For almost a century westerners have been enamored with the Arabian Peninsula representing western countries as ambassadors, explorers, and military leaders. Some explored the peninsula on the back of camels. And modern adventurers with the help of a camping cart also called a trekker cart. These men have gained their fame for their work in the desert and ability to survive the sand.
T.E. Lawrence's fame is known in the west from his journals turned novels and the 1962 hit film and winner of seven Academy Awards Lawrence of Arabia. The film portrays the heroic Brit who united the tribes from Aqaba to Damascus in the epic and true battles against the Ottoman Empire.
Many of us have heard of the well-known Lawrence of Arabia or T.E. Lawrence, but how many of us have heard of Wilfred Thesiger, known by Arabs as Mubarak bin London (Blessed Son of London)?
Wilfred Thesiger did not participate in the great raids of Damascus, but if he had been with T.E. Lawrence at the time, it is likely they would have been side by side during the famous Arab conquests. Sir Wilfred Thesiger's fame would come later and after his military service. Thesiger is best known for his work with the Marsh peoples of Iraq and multiple trips across the empty quarter of Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
His desert crossings gained fame and admiration of explorers considering the more than 1,000 miles to cross without food or water. So treacherous, in fact, it was common for Thesiger to begin a journey and end with a far smaller team as his members would slowly abandon him one by one. He would set out on these trips with large caravans of camels. No trekker cart existed then.
Inspired by the stories of Lawrence of Arabia and Mubarak bin London, these modern adventurers Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron attempted a journey of their own in the Empty Quarter. Without aid and the comfort of a camel, these two men conquered the empty quarter by means of a four wheel trekker cart. Some call it a camping cart.
Their trip was hastily-planned and low budget. Without the aid of camels, they instead hoped to drag a homemade trekking cart (filled with 300kg of supplies) through the ferocious desert heat. This film is their story. See the trailer and marvel at their homemade cart.
The strain it took to pull their camping cart is almost unbearable to witness at times in the feature film. We look forward to sending the next adventurers into the Empty Quarter with the Honey Badger Wheel. Any volunteers?