Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated on August 9, 2022

Who can come?

Everyone who identifies as queer is invited! So… who’s queer? Do you feel queer? We’re using “queer” here as an umbrella term encompassing non-heterosexual sexualities, as well as trans, nonbinary, intersex, and genderqueer folks.

Frequently within public spaces, queers don’t feel safe. The goal of this camping trip is to create space in our community that centralizes the safety and comfort of queers. That means fat queers, skinny queers, femme queers, butch queers, trans queers, queers of color, agender queers, genderfluid queers, queers without documentation, queers of different abilities, queers of all flavors. It’s okay if you don’t feel “queer enough.” If you identify as queer, you belong here. And, of course, if you’re inviting someone, you’re vouching that they’re a safe person for this environment.
Please do feel free to invite your queer-identified friends—make sure they are confirmed as registered though! Straight ally friends are not a good fit for this particular event, which exists as a space for queer people to get together in an inclusive, affirming space, outside of the city, outside of bar culture, and outside of straight culture.
Yes. Everyone queer is welcome at Queer Campout. Many people come by themselves and have a great time. The Community Pavilion space is a great place to hang out and is always open to all.

Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people. If you have extra space in your vehicle please consider offering a ride to folks in need through the forum.

What’s the schedule like?

Check in with the welcome volunteers who will be meeting cars upon arrival. If you don’t see them at the gate, they will be at the Community Pavilion (a shelter structure). There will either be folks waiting there to welcome you, or a binder with site & event info for you to check out.

At the Community Pavilion you can get a name tag (or make a button!) and add your name and pronouns and anything else you want to share.

Decide where you want to camp and go set up your campsite. If you need help with setup, let us know when you register, so we can coordinate to have helpers assist with setup.
Yes, there will be a list of events/activities when you arrive. If you would like to host an event or activity, please email and let us know what you’d like to share.
Yes. Come for as much or as little as you want, you just have to register ahead of time to ensure there is space to camp overnight (the campground has limits on how many people can camp overnight).

You must register and agree to our values agreements, even if you are just coming for the day.
Yep. You can come and go as much as you want. (If you bring children, either take your kids with you or make sure they are in the care of a consenting adult at all times.)

If you go hiking by yourself, please let someone know how long you expect to be gone.

What should I expect?

Please leave your canine and other animal friends at home for this event. This is to avoid all-night bark-a-thons created by having a large group of dogs on site, off-leash dogs chasing through non-dog camps, unexpected dog fights, and similar difficulties. Many of the coordinators—even those of us who have and love dogs!—have experienced large group campouts that have dogs, and seen first-hand the great challenges brought to the event by the presence of dogs. Please respect this request and leave your dogs at home.

The exception to this is trained service animals. If you do see a dog at the campout, it’s safe to assume that they are a service dog and they are working. Please do not approach service dogs and/or interact with them without explicit permission from their human. Doing so could distract the dog from their duties and prevent them from hearing important commands.
Children are welcome! They are likely to have at least a few other children around to play with. You are responsible for the supervision of any kids you bring. You can come and go as much as you want, but if you bring children either take them with you or ensure they are in the care of a consenting adult at all times.
Possibly. This is a body-positive space—all bodies are welcome here! You can expect to see some nudity. Costuming and free expression (to whatever your personal comfort level is in the moment) are encouraged. We may have a designated area for kink and other sensual/sexual activities, that would be visually secluded from the main campground.
Nope. Come and camp and hang out with people as much or as little as you want. Some folks like to keep to themselves and do stuff on their own, and just like knowing they are in a space with other queer people around. There is a quieter camping area if you prefer less noise for your camping experience.
It’ll be a chill weekend in the woods with a bunch of queers! We'll have opening and closing circles, a group hike, and a community campfire.

If you want to bring an activity, do it! We’ve had folks offering yoga classes, games of many kinds (from capture-the-flag to board games), kite-flying, group conversations about inclusivity and related issues, storytelling at the fire circle, and star-gazing parties. You can plan on doing any of these things, leading something that you’d like to see happen, or anything else you think would be fun to share! Expect to see spontaneous workshops and activities arise. You can choose to participate or not in any group activity that is going on.

Expect to meet new people and make new friends! It’s also easy to have an introvert weekend in the woods, with sips of community connection when you desire—there’s plenty of somewhat-more-distant space to camp so that you can get some nourishing alone-time in the woods.*

*Due to the unforeseen need to rent a different campground for the August 2022 campout, we will be need to camp closer together.

Facilities & Accessibility

This event is usually held at a Forest Service-developed group campground. “Developed” means that there are accessible pit-style toilets, and the Forest Service provides toilet paper. There are flat places to camp, and usually, a central pavilion (which may also have picnic tables) functions as our central gathering place.

There will be a hand-washing station set up in the main pavilion for all to use, and we will make an effort to have hand sanitizer in all the restrooms.

All restrooms will be gender-neutral for this event.
This event is held on barely-improved Forest Service land. There are no cooking facilities, no electricity, and (usually) no running water. The coordinators cannot provide a group kitchen or group meals. People are always welcome to host group meals and to share, but there is no organized system for doing so.
The campgrounds we tend to use are either not set up for campers/RVs (due to a lack of space or hookups) or only have room for one, so we highly encourage folks to camp in a tent or their car. If you want to camp in a camper or RV, please email us at and let us know the size and type so we can confirm if it's a possibility.
The campgrounds we normally use are moderately accessible to folks with mobility considerations. One of them has several paved paths, mostly cracked and uneven. One of them has some stairs, and a ramp is available to avoid/go around the stairs. We make every effort only to use sites with accessible bathrooms and accessible parking.

We have a disability access resource team (DART) and are committed to working with folks of all abilities to make the space as accessible as possible (e.g. we'll have folks ready to help those who need assistance with unloading and carrying gear to their sites).

Trained service animals are welcome, but please leave pets at home.

If you need help with site setup and breakdown, accessibility needs, or have questions about the space, please include any information you’d like us to know in your registration. If you have any questions or concerns, email us at .
Yes, trained service animals are allowed. Emotional support animals and others that are not specifically trained as service animals are not allowed. (See “Can I bring my dog?” above.)

What about cost?

YES! Please come camping! You are welcome and wanted here. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, ever. The sliding scale contribution that we request is only to cover the cost of the space rental and a few other group expenses. We have been hosting this event since 2017 and it always works out. Some people pay more, some people pay less, ALL ARE WELCOME.
We rent large group campsites, which cost about $300-350 for each event. Donations also help us pay for supplies, equipment, website hosting, and other operating expenses.

As of this year, we will be donating $100 per campout to an Indigenous organization in New Mexico. After every campout (and covering operating costs), an additional 20% of donations will be donated.

Eventually, we hope to be able to buy camping gear that we can lend out to folks who are new to camping or who cannot purchase gear.

We have never made a profit on Queer Campout—and we never will. We hope to break even each year and have some cash for supplies for future events.
You can send your contribution via Venmo to @kaifius (last four of phone #: 4168) or Paypal queercampoutnm@gmail.com.

Food, Gear, & Clothing

Check out this page for a list of things to pack, and where to get affordable camping equipment.
Many people have gear they can share—but it won’t be there unless you plan for your needs in advance. Please make your own arrangements to borrow gear. Check out the gear-share forum on this website to coordinate.
No. The campground has no cooking facilities, electricity, or (usually) running water, and it is too remote for food trucks to swing by. You are responsible for bringing your own meals and sufficient water for drinking, cooking, and washing up.
Yes! Some people love to wear fabulous outfits. Please bring anything that makes you happy. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics and do not shed glitter, feathers, or anything else in the woods.

If you are new to camping in the high desert, know that the temperature drops at night, and pack for warm and cool weather.
Nope. Please wear whatever feels like a good fit for you. Most people will be wearing clothes that are practical for them for camping. For some people, this means a tutu—but for most, it probably means a t-shirt and jeans.
Onesie pajamas are practical, warm, fabulous garments. Some people wear them at night. YEP. If you have one, bring your onesie!

Safer Spaces / Special Areas

One side of the campground is designated Quietville, and the other, Rowdy Town. Rowdy Town is where the Community Pavilion and the community fire circle are located, so come on up to Rowdy Town if you’d like to have a loud conversation, or hang out with a group late at night!

In Quietville, please keep noise level to that of normal conversation throughout the day. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., which means keeping noise at a level that does not disturb folks' sleep.

Quiet hours for Rowdy Town vary depending on the campground (some campgrounds have noise restrictions), but they usually are from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Please respect these boundaries and camp in the area that is best suited to your needs. Noise carries at this event, so feel free to bring earplugs to help muffle the sounds of happy campers.
The campground usually has a sheltered area which we call the Community Pavilion. Here you will find name tags, volunteer manuals, information about activities, etc. Everyone is welcome to bring food, games, costumes, etc., to share with all the other campers.
If you would like to set up a space for kink and other sensual/sexual activities please make sure that it will be visually secluded from the main campground. If you are looking to create a kink/play space please check in with the Activities Coordinator, who can help you find an appropriate space to set up.

Event Safety

Fire safety is incredibly important! The last thing we want to do is burn the woods down. Over 85% of wildfires are started by humans, most of which are unattended or poorly-extinguished campfires. That is too high of a risk to take! In years when we are permitted by the Forest Service to have campfires*, it is of critical importance that we as a community make sure any fire we start is put out, dead-out, at the end of the night. That means cool enough to touch with your hand. We are not permitted to have any fires outside established fire pits. Please do not make a fire at your campsite unless you have brought a chimenea or self-contained fire pit.

*2022 Fire Restrictions: As of June 24, 2022, fire restrictions have been lifted for the forest land where we will be camping in August. We will continue monitoring the situation and inform folks registering about any fire restrictions changes.
These woods really do have bears in them. Black bears, cougars, bobcats, and coyotes live in the mountains in New Mexico, and we will be camping on their lands. While it’s reasonably unlikely that bears or other animals will bother us, it’s important to store your food in such a way to avoid attracting and feeding the wildlife—not just bears, but raccoons, squirrels, and mice, all of whom would love to get into that bag of chips someone left open at the fire circle all night… so let’s not leave food open and laying around, either in community spaces or in camp.

Store food in your car if you can, and in your locked cooler outside your tent otherwise. Animals can scent food through plastic bags, and will chew through them to get at your bread and snacks; a bag is not good protection. Raccoons and bears will open unlocked coolers without difficulty.
Yes, there will be at least one person with medical training/experience on-site in case of minor injuries (for major medical emergencies we will reroute to a hospital or call 911).

Bring all the medications and such that you might need, and bring appropriate shoes, clothes, and gear to be able to camp out for the weekend in the woods.

Volunteers are welcome! If you would have medical training/experience and would like to volunteer for the Medic/First Aid team, please reach out to us.
Smoking is subject to US Forest Service regulations and fire restrictions. If smoking is permitted (i.e., if we can have any kind of fire at all – not always a guarantee), please be considerate of non-smokers and the environment. Please do not leave cigarette butts on the ground. Communal areas and activities like the Community Pavilion & fire circle are smoke-free, vape-free environments.
Consuming alcohol and other substances at your campsite or vehicle is acceptable. Please exercise personal responsibility & accountability with alcohol and other substances. Please refrain from consuming alcohol and consciousness-altering substances in communal areas such as the fire circle, the Community Pavilion, and workshops. We trust you to know your limits and take care of yourself. 
COVID-19 continues to present a health risk. These are the precautionary measures that will be in effect until further notice:
  • Please take a COVID-19 test before you pack your car and start driving to the campground
  • Keep a mask with you at all times and offer to wear a mask if you join a campsite or group to make friends or hang out
  • If you are not vaccinated, always wear a mask in group settings
  • If you are sick, stay home
  • If you have been recently exposed to COVID, stay home
  • If you are feeling sick during the campout, please let the on-site medic know
    • The medic will supply you with a rapid COVID test and take your temperature
    • If your test result is positive we will ask you to go home
    • If your test result is negative, but you are showing two or more COVID-like symptoms* or have a fever (100.4°F or higher), we will ask you to go home
There may be people who are unable to be vaccinated. Please help us practice responsible community engagement by assessing risk and navigating boundaries honestly.

*COVID-19 symptoms (combination of at least two):
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Smell and taste disturbance
  • Fatigue

How can I help?

We would love your help! This event is entirely volunteer-run. You can help in person or by donating to help cover the costs for this event. Volunteering can be as simple as taking a bag of recycling with you, to being part of an organizing committee. Learn more about volunteering at QCO and the Teams and Roles involved. Contact us if you would like to volunteer in any capacity.
There will be tables labeled SHARE in the Community Pavilion where you can place any food, water, and supplies you brought to share. Bring games, art supplies, and anything else fun for sharing! Please list any gear you are able to share and make arrangements to bring gear to those who need it in the forum.
Bags of ice! You will make friends quickly! Folks who stay through usually need a bag or two to refresh their coolers.

What if I can’t come this year?

We hope to continue to do Queer Campout as a twice-annual event. We have often held our first campout in late May and our second in early August. Join our email list to stay informed about upcoming events.