Campfire Tails 2019: Furassic Park

Every summer during the first weekend of August, furries from all over gather in central Oregon’s High Desert to dive into a relaxed reality, far away from the grind of daily life. Vastly different than a typical hotel convention, Campfire Tails is an outdoor adventure where friends meet and work together to create a bustling community in the woods. CFT provides three meals a day, bathroom and shower facilities, fresh water, and a space to call home during four days of events and festivities. With this guide, first-time attendees and seasoned veterans alike will be able to make the most of their experience at Campfire Tails.

Campfire Tails occurs on the ancestral lands of the Hunipuitöka, a band of Northern Paiute people indigenous to the region. Today, the campsite is called the Ogden Group Camp, just off Highway 97 near La Pine, Oregon. The campground itself is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Its location in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains gives the area a desert-like climate, with hot days and chilly nights during the summer months, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. Wildfires do happen, so it’s best to be extra mindful about your surroundings! Although the environment is harsh, the land is still breathtaking. Pine forests, volcanoes, waterfalls, and thriving wildlife are all around the campground. “Take only pictures, leave only footprints;” treat the land with respect so future CFT attendees may enjoy what you enjoyed.

The climate of the area has a wide temperature range. Daytime temps in the area can easily reach the 90’s. At night, it dips into the low 40’s, and it isn’t uncommon to see freezing temperatures in the summer. Along with the temperature range, the land itself is rocky and dry, and almost a mile above sea level! All bodies work harder in this climate, so good planning and self-monitoring are key.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Staying hydrated is extra important in the high desert climate. Drink more water than normal to compensate and prevent dehydration.
  • Sunburn is more likely at higher elevations. Everyone should use sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. Reapply often!
  • The land is made of old lava flows, which means the rocks kicking around in the dirt are pretty sharp! Make sure to wear shoes that can protect your feet.
  • Listen to your appetite. CFT provides three meals a day but, bringing extra food and snacks can help tide you over until the next meal.
  • CFT has shower facilities for everyone to use; just make sure that all of your toiletries are biodegradable so we can minimize stress on the environment.
  • Drink water and stay mindful of any alcohol consumption. The environment can tax your body harder than you would expect!

Having the appropriate gear is crucial to any outdoor adventure. CFT is no exception. Now that you know the environment, here’s a great community-generated list of what to bring. Campfire Tails also encourages attendees to gearshare. Reach out via any of CFT’s public forums to connect with others. Friends helping friends!

A camping trip can be intimidating, but the community of furries who attend, volunteer, and staff Campfire Tails are here to help make your first time an experience to repeat! Start off by introducing yourself to your camp neighbors. Depending on where you camp, you’ll be able to set a vibe for yourself during CFT. The site is divided into three sections organized by noise level. On the east end, you’ll find Blue Camp, a mellow introvert haven where you can chill with the sounds of nature. In the middle of it all is Green Camp. Here you’ll find the dining area and the hub of daytime happenings. Green Camp likes to party, but there’s still a bedtime. On the western end, you’ll be in Red Camp, the after-hours go-to spot at CFT. Stay up as late as you want.

Happenings are the heart of Campfire Tails. Most of these events are organized and ran by attendees: art jams, board games, movie nights, tournaments, workshops of all kinds, dances, karaoke, and stargazing to name a few. Everyone is free to host a happening, and everyone is free to attend them! Theme Camps are interactive happenings that are fixtures during the entirety of camp. Building a theme camp is a great way to flex your creativity and meet plenty of fellow attendees!

If you have any questions or concerns during camp, reach out to any staff member and we’ll work to address the issue at hand. For inquiries before and after camp, get in touch via email.