As one of the most exotic regions to explore, the Middle East is the gateway to some of the richest cultures in the world. The customs, the norms, even their traditions intrigue the visitors and tempt them to stay longer.
It is unfortunate that most of us can only think of the region as either the highly urbanized one like UAE or as a completely barren land with nothing but camels. The region has much more to offer.
Besides its many ancient sites, the Middle East has a vast area that remains as raw as land can be. It is home to never-ending desserts, vast safaris, rocky hills, and lush oasis. No wonder camping is actually a part of the culture for many Middle Eastern countries. The natives love it so much that you will find them camping all the time, and almost everywhere.
From parks within the cities to far away spots in the desert, people in the Middle East love camping adventures. Since it is so common around here, camping in the Middle East on a reasonable budget is not as difficult as it sounds. You need to know the right tips and tricks. If you’re looking to save as much as possible, these seven Secrets or tactics will help you put together a great camping trip on a budget.
The first secret is to plan a tad early and premeditate the trip you are about to take. Create a box and label it “Camping Supplies.” You must fill it every day with the things you might need for the trip. For example, if you go out for shopping and spot a tent on sale, purchase it and put it in the box. Buy camping accessories, non-perishable food at cheaper prices and save it in the box for later. Filling the supply box over time would save you a ton of spending right before you leave for your trip. This way your budget won’t take a big dent and you won’t forget anything at the last minute.
Borrow or Rent Your Equipment
Why buy expensive camping equipment when you can borrow or rent it? We all have at least one friend with a bunch of camping gear, canvas tents stashed in their storeroom. Borrow equipment you need for the trip. Chances are they will share it with you. If not, you can offer to pay rent for the expensive items. Should you have to ask different people to complete your supply, do it. This will help you remain on a budget. However, if you know no one who owns camping equipment, check out rental stores. This can be an affordable alternative to buying all the camping equipment you need. Make sure you return the equipment back in the condition you got it.
Camp Close to Home
Choose a camping spot that is not too far from your hotel or accommodation. You can save a considerable amount of money on fuel that way. Most of the time these sites are rather cheap because you’re avoiding a busier area where there are a lot of tourists. In addition, if you stick close to home it would also mean minimal travel time, which in turn maximizes the time you’ll spend camping. Less travel time also equals lesser toll charges, pit stops, and snacks for the road. If at all possible plan your trips for the weekdays instead of weekends. Some campsites offer reduced rates on the weekdays.
Cook on Fire, Not Stove
Camp stoves make cooking easier. But when you’re on a budget buying a fancy stove is out of the question. In fact, cooking on fire is traditionally how camping food is cooked. You can test out these campfire recipes on your next camping trip. No one expects a 5-star cuisine on a camping trip. Use aluminum foil over the campfire or just keep it simple and roast hotdogs and marshmallows on a stick.
Consider Group Camping
If you share a campsite with another family, or gather a group of friends to go camping, you can save a few bucks. You can share all of your groceries, the cost of the campsite, and equipment as well. Make sure you pay attention to the campground’s rules for how many tents and vehicles can be on one campsite. If you load it up too much, you could risk having to pay extra for another site or for any extra vehicles.
Use Blankets as Sleeping Bags
While sleeping bags are commonly preferred, they are definitely not the only option you have. A decent sleeping bag for your whole family can put quite a dent in your budget. It even feels like an unnecessary cost if you don’t go camping very often. Old blankets will do just the trick to keep you warm in your tent during the night.
Find Free Activities to Enjoy
Instead of heading to the nearest camping site, you can Google the immediate area around your campsite for free activities for the whole family to enjoy. Look for the cool lake for a dip, fun nature trails, or beaches to soak some sun. Simply pack for a lunch picnic and you and your family are set for some quality time under the sun. You can also search for campsites that are kid friendly and have activities on-site for the youngsters to enjoy. If you don’t find any organized activities, look for a playground or a pool near a camping site. Camping is perhaps the best option if you’re looking for an inexpensive getaway with family or friends, especially in the Middle East.
By Judy Robinson
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