Alright, I’m organizing a trip to AlSalmi Desert on Thursday, August 17th, 2017.
We’ll meet up in Mishref’s CO-OP, leave there by 17:30 (5:30 pm), so we’d reach our destination by 18:30 ~ 19:00 (6:30 pm ~ 7:00 pm). If you’re familiar with AlSalmi trips I organized before, you know the drill; get your food, matt, drinks, and hopefully, you’ll enjoy the escape.
If you’re not, well, keep on reading. I’ll try to explain and cover things up!
The meet up:
We will leave from Mishref CO-OP by 17:30 (5:30 pm) from the parking lot right across the CO-OP’s multilayered parking lot.
I will most likely be in Starbucks Mishref prior to that, sipping coffee and reading something, so feel free to pass by if you have questions 😀
Drive and arrival
If we drive without problems, we should be arriving by 18:30 ~ 19:00 (6:30 pm to 7:00 pm). We’ll be taking the Sixth Ring Road (Or Jassem Mohammad Al-Kharafi, if you prefer the new name), then the 70th (Or Al-Atraf road), then at some point we’ll take an exit in the desert and drive for maybe 20 or 30 minutes inside. Don’t worry though, any car could do. I used to drive there in my horrible loosy Mitsubishi Lancer (Nothing wrong with the car, I just don’t deserve it. Or any car, in that manner).
I will share a link to keep track of me while, so just in case you lost track of me or coming in late, you know how’d to get back on track.
Once you arrive, you’ll know the way back, so you can leave whenever you like. I sometimes stay there up to 03:00 (3:00 am).
What to expect:
Nothing, literally. Which is why we’re escaping there.
There shouldn’t be too much light, so we could see the milky way.
Few cars traveling through, but shouldn’t be a problem.
It’ll be too quiet, so don’t freak out.
There are no animals or whatever (Snakes, Scorpions, or bugs). I mean, I’ve been going there for years that I even slept there alone once in the open and I’ve seen nothing. I don’t want to dismiss the possibility, but its very unlikely to see any.
There might be few shooting stars though, but nothing guaranteed.
It’d be hot in there. Cooler than the city of course, but still hot, so keep that into consideration.
What to do:
The reason of this trip is to escape and gaze upon the dark sky without distractions. So what you’d do is totally up to you. But please consider the following:
- Don’t play music too loud. We’re all here escaping the city noise, we don’t have to bring noise with us here too!
- Don’t participate in illegal activities (Like, drinking alcohol or doing drugs\weed). Thankfully, none of that happened, so we’d like to keep it like that. Before you start doing that, think of how you’d affect others and ruin the fun for everyone.
- Try not to use light too much. The human eye takes time to adjust to darkness, so having light back again means it’ll take time to adjust back, which could mean missing some shooting stars. That, and few might be taking pictures of the dark sky and light does affect the pictures.
- Don’t litter. Thankfully all participants in previous events left the area as clean as it was when they arrived. Let’s keep it that way!
What to bring:
Basically, anything that’ll make you comfortable. Food, drinks, chairs, carpets or matts, anything basically. You can bring a grill and start grilling if you want. I usually do that. But please remember to bring some trash bags to clean your spot when you’re done.
If you want to take pictures, you’d need your camera, tripod, remote or cable release, memory (I suggest 16GB or more), and battery. Please remember to bring memories and batteries. I’m not kidding, I always forget something.
Camera gear suggestions:
Don’t be intimidated by how dark things are and how basic your gear is. If you have what I mentioned above, you’ll do good hopefully. Just follow these suggestions:
- Wide lens: The wider the better. Basically anything wider than 18mm should be fine.
- Lens cap: Sounds useless, but you’d need it for noise reduction by having a dark frame.
- Remote or cable release: You’ll need it because you’ll be taking continuous pictures.
- 16GB Memory at least: I’d suggest you use 32GB, but 16GB should be fine.
- A heavy tripod: A light one could do fine, but you’d have problems when it gets a bit windy.
- Charged battery: I’d suggest you bring another one just in case.
- Start with ISO 1600, 25 seconds shutter speed, and the biggest apperture you could use in your lens, then adjust to your taste.
Don’t worry about technicalities and where to point and stuff, I will be there and I will be glad to help out!
You can always contact me if you have any question and I’ll be very happy to answer to my best:
- Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter: Q8GEEK
- Email: webmatser at q8geeks dot org