We ask all retreatants to sign the Acknowledgment of Hazards form. Please read this section and understand the dangers specific to the land.
Walking Trails For your safety, only use the marked trails. Maps are available upon request.
Daily Temperatures Temperatures are variable throughout the day. Mornings and evenings can be cool and crisp; summer afternoons are hot (sometimes very hot, up to 100 F!) and sunny. Sun protection and hats are advised. Autumn days can be pleasantly warm, while nights get considerably cooler. Please come prepared with layers of clothing and a warm sleeping bag.
Swimming The Eel River runs through the property and is a wonderful site for swimming and sunning on summer afternoons.
- Swimming is at your own risk. There are no lifeguards and river access is not restricted.
- Children at the river must be supervised by an adult at all times.
- The river is shallow in places, but deep pools are found downstream. While the river is generally calm, please use caution. River shoes or Teva-type sandals are needed to wade across the river to the best swimming areas.
- The sun is hot and bright. Please bring protective sunscreen and be careful regarding appropriate exposure.
Poison Oak Poison oak is pervasive on the property, so please watch carefully. Every effort is made to clear all public areas as well as around the campground; however, we cannot ensure that you will be completely protected from exposure.
- A sample of poison oak leaves is posted on the bulletin board outside the Sangha House during major retreats so you can see exactly what to avoid!
- Please wear proper protection – light clothing, socks — and bring Tecnu soap and lotions to protect you from this plant if you are particularly vulnerable to its unpleasant side effects.
Mosquitoes During the summer months there are many mosquitoes, especially in the evening. Please bring your favorite mosquito repellent. Long sleeves and pants are also helpful at night.
Fire Safety Fire is an extreme hazard. Absolutely NO fires are permitted on the property. This includes camp stoves, candles and incense.
Campground Etiquette Please be aware of your voice level in the campground. Loud talking or music in the evenings after teachings is not permitted. Remember that retreatants may be practicing in their tents as well as sleeping during the afternoon, and please be considerate.
Wildlife Gomde is still largely undeveloped and the land is home to many creatures, including river otters, foxes, skunks, quail, egrets, osprey, and eels. The general area is a habitat for mountain lions and occasionally a bear, though sightings during times the land is populated are rare.
- To maintain a balance with the environment and to live safely with the larger animals, be conscientious as you walk around. Stick to existing trails, deposit all waste materials in the secured containers, and do not leave any refuse out overnight.
- Please do not keep open food at the campground. All food and scented products (including toothpaste, lotion, and sunscreen) should be placed in the trunk of your car for safekeeping.
- This is tick country. To reduce the likelihood that ticks will find you appealing, we suggest you wear light-colored long pants and shirts and use repellant on exposed areas. You should also do a daily tick inspection, especially after hiking wooded areas and at night. If a tick has attached itself to you, its head will be embedded below the skin and its body exposed. To remove the tick, flatten the surrounding skin by stretching it taut and wiggle the body in a circular motion until it releases its hold. If the tick remains alive, it may be returned to the woods (off-trail!). Wash the bite with a disinfectant or soap and monitor for red, tender, swollen areas which may signal infection.
- Rattlesnakes: yes, there are some. By nature rattlesnakes are not aggressive unless they feel threatened. Please walk mindfully on the paths. If you are bitten, remain calm and send someone to get a vehicle. If you are on your own, try shouting for help and wait. Only if no one comes you should walk to the nearest house – slowly, to minimize circulation of venom. Try to remain calm for the same reasons.