Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring to the event?

Pack like you are going camping for the weekend.

There will be access to potable water onsite, but it may not be convenient for filling up your water tanks. It's a good idea to fill up prior to arriving.

The venue has a cafe that will be selling (delicious and affordable) food if you don't feel like cooking all of your meals.

We ask that you bring your own plates, bowls, and/or cutlery to help us reduce our single-use waste.

There will be a community potluck on Saturday night, so please bring something edible to contribute.

Bring ample sunscreen, bug spray, and a tick key or tweezers (we will try to supply some for those who may need them). The property is treated for ticks, but still come prepared. If you stay on trails and designated areas, you will be less likely to get ticks on you -- but they will still be around!

There will be events like yoga, stand up paddleboarding, frisbee golf and more, so be sure to pack clothes you can move around in, and don't forget to bring your swimsuit!

Are there bathrooms and showers?

There are bathrooms/outhouses on site. There are a few outhouses on the property, as well as a central building with a few toilets and shower heads.

Bruce Lodge, Sahara Lodge, and the dining hall also have bathrooms. We will also be renting a few porta-potties to place in the more far-flung areas of the property.

Please keep in mind that these are rustic campground bathrooms. You are not staying at the Wynn. For the best experience, we recommend lowering your expectations ;-).

Is there cell service?

There is spotty cell service on and near the property, but we cannot guarantee that all networks will have service. Plan like you are going off grid for the weekend.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

Anyone of all backgrounds and all ages are welcome to attend, as well as your furry family members! Bring your kids, bring your babies, bring your dogs and lizards and cats and more!

Can I bring my pet(s)?

Totally! All pets are welcome as long as they are well behaved! The lake is a great place to let your pup run around off leash and splash around in the water, or dive off the dock! We ask that all off-leash pets be monitored closely at all times.

PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PETS AT ALL TIMES. THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Should I bring cash? Will you be accepting cards?

We should be able to accept cards for most things on site, though we highly recommend you bring enough cash just in case. You can’t always rely on technology -- plus we’re going to have some cash-only fundraising opportunities you won’t want to miss out on!

Will there be food on site?

Yes! The Camp Manitowa Cafe will be open all weekend long for breakfast and lunch and some dinner options. They will be able to accommodate vegetarian (some vegan), dairy free and gluten free diets. We can totally vouch that their food is phenomenal!

The cafe DOES take cards, but we highly recommend you bring some cash just in case! Can’t always trust the ol’ electricity!

What should I bring to the potluck?

We recommend anything that falls under the category of appetizer or main dish. There will be plenty of food to go around, but last year we had a surplus of desserts and not nearly enough “regular” food. So if possible try to avoid the sweets and opt for the healthy and filling main treats! 

Most people make their own dishes (quinoa salads, pasta dishes, dips...one dude brought a couple strombolis he made in his van oven) but if you don’t have a way to make a dish on site, feel free to swing by a grocery store on your way in to grab something shareable!

Can I camp in a tent?

Most definitely! Tent camping, car camping, hammock camping - come out with whatever you got!

Is there housing on site I can stay in? What do I need to know to stay in the housing?

Yes! There are two bunk houses on site available to crash in. It costs $30 to rent a bunk in one of these houses for the entire weekend. The houses have toilets, a shower, and a main area. One of the houses has a kitchen as well. You will buy your housing ticket when you purchase your general admission ticket. Beds are first come first served so the sooner you can arrive the better chance you have to snag the exact bed you’d like. 

You must bring bed sheets (or a sleeping bag) and pillows! Sheets and pillows are not available on site. The bedrooms are shared spaces so it will be likely that you may have roommates.

Can I arrive on Wednesday/stay till Monday?

No. The Midwest Vanlife Gathering is May 7th-10th and these are the only dates that we are allowed on the property.

You may arrive as early as 1pm on Thursday and we ask you to be off of the property by 1pm on Sunday.

If you get to the area earlier or want to hang around later, the Shawnee National Forest is nearby.

Do I get anything for volunteering?

You sure do!! Thursday evening we will be having a "Thank You" dinner for all volunteers -AND- you will receive an exclusive Midwest Vanlife Gathering trucker hat.

Sign up to volunteer here.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For any additional questions you may contact Jayme at contact@midwestvanlife.com, or fill out our contact form.

What's the refund policy?

Event tickets are non-refundable. Please see our Terms & Conditions for more details on our refund policy.

I would love to donate more! How can I do that?

Fantastic! When purchasing your ticket, there is a "Donation" option where you can enter the amount of money you would like to donate.

If you cannot attend the event but would still like to contribute, you may donate here! No attendance necessary to make a donation! Just a reminder that this event is 100% a fundraiser. The organizers do not keep any of the proceeds.

Question not answered here? Send us a message

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