Bringing a sauna to a hacker camp #SHA2017
Photos now in Flickr album: SHA2017 pictures
The outdoor hacker camp SHA2017 is now over and we want to thank you the organizers of the awesome event. This time the Finnish Embassy came to the camp with an electric barrel sauna. Initial negotiations with different organizing teams suggested that there was enough power to choose an electric sauna and reasons not to take a wood heated model, and we gratefully received help finding one. The popularity struck us with surprise and the sauna was occasionally not enough large for the masses. For those who might be interested, the sauna was rented from NL, not far from the event site. If you plan to bring an outdoor sauna to an hacker camp in the future, it might be easier to arrange than you think! We’ve heard there are already plans elsewhere to bring a sauna to Chaos Communication Congress 34C3.
As soon as we received our event badges, we decided to make something sauna related with it. The sauna temperature app was soon prototyped and launched on camp day one. We used RuuviTags and other sensors for monitoring the heat and informing everyone when the sauna was ready to use. The app even got mentioned in badge presentation highlights.
The sauna was still going strong after 2 am when music started to fade out on the field. We only have vague hearsay that the sauna or nudity at the camp caused some disapproval, but everything we witnessed ourselves at the sauna was only positive.
See some of the sauna reactions in Twitter: Twitter search sauna and sha2017
This time everyone from Finland took a plane for this event, so to keep us properly equipped for all the flashiness and coziness, we had to think another ways to bring our stuff other than distributing it in multiple luggage bags. Tarlab and other campers from Oulu, Burner in lead, packed (video) and delivered a cargo pallet full of materials such as lights, camping equipment, Finnish salmiakki candies, power cords, a small fridge and loads of other stuff. Arranging a shipment like this to a hacker camp is doable and we managed to get it on site nicely and in time – also not too early. Just make sure with logistics and villages teams know about your plans beforehand. Our delivery had a GPS transmitter inside, so we could follow the shipment arriving to SHA camp field live.
This time the Nordic Villages area was somewhat more planned than in Chaos Communication Camp 2015, and we had some idea who were joining the cluster beforehand. For the next camp we could try to be even more coordinated and plan what equipment different groups could bring. For example, we had no sound system, but could use the Swedish one using their awesome Youtube playlist IRC bot – thanks! The Nordic Villages and hackerspaces mailing list is an attempt to collect interested people to join future planning for camps, happenings or maybe demoscene events and visits to other hackerspaces. Let’s see what use it might find. We need enough people in the list to keep us connected, so please join the group.
Keeping the spirit up
Hours after the closing ceremony, the leftover campers of Nordic Villages were still going strong continuing with completely new programme. The Norwegian Embassy took over the near emptied Swedish tent and spray painted a sign on a remains of a Kartent to make it “look official”. Lars from Malmö started inviting bypassers and asking them “are you here for the lightning talks?”. The spontaneous presentations were either recycled slides from other occasions, mixed topics, show-and-tell style talks and such. After 8 or 9 pm when the camp site went silent and power was shut down, we continued in the dark using flashlights. Almost everyone in the tent also gave a talk.
Nordic Villages is most likely happening also in Chaos Communication Camp 2019. Thank you for all those who visited the sauna, Taike for the grant, our neighbours, and the SHA organisation to let us make this happen!
(200th blog post on this website!)