HIKINGGEAR EXPERIENCES

Group camping trip on the San Marcos River

Palmetto State Park in Gonzales, Texas

Days: 3   |   Group size: 15   |  Lodging style: Tents (included) + Restroom & Shower Facilities 

The perfect excuse to ditch work for a weekend.

We'll be relaxing and enjoying Palmetto State Park along the beautiful San Marcos River. We'll depart from quirky ol' Austin, TX in the morning, and by mid-morning be lounging, playing cards, boating, hiking, playing yard games, and decompressing. You choose your level of activity, the weekend is yours! Camping gear, snacks, and all meals are included. This trip is the perfect respite to re-charge with other like-minded geeks.

Activities

Relax and unwind

Go on an afternoon hike, play some outdoor games, take an afternoon nap, take a canoe out, go on a scavenger hunt, or sit around the campfire with other campers… minimal schedules, lots of fun, incredible memories. Think a cross between summer camp and Burning Man… in Texas.

The Location

Welcome to Palmetto State Park!

A little piece of the tropics lies just an hour from Austin and San Antonio. With multiple sources of water (including the San Marcos River), Palmetto State Park is a haven for a wide variety of animals and plants. Look for dwarf palmettos, the park’s namesake, growing under the trees.

Shower and toilets

Toilets are available within walking distance of the campground. Showers are available within the park.

On the water, you can swim, tube, fish and canoe. Besides the flowing river, the park also has an oxbow lake, an artesian well and swamps. We’ll also provide pedal boats, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards for use on the lake. Life jackets and oars are included. Inner tubes for the lake and river are also available.

Go fishing in the river or in Oxbow Lake, which has a fishing pier. We have some fishing equipment to loan. Remember, you do not need a license to fish from shore in a state park.

Canoe the San Marcos River. The river has a steady current, but no rapids

On land, hike or bike the trails, geocache, go birding or study nature. Hike the Palmetto Trail which winds through a stand of dwarf palmettos.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday

  • Depart ABIA (10A), arrive Palmetto State Park (11:30A)
  • Set up camp
  • Welcome and mission distribution
  • Lunch / get to know each other
  • Afternoon activities / relax
  • Community dinner
  • Campfire

Day 2 - Saturday

  • Community breakfast
  • Activities around the park / relax
  • Lunch
  • Optional group hike
  • Community dinner
  • Campfire

Day 3 - Sunday

  • Community breakfast
  • Pack up camp
  • Group photo
  • Activities around the park / relax
  • Depart for Austin, return to ABIA no later than 5P

What's Included

What’s included

Three meals a day and snacks. Transportation to and from camp from Austin. Tent, sleeping pad, communal stoves, all cookware, flashlight, sleeping bag (these are rented to you for the duration of the event). Camping fees. Camp swag. Fire and s’mores supplies.

What’s not included

You’re responsible for getting to and from the pickup point in Austin.

Cancellation and transfer

All tickets (including add-ons) are non-refundable but are transferable to another party for the same event. Please contact us if a transfer is needed. In the case of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances out of the control of the organizers, event may be postponed and/or location changed to a comparable location.

If the trip is canceled due to lack of interest, your ticket will be refunded in full.

Please note: By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the code of conduct. Harassment or actions that make others feel uncomfortable will not be tolerated. Such violations will result in expulsion from the event without refund.

Accommodations

All tickets include rental of everything you need to comfortably tent camp:

  • Coleman Sundome 3 person tents (1 person per tent unless otherwise requested).
  • Sleeping bag, pad, flashlight.
  • Utensils, plates, cups, and other mealware are included.
  • Free tent camping is included with your ticket price.

Food

Three meals a day plus snacks will be provided, and we’ll prepare meals together.

We’ll do our best to accommodate food preferences regarding vegetarian and allergy needs.

Sample menu

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Turkey sausage
  • Kerbey Lane pancakes or potatoes
  • Coffee / tea

Lunch

  • Cold cut or peanut butter sandwich
  • Fresh fruit and veggies
  • Chips
  • Soda

Dinner

  • Foil packs (hamburger, fresh veggies)
  • Yellow seasoned rice
  • Soda
  • Dessert: S’mores

 

Gear list

Clothing

Shoes

Additional gear

Shower

  • Towel
  • Tote / bag for shower supplies
  • Personal items / toiletries

Food stuff

We’ll provide food, and implements needed to cook it. And, don’t worry, we’ll also have s’mores materials. That’s probably the most important part!

Other stuff

  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bandanna
  • Camera
  • Charger for phone / camera / etc

Q & A

Q: Is there wifi or internet available at camp?
A: While internet is usually available near camp, speeds and availability may vary and aren’t guaranteed. We suggest getting mission-critical work done before heading out for a good ol’ digital detox.

Q: Can I bunk with a significant other or friend?
A: Absolutely. Please let us know in the comments section or where applicable on the pre-camp survey.

Q: Can I bring my child?
A: Adventures are intended for participants 21 years or older. In certain cases, exceptions will be made for those 18+. Please contact us.

Q: Can I bring a pet like a dog, llama, or giraffe?
A: You’re welcome to bring a pet if the venue allows them, and you’ll be subject to their rules. Your pet must be well-behaved and must play well with humans. We’re happy to provide rules on a venue by venue basis. Just ask!

Q: Are there restrooms and showers?
A: Restrooms and showers are a short walk from camp. Remember to bring your own shower supplies.

Q: Do I have to participate in all the activities?
A: The short answer is no. You decide what you want to participate in. Every piece of the weekend is optional, however most people enjoy spending some quality time with their new friends.

Q: I’m an introvert, will I have fun?
A: Many of us are introverts, so we’ve got you covered. Whatever your interaction level, you should have a great time since you get to choose what activities you participate in.

Q: I’ve never been camping, is this a good beginner’s event?
A: Yep! In-fact, first timers have told us they really enjoyed the experience. We’ll help guide you through the process, and we’ll make sure your tent is set up right. We’ll even show you how to make the perfect s’more!

Q: I have dietary restrictions, can you accommodate them?
A: Generally we can accommodate dietary needs. Please make sure to indicate any such restrictions on the pre-event survey.

Q: Who are you, and why do you run these trips?
A: We’re tech workers who love the outdoors! Geek Adventures was started in late 2016 and the community includes 5 Hiking with Geeks chapters in North America as well as a handful of hand-crafted group adventure / digital detox trips.

Q: Do you have a code of conduct?
A: Yep, right here… and we’re serious about it. The basics: be kind to and include each other.

Q: I love these events, do you do private trips or company retreats?
A: Yep! Get in touch at [email protected] for more information.

Q: I have a question not answered here. How do I get ahold of you?
A: Please use the Facebook Chat link in the footer of this page, or email [email protected]. We’re more than happy to address any questions you have!

Q: Can I bring a suitcase for my personal items?
A: Most events are designed to accommodate suitcases. We’ll let you know if there are special packing requirements.

Q: My company wants to sponsor an event, is that something you do?
A: We’ve accepted sponsorships in the past, and it’s something we’re open to if your company’s brand and product are a great fit. Please get in touch at [email protected].

Who attends?

Attendees are self identifying geeks, people working in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and/or people with geeky hobbies. It’s possible to geek out on just about anything. Don’t get too hung up on the definition. If the event sounds fun, you’re good-natured, and you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll fit right in.

Here’s a sample from attendee registration forms

What people are looking forward to

  • Human connection
  • Decompression
  • New relationships
  • Inspiring conversations
  • Networking
  • Great conversations
  • Bonding
  • Awesome people disconnected from the world

Talents people are bringing to camp

  • Art
  • Dancing
  • Music
  • Watercolours
  • Fire building
  • Accelerant application
  • Fire suppression
  • Juggling
  • Stretching
  • Cooking
  • Crafts
  • Photography
  • Lip sync’ing poorly
  • Improv
  • Drumming

Reviews

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Harivardhan Pyaram

Microsoft

"Four awesome days spent in an amazingly beautiful location with my tribe -- that I didn't know existed -- and 2 impressive hosts! This trip is one for the books."

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Taco Verdonschot

Yoast

"In four days, I didn't just meet new people in the tech industry, I made a ton of new friends. The Geek Adventures atmosphere is really relaxed and encourages you to not bring your laptop and switch your phone to flight mode. Being truly offline gave me the time to really engage in in-depth conversation. And that's an amazing experience!"

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Swaati Bhat

"I would highly recommend camping with 'Adventures with Geeks', specially if you are a beginner or first timer. One of the best hosts who is friendly, welcoming and makes sure you don't feel left out. I am glad we chose this event as our first camping in the US. I feel confident and am very keen to explore more camping events in future."

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Brad Williams

Web Dev Studios

"I didn’t know what to expect going to Camp Press. What I promptly learned is that was the entire point of the event—doing the unexpected, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, making new friends, having fun and serious conversations, and doing all of this without the normal technology that is always around us." 

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Becky Davis

Becky Davis Design

"Like most of us, I work from home. Working for yourself has a lot of advantages, but having a chance to chat with real people IRL on a regular basis is not one of them. Sitting around a campfire with real people disconnected from technology sounds very appealing."

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Chris Carfi

GoDaddy

"Many of us in the technology industry are “in the flow,” seemingly 24/7. It’s critical to to get out from behind our devices, interact with others in actual conversation, and take time to process. With that time to reflect comes creativity and new ideas."