Frequently Asked Questions
Who Can Come?
Everyone who identifies as queer is invited!
Please do feel free to invite your queer-identified friends. 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 Camp Out. Many people come by themselves and have a great time. Join the opening circles and events during the day to plan your time and make some friends. The community pavillion space is a great place to hang out and always open to all. If you need to coordinate gear share or a rideshare, check the forum page! If you have extra space in your vehicle please consider offering a ride to folks in need. If you like structure consider volunteering with the coordination crew.
What’s the schedule like?
Come to the pavilion and sign in. There will either be folks waiting there to welcome you or some printouts with site & event info for you to check out. Please be sure to leave your emergency contact info on the sign-in sheet, get a name tag 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.
We have an opening circle planned for Friday at 9pm, Saturday at 2pm, and a shared queer brunch on Sunday at 11. These are times that we will gather, introduce ourselves, share pronouns, answer questions, and plan for any shared activities. If you want to plan or organize a shared activity these meetings are when we add events to the group schedule.
Queers love brunch! Either make food to share or bring your own breakfast and share company. We’ll eat together at (or around) 11 am Sunday.
Yes. Come for as much or as little as you want. From 11am Friday til 9am Monday the gates will be open.
Nope. We have rented the space from 11am Friday until Monday at 9. The site is rented by someone else before and after so everyone has to be packed out by Monday at 9am.
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.)
What should I expect?
This event is held at a Forest Service developed group campground. “Developed” means that there are pit-style toilets, and the forest service provides toilet paper. There are flat places to camp, a central pavilion with picnic tables that usually functions as sort of the 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. Some individual campsites have picnic tables also. The site includes good trash-collection, and many locations for putting trash. The coordination team will provide bags in the main pavilion for trash, recycling, and compost; please feel free to bring your stuff there and sort it!
This event is held on barely-improved Forest Service land. There are no cooking facilities, no electricity, and no running water. There are pit toilets, and we will have a handwashing station set up in the central pavilion. 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. We ask that everyone bring one gallon of water per person to donate for use in putting out the campfire at night, in addition to the water you bring for your personal consumption (we recommend one gallon of water per person per day).
The two campsites we use, Cedro Peak Group Campground & Paliza Group Campground, are both moderately accessible to folks with mobility considerations. Cedro Peak has a number of paved paths, mostly cracked and uneven. There are some stairs, and ways to avoid/go around the stairs. Paliza is more recently renovated, and has wider, smoother,gravelled & paved paths, and no stairs. Both sites have accessible bathrooms.
Please leave your canine friends at home for this event. This is in order 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.
Children are welcome! They are likely to have at least a few other children around to play with. Everyone attending with children is expected to remain on site and available in case of an emergency. Please also take care to leave your emergency contact information at the registration table, just in case something happens and someone needs to find you with regard to your child. Please make sure the kids you bring are cared for by an adult at all times. Check out the kids-programming conversation on the Forum page.
Nope. Come and camp and hang out with people as much or as little as you want.
It’ll be a chill weekend in the woods with a bunch of queers! This event doesn’t have any particular core structure except the community gathering each day – if you want to bring an activity, do it! We’ve had group hikes, folks offering yoga classes, games of many kinds (from capture-the-flag to board games), kite-flying, group conversations about race, inclusivity, and related issues, storytelling at the fire circle, star-gazing parties. You can plan on doing any of those things, or 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 in, so that you can get some nourishing alone-time in the woods.
Yes. 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 will have designated area for kink and other sensual/sexual activities, that will be visually secluded from the main campground.
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 ten dollars we ask for 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.
The $10 is an ask to help cover the cost of the rental for the group campsite. We rent two large group campsites and the cost is about $300 for each weekend. The cost for both events for the year is about $700. If folks are unable to chip in for the cost of the rental we'd still love for you to come anyway. We don't make any money on this event. If we have any that comes in that is extra, we buy things like hand sanitizer for the bathrooms, trash bags, and signage for the event. We have never made a profit on queer camp out. We never will. We hope to break even each year and have some cash for supplies for this year and for future events.
Food, Gear, & Clothing
Many people have gear they can share--but it won’t be there unless we plan for your needs in advance. Please visit the discussion forum and let people know what you are looking for.
No. The campground has no cooking facilities, electricity or 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.
Please post in the gear-share conversation on the Forum about any gear you have available to lend! Once we are on site, there will be two tables labeled SHARE in the group pavillion. One will be for food and one will be for supplies. If you bring food please bring a way for it to be closed up and put away at night. Bring games, art supplies, and anything else fun for the Share table!
Bags of ice! You will make friends quickly! Folks who stay through usually need a bag or two to refresh their coolers. Water for putting out the fire is also always welcome.
Yes! Some people love to wear fabulous outfits. Please bring anything that makes you happy. Please do not shed glitter, feathers, or anything else in the woods.
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!
We're committed to creating safe spaces for folks targeted by systems of oppression. There will be a designated POC camping space for those who identify as POC and wish to camp with other POC folx. People of course can camp wherever they like, but this space will be available specifically for people of color to camp together as desired.
The lower campground will be designated Quiet Camp, and the upper campground, Loud Camp. The upper area is where the community fire circle is located. In the Quiet Camp, we ask that folks not be noisy from 10p.m. to 10 a.m. each day. Please respect these boundaries and camp in the area that is best suited to your needs, and come on up to the central pavilion/fire circle if you’d like to have a loud conversation, or hang out with a group late at night! Noise carries at this event, so feel free to bring earplugs to help muffle the sounds of happy campers.
We will have designated Kink Tent for kink and other sensual/sexual activities, that will be visually secluded from the main campground.
Fire safety is incredibly important, even in wet years like this one! The last thing we want to do is burn the woods down. Over 85% of wildfires are started by humans, and most of those 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. To ensure this, it really helps if everybody who can, brings an extra few gallons of water for putting out the fire each night! We are not permitted to have any fires outside of established fire pits on site. Please do not make a fire at your campsite unless you have brought a chiminea or self contained fire pit.
Smoking is subject to US Forest Service regulations and fire restrictions. If smoking is permitted (ie, if we are able to 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. The main pavilion & fire circle are a smoke-free, vape-free environment; please take it for a walk.
These woods really do have black bears in them. While it’s reasonably unlikely that bears 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 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 coolers without difficulty.
We are hoping that a few individuals with medical training/experience will choose to attend, but if they do, they are on vacation like everybody else, not working in their professional capacity for the weekend. There are no designated medical staff that are guaranteed to be on site. Please take care of yourself, bring all the medications and such that you might need, and bring appropriate shoes & clothes & gear to be able to camp out for the weekend in the woods.
What If I Can’t Come This Year?
We hope to continue to do Queer Camp Out as a twice annual event. We typically hold our first camp out in late May and our second in early August. Our May event has been scheduled close to Albuquerque for day trip accessibility and the August trip has been in the Jemez Springs area. Join our email list (under the Contact Us page) to hear about our plans for 2020.
How Can I Help?
We would love your help! This event is entirely volunteer-run. You can either help in person or by donating to help cover the costs for this event. We are currently looking for donations of: water, name tags, hand sanitizer, etc.
How do I get there?
Check the Directions page! If you don’t see the page, it’s because we made the decision that, for community safety, we should keep the directions page hidden until the week of the event, to minimize any chance of unfriendly people seeking us out.
Check the discussion in the Forum page! There's a conversation there for people to ask for and offer rides.