Top ten suggestions for camping out on BLM land near A51.

Message posted by joe on July 21, 2007 at 21:58:03 PST:


>>We are making our first trip out there in an RV on Aug. 8th. Any suggestions?<<

1) Don't cross the border! Don't risk crossing the border!!! Know where the border is, or stay far enough away from where it might be that you know you're not risking crossing it.

2) I suggest camping far enough away from the border that

A) you have the best possible view of the airspace above the base (the closer you get the more the ridgeline blocks your view) and

B) you don't make some "poor" cammo dudes spend the night in their car watching you. (Not sure how far you have to be away from the base to keep them from parking on the hill above the GLR, or risk having them come onto BLM land to shine lights in your tent/RV (anyone know?) but it seems camping just off HWY 375 does not trigger that. (When I was there for the A51 campout it seemed they must have stayed up all night watching us.)

3) take warm clothes even in the summer. Even having been there 3-4 times, it's always surprising to me how cold that desert can get at night.

4) get one of those zero G chairs. Used to be at Sharper Image for $150.00 or so, now they are at WalMart for about $49.00.

5) go with other people. Every time I camp out there alone, I get totally creaped out.

6) hang out at the Little A Le Inn for at least 30 minutes after you're done eating. Chances are you'll meet someone from England, or Russia, or Mongolia in that time. Better yet, go for breakfast and then hang out long enough to make ordering lunch make sense. The people who wander in there are at least as interesting as the base.

7) keep your camera/videocam handy. Last time I was in the A Le Inn there was a sonic boom, I ran outside to see two afterburners lit high, high up in the sky. Didn't even think to get my camera (which was locked in the car).

8) if you are with a group, have someone look behind you (if you're toward the base, have one person look away from everyone else (toward the east). Everytime I've been there, there's been a flash of light behind me (and not just a car on 375 either).

9) stay awake. I usually give up too early in the evening (before 1:00 am.) It's not likely I'm going to see anything interesting in the night sky inside my RV. Still, for some reason, especially alone, I get really sleepy really early.

10 avoid flashlights. I think it takes 20 minutes of total darkness for your night vision to really work well. One flash of light from a car door opening, or someone with a flashlight (or looking in a videocamera viewfinder) can ruin that for another 20 minutes or so.

Anyone got any others?


In Reply to: Re: Perseids at A51 anyone? posted by Mark on July 20, 2007 at 21:33:34 PST:


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