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 Campout. Many people come by themselves and have a great time. The community pavilion space is a great place to hang out and always open to all. If you have extra space in your vehicle please consider offering a ride to folks in need and if you like structure consider volunteering with the coordination crew.
How do I get there?
Once you are registered with a spot for the event we will send out directions to your email before Queer Campout. We made the decision that, for community safety, we should keep the directions page hidden to minimize any chance of unfriendly people seeking us out. Please make sure you are subscribed to our email list and confirmed as pre registered to receive emails and updates.
Check the rides offered column on the sign up sheet! Some people can offer rides to and from Queer Campout. There is no formal shuttle, but there are often people willing and able to help.
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 big pavilion at the top of the hill. 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.
Each event is different! This year we have chosen not to have officially scheduled events but encourage you to schedule events on your own. If you want to plan or organize a shared activity the pavilion will have a big dry erase board to add hikes, games, or meetings. We will have a planning meeting Sunday at 9am for future Queer Campouts. Everyone is welcome to attend but if you are volunteering to help out you are required to be at this meeting.
Yes. Come for as much or as little as you want, you just have to register ahead of time to make sure there is space to camp overnight (the campground has limits on how many people can camp overnight) and we need folks to preregister 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.)
What should I expect?
The two campgrounds we normally use are both moderately accessible to folks with mobility considerations. One of them has a number of paved paths, mostly cracked and uneven. There are some stairs, and ways to avoid/go around the stairs. The other one is more recently renovated, and has wider, smoother, graveled & paved paths, and no stairs. Both sites have accessible bathrooms.
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 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. Some individual campsites have picnic tables also. The site includes good trash-collection, and many locations for putting trash.
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). Please drop off water for the main fire by the fire pit at the pavilion.
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. 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 your kids with you, or, make sure they are in the care of a consenting adult at all times. At check-in you must leave your emergency contact information at the registration table, just in case something happens and someone needs to find you regarding your child.
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.
It’ll be a chill weekend in the woods with a bunch of queers! This event doesn’t have any particular core structure – 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.
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 you plan for your needs in advance. Please make your own arrangements to borrow gear. There is a column on the participation log that lists what people have to share once you have registered.
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.
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!
Safer Spaces / Special Areas
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.
If you would like to set up a Kink 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 space please get consent of all nearby neighbors before setting up.
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 chimenea or self-contained fire pit.
Smoking is subject to US Forest Service regulations and fire restrictions. If smoking is permitted (i.e., 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.
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, trash bags, etc. There are multicpe helping out spots that will help make this camp out functional. Please sign up for a helping out shift. We also NEED people to help with planning and organizing. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can join our organizing committee.
There is a column on the participation log that lists what people have to share. Please list any gear you are able to share and make arrangements to bring gear to those who need it. Once we are on site, there will be two tables labeled SHARE in the group pavilion. One will be for food and one will be for supplies. If you bring food please be responsible for making sure it is 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.
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 camp out in late May and our second in early August. Our May event has typically been scheduled close to Albuquerque for day trip accessibility and the August trip has been in Jemez Springs area. Join our email list (under the Contact Us page) to hear about our plans for 2022.