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Thread: GA Camping '24 - hints/advice

  1. #1
    Gomeral's Avatar
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    Question GA Camping '24 - hints/advice

    Hi, all - headed back to OSH this year, after a 22-year hiatus. I'm planning to fly in and camp under the wing with my daughter, who is extremely eager to go to her first Ohskosh and camp in the middle of the summer with a huge number of strangers! We are traveling with a friend who is attending for his employer's booth for the week (he gets a hotel room...), so we're planning to be there Sunday through 2nd-Monday. I'm a little concerned about spending 8 days there with a teenager who may discover what she's signed on for isn't what she thought she signed on for (although, I love that her comment was, "it'll probably suck, but it'll still be Oshkosh!"). Any advice to share with someone who's been 3 times, but it was back when I was young and fit and could sleep on the ground? Any ideas for taking my daughter somewhere to break the monotony of the week? The whole Uber/Lyft thing now exists (versus '02) so I suppose that is an option, but where to go?

    Also, given that it's been 22 years, what can I expect arriving on the first Sunday? In the past, that would put me in the North 40 near the warbirds (both times in the past, that's where I wound up), but now I'm concerned we'll wind up in the South 40 far away from that nice gate that makes Petco and other teenager distractions such a reasonable walk. Also, beer. ̶T̶r̶a̶v̶e̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ Camping with a teenager, I think I might want to be near beer.


    daniel

  2. #2
    steve's Avatar
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    There's no shortage of beer in Oshkosh. They even sell it now in all the on-site Red One markets. You are correct that the North 40 is much closer to various stores and restaurants than the South 40. Don't forget the centrally located bus park is the hub for trips to Seaplane base, downtown, the local Target store, and the museum.
    There's live music, dancing, food, beer, and pop nightly at the SOS tent west of the tower just off-field. We usually eat dinner at the downtown Roxy, TJ's on the Lake, or the nearby Mineshaft restaurant. We eat breakfast at the cafe down by the ultralights, the Sacred Heart tent, or the Mineshaft.
    Sunday arrivals can be a crap shoot. You might be the only plane in the sky (rarely) or mixing in with mass arrivals or the jockeying with the dog pack.
    See you at Oshkosh.

  3. #3

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    "IF" you end up somewhere in the South 40, all is not lost. There are frequent school buses running all along the S40 which intersect with the Blue tram route just South of the Ultralight runway. Using Blue to Yellow to Red gets you all the way North past the Forums and Warbirds to the turnaround at the N40 gate. 22 years later? The event is considerably larger, many more attendees, MUCH higher prices for everything, including said beer, drinks and foods. And still the same phenomenal place to be for aviation enthusiasts. Be sure to check out the EAA's AirVenture website for maps and info.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Per the NOTAM add an “N” to your GAC sign (either on the GAC sign as in “N GAC” or as a separate sign you hold up with your GAC) indicating you want North 40. No guarantees but as a Sunday arrival you shouldn’t have any issues. That said as Randy noted Osh is getting busier every year and folks arrive earlier and earlier, so the sooner on Sunday you can arrive the better but be mindful that Cirrus has a mass arrival scheduled for 10am. In the end you’re gonna have a blast no matter what.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 05-22-2024 at 01:54 PM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
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    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  5. #5
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    I don’t think you mentioned your daughter’s age. I know that in recent years, they’ve made a lot of news about things geared for teens. As in, full schedules of activities days into the evenings. Don’t know if they’re continuing that program.

    Carl Orton
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  6. #6
    Inspector Fenwick's Avatar
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    Regarding beer, my usual entry point to the secured area at the ultralight Red Barn (lets say I go to the red barn store and buy a 6 pack)....they check backpacks for contraband and BEER has been on that list. Make sense to any of you? A lot of beer is brought in on the aircraft coming in....that is my suspicion . I have to haul in a case of silver bullets for a friend, and keep it iced down....and that crap isn't even CLOSE to beer. Take your daughter to the seaplane base (ride the school bus). Maybe Pioneer Airport. Go to the movies. Theater in the Woods. I am bringing my 8 and 11 year old grandsons....going to keep them busy.
    Larry Nelson EAA 35011
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  7. #7
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    For your daughter, the GirlVenture Camp might be an option: EAA GirlVenture Camp | EAA As for beer, that's a non-issue. Lots of options, especially for N40, just don't sherpa it through one of the main gates during show hours. PM me for other options.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 05-24-2024 at 06:03 PM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    EAA Lifetime Member
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  8. #8
    gmatejcek's Avatar
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    Welcome back!

    We camp right near Warbirdds... first thing Friday morning. A couple years back we were delayed a day for weather and ended out at the west end of the runway.

    The good news is that between the busses and the new shower houses, camp stores, and eateries, camping anywhere is okay.

    I've not camped to the south yet, but I know they've done a lot of development down that way, including a camp store, improved taxiway with in-ground perf matting, and an additional 11 acre plot of land.

    I've not camped in Scholler for a while, but there used to be a spot by the far northwest showers and camp store where teenagers would congregate, play volleyball, and spend some time amongst their own. I have no idea if that is still in place-

    Beer isn't allowed on the flight line, but you can bring whatever you like into the campground, several of the eateries on the ground serve beer after some particular time in the afternoon, and as previously mentioned, the camp stores stock beer.

    Uber is quite organized there now, and getting a ride into town is pretty trivial. Drivers come in from several states to meet the need. A must-do for us is dinner at Fratello's / Fox River Brewing. It's right on the river, has low key outdoor music, and is normally an indoor / outdoor destination for boaters. However, one week a year the docks are empty and there's a Cirrus parked in the grass, and the food is always good.

    The quality of the food on the grounds just keeps increasing, almost as fast as the prices.

    Welcome back, and have a blast!

  9. #9
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Per the aircraft camping guidelines alcohol consumption anywhere on airport property except in specifically designated areas (eg the eateries) is prohibited. That said I’ve never seen that rule enforced in any of the aircraft camping areas. In fact there are a number of ersatz bars that spring up in N40 and Vintage. I know because I’ve been to most of them one time or another.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 05-24-2024 at 06:22 AM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    EAA Lifetime Member
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  10. #10
    Gomeral's Avatar
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    Thank you all, for your replies! The night I sent that, I 'tweaked' my back getting off the couch (I've already ordered a cot for OSH!), so I've been out a couple of days and am late responding...going to try to consolidate my replies. But again, thank you to you all for your thoughts!

    Regarding the replies, somewhat in order:

    • Good to know about the beer availability. I've been mildly concerned about bringing beer or wine back to the N40 from off-property, but it sounds like it's not an issue at certain hours. (Todd, I'll definitely PM you!)
    • Very nice to know of the buses to Target/etc. as even with my research, somehow I was unaware of these! It'll make it easier if we decide to make a mid-week run for more food/supplies. I'm not sure I want to plan on cooking every night, but I also am not sure I want to plan on heading into town every night. Could be a good opportunity to show off my camp cooking ingenuity...
    • Glad to hear that all is not lost if we're in the S40. I'm probably overly worried because I'm familiar with the (old) N40 experience and don't want to start from scratch with my daughter in tow! It doesn't help that much of what I could find re: S40 is older and mostly complaints, but it does sound like they've been upgrading the facilities.
    • Definitely already read the NOTAM and printed the signs (including the "N"). I even watched the videos, brought back some memories!
    • My daughter is (a very mature) 13 and a CAP cadet with a strong aviation interest. I looked into GirlVenture, but by the time this trip was an option, it had filled up. I am going to try to drag her to KidVenture and I've put a reminder in my calendar to look for the opening of AviationTech registration (she's a rising 9th grader).
    • The anecdote about arriving Saturday and being at the west end of the runway is helpful, thank you. We're in NC, so it's going to be a long day of flying to get there! Right now, the plan is to depart at o-dark-thirty on Sunday morning to get ahead of weather and try to arrive by late afternoon. Depending on the weather, we may file IFR and try to get in ASAP, I'd hate to get diverted and overnight somewhere until Monday morning!

    As for actual camping detail, I haven't done a lot in the years since, in part because an absolutely terrible first experience put my wife and son completely off the idea! My daughter has started to enjoy it, though, so as I've been outfitting her for CAP, I've been picking up additional items to help flesh out the gear. I've got a very large family tent that I don't think I should bring (7'x16', I think that's too large for GA camping area...?), and a 2-person tent that has up until now been just for my daughter at Ranger training and other overnight CAP events. I'm either going to borrow another 2P tent for myself, or perhaps find a decent 4P tent for the both of us. I've got a 10x20 tarp that I intend to bring (to toss over the wing), some folding chairs and a folding table, and some miscellaneous backpacking gear. (And a cot, now!) Anyone have any particular thoughts about anything else we might want to bring for the full week? I'm not hauling the Coleman stoves up there (but I do have an alcohol stove and can get HEET over at the auto parts store), and I will probably bring a medium-sized cooler.

    Thanks again for the discussion, I'm already getting excited to go - camping and airplanes?!?


    daniel
    Last edited by Gomeral; 05-24-2024 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Phrasing
    Daniel Lane
    PP ASEL (IA)
    EAA Chapter 1114


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