This tented camp consists of a long, rectangular black tent such as those used for time immemorial by families and caravans traversing the Middle East deserts. The exterior may seem austere in today's world, but inside the larger tent is divided into rooms (open above about 5') within which are four man "pop tents" where guests actually sleep on foam mattresses, with plenty of blankets and pillows provided. Each such tent also has a ground cloth or rug so the only encounter with sand is as you leave or enter the tent. Nearby, another open tent with a long table serves as the mess tent where food prepared by Mr. Mzeid on an open fire, is served to guests who can elect either patio chairs or padded pillows to sit at the low table. Also, against the side of the massive sandstone mountain is a bathhouse with western toilets, running water (for washing) and even a shower.
This is rustic, but no more so than most public campgrounds in the US or Europe.
Most important to us, beside the massive red sandstone mountain is a large red sand dune, from which one can take drinks and watch the light slowly ebb away as the sun sets. After dark, walking from tent to bath house, one treks along the track of a truck's wheel that compresses the red sand, in complete silence and under a celestial ceiling of stars -- among the most brilliant anywhere giving almost enough light to read by.
We took only a 6 hour tour by truck the day we arrived from Petra (Wadi Musa, about 2 hours away by car), and chose not to take a camel back (an inexpensive option -- the camels know their way). One highlight was encountering the most beautiful white camel, which Mr. Mzeid had raised but sold to a colleague who tends and feeds it. It came to the truck and nuzzled Mr. Mzeid -- being then rewarded with a carrot.
We have camped in the American West -- Arizona, Utah, California -- in spectacular settings. But this was a different and more evocative experience for us. Adding this one day camp out was really an afterthought but it turned out to be one of our most fond memories of 3 weeks in Jordan, Israel and Turkey.