DIY Placement & Navigation


If YOU want your camp to end up where your camp pin is indicated on the map, YOU must handle your own placement. Are we going to create a responsibly dispersed community or a clucterfuck? What will be will be.

If you already have a satellite GPS device and are comfortable navigating to coordinates using that, you may stop reading. Clearly you have your shit together. (Good job!)

Remember: Map pin coordinates do not create a right to use any particular location for any particular purpose. If someone else is in "your spot" when you arrive, slide over a few hundred feet and find another place to camp. The playa is vast and large enough for everyone.

Read on to learn how to use a smart phone and the what3words app to easily navigate to a designated point on the playa.

Use the what3words app to find your camp location (and maybe other camps too - keep reading to the end):

1 - Download the what3words app to your device

2 - Copy the what3words location for your camp pin from the Black Rock Desert Camps map

3 - Paste your camp's what3words location into the what3words app on your device

4 - Tap the Save button and type to Add Label for the location to access in your Favorites list. The app will prompt you to create an account in order to save a Favorite location.

5 - When you are on the playa, open the what3words app, open Saved locations, open Favorites, tap on your camp name label, tap the Navigate button

6 - Select what3words Compass mode as the navigation tool

7 - The what3words app in Compass mode will show you what direction to drive/bike/walk and how far to your destination even without cell/data service

8 - When you arrive to your camp location, consider the what3words point the center and front of your camp (relative to the center/man point) and layout your camp footprint going back and away from the center/man to allow for ample travel paths between each camp because there are no roads and this is a dispersed camping experience. YMMV. You do you boo boo.

BONUS LEVEL - Navigate to other camps!

Before you leave for the playa, add the 2021 Black Rock Desert Camps what3words list to your app. If other camps follow this DIY Placement guide, you'll be able to find them. If not, oh well!

The what3words app will prompt you to create an account in order to Follow or Save a Copy of the
2021 Black Rock Desert Camps what3words list. Select Follow to have the list auto updated as changes are made through the summer. Select Save a Copy to take a snapshot of the map as it exists at the time. Saved copies will not be updated with changes made to the original list, but you can also add your own saved points to the list.

The final version of the map and the corresponding what3words waypoint list will be live no later than 11 PM PDT on August 28, 2021. The map will not be updated after 11 PM PDT on August 28, 2021.