Yes!!! After 18 months in Saudi, we caved in and bought camping gear after hitting several camping stores (Olayan on Kurais road and Saco World at exit 5). We left with lighter wallets and a heavier truck, full of a tent, 4 cots, 4 sleeping bags, a Saudi desert carpet, 4 foldable chairs and even a collapsible toilet seat! This sudden purchase of camping gear was prompted by two things: a desire to overnight in the desert AND the fact that starting in August, we will be in Malawi and will be able to camp and do safari in the African Savannah.
It’s amazing all the stuff we could have bought. We did not buy everything we needed and will need to check out another camping store later this week.We are missing small rechargeable lights, a table, a small gas stove, better stakes for the tent, but we had plenty enough to have a good first experience and were fortunate to camp with six other families who were experienced campers and had all the equipment that they willingly shared.
We all met in the parking lot of a supermarket and, after discussing the route, we caravanned into the desert. It was quite a scenic drive, taking us down the plateau, by small escarpments and into never before seen corners of the Kingdom. Although we walk in the desert on a regular basis, it’s usually within one hour drive from Riyadh. This weekend, our destination was over 200 kms from town and really took us off the beaten paths and away from the crowds. The further away from Riyadh the less cars we crossed on the roads until we left the roads and went into the desert.
When can we go camping again? This was so much fun!