Camping & Survival

Attendance at events hosted by the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) is AT YOUR OWN RISK. Insurance to cover your rocketry activities is available as a benefit of membership in either the National Association of Rocketry or the Tripoli Rocketry Association. Please note that membership in ROC does NOT include insurance, or any assumption of liability on the part of ROC. ROC membership allows you to fly at all of our launches without paying the daily launch fees, and a few other membership benefits. All attendees at ROC events must check in at REGISTRATION at the launch and sign the ROC Agreement and Liability Release Form to indicate understanding and acceptance of the risk and liability. Spectators and flyers will be given a wristband to indicate that they have registered.

Fire Restrictions Back to Stage I for ROC

On October 3, 2018, BLM released a new Fire Restrictions order:

ROC is now under Stage I restrictions. These are defined here:
  1. Stage I Restrictions – Campfires, barbecues and gas stoves are allowed with a valid California campfire permit. Smoking is also allowed on such lands.

ROC’s BLM special use permit allows open, above ground fires contained in above ground pits, stoves or grills during our events, even in Stage II restrictions.

You still need a permit for fires and stoves and can get one here:

Important Survival Information!

Since it is (after all) the desert, Lucerne Dry Lake displays extremes of temperature and climate. Extreme hot or cold is likely, depending on the time of year. Also, the wind (sorry, I mean the “W”) is often blowing at a constant 15-20 MPH; gusts above 40 MPH are not uncommon. Dust devils are a popular nuisance, and desert thunderstorms are also possible.

In the summer, it can easily get over 100°F; needless to say, there is no shade unless you bring it with you (stake it down securely!). Sunscreen is a must unless you like that “fresh lobster” look, or you are blessed with a complexion that can absorb mass quanities of photons at ultraviolet energy levels! Also, bring three times as much water as you think you will drink, and then drink it. The hot desert can dry you out very quickly.

In the fall and winter, it can be quite cold, even well below freezing. When the wind blows, it can suck the heat right out of your extremities. Warm clothes should be brought in the fall, winter, and spring months. Warm gloves and hats should be brought in the winter months. (I can hear you Right Coasters snickering at the wimpy Left Coasters that don’t know what cold is… well, I have seen my share of R.C.’s who discover it really can get cold out there, so just knock it off!)

Inclement Weather Safety

ROC Thunderstorm Protocol
A dry lake bed is a terrible place to be during a thunderstorm.

ROC will cease operations whenever thunder can be heard (per CDC recommendation), or is known to be within 10 miles, as per the rocketry safety codes. In that situation:
Stay inside hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up, or
If it’s not actively raining…
Visit Cafe 247 for a burger or shake…
Visit Rock’s for Pizza and beer…
Visit the Lucerne Market for everything else…
Stay safe, enjoy the show. Operations will commence 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard.

Please do not drive your vehicle on wet playa-you’re liable to become stuck, resulting in a lengthy and expensive vehicle recovery process, as well as creating tire ruts that damage the playa. We’ve had people get stuck before and it’s causes major problems. So, if you get stuck, you’re pretty much on your own – but we will help you call AAA



You can camp on the lakebed itself – there is no camping fee. If you have never been here before, plan to arrive in daylight! The lakebed is usually quite firm, but is criss-crossed with ruts and rilles. Just take your time. The lakebed is managed by the BLM, so all fires must be above ground – bring a suitable container and pack out your ashes. Bring a sturdy tent, in case of “W”.

If you bring out an RV, please note that we will ask you to NOT park on the front row – it is a safety hazard. Also note that after a LOT of rain the lakebed may be soft in places – caution is advised.

Have we mentioned that the portapotties are for human waste only? Please do not dispose of trash or other items in the portapotties.