Book Review – A Guide to Pagan Camping

I’m lucky.  I have read Lori Dake’s Pagan camping tips on Livejournal for the past year.  I was one of those who encouraged her to compile all these ideas and suggestions, which she has been writing for over ten years, into a book and get it out there so others can benefit from her experience.  And now she has.

A Guide To Pagan Camping: Festival Tips, Tricks, and Trappings does an excellent job of going beyond the basics of camping and addresses the special needs of our community as we head off to Pagan festivals.  This book would be of most value to anyone who is either new to camping in general or new to Pagan festicals, but readers who are moderately experienced in camping or festivals would be glad of some of the tips.  After all, anything that allows for greater comfort while camping or saves you money is worth checking out.  (see the Not-So Hidden Costs of Pagan Festivals chapter)  I can’t say I’m an old pro at festival camping, but I’ve been to Pagans festivals for just over five years and have been camping since I was a child.  I consider myself an experienced camper, yet I still learned a great deal from Lori.  I can’t wait to try out the recipe she says is a sure-fire for the festival potluck!

Can’t decide what Pagan festival to go to?  Read the section on choosing the right festival for your needs and budget.    Wondering what gear to pack?  Lori will walk you through that.  I appreciate that A Guide to Pagan Camping is also concerned with helping you make your camping area stylish.  Gods, that is missing from so many camping books!  Really practical things like using the prevailing winds to help you decide where to set up your kitchen and packing three pairs of shoes are sprinkled throughout.  Considering being a vendor?  Lori covers how to decide if vending is really for you and tips on how to maximize profit.

Topics specific to Pagan festivals are tackled.  Things like sexuality, nudity, and personal boundaries.  I had to laugh when I read the bit about being kind to your neighbors by realizing that we can hear what happens in your tent.  We’ll try to pretend we don’t, but if we hear (like Lori and her husband did) you yell “Come on, Fuck me, Damnit” and your partner is yelling back “I don’t feel like it” over and over throughout the night, we’ll giggle at first and then lose all patience with you by 4am.  Also seeing ink are ritual etiquette tips and ideas on how to make your camp space a temporary sacred space.  Pagans are individuals and many have …. forthright … personalities.  How do you deal with that in a way that doesn’t ruin your festival?  Lori’s suggestion,  Refuse, defuse, and confuse – which she then explains with examples.   This gives you an idea of her easy to remember problem solving style that is seen through out the book.

I’m a big eBook advocate so I was thrilled that the book was first released in eBook format and is on sale for 50% off until March 12th. The print version of the book is now also available.  If you love Pagan festival camping, or are curious about going to one, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

For a previous interview with Lori Dake about her book, please go here.

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