First Time to Safari?
There is a first time for everything and we understand that coming to an event like this can be a daunting task. Actually it is quite simple. We will try to explain what you need to do in order to make your experience more enjoyable.
The first step in the process is pre-registering for the event. Although pre-registering is NOT a requirement, we advise it to ensure that no problems will pop up. You will also be able to guarantee yourself (and/or your family) a t-shirt (if you order one) and a Saturday Night dinner (if you order one). Registration is easy. Just click on the Registration link and register/pay for the event. You will get an email confirming your order. If you decide to NOT pre-register, that is not a problem. All you will need to do is show up at the event and pay at the registration tent.
The next step is getting there. Click the link for directions to the Uwharrie Outdoor Events Center (Note that the event location has changed from the Badin Lake Group Campground). Those not familiar with this location, it is just across the street from the Eldorado Outpost. While there, get a forest map too.
When you arrive, the next step depends on what time you get there. The camping area is open on Thursday. If you arrive on Friday, the registration tent is open until 6pm. We suggest you get there before then if you can since there will be someone there to answer all our questions. Once you enter the events center, look for the registration tent. Stop there and get your registration packet or pay (for those who did not pre-register). Feel free to ask questions - all of us were first timers at one point.
If you do arrive after 6pm and/or if it is dark, you can camp almost ANYWHERE you want. Maps will be available with suggested locations. Do not be shy. Get out, walk around, and talk to some folks that are already there. They will be more than happy to help you out.
Once you find a place to camp, setup your campsite and start to mingle with your neighbors. The event usually has two guided rides on Friday and two on Saturday. You should try to get in on one of these rides. It will help acquaint you with the layout of the forest and the trail system.
A lot of people will also strike out on their own with small groups of trucks. Again, ask your neighbors if they will be going out and in most cases, they will ask you to join them.
Saturday evening is when the group meal is served. Usually around 5:30pm or so. We will be selling raffle tickets for raffle that is held after the meal is over. The meal and the raffle are held under the big tent (you will know what we are talking about). Once this is over, most folks will either head to their camp to sit around the fire or go out for another night ride. Just ask anyone that you have met to see if you can join or catch a ride.
We hope that this helps explain things a bit better. It is hard to try and type out what to expect but this document quickly sums up what to expect. If you do have concerns, we would suggest arriving during the daylight hours. This will help you ten-fold since you can see everything. Also, if you can swing it, arrive Thursday. It is not as chaotic and plenty of room is still available for camping, etc.