I've been tossing the idea about for the last couple of days of building/bringing 1 or 2 PVC traction catapults for use on deep playa.
1) Will it be permitted? I've found precedents (albeit on a much grander scale):
1998 Camp Ingenium Diabellein ...in the medieval tradition, "an ingenious contribance to throw across", will feature a human- powered trebuchet (catapult). U-Hurl. Bring forth retrievable objects and targets and project them into Outer Space.
1999 Camp U-Hurl/Ingenium Diaballein returns to the playa, ready to hurl your favorite objects across the desert. Bring over that spare watermelon, and let the trebuchet (a form of catapult) cast it free (at least temporarily) of the surly bonds of gravity.
1999 Art - Trebuchets 50 lb objects thrown 500 feet - toss (away) that reflect their perceptions of today's cultural flaws/problems/evils.
2001 Tribe / Camp Break Stuff - come and destroy shit, and launch household appliances out of a catapult.
2007 Art - Warwolf Trebuchet flaming pianos
Yet weapons are a BLM prohibited item here
and catapults seem to fit the description:
"Weapon means a firearm, compressed gas or spring powered pistol or rifle, bow and arrow, cross bow, blowgun, spear gun, hand thrown spear, sling shot, irritant gas device, electric stunning or immobilization device, explosive device, any implement designed to expel a projectile
Does anyone know whether the precedents predate these rules or if prior permission was granted? In short, do you think this will "fly"?
2) Interactivity - most of the precedents were counterweight driven trebuchets and at most the user loaded and/or aimed the device and fired. The catapults I'm considering are human powered in that 1 or 2 individuals will have to swing the short end of the throwing arm down towards the playa to propel the object attached to the other end.
3) What were you expecting here? They would be placed on the deep playa. They would not have pockets or cups by which anyone could load anything but rather a bolt on to which a sacrificial sling would be securely tied around a tennis ball or a lighted swishy (for lack of a better term - a small baseball sized soft rubber thing that lights with motion). The catapults would not be movable or aimable other than the control of distance dependent of force exerted. There could be landing areas marked off warning of potential incoming projectiles. They would be manned when operational, when not operational the bases would remain and throwing arms would come back to camp with me.
4) Moop - the thought of 2 catapults was originally so one would not have to retrieve spent ammo, I could provide just one projectile that one unit could fire and those wishing to use the second unit would have to wait until it retrieves it to fire. Failing that a tally would be kept so no projectiles go unaccounted for (one thought was to shoot the swishies at night and allow passersby to keep them if they wanted). Obviously, once I build the catapult I will need to evaluate ammo for proper weight to maximize distance and minimize concussions.
5) Restrictions - I'm traveling from the East Coast, solo, in a small vehicle so I don't have a lot of options in terms of how big or how many units I could bring. I originally envisioned a large multpult
made out of 6" x 6"'s, all rustic looking to shoot flaming projectiles at the Trojan Horse....then I woke from my pipedream.
6) I'm tossing around other elements such as a playa dartboard where shots would receive scores depending on accuracy (which would require at a minimum walkie talkies or some communication method), one manned side the other side triggered by an accurate shot that would return another tennis ball or else someone will be taking a stroll if they want to fire the thing, skeet catapult (need I say more?).
The right half of my brain tells me stop being so fucking pedantic and do this and the left keeps telling me I'm nuts for even considering this.
All comments, opinions, snark, negativity, admonitions, encouragement, derision, thread drift, youtube videos, demotivational posters, pie charts, or infographics welcome. I don't want your money or tickets just your thoughts.