There are always "gotchas" that pop out of nowhere.
My experience - after nearly 30 years of attending major star parties and taking 'dark sky trips' -- I bring about 20 things I never use (that have to be packed away when returning home) and -- there's always at least one thing I absolutely need, but left home! Figuring out the work-arounds are part of the fun!
It helps to make friends - you will find that many folks at star parties are very friendly and might just have a spare dew heater or whatever you forgot - just remember to return it!!! I've personally spent many an hour helping folks I just met get things like Dob GoTo drives working, etc. I once saw a guy arrive late-afternoon at Stellafane with an Obsession 18UC & StellarCat - still in the closed shipping boxes! It took four volunteers and a call to StellarCat to get the thing working - but it was - just as the first stars popped out that evening. My best collimation has always come when collecting a group of 'experts' and let them tinker with my 20-inch!
Reminds me of a CSSP of the past - elderly Canadian couple (in their 80's) - just getting back into astronomy, with a brand new C-8 on a GoTo mount - sitting outside their RV just looking at it - no idea how to use it. Sky was not all that great, so a friend and I volunteered to help - first pointing out that they had the tube installed backwards on the mount - (really!!) So - we get it assembled correctly - and then show them how to polar align and do the infamous Celestron 2-star/4-star alignment routine - and then I slew the little C-8 to M-57 -- to see - a very dim ring nebula (under Bortle 2 sky!!). Hmmmmm..... I look at the corrector plate - totally dewed over!! Me "Where's your dew strap and controller?" Them "Oh, we forgot it. It's still back in Canada." Me: "Wanna observe using my Obsession 20?"
Edited by George N, 26 April 2023 - 10:51 AM.