To celebrate UAE’s 43rd National day, I finally gave in to my father’s invitation to join him, together with some members of Pinoy 4×4 UAE , for an overnight Desert Safari/Camp. Well previously, I’ve always declined to go because of below reasons:
1. He invites us at the last minute so there’s no time to prepare! (I actually found out from his Pinoy 4×4 friends that they don’t really plan these trips. They just go whenever they want. Thumbs up for their spontaneity!)
2. I’ve always thought that camping will be uncomfortable e.g. no washrooms, no proper sleeping environment, and not enough water for drinking/washing. Add to that the fact that it gets very cold in the desert during night time.
3. I’m just really lazy! Ahah
Actually, the only reason we joined this time was because we’re getting bored of spending weekends & holidays at home! hehe. It turned out we were missing a lot by not joining them because the experience was TOTALLY FUN!!!
Since 1st December was a working day, we only got to prepare our ‘camping stuff’ few hours before the trip. All of us were first timers so I had to call Papa few times to check what we should bring. In the end, we came up with the following:
1. Comfortable clothes, thick jackets, socks, and shawls. Because it gets TERRIBLY COLD specially during winter nights!
2. Tents (depends on the number of pax), pillows, and thick blankets/ sleeping bags.
3. Portable tables and chairs. Disposable plates, cups, and utensils. Tissues and wet wipes are also a must!
4. Portable grill, charcoal, lighter, and of course marinated meats for barbeque (chicken,
pork, fish)! And because we’re true blue Pinoys, we also brought heaps of rice! hehe
5. Wood for the campfire/bonfire. Note: A campfire is really important as it will serve as your source of light and warmth, cooking tool, insect and animal deterrent, and most importantly you can gather around it for some interesting stories and other bonding activities.
6. Lots and lots of water. Bring as much as you can!
7. Portable speakers/amplifiers, playing cards, board games, and in our case, a videoke!
8. Digital and video cameras to capture ’em unforgettable memories!
9. A map or GPS for navigation specially for first timers. Make sure your phone is charged as well so you can make calls in case you get lost.
Papa provided us with these GPS coordinates (24.997189, 55.664360). I then entered the exact sequence on my iphone’s google maps app and saved it for reference. This was also a must!
After making sure everything was packed and ready, off we went with two cars to accommodate 7 of us comfortably. And after some missed turns and lots of other bloopers, we finally reached Nazwa Boys’ school in Lahbab desert, Oman Road, Dubai just before midnight. FYI, since our saloon cars weren’t fit for the desert dunes, we had to park and leave them in Nazwa Boys’ school. I called Papa right away and he came to pick us up together with Kuya Michael and their 4×4’s.
My father was surprised with the ton of things we brought and kept joking “Dinala nyo na ata ang buong bahay nyo!“ hahaha. See, that’s how prepared we were! Not bad for first timers eh! 😉
Since this post is getting too long, allow me to just show you more pictures and see how much we enjoyed our first desert camping experience!
In the morning, all of us tried our best to get up early in order take some nice photos , clean up, and prepare for a thrilling session of DUNE BASHING!
We survived! Looking forward to more overnight camps in the future!
Up next: Lots of fun photos, video(s) and our exhilarating Dune Bashing experience!