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UAE'S MOST ENGAGING CAR SITE

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31 minutes ago, Gaurav said:

Totally agree on this one and also should have all expectation set in the beginning than opening any surprise on the way to detour here and detour there. I screwed two oman trips in exact same way.

Convoy driving is always a challenge. In car clubs there are agreements on keeping the pace, who is lead and second lead, etc.. 

On these drives you’ll encounter people who have never driven in convoy, and will either speed at 140 all the time without keeping an eye behind, or they will drive at 90, and stop at virtually every gas station. And when the camping part comes they will show up with no equipment, complain all night because it’s too cold or too hot, and be grumpy after a short sleep. 

I have also been in these situations and only take people along that I know and respect, as I won’t risk spoiling my well deserved holiday. 

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    • By Frederic
      Below a starter list for everyone who wants to explore the joy of camping:
      * A tent: when buying one, always buy one size bigger as what you need, as a tent that is labeled as 3 person tent will be very very tight and cramped for three adults. Look for a tent with adequate ventilation that can be kept open  with a mosquito net during the warmer periods, and closed off during the cold nights. If you only plan to stay one night, then the Decathlon (Quechua) and Coleman Pop-up tents are great. Quick to set up, not too expensive, and will last forever.
      The Coleman Instant tents with the outer poles (see pic) are very popular and have really good ventilation.
      https://thedesertdiva.com/2016/01/24/review-coleman-instant-tents/

      The poles are telescopic and have a bit of a tendency to get stuck once sand gets into them. Just a thing to look after.
      You will need to pay specific attention to the tent spikes. Most tents just give you those 8inch tiny metal spikes that only work in soil, not in sand or rocks. It took me some trial and error to found out that i needed:
      These ones for 80% of the locations i went. They can be hammered in hard sandy areas and work also in some medium softer areas.

       
      These ones for very soft areas:

      They are called beach umbrella anchors, meant to fix your umbrella in the sand. They make very good tent stakes if you want to camp in the dunes.
      If you want to travel light with a family, you could also get 2 small pop-up tents instead of choosing 1 big family tent. 
       
      * BBQ: Not an essential item, but makes the camping more fun of course. A small table-top BBQ will do.
      * Electronics: Headlights, torches, powerbanks, two way radios, table lights, etc... etc... etc... Most people have enough laying around the house.
      * Gas Stove: One of my favorite things to have handy: A small  gas stove where you can boil an egg on, or make yourself a coffee in the early hours. Most work on the small gas cartridge cylinders that you can order via Amazon. (Decathlon did not have them last time, as they need a license to sell gas).

      * Sleeping bags: The desert can get very very cold in the winters, so some sleeping bags will be needed during those periods. 
      * Air mattress: Many types are available, from the classic air mattresses that require a foot pump or air bed compressor, to the very thin sleeping pads which hardly require any inflation. Depends on your own comfort and experience. I like the classic air beds but I'm a bit fed up with the small punctures and leaks that appears out of nowhere. The sleeping pads look like a better option, but they cost a bit more. You could also buy a bit of HVAC insulation foam, fold it double, and voila, you have a foam mat that you can sleep on !
      Utensils: I am not fond of the disposable plates and cups, so we have plastic ones that we can wash and re-use.
      Folding Chairs and Tables: My first pair of gas-station chairs did not last very long, and later I got better ones  at the Park and Shop DIP for 100AED (Director Studio Chair model) You can go all the way to the OZTRAIL 350AED models if your butt requires royal softness. @Rahimdad his reclining chair is probably the pinnacle of camping chairs  
      Recovery gear: As with every person that ventures off-road, you should have a compressor, pressure gauge, deflator, and recovery rope with soft shackles with you, and also a wooden board, floor jack or bottle jack in case you need to replace a tyre. Don’t forget that a recovery rope is NOT a gas station tow rope. 
      Medical Kit: Truly essential, as a small or big accident is never far away. 
      Water: Absolutely ESSENTIAL. Always carry water with you, camping and offroading drains your energy and you will need to top-up your internal fluids regularly. 
      Cooler: You have the 12V powered coolers, but i am not impressed with them. Just go for a slightly bigger one, and pass by the petrol station to chuck it full of ice. Cheap and works great. 
      Clothing: Venturing offroad is fun wearing shorts and slippers, but better go for light breathing hiking pants, and closed shoes, for your own safety. Wear a cap and protect yourself from the harsh elements.
      Trash bags: make sense..
      Duffle bags: Not essential, but i bought a few and i highly recommend them to put your stuff in. They are strong yet light.
      Compass and Maps: Most people now go for a Smartphone with an Offroad GPS maps. Mobile coverage is weak in some areas so it makes sense to download the area where you camp on your phone. GaiaGPS, MotionX, Google Maps, and many others will work great.
      Toilet paper / Wet wipes: Extremely useful. No further details to add....
      Firewood: Available from petrol stations. 
      Axe: Always handy to cut your firewood if you are not in a protected area.
      Your Positive Attitude: Most important of all. Camping for multiple days is exhausting, and you will definitely need to recover after your trip. But i love it and it gets us closer to nature. The times that we have shared stories at the bonfire and watched the sky full of stars makes everything allright. 
       
      WHERE TO BUY ALL THIS STUFF ?????
      This is like most hobbies something that eats a bit of your budget, so i would recommend buying the essentials and having a look a Dubizzle as there are many expats leaving and selling camping gear for bottom prices. Every now and then you can add something to your collection. 
      Carrefour and Lulu have good basic stuff to start off with, they also sell Coleman which is a well known bang for the buck brand.
      Decathlon is a shop that specializes in Outdoor activities, so you will feel like being in Wonderland with all the stuff you will find there.  Prices are a bit higher than Carrefour, but the quality is better. When you happen to travel to Europe, go to a Decathlon over there as i've seen much lower prices in EU compared with UAE. They have really good tents, clothing, and accessories, and if you take care of them they will last forever.
      The more high end shops like AdventureHQ and others have fantastic gear. The more frequent you camp, the more you will start to see differences in gear and equipment. Then it's up to you how far your budgets stretches and where your priorities are. One of my friends used a 50dhs tent that worked fine initially, but lacked any ventilation, and the assembly sticks broke after only one camping trip. It went to the garbage that same day.
       
    • By Jeh
      Hi Guys,
       
      I am planning to to go Hatta Lake for Kayaking Friday 09.03.18  morning. The venue opens at 8am and its 60Dhs per head for unlimited time. 
      I am attaching the route going to the lake. However i plan to take the Route B which crosses a wadi and just drive through it. 
      I have taken the route before through that wadi but half way only. This time i am planning to cross it and connect on the main road going to Hatta lake. 
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    • By treks
      I never mentioned sedans- I said "rent a suitable vehicle", which is invariably a diesel truck. 
      Sure, you can do a road trip in Africa with an SUV- provided you don't venture too far (50 -100 km) from major centres. The roads around most major cities are generally in reasonable condition, but  anything beyond about 100 km or so from a major city (and considerably less in some cases) becomes an overland expedition to the next major city. 
      If you don't want to do cities, any distance between two points in Africa is an overland expedition, and especially so in central Africa, where nobody has been able to build permanent roads- or railways for that matter. However, large sections of the Trans-African Highway system (the parts of it that run around the edges of the continent, at least) have been paved and/or upgraded during the past ten years or so, but there are no guarantees that any part of the Trans-African Highway system will remain paved from one year to the next. 
      If you ever end up in washed out section of the road system in the dry season, when big trucks have reduced it to series of deep trenches that can be deeper than a meter, and run for tens of kilometers, you will find that the limited suspension articulation of an SUV- any SUV- will leave you crested on these trench tops every few meters. Then again,if you ever end up in a washed out section of the road system in the wet season, you need to be in a group of at least four trucks to get through meter-deep mud traps that can run for tens of kilometers. If you can get past the dozens of big trucks that have been bogged down for months in a track that is barely wide enough to allow two ox-carts to pass each other, that is. 
      In fact, a few years ago I had to abandon one of my expedition grade vehicles in such a mud trap because there was no way to get it out of the mud from behind an 18- wheeler that had sunk into the mud up to the top of it's wheels, and from in front of another 18-wheeler that had followed me into the mud trap before the other vehicles in my expedition could follow me in. For all I know, both trucks and my vehicle are still stuck there. 
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    • By Jamy B.
      Hi everyone,
      I'm looking for a second hand car but I'm kinda lost when it comes to which one to go for. I've been considering Wrangler, Land Cruiser, FJ Cruiser, Montero Sport... Definitely a 4x4 or SUV as I camp a lot, sleeping in the car (for now I use my friend's Montero Sport). The dilemma is that I have been reading a lot about the best car or 2nd or 3rd best for off-roads, but I'd also need it to go to work (I live in Dubai but work in Ajman...). So... here goes my requirements:
      - A 7 seater preferably. Or at least a big car that I can manage to put the back seats down and use it to sleep, as I don't always feel safe while camping on my own.
      - I would need it for off-road driving. I always end up driving in wadis, over big rocks, mountains, gravel, in the desert, etc. I'm also planning a road trip driving around Africa this summer...
      - As I mentioned above, I'd need to use it to go to work. I can't afford having 2 cars...
      - Budget is around 40K. Can push it to 50K for the right car.
      - GCC specs, not too many km...
      Please, I can change tyres and have basic knowledge of mechanics, and I'm also willing to take more advanced mechanic courses or whatever if needed. So no 'this is not an option for a woman' BS.
      Thank you in advance
      Jamy
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