The observing field and camping area consists of hard clay ground covered with dry rooted cut grass. Although the type of grass in the field is not the type that sticks to clothing and works its way into your socks, there is, nonetheless, a tendency for the cut pieces to blow around and get into your belongings.
We recommend bringing three tarps, or two tarps plus a sizable piece of astro-turf. Use the tarps under your tent and as a "front porch" and the astro-turf as groundcover for your equipment. You'll find that this arrangement is comfortable and will keep the grass out of your stuff.
Please note, what the land-owners consider "cut" grass is different than what city-folk (with trimmed lawns) think. GSSP will ask to have the grasses cut, but you may wish to do some manicuring of your campsite. What is not allowed is uprooting the grasses, since the area is a private preserve and the grass is a perennial grass. But you may bring a scissor or shears and trim it down in and around your campsite. A little off the top, please!
Wind and Stakes
In the afternoon, particularly on hot days, the northern Nevada desert cools off, and causes a westerly wind to pass over the cascades and down through Big Valley and Adin. When this happens, the wind picks up at about 3:00 pm and dies down at around 6:00 pm. By sunset, the air is still.
During the windy periods, tents, tarps and easy-ups can easily turn into kites. For this reason we will require that all of the above be secured with 1/4 inch diameter, or better, "nail-stakes". Standard tent stakes (the flimsy kind that probably came with your tent) will not suffice. We also recommend that you open a top corner of your easy-ups in the afternoon to prevent them from becoming airborne. At past star parties, we've have some incidents involving flying easy-ups; and we'd like to avoid any recurrence.
We also strongly suggest that you plan for securing your equipment. If you have a big dob, a piece of rope staked to the ground can be used to tie down the cage, pointing downwind. Dob's make great weather vanes; so protect your investment with a piece of rope and a nail stake.Would more recommendations help?
We've been making trips like this, camping together at star parties for a long time. If you need any help, suggestions, pointers, etc., please write GSSP or ask questions in the GSSP Blog, linked to the right of this posting.