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Friday, December 3, 2021

First time camping? Here’s all you need to hit the dunes this camping season


Ready for this year’s camping season? Here’s all you need to know before heading to your sandy escape.

As the temperature in Qatar begins to cool and the degrees begin to drop, locals and residents alike have started to take to the sandy landscapes of the peninsula to cozy up by a fire, drink some hot karak, and sleep under stars that aren’t visible in the city.

However, before heading out to camp this season, here’s what you’ll need to prepare.

Locations are key for camping in Qatar. There are two choices for camping – off-road sites that require a 4×4 vehicle, or sedan-friendly campsites.

Some examples of spots that are sedan-accessible are Wakrah Family Beach, Dukhan Beach, North Fuwairit, Ghariya and Sealine.

As for off-road camping sites, you’ll need a 4×4 to head to the Inland Sea area, Ras Al Burooq, South Fuwairit and deeper into Sealine.

Sites vary by water depth and clarity, elevation, accessibility and popularity, with some places becoming packed during the weekends.

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If you’re not opting for an already set-up camp provided by a company, then you’ll need to pack a sturdy tent that will remain stable in the ground through the night. Nights in Qatar’s deserts can be windy and sandy, so the stability of the tent is important.

Sleeping bags and all relevant bedding and blankets, foldable tables and chairs, flashlights and a cooler full of food and drinks are camping staples. If you plan on barbecuing, then charcoal bricks, firewood, lighter fluid, and fire starters are crucial, alongside your various meats.

However, it’s important to remember not to barbecue or light a fire directly onto the sand as this is illegal. To avoid a hefty fine, use a barbecue stand and be sure to dispose of the coal in designated bins once they have been put out.

Disposable or easily washable plastic cups, dishes, and utensils are important, as well as pots and pans that may be needed depending on the food choices for the trip. No camping trip is complete without snacks.

Just in case, a first aid kit will be needed, alongside cleaning materials such as trash bags, soap, disinfectant liquid or wipes, and tissues or paper towels.

Additionally, you will need a shovel, jump cables and rope that can be used in case your vehicles gets stuck in the sand – a likely occurrence for any trip into the desert.

As for personal items, towels, spare comfortable clothes, sunscreen, phone chargers or battery packs will come in handy during your trip.

When camping, reflective strips and objects are also useful in alerting night drivers of your location. Usually, set-up camp sites will have tire tracks in certain areas which can be used as paths in case you get lost.

Now all you need is to check your car for fuel, check if your tires are at the ideal pressure, and you’re ready to set off for your camping adventure.

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