Camping & Survival

Attendance at events hosted by the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) is AT YOUR OWN RISK. Membership in the National Association of Rocketry or the Tripoli Rocketry Association includes insurance as a benefit. ROC membership allows you to fly at our launches without paying the daily launch fee; ROC membership neither provides insurance nor implies any assumption of liability.

All attendees must check in at REGISTRATION and sign the ROC Agreement and Liability Release Form. We’ll give you a wristband to indicate that you’ve checked in.


  • You may camp on the lakebed for free at all ROC events
  • This is unimproved dry camping on the lakebed.
  • Bring everything you need, and take it back with you!
  • Bring a sturdy tent in case of wind, and stake it down, even if it’s calm
  • Do not park RVs in the front row; it is a safety hazard
  • Do not put anything other than human waste in the portapotties
  • Pack out your trash, please!
  • Watch out for ruts and wet spots while driving
  • Do not bring fireworks


Currently the statewide requirements for camp fires and even for camp stoves and similar devices with a shut-off valve, a California Campfire Permit is required. The permit is free, but you must ensure it is issued and you have a hard copy in hand before lighting any such device.

In addition to a campfire permit, you must have at least five feet around the fire with no flammable material or vegetation. You must have a round nose shovel at least 35 inches long.

Smoking is limited to an area where there is no vegetation within five feet, so basically the entire lakebed.

By BLM regulations, all fires on the lakebed must be in containers that are raised off the actual lakebed.

High Desert Survival

ROC flies at Lucerne Dry Lake, located at 2850′ above sea level in the southern Mojave Desert.

  • Bring plenty of water, even in the winter. The environment is extremely dry; nothing lives in the center of the lakebed.
  • Plan for extreme temperatures. Average winter lows extend below 30 °F; summer highs exceed 100 °F. Bring water.
  • Wind conditions often change rapidly. In the afternoon, constant 15-20 mph with gusts to 40 mph is common. Even if the morning is calm, secure your belongings! Anchor tents and shade structures (especially on the west-facing side) and stow trash and loose items in vehicles.
  • If you leave the launch site, lower and/or remove the cover from your shade to prevent it from blowing away
  • Sun protection is critical; peak summer temperatures often top 100 °F, and there are no trees or sources of shade. Bring water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a shade structure, and stake it down!
  • Convective activity is very common. Large dust devils may form and blow through the launch site without warning. Afternoon thunderstorms can develop, especially in the summer months.

Inclement Weather Safety

ROC will cease operations whenever thunder can be heard or lightning is known to be within 10 miles. During the hold, stay inside hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up. If it is actively raining, do not drive your vehicle. Wet lakebed is impassable, you will get stuck. Stay safe and enjoy the show.

If it’s not actively raining, feel free to head in to town. Visit Cafe 247 for a burger or shake… Visit Rock’s for pizza and beer… Visit China House for the lunch special… Visit the Lucerne Market for everything else.

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE ON WET PLAYA. You will get stuck, and the permanent ruts you create will damage our launch site and our relationship with the BLM. If you get stuck, you’re pretty much on your own – but we will try to get help to tow you to the nearest pavement.