We have just returned from our first camping trip of 2018 and it was wonderful! We went to a new site this time located only 50mins outside the city and I can’t wait to return. The deeper into the Emirates you go the sand changes colour. If you drive towards Saudi Arabia the sand gets a very deep red colour which is lovely and we camped near here on our last trip read more here. We went to Al Khatim desert this time and the sand was much lighter in colour. We left the city at 3pm in a convoy of 5 cars and made the short trip to arrive just before 4pm.
On arrival the wind was whipping and it was an eventful start to setting up camp. D and I had to call in some of the more seasoned campers who swiftly filled some plastic bags with sand and put them inside our tent to enable us to get the pegs in! By 4.30pm we were all set up in our cosy little campsite and up on the dunes for sundowners.
Its always important to set up the tent when you first arrive to the campsite because its impossible to pitch a tent in the dark and once its done you can relax and head up on the dunes to watch the incredible sunsets. Also it means you get to unload the car into the tent and organise all of your stuff. Once the sun drops, darkness sets in pretty quickly and you need to know where your things are!
After watching the sunset on the dunes we headed back down to camp to enjoy some drinks and set up the grills. I marinated some chicken breasts over night and fed them onto skewers and we also brought some burgers and steaks.
Camping is a very social thing and generally everyone brings enough food not only for themselves but for everyone else too. This time some friends brought marshmallows, chocolate and biscuits to make smores with so we all pigged out on that after dinner!
We sat around talking, drinking and singing until midnight and then decided to head to our cosy little bed. I made the mistake of not bringing enough layers with me so it was a bit cold away from the camp fire but we did bring our duvet with us so once I was tucked up in bed it was fine but I will definitely bring one more layer the next time. In the later months of the year its fine but in January and February you definitely need more than you think!
Everyone tends to waken quite early so we were up about 7am and the weather was perfect, its still cool (14 degrees) at that time of the morning but the embers on the fire were still providing some heat and we had the kettle on for tea! While sitting around the fire enjoying our tea we had a visitor pass by! A bedouin man came along on his camel and gave us a friendly wave and ‘Salaam alaaikum.’
Shortly after 10am the temperature was heating up so we decided to pack up camp and head for home. The only thing about camping is that you need to pack up a lot of stuff for only one night away but once you are out in the desert it is totally worth it. Any more than one night I think would be too much because you can start to feel grubby and the sand can get annoying! However just getting out of the city and into the desert for one night makes you feel like you’ve spent the whole weekend away and at Al Khatim you are back to your home comforts in only 50mins!