What to Bring to CFT [Community Wiki]


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What To Bring To Campfire Tails

The following is a list of ALL the supplies you will need to bring with you to survive and thrive at our unique outdoor event. Camping in the desert requires a few extra precautions and supplies vs. regular camping – mostly to ensure you don’t get dehydrated, too hot or too cold – so even if you’re already an experienced camper, please be sure to read this list over carefully so that you can come fully prepared for the 4000+ft elevation high-desert climate!

The list is divided into three sections: REQUIRED items, RECOMMENDED items, and OPTIONAL items. Required items are just that: you will need to bring all of these items in order to attend, or at least to attend comfortably and safely! Recommended and Optional items, on the other hand, are not strictly necessary for your safety or health, just things that will help to make your camping experience more comfortable and fun.

NOTE: Please be sure to mark ALL of your belongings PERMANENTLY (ie in sharpie) with your name, email address and/or phone number, and put your contact info on your phone/tablet lock screen. This is important for everything you bring, but especially so for small or easy-to-lose items like water bottles and dishes, valuable items like cameras, irreplacable items like costumes, and items that may look a lot alike, such as camp chairs and headlamps. Do this before you arrive, and help make it as easy as possible for us to return your items if they get lost!

REQUIRED ITEMS — the following are what you MUST bring:

  • Valid ID — Please see our Registration Policy for more information.

  • Flashlight or Headlamp — Some sort of bright utility light for navigating after dark, plus an extra set of batteries or a charger.

  • Water Container — Water bottle, canteen, camelback, or other portable container with a lid that can be comfortably carried with you everywhere you go.

  • Tent or Personal Sleeping Shelter — Something with good ventilation and a rain fly, plus a mallet and heavy duty stakes to secure it against the wind.

  • Sleeping Bag or Bedding — Something to keep you warm at night that can withstand the possibility of freezing temps (32F). Also highly recommended for extra comfort are pillows, a camping pad/cot/mattress and extra blankets. If bringing an air mattress, don’t forget to bring an air pump and extra batteries!

  • Sun Protection — SPF 50+ sunscreen, sunglasses, wide-brimmed shade hat, parasol or umbrella, and sun-protective clothing (see below). The atmosphere is thin at 4000+ft elevation, and exposed skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes!

  • Hot Weather Clothing — Loose-fitting clothes made of breathable/natural fibers like cotton or silk are ideal in a desert climate: aloha shirts, poet shirts, long skirts (for all genders), sarongs, light robes, tunics, etc. Typical summer clothes like trunks/shorts, T-shirts and tank tops are fine too, just be sure to wear sunscreen or carry an umbrella/parasol to shield any exposed skin from the mid-day sun.

  • Cold Weather Clothing — A warm coat, snug hoodie or sweater, long pants and warm socks are the bare minimum needed to stay warm enough at night, as it can drop below freezing (32F) any night of the year here. Also recommended for night time are warm hats or beanies, scarves, gloves, fuzzy robes, long underwear or leggings (for layering) and warm costumes like kigurumi or fursuits.

  • Sturdy Footwear — Such as hiking boots or comfortable sneakers, plus water shoes, strap-on sandals, or a pair of old shoes to wear into the creek.

  • Mess Kit — with an unbreakable plate, bowl, cup, fork, knife and spoon. We do not provide any disposable cups/plates/utensils, but we do provide dish-washing stations for campers to clean their re-usable dishes after each meal.

  • Toiletries — Toothbrush & toothpaste, brush/comb, deodorant/anti-perspirant, breath mints or gum, lotion, lip balm, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, shaving kit, contact lens solution, menstrual supplies, personal mirror (our bathrooms don’t have mirrors), extra 1-ply toilet paper, biodegradable soap (see below), etc.

  • Biodegradable Soap — ONLY biodegradable soap/shampoo may be used on-site, per the Site Rules in our Code of Conduct. Castille soap (like Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps) and Con*Tact soap are our favorites, but anything labelled “biodegradable” on the package is allowed.

  • Allergy/Asthma MedicationIMPORTANT: if you have asthma or a serious allergy, BRING YOUR MEDICINE WITH YOU! The nearest hospital is a 45 minute drive away, and our site may have natural hazards such as bees, other stinging/biting insects, and an abundance of irritating dust, pollen and campfire smoke that may aggravate respiratory conditions.

  • Other Medications — Bring all necessary prescriptions, plus any desired OTC remedies: pain medicine (ibuprofen/acetaminophen/aspirin/naproxen), calamine/benadryl for insect bites, aloe or lidocaine gel for sunburn, pepto-bismol or antacids, cough drops or lozenges for dry mouth/throat, eye drops for dry eyes. First aid kits/supplies, plus some OTC medicines like ibuprofen will be available at camp, but it’s best to be prepared and bring your own if you have them!

RECOMMENDED ITEMS — the following items are NOT required, but are HIGHLY recommended:

  • Personal Snacks and Drinks — Though we provide campers with 3 meals a day, fresh drinking water and flavored electrolyte beverages (such as gatorade), we do not provide any snacks, ice, coffee/tea/boiling water, soda, or alcoholic beverages. If you will want any of these at camp, plan to bring your favorites with you, or they may be purchased in the nearby town of La Pine (~9mi).

  • Rodent-Proof Food Container — Bring a hard-sided (metal or plastic) container with a tight-fitting lid to keep your personal food/snacks safe from critters. Please do not leave food in your tent or sitting out unattended, even for a short time! Although large animals (like bears) are not a concern here, our site is home to an abundance of hungry (and fearless) chipmunks and birds.

  • Cooler or Ice Chest — To keep your personal foods/snacks and beverages cold, as well as protected from small critters. Again, remember we do not provide campers with ice, but you may purchase it for yourself in nearby La Pine.

  • Extra Water Jug — Bring a 1+ gallon jug to keep extra water at your campsite or in your tent. This makes refilling smaller water bottles a lot easier, especially when you may not feel like venturing out to find a spigot in the cold/dark at night!

  • Camp Chair — Seating at our campsite is extremely sparse, especially during meal times and at larger gatherings, so please bring your own chair if you want a guaranteed place to rest your weary legs.

  • Personal Canopy/Shelter — Domes, yurts, cartports, pop-up canopies, Monkey Huts, tarps, tapestries, aluminet (shade cloth) or camo net strung on poles or between trees. These provide extra shade over your sleeping space to keep it cool during the day, as well as safe hangout space for you and your friends. Consider also bringing a ground tarp, outdoor rug or astroturf mat if you’d like a low-dust place to relax with shoes off!

  • Swim Gear — Paulina Creek runs adjacent to our site, with a waterfall and swimming hole to cool off in just a short hike upstream. If you plan to swim in the creek, bring a swimsuit or trunks, a towel, and any water toys you like: inflatables, pool noodles, water guns, etc.

  • Batteries, Generators, Car Inverters or Solar Panels — The site has no electricity, and CFT does not provide any access to power, so if you will need power for anything, please bring it yourself! USB battery banks and small solar panels for charging devices are relatively inexpensive these days, and many options can be found at electronics stores or on sites like Amazon. (Note: generator users must also bring their own ABC-type fire extinguisher, as outlined under Site Rules in our Code of Conduct.)

  • Spare Tire, Tire Jack, Jumper Cables and Portable Tire Inflator (For Drivers) — hopefully you won’t ever need to use these, but chances are good someone else might, and it’s always best to come prepared to help yourself and/or help others!

  • Rake and Broom — Rakes are useful for leveling and clearing the ground of sticks, rocks and pine cones before setting up your tent, and brooms are useful for sweeping out tents or indoor spaces, which otherwise can end up getting pretty dusty over the course of the weekend.

  • Mint Tin — For smokers these make great portable ash trays, and for everyone else they make a great place to stash little bits of trash (also called “MOOP” – Matter Out Of Place) until you can find a garbage bin to deposit them in.

  • Earplugs — A good idea to have for everyone, but especially important for light sleepers, and/or those who plan to sleep in the louder areas of camp (like in Red Camp, where you may hear amplified sound from your neighbors until 2AM and conversation at all hours).

  • Dust Protection — The environment is VERY dry and dusty, so if you are at all sensitive to particulates in the air (dust, pollen or smoke) we highly recommend you bring some kind of face covering: dust mask, bandana, shemagh, etc. Goggles aren’t usually necessary, as we don’t tend to get full-blown dust storms, but they may also be useful in case you wear contacts, or have very sensitive eyes.

  • A Positive Attitude & An Open Mind — Enough said!

OPTIONAL ITEMS — while 100% optional, these items can be LOTS of fun:

  • A Gift — A fantastic way to step out of your shell and make new friends is to bring something to share freely with your fellow campers: anything from a conversation, advice, teaching a cool skill or guiding an activity for a Happening, on up to running an entire Theme Camp! Simple gift ideas include stickers, stamps, handmade jewelry or artwork, shiny rocks, glowsticks or LED lights, sharing a favorite snack or drink (maybe something special from your neck of the woods, like a regional fruit or candy?), etc.

  • Mountain Bike/Art Bike — While our site isn’t huge, it does take the average person 5-10 minutes to walk from one end of camp to the other, and doing so multiple times a day in the heat can get a little tiring. A bike will help you more easily make your way around camp, and a decorated art bike is a fun additional vehicle (pun intended) for your creative expression!

  • Hammocks, Hanging Chairs, Yoga Swings, etc. — The site has trees to hang up all your favorite lounging/swinging things, so if you have them, bring them! Don’t forget to bring lots of sturdy rope, and take care not to block any areas with foot or vehicle traffic.

  • Camp Stove and Fuel, Cookware — If you plan to cook any of your own food, including boiling water, please bring a personal stove, fuel and any cooking utensils you need: cook pot, frying pan, wooden spoon, etc. (Please note that our Kitchen’s cooking appliances are for staff use only, and we do not provide campers with boiling water.)

  • Theme Camps — To level up your participation, consider opening up your canopy/shelter to all campers, and decoraring it with signs/lights/art to make it into a community Theme Camp! Pre-registered Theme Camps are even eligible for a few extra perks, though you don’t need to register in advance; spontaneous, unplanned camps are also very welcome to contribute their spaces or attractions to the experience.

  • Costumes — Express yourself! If you’re bringing a fursuit, make sure it’s washable, as we are out in the woods, and faux fur is likely to pick up dust, grime, twigs, burrs, etc. You might also consider wearing fursuit sandals or an extra pair of footpaws that you don’t mind getting dirty. Kigurumi, animal hats and faux fur coats are awesome alternative ways to keep yourself warm after dark, as well!

  • Decorative Lighting — ELwire, LED light strings, glowsticks and bracelets, solar lanterns, path lights, etc. It gets incredibly dark out here at night, so light up yourself and your bikes/costumes for extra visibility and self-expression, and light up your tent/campsite to make it easier to find your way back “home” at the end of the night.

  • Games — From camping classics like dominoes, playing cards and board games, to roleplaying games, party games, lawn games or sports like badminton or volleyball… feel free to bring your favorite games and equipment, because you’re likely to meet lots of campers who’d be delighted to join in and play a game with you!

  • Musical Instruments — Hand drums, guitars, violins, tambourines, flutes, anything acoustic (or even electric, if you have your own power source)! Improvised jam sessions and drum circles tend to happen spontaneously every year, so come prepared to join in with your favorite noise-makers.

  • Art Supplies — There will be lots of opportunities to hanging out and jam with other artistic/creative folks, so consider bringing your favorite drawing/painting/craft supplies, and a sketchbook if you’d like to give or receive art!


I’d like to promote “A Positive Attitude & An Open Mind” to the recommended list, and demote “Camp Stove and Fuel, Cookware” to the optional list.

What do you think, @oCe?


Done! For the record, I also moved “personal canopy/shelter” to “recommended” instead of “optional,” and added “boiling water” to the list of stuff our Kitchen does not provide (just to make it extra clear).


Aw man, I spent hours adding all of those links to helpful items for people, why were they edited out? :expressionless:


We removed the links because CFT doesn’t want to appear to be endorsing any specific products or sites on our “official” What To Bring list. You’ll notice I did leave in reference to the general types of items you added (aluminet shade cloth, USB charging devices, the list of small gift suggestions) because those are all very good ideas! I only removed specific product Amazon links for the above reason.

I’m going to make a new thread shortly that will be just for campers’ specific product suggestions, tips and tricks! You are welcome to re-post your specific links over there – old versions of the What To Bring post are still available under post history (if you click on the pencil icon, then use the arrows to scroll backwards). I apologize for the inconvenience, and for not explaining the “why” of this sooner!


I guess I misunderstood the concept of “community wiki” being an official endorsement. Furthermore, it’s pretty much getting down to the wire for people being able to order things online, so at this point any kind of ordering list isn’t going to be that helpful.


Bring bug repellent. I live one County south of the camp we are encoded in mosquitoes just after sunset.


But seriously avoid things with deet in it !!! Deet is toxic to dogs, kids and freshwater fishes x.x