Hey Mugwog, how did you maneuver the cars to create a central space? We had a huge group of 11 last year and wanted to just stack the cars on opposite sides of our space but they kept telling us no. At one point after getting in we attempted to do it again and a horse cop was there in a second. Did you guys just say fuck it and pull it off eventually? Same group is getting together next year and I want to pull this off so we can have a central area because our section was so long we ended up having two hang out zones.
As for getting the large group in, its very stressful but as long as you have contact between the first and last car, you can make it. After the security checkpoint its pretty much a clusterfuck for about a 500 yards until you start going in single file. That was the hardest part but if you politely ask people to allow your group to get in line it can be done. The people at the festival dont really give a shit about your group so its on you so remember that at all times. Never assume they will stop anyone or allow you to go because your group. Going in you can pull off the to the side of the road pretty much until the checkpoint and after that you want your most aggressive drivers leading the charge. Make sure you have people in each car in constant contact with each other, because the 30 minutes of hassle is so worth it.
Not really "innovations" but suggestions I wish I had known before camping:
Dry Ice: Best tip I ever saw on this site and it was a real god send was dry ice. Shit will keep a cooler cold almost all weekend, as long as you keep it shut. It costs like 3 dollars a pound at almost any Ralphs. Best investment you can make for camping as no one likes drinking 90 degree Gatorade after waking up from a night of drinking drugs and dancing.
Pop up tents They really are your best friend. I didn't even use a real tent last year, would just lower the pop up on the side facing the sun almost all the way and keep the other side at half mast, way cooler than a tent with the same shade. I had earplugs in and slept past 10, everyday waking up to my friends complaining I was still asleep. Also invest in some tarps or dark sheets for walls. With some duct tape you essentially have removable walls so in the morning you can block the sun and during the day you catch the breeze. I highly recommend this as even the most breathable tent turns into a sauna very fast on the grounds. Plus the setup/breakdown takes about 30 seconds, a nice bonus when you are getting hammered Thursday night and your friends are trying to figure out the stakes to their tent.
Power:For power, never messed with the electric generators but like someone said, with a car charger($30) and half tank of gas ($40) you have a generator. Best Buy and the like sell the AC adapters for like $50 if you want to get fancy with electronics. I had friends who bought the solar and battery powered phone chargers and they suck. Unless you get fancy(point of the thread I understand) car charger is your best bet.
Two last random things that I cant imagine camping without- Earplugs and Neutrogena Cooling Sunscreen. Nothing worse than waking up at 7am to your Dutch neighbors blabbering in another language or the roaming hippy drum circle as the acid wears off. Everyone kind of brushes them off but they are beyond clutch for sleep. And Costco sells a 3 pack of Neutrogena Cooling Sunscreen, thats like 50+ SPF and cold(hence the name).
Apologize for the novel, bored and can't sleep.
I really wish that we could bring generators... But i guess the thought of a bunch of people that will potentially be under the influence of drugs storing gas cans next to their tents is a bad idea.
Someone here who is good at electrical stuff should help me figure out how to attach my solar panel to my camping fan. So that it automatically starts blowing when the sun comes up. Because that would be very helpful.
Would love to see more pictures of peoples camp sites. I'm camping for the first time next year and I need some ideas to steal.
That's my plan b.
Tent Cots sound like a cool way to save space vs. tents, since you can put them around the parameter, stow gear underneath, and open them up daytime for ventilated chillaxation under your canopy.
If I had the option of driving in locally, I would definitely be looking into those tents that set up on the top of vehicles.
Speaking of ultimate shade protection for sleeping in, why sleep ON TOP of something, when you can sleep UNDER your entire camp setup. Borrow some risers and elevate your table and chairs into the breeze. A tarp chilled by the cold grass and heavy curtains around the outside will prevent any rude early morning awakenings by the heat.
Noooooo but what if it crashes down on you?
You will be rescued by heroes.
The Polo fields are incidentally only about 10 miles away from the San Andreas Fault.
I know it is a no no by the rules but the best way to guarantee optimum space is in buying a companion parking pass at the same time as your camping pass. Then when the security eventually leaves your area after parking is full around you move your vehicle to the companion parking and you have more space in your actual camping spot. We did it last year and it was no issue. You can also come and go with that parking pass and that helped some with ice and water and beer purchases because we went into town when we moved and got more supplies on Sat morning. They didn't even park us in companion parking, they put us in regular car camping again even though we told them we were companion parking, so the folks parked next to us at that spot got extra space too. We got 3 companion parking passes this year and 3 camping passes so we should have a fairly good sized area with the 3 tents we will have. No way in hell will they separate my family this year:-)
No more $9 camp chairs from Wal-Mart for me...
150 for a camping chair is dumb, but its a cool chair
Bitches love big chairs
We then had everyone set up their tents up pretty close to one another and along the borders. Had plenty of room to set up a bloody mary station, beer pong table, about 12-15 chairs in the middle for chilling.
Keep in mind that we had both ends of a row. Not just one side, the middle between each row helped give us a good amount of space.
Mmmmmm bloody Mary.
Alright....I've come up with a system to erect a shade Over two campsites totaling over 1000 sq ft.
Going to be coaCHILLA for sure. Testing for J-Tree and The Burn