Aircraft camping at OSH, what do you take?

Son and I are taking the blue goose (182P) to Osh this year in our first father son trip in the plane. We have been there numerous times as he was growing up pulling a camper or staying in a tent. He is now working on his PP in our plane so Oshkosh takes on a whole new meaning!

Haven't had to deal with weight issues in long time and I am looking for what others use for their chairs, maybe what cooler (thinking yeti since son can get great discount and anything else you think will help us keep the weight down. We will probably just stay a couple days at the show but are flexible so who knows, we may stay another day if he wants to.



Just a carbureted guy in fuel injected world!


  • planewrenchplanewrench IA 48yr A&P DAL A/C Inspector

    Okie, one thing for sure is there will be no lack for food. I have camped for decades there, and every year i seem to bring less and less food. Just bring essentials, really anything you might use at the plane when hanging out there. Drinks and snacks. Bring what you might use at the plane as a base camp. food venders are varied and numerous. CArl

    IA 47yr A&P DAL A/C Inspector 172n

  • The first thing you need is a good tent. Get one that is sturdy and light. It will likely be tested in a severe thunderstorm and you want your stuff to stay dry. Get one that sleeps more than 2 people, as you will want the extra room to keep your stuff organized.

    Next, you want a couple of good air mattresses, with extra batteries for the inflators. Sleeping bags need to be suitable for a little more than summer backyard camping, as it can get surprisingly cold overnight. Take a sweatshirt.

    Chairs: you want ones that are lightweight and easy to carry, as you’re going to need them to watch the daily air shows, which are some distance (bus trip plus a mile or so of walking) from where you will be camping under the wing. We have some Cliq ones. They are a bit heavier than ideal, but fold up small and carry easily.

    Good tie-downs, like the Claw. Remember the thunderstorms. They will have screw-in ones for sale as you arrive, but those aren’t strong enough. A couple of pieces of plywood to put under the main gear so that the tires don’t sink into the ground with the rain.

    Something to keep your electronics charged up, like a large lithium auxiliary battery or two (20 amp-hours or so). There are public charging stations and people are pretty honest and don’t steal your stuff, but having your own is much more convenient.

    Plan to arrive either very early or later in the week. The place fills up quickly, and by Tuesday afternoon, you’re likely to be turned away because camping is full, so either Sunday/Monday or after Wednesday.

    There’s lots more advice to be had, but those are the main points I can think of. You’ll want at least 2 full days to get even a broad brush experience.


  • When you leave your tent remember to put all your belongings on top of your air mattress. In a very hard rain you will get water in your tent. At least your belongings will float and stay dry.

  • join Cessnas 2 Oshkosh for camping experience.

  • Some very good points, its actually the type of light weight chairs people take is what I am looking for mostly. The tie down are another item I was looking for, love the plywood idea.

    I have been probably 15 times and camped in the most severe storms and it was still fun!. We have a very good 4 season tent to sleep in, definitely large enough with a great pad. We will also stake the heck out of it. We use inflatable camp mats for backpacking but I do need to bring small table to use in tent. Sleeping bags we have are big time over kill but also meant for backpacking so super light and if blizzard hits we will be fine.

    I do have a couple of battery packs to charge which should get us by. Or, i can sit down at charging station for awhile, if it really came down to it.

    Planning on smaller cooler for fruits, veggies and water for traveling then we will buy more once we get there. Who doesn't love buying from the red barn!!

    Just a carbureted guy in fuel injected world!

  • Where might this be, sounds like good source for making the trip?

    Just a carbureted guy in fuel injected world!

  • Sorry. Mods. Please delete my post above the stupid system will not allow me to delete photos.

  • I would recommend a couple of Coleman type camp cots. We took two to OSH last year. Being up off the ground and having a place to sit in your tent is worth the weight penalty. I put a therma rest on top of mine for more comfort. We just took some cheap folding bag chairs to sit on. They’re easy to cary and compact.

    We didn’t bring a means of cooking or any utensils as we were part of the C2Osh group. You might want to consider bringing stuff. The food options are not the best with selection being mostly fast food. I don’t think there is any real rules on cooking near your plane. I saw lots of people making breakfast and such I am not sure of cleaning up options

    there is a target close by the N40 with quite a few options for groceries in and around the area. The red market was not really well stocked for buying supplies in my opinion.

    take a tent that can take the wind with lots of tiedown points. Our tent was flattened by the windstorm the first night we arrived.

  • edited June 2023

    I too do Cessnas 2 Oshkosh. A quick list:

    • Boards for under the wheels.
    • Covers for fuel vents and Pitot tube
    • REI Basecamp 4 tent (fits under the wing)
    • Double stake the tent with long stakes
    • I have had the “Claw” pull out of the ground so I use Abe’s Tie-downs, Deluxe 5 kit.
    • Goal Zero Sherpa 100 battery and 2 Nomad 20 Solar panels. That supplied power for a week.
    • REI Flexlite table
    • Folding chair.
    • There is a laundry near the Best Western outside the gate of the North 40.
    • Cooler for snacks and drinks. There are restaurants on and off the grounds.
  • Great write-up and advice! Thanks.

  • Thank you!

    Just a carbureted guy in fuel injected world!

  • I am late posting this I recommend boards for the wheels as well. I used some cheap wall mart 1/4” plastic cutting boards for this. They are light and will not adsorb water. They clean up with a rinse and can be used over and over.

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