Brrrr, can you feel it? The cold season is upon us, and that means it’s time for camping adventures, outdoor fun, and late-night barbecues. How cool is that? 2020 was a bummer, but thankfully, this year will be loads of fun. The beautiful deserts of the UAE are calling, and spending time in the destination of your choice is the much-needed break you need.
There’s so much more to life than hustling at work. Sometimes, it’s all about watching the golden sunset in the sand dunes, setting up a bonfire, cooking barbecue, toasting marshmallows, and gazing at the stars. Good thing, all these are possible given that the UAE is endowed with several desert camping sites. These include Al Qudra Lakes in Dubai; Al Dhafra Beach in Abu Dhabi; the Hajar Mountains, which is spread out evenly between the UAE and Oman, Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, and Fossil Rock in Sharjah. With a wide range of selections, you and your gang will absolutely have the time of your life during the winter season.
Each of the camping sites in the UAE offers a unique adventure for everyone. If you want the best of both worlds, then head to Al Dhafra Beach, where you can enjoy both the beach and the desert. Are you craving for a long road trip and some outdoor grilling fun? Then Jebel Jais and the Hajar Mountains have got you covered. If you want to enjoy a serene camping moment, then Al Qudra Lakes is your best destination. Meanwhile, if you want to take it to the extremes, then Fossil Rock’s dune bashing and off-roading adventures will never disappoint. However, to ensure a glitch-free camping experience, you need to have an arsenal of high-quality camping gear and essentials. Let’s check them out below.
For sure, a tent is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘camping’. It is designed to protect you from the outdoor elements. What’s more, it serves as your home away from home while in the desert. Thus, you need to choose the best one to ensure your comfort and peace of mind. If it is your first time buying a tent, deciding on one can be quite daunting, given the several options available in the market today. Well, there are a few essential considerations to keep in mind. We have rounded them up below to help you make a smart choice and ensure your satisfaction.
These are just some of the factors you need to consider when purchasing a camping tent for your next getaway. Since there is an assortment of options out there, it is only normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. Following the tips above will help you narrow down your choices and zero in on the one that ticks all the right boxes. Moreover, various sale events transpire in the UAE yearly, such as White Friday, National Day Sale, and Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). So, you are sure to get huge discounts on your purchases.
A sleeping bag is your perfect companion during those cold desert nights. Aside from giving an extra layer while you sleep, it can also be used as a seat cushion. So, do not forget this functional gear when going out for a camp. The best lightweight sleeping bags can be stored inside your backpack with ease. The best part is that they can also carry other small essential items when your bags cannot accommodate them anymore. When shopping, go for low denier shell fabrics. These offer the best compressibility and massive weight savings. One that weighs 2 lbs or less is your best pick. However, expect that it can cost you a bit. If you are lucky enough, you can grab top sleeping bag brands like Kelty, The North Face, Marmot, Sierra Designs, and Mountain Hardwear at a massive price slash.
Sitting on the ground is okay for a few minutes, but not for hours. Doing so can predispose you to lower back pain and muscle cramps. Moreover, your legs can be in direct contact with dirt and dust. Though you can use a sleeping bag as a cushion, nothing can equal the comfort offered by a foldable camping chair. It keeps you relaxed while grabbing a bite of snacks, sitting around the bonfire, or just letting the time pass. There are several options to choose from in the market, each with distinct features. If you are on a tight budget, go for the one without back support. Its price usually ranges from only AED 15 to AED 30. Meanwhile, if you want supreme comfort and convenience, then go for camping chairs with back support and a cup holder. You can also opt for those that recline and convert into a bed. However, of course, these are the priciest varieties.
Though camping is not a rigorous activity, it can make you hungry every now and then. So, don’t forget to bring food, especially if you plan to stay overnight. And to make the most out of your desert dining experience, it is necessary to have the right cooking equipment. Given that barbecues, hotdogs, and marshmallows are staple foods for camping, you need a portable camping grill. You can also go for disposable ones, which are more lightweight and cheaper. If you are a fan of soup for cold weather, then a camping stove will also come in handy. Lastly, don’t forget to bring packs of disposable utensils. You are going to need a lot of them, especially if you are camping with your family or group of friends. Most importantly, ensure that you have trash bags to keep all the garbage.
Just like any other city in the world, Dubai never sleeps, and lights are everywhere. This is why you can only get to see the star-studded night sky in the outskirts of the emirate. Aside from bonfires and sunsets, the stars are another sight to behold in every camping site in the UAE. And what better way to gaze at their beauty is by lying down on a camping ground mat. It separates your body from the cold ground, thus ensuring your protection from weather-related ailments. If you are on a hunt for the best choice, go for self-inflating or inflatable varieties. They offer a better comfort factor and pack down smaller. The best part is that you can easily pack them inside your bag, and you’re good to go. Some of the best brands to go for include ThermaRest, Nemo tensor, Trekology, Alpkit, and Exped.
Deserts in the UAE are dark and chilly during winter. Therefore, make portable torches and flashlights a part of your arsenal to ensure your safety. Modern camping flashlights are now more advanced than before. They come in various types, beam distances, sizes, and lumens, with 1000 being extremely powerful. LED lights are a great pick for outdoor activities such as camping. Not only they are more efficient than regular lights, but they also have a longer lifespan. High-intensity discharge (HID) flashlights are also a fantastic choice, as they are designed to produce extremely bright light. However, this feature makes them a bit more expensive than other types. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, then the battery-powered incandescent flashlights are the way to go.
Staying hydrated is the key to ensuring that our body functions properly, and this is true even in winter. This includes proper blood flow, excellent mental cognition, as well as healthy liver and kidney function. Thus, it is essential to load up your car with lots of bottles of water, jugs, and refreshments. If you are on a hunt for a new camper’s water bottle, there are two essential factors to consider: insulation and capacity. Hot water is a must when spending a cold night outdoors. Thus, go for one with awesome vacuum insulation. Read reviews to know whether the product you intend to buy is true to its promise. As for capacity, you need to determine how much you need to make the right buying decision. Keep in mind that in the desert, water is not only for drinking but for washing too.
Apart from the gear and equipment mentioned above, there are other camping essentials that may prove to be useful for your desert camping. Do not underestimate the value of first aid kits, as accidents happen without warnings. They must contain antiseptic sprays or wipes for wounds, latex gloves, band-aids, and others. Extra batteries for your torch and flashlight can also come in handy. What’s more, bring sanitiser and baby wipes to wipe off your hands and keep germs at bay. Firewood and gas lighters are also indispensable for the bonfire and when cooking. Most of all, ensure that your power banks are fully charged to stay connected in the digital world.
Winter is always a much-awaited season in the UAE, and camping is one of the best ways to celebrate it. Thus, it is crucial to have complete winter camping tools and equipment before you set out for the journey to your chosen campsite. After all, the adventure will not be as fun, comfortable, and convenient without them. The good news is that Mini in the Box has everything you are searching for. Here, you can explore a range of reliable brands offering various camping gear at budget-friendly prices. Not to mention, you can take advantage of promo codes and exciting deals all year round. Plus, the online store also offers other products under the sport & outdoor category. So, start your shopping journey here!