View Full Version : Planning my first desert shooting trip.

07-19-2010, 9:20 AM
So, yesterday a couple of friends dropped by via my invitation since I wanted to make up to them bailing out of going to the
beach so I could buy more stuff at the gunshow. The evening eventually snowballed into a good deal of fun as a couple of other
people were invited over, and much of my rum stockpile was consumed (again, per my invitation as they were friends, I didn't mind)

As it happened, I had some ammo sitting out on the coffee table like I usually do for one reason or another and we start
talking about guns. Turns out one of them has a few himself and the rest of them seemed pretty interested in actually shooting... even
my vegan friend and his ultra-animal friendly girlfriend! At this point, my other gun owning friend and I kind of threw out
the notion of a desert camping and shooting trip in the next couple of months and everyone got pretty excited about the idea.

Needless to say, we're pushing forward with it at this point, but considering I've never organized anything like this, I'm left
wondering what we need to bring/prepare for. As it is, for the two day, one night trip, I figure on:

3 gallons of water per person.
Snakebite kit.
Standard first aid kit.
Compass and map with nearest hospital pre-routed.
A couple of those "booth" tents and some fold out tables for shooting with and a can of red spraypaint for the "shooting line".

Of course, we'll have all the standard stuff like food and a campfire and someone will probably bring out their propane grill. There will be rum! There will also be locked
up guns when there's rum.

However, is there anyting special that needs to be done for camping/shooting out in an unincorporated desert area like that? Was thinking somewhere around Anza Borrego (wherever it's legal to shoot).
Do I need to let law enforcement or some sort of park ranger know we're out there and what we're doing, etc.?

I grew up exploring acres of my family's land with a BB gun out past Dulzura when I was a kid, but have been a city guy since then and don't know what's up out in the sticks anymore as far as regulations.

Figured asking you guys here would be a good start in my research to ensure we have a safe and fun trip.


07-19-2010, 9:32 AM
just make sure the area you're in is real BLM land and check what laws apply to that area, you can probably find out at a local BLM office or something. if you're in the proper area, you shouldn't be questioned about much, although rangers may come by to check on what you guys are doing.

as far as surviving conditions, check out the barstow shoot thread over in the shoots, meets etc section, we just had a 2-3 day desert shoot, heat was killer, you could ask them what they think was important to bring, just an idea

07-19-2010, 9:34 AM
Wait till it cools down.

07-19-2010, 9:54 AM
Wait till it cools down.

Yeah, granted it's still going to be hot as hell, I think we're going to try for a late September date.

Nodda Duma
07-19-2010, 10:16 AM
Wait till it cools down.

Seriously. It's been so danged hot that we just escape up to the Sierras on the weekends since our swamp cooler only does so much.

07-19-2010, 10:18 AM
Too hot now, pretty hot in September also. We usually go at Thanksgiving. Take a big tarp
and lay it down behind your shooting line. Makes collecting your brass easy, just fold and pour brass into a bucket. Even if you don't reload I bet you someone that does!

07-19-2010, 10:34 AM
Maybe going over safe handling and the mechanics of the guns with newbies before you go is a good idea. A local range trip maybe.

07-19-2010, 10:40 AM
Maybe going over safe handling and the mechanics of the guns with newbies before you go is a good idea. A local range trip maybe.

That's a good idea. It should go without saying that I was planning on going over basic safety stuff like: The gun is always loaded, and the gun is always loaded, and don't ever point the gun at anybody, and that the gun is always loaded, as well as teach them how the guns they'll be shooting function, and also to assume the gun is always loaded when we got there before shooting. But I think I'll get together with my other friend and we'll have a mandatory range trip for anyone who plans on coming with us, instead.

This is why I asked here first!

07-19-2010, 10:55 AM
I mentioned it because I've seen people turned off by guns just put in their hands to shoot, not knowing whats going to happen, exactly. Even just saying to someone that it's going to be very loud and explaining recoil etc. ahead of time is important. It gives them a sense of what's coming and then the big "bang" the first time is not as shocking.

One of my ex GF's saw the flame out of a .44 magnum and I don't think she ever shot again.

07-19-2010, 11:20 AM
Just got off the BLM website

* Campfires or other open fires, including barbecues and portable stoves, are prohibited except within fire rings or stoves in designated, developed recreation sites or posted campsites. Portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel may be used outside of these areas with a valid California campfire permit.
* Use of steel jacketed, tracer and armor piercing or exploding ammunition is prohibited.
* Tools powered by gasoline engines may not be used off of established roads and trails. Chainsaws with functional spark arresters may be used in accordance with the specifications on wood cutting permits
* Motor vehicles must remain on established roads and trails. There is an exemption for the wave slopes at the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area and South Spit Cooperative Management Area.
* Smoking is prohibited, except within enclosed vehicles or in developed recreation sites.

The smoking thing I don't care about, but some of my friends will. Looks like I will indeed be doing this sometime later when it cools down and the fire restrictions get lifted. Oh well, still something to look forward to... just won't be happening for a while longer =(