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The Summerisle Guide is for First Timers, Veterans, and Everyone In Between! Click on on a topic or download a printable copy.

Camping in a wooded environment

Camping in the woods is one of the most rewarding aspects of this special burn, but it comes with responsibility. We hope and expect that all burners on-site will respect the grounds at all times, and do no permanent harm or damage to any of the plants, trees, and other natural resources on the property.

There are a variety of insects and arachnids in the area, so plan to keep your tent sealed up and shake out any bedding if concerned. Specifically, ticks and Lyme are a real issue in Pennsylvania in the summer, and we strongly recommend campers do body checks once a day and wear protective layers or repellant (a tick must stay attached for 24 hours or so, to successfully transmit). Raccoons and other critters will stay away during the noisy hours, but please be mindful of where you store your trash and waste water. Snakes, including venomous ones like the copperhead and timber rattlesnake, are likewise present as in any healthy wooded environment, so be on guard and watch your step. They won’t seek out interaction, and chances are high they will leave the area once the event is in full swing, but campers should be particularly cautious when retrieving wood from the communal wood piles. 

Whether you’re a little allergic to grass or extremely allergic to bee stings or bug bites, please take whatever precautions suit the level of severity, and note that poison ivy and oak as well as other plants that cause skin aggravation on contact are likely present, particularly off-trail. Long pants and tall socks with boots are key!

The land is a near-equal display of grassy meadows and thick woodland, facilitating everything from small clearings of single camps to enormous ones with 30 or more. Hammock camping can be accomplished easily due to the thick stands of trees, and much of the treeline should buffet tents and other camping structures from wind (but not all! Be prepared with groundhog stakes, rebar, and playa staples to secure your tent against inclement weather.) Good shoes are a necessity, as roads and paths are gravel rather than grass. Be prepared for poison ivy, bees, ticks, and chiggers. Stay out of the woods surrounding the dedicated burn event space, because there are likely to be roots, dangerous drop offs, and other unexpected landscaping.

Finally, bring plenty of lighting (camping lanterns, flashlights, headlamps, battery or solar charged lights, LED votives, etc.) There is no electricity on site. Luckily, it’s the future and outdoor lighting technology is readily available that can easily last through the entire burn if conserved during the day. It is likewise prudent to illuminate yourself at night. There will be bicycles, people, and art moving around, and they may collide with you if they cannot see you.