason, black coloured clothes should be the best on all counts. I go with black clothes, and so should you too.
Many clothes are commonly worn in the desert for several reasons. First, it is known that the nights are uncommonly cold in the desert, so wearing many clothes is bound to be of immense help in such situations.
In addition, during the day, which are also uncommonly hot, wearing many clothes can equally help because the several layers of the clothes worn will prevent the heat from getting transmitted across to your skin for any discomfort.
Generally, loose-fitting clothes are preferred, and the Tuaregs also wear long indigo robes as well as indigo headgear. Several layers of clothes equally assist to prevent sweat from evaporating too rapidly so that the person in the desert will be able to conserve moisture or water, a very rare essential for desert dwellers.
This measure of water conservation helps to keep the body cooler and hydrated as well. So, as you can see, there are just too many advantages to wearing many layers of clothes in the desert.
The answer is simple. Such dresses on desert dwellers help for protection. These dresses help protect their skin from the direct effect of the sun and also help keep them cooler.
The headgear commonly used in the desert is meant for the protection of the head which is of immense importance in such places.
Head protection in this case does not only refer to safeguarding the head from the harsh weather and sunshine, but also from the violent and persistent gales of sand bearing winds too. The headwear in the desert is generally referred to as the shemagh.
The head should, or rather must be covered in the desert against the harsh weather, sunshine and common strong winds that commonly bear sand in them.
To effectively pack for a desert trip, you definitely must put certain things or challenges into consideration. First, the clothes and shoes you wear while there.
To do this correctly, it is advisable to take a cue from what desert dwellers commonly wear, such as the Bedouins and the Tuaregs. This means that you should get thick black robes and good shoes that will fit the situation.
Headwear is also highly recommended. Never forget how water is scarce in the desert, so get as much of that as you can along with a sufficient food supply.
There are lots of other things you should take along, but since most are those things we use daily anywhere, you are not likely to forget them, so they hardly deserve a mention here.
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In order to pack properly for a desert safari, the following items are worth taking into consideration:
Knowing how hot the Sahara desert can be, you may be tempted to wear shorts and a T-shirt, but please don’t. Instead, you should opt for any loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants, a wide-brimmed hat with a closed crown and sturdy hiking boots will do you lots of good, my dear.
What is more, they will protect you from the rays of the sun and also allow air to circulate, thus helping you to cool down. These are your allies in any desert sojourn, dear.
Hoods are worn to protect yourselves from the direct exposure to the harsh sun as is prevalent in the desert, as well as sudden storms while allowing your body heat to escape through the fabric too.
The layers of loose clothing also slow down sweat evaporation and so keep the body cool. Light coloured clothes which reflect heat and reduce body temperature are also highly recommended as well.
Both the long sleeves and the headwear worn by the Arabs cover their skins which protect them from direct sunlight that may hit them. They also shield them from dust and wind. They are however loose-fitting because, in that way, they can prevent both sweating and evaporation. Loosely woven fabric permits more flow of air which allows your sweat to evaporate.
Your primary concern in the desert is to keep cool at all times. If you must discard any clothes to get that done, by all means just go on. Clothes on the body trap heat, and they can also prevent sweat from evaporating properly, both of which can quickly kill you due to heat stroke. So, take them off if you must.
Even on sunny days, did cowboys in the Old West wear that many clothes? Though vests were common since they provided extra pockets and so, cowboys often wore them in warm weather. Coats, which were also commonly worn, provide extra protection while working in tough brush or rocks.
Saudi now celebrates its Bedouin roots with widely televised camel beauty contests and sword dancing, but only a handful of semi-nomads are still in the country’s northern deserts, where they eke a living ranching sheep. In essence, nomadism as an economic structure in Saudi is long gone but is only celebrated for the hell of it.
In the entire Arab world, the Bedouins are well known as the most complete and persistent desert dwellers. As a result of this acknowledgement, if you wish to know anything about the desert, you will do well to take a cue from them.
From the clothes they wear, what they eat and how they live, desert life is a prominent feature in all of it. Surprisingly, everything they do in order to enable them to live their lives conveniently in the desert conforms to scientific research findings!
In fact, where you see impossibilities, others may see bountiful opportunities. Isn’t that the way the cookie crumbles? If it doesn’t, then it should. See you some other time, dear.