Glass Buttes Checklist
Glass Buttes is located in central Oregon about 75 miles east of Bend, Oregon and the Cascade Mountain Range. The two 'Buttes', Little Glass Butte and Big Glass Butte are ryolite domes (volcanic domes) that rise between 1400 ft and 2000 feet above the valley floor which is at about 5000 ft elevation at the main camping area.
Glass Buttes is federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BML). It is also a Federally designated rock collecting area and the legal limit is 250 lbs of rock (in aggregate) per person per year (BLM Glass Buttes Regulations Handout). 'Officially' the annual Glass Buttes Knap-in is an informal event - just an impromptu gathering of likeminded individuals.
In March, during the annual Glass Buttes Knap-in, temperatures can range from single digits at night to 60 degree in mid-afternoon. It can snow and the wind has been know to blow in excess of 60 mph.
The area is generally dry with a few springs and manmade reservoirs - used mainly for cattle. The closest potable water is 35 miles away in Riley, OR (crossroads Hwy 395 and Hwy 20). Riley is also the only places within 60 miles for fuel (propane, gas, diesel,) and food. The next closest place is Burns, OR - 61 miles from the Buttes. Burns has all the amenities, including four hotels.
Given the nature of the Glass Buttes area and the travel distance to the nearest town, it is best to bring everything you need during your visit. The following is a checklist for those that come to the Annual Glass Buttes Knap-in based on a number of years experience and the experience of many other contributors. The amount of what you bring depends on how long you plan to stay and how many people in your party.
All of the items listed will be brought by many of the 'regulars' and help is never far away. In fact the folks that attend the knap-in are some of the most helpful anywhere!
The only amenity provided are 'Porta-Potties'. These are paid for by voluntary donations, competitive games and auctions of donated items. Everyone is encouraged to donate what they can.
There are many things to do during the knap-in week but most activities involve collecting rock, flintknapping, socializing and exploring/hiking. There is also archery, atlatls and some primitive skills. However, this list is geared to the first four things. Feel free to bring your archery and atlatl equipment.
What to Bring
SAFETY GLASSES ARE MANDATORY IN ALL KNAPPING AREAS - NO EXCEPTIONS
You will wear safety glasses or be asked to leave!
Insect Spray (Tick spray) Tick are prevalent between April and October, depending on the weather - and they carry Lyme disease!1. Warm clothes including hat and gloves, and sturdy, waterproof boots
3. Shelter - anything from a good tent to camper trailer/motorhome
4. Plenty of fuel - gas/diesel, propane (the station at Riley does have good prices for all three)
5. Potable water - more than you think you will need
6. Food and the means to prepare it.
7. At least one chair per person
8. Flintknapping kit including your biggest spalling tool!
9. Rock digging tools
b. pry bars, spud bars
c. slide hammer(s) - best tool in some areas
d. small hand shovel(s)
e. rock hammer
10. Buckets/tubs for hauling rock
11. Tarp(s) - handy for a variety of reasons
12. Rags - digging is dirty work, you will find lots of uses for rags
13. Camera/Video Camera - lots of photo opportunities
14. Musical instruments if you play - you will see everything from bagpipes to didgeridoos!
16. Binoculars - lots of wildlife
17. Trash bags - what you pack in you MUST pack out!
18. Generator - for those with special needs. (CPAP machines). Courtesy dictates that those with generators camp at a distance from others for noise abatement.
19. Flashlight, headlamp, Lantern(s) for walking at night
20. First Aid Kit
21. Water bottles
22. Spare tires & jack - especially if you go out on your own
23. Pet clean up supplies - if you bring a pet please clean up after them. No one wants to step in it!
Optional Items - sometimes useful1. AC/DC interter - for charging camera and cell phone batteries (cellular reception limited)
2. Business cards - for later contact
3. Tire chains - just it case
4. Tow rope, strap or chain
6. Axe, chainsaw
7. CB Radio - cellular service is limited but some have CB radio.
8. Trade items - handmade, abo related
9. Map of the area for those unfamiliar - available at the Prineville BLM office for a couple of bucks.
What NOT to Bring1. Boombox
2. High Mainenance 'friends' - it is an austere environment!
3. Firewood - there will be plenty for those who help others.
4. Rock, unless it is rare or unusual and knappable. Otherwise it would be like bring sand to the beach!
5. Power equipment/explosives for digging rock - prohibited by the BLM
6. Pickaxes or mattocks - they do more damage than good when digging obsidian.