The UAE has so much to offer when it comes to outdoor activities, particularly now that the cooler season has arrived. Short camping trips with family and friends are the perfect way to get out and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, but remember to plan your trip before you go so you carry all of the essential camping equipment with you.
Kickstart the outdoor season with our top 10 camping tips to make the most out of your next adventure.
Now that you’ve picked your camping destination you need to find out how long it will take to get there and what you need to bring. Various apps like Google Maps and Roadtrippers are best for suggesting shortcuts, eateries, pit stops, nearby petrol stations etc. For greater accuracy convert your route into GPS coordinates for longitude and latitude details – which can be shared with fellow campers on the trip.
This tip is essential for solo campers and backpackers. Always let someone know where you’re off to by dropping them a pin of your location or send them your GPS coordinates and your travel itinerary in advance.
A power bank is essential for keeping your camera, smartphone and other camping equipment up and running. A solar panel charger such as the Powertraveller SolarMonkey Expedition Portable Charger is a great tool. It can be used as a stand-alone charger and can charge any 5-volt devices including the iPhone, Android and Window smartphones, GoPro, GPS and more. An extra pack of batteries is also useful!
Hydrating yourself when outdoors is very important, particularly in this part of the world. If your camping trip requires a lot of trailing or trekking, then you will need to carry at least 4L per person. This of course depends on the number of days also.
Sunscreen and mosquito repellant are not to be forgotten. Lakes, bushy woods and stagnant ponds are home to various little creatures like mosquitoes and houseflies. A bonfire can further aggravate this and ruin your mood. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that you carry mosquito repellant to keep the pests at bay. Don’t forget to slather on a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful UVA/UVB rays.
For a day’s camping or hike, you can take sandwiches and fresh fruits to snack on, but for the longer trips, be sure to carry non-perishable foods like granola bars, nut-based bars and canned goods so you always have something on hand to keep you energised.
Lanterns, torches and flashlights are essential for an overnight camping trip. Before you head off make sure you try switching them on to ensure they’re not faulty. For campers, LED lights are useful if you plan on having a late-night barbeque.
Pitching a tent can require 2-3 people, especially if you’re a beginner. The best way to avoid running into delays is by practicing at home to familiarise yourself with the process. Read the instructions carefully and pitch a tent preferably under a tree to avoid direct sunlight when those rays come out at sunrise.
When you’re ready to call it a night, make sure you allow the wood to burn completely before you pour water to drown all embers and extinguish the fire. If the bonfire is large, ask your fellow campers to help you stir the campfire ashes and shovel dry when extinguished.
We understand your love for the outdoors, that’s why it’s important that you preserve these hidden gems for likeminded explorers and adventurers. Always set up a trash bag at the location so that campers can avoid littering the campsite. Keep empty plastic bottles in a separate bag so they can be dropped into a nearby recycling bin.
Find everything you need for your camping trip in our Outdoor section, which covers everything from coats, to tents and solar-paneled chargers so you have all your camping equipment ready to go. Enter our photo competition and be in the running to win a range of prizes, including a GoPro camera, or have your adventure-themed photo published on the cover of OutdoorUAE magazine.