BURNING MAN Shopping List(s)

Shopping List (Google Docs) Ear Plugs (because you aren't stupid)  
Shopping List (Pictures) Tent (this one works great for us)
Camping Checklist    

My 2 Cents    
Culture Burning Man has it's own culture and it's own 10 principals. Read about it / them and participate. Bring a positive attitude and make sure your friends do to.    
Noise Sleep - Burning Man is loud. If you want / need to sleep I recommend you bring foam ear plugs to use while sleeping.  
  Music - This type of noise will give you tinitus so, be smart (and cool) and get 2 pairs of these cheap and effective Etymotic music ear plugs  
Dressing Up Burning Man is a canvas of participants. I believe it's important for everyone to contribute to this canvas of shapes and colors by expressing themselves in original ways. Burning Man isn't Halloween, it's a radical expression of your inner child (or whatever else you feel like expressing). Have fun with it and make sure none of what you wear could fall / flake off and cause MOOP.  
Practice Hey, you are 2.5 hours from the closest WalMart, so practice setting-up your tent, wearing your outfits and dancing in them, wearing those heals, putting up your shade structure, testing your evaporation pond idea, riding a bike, do you have enough gas for that generator for a week and testing how long those batteries really last. If you have all the tools, materials and skills - you're good to go.  
Temperature Day - Temperatures can reach 120F / 49C during the day. This temperature impacts everything about your experience.

Hydrate - This cannot be emphisized enough, you have to force yourself to drink lots of water (errrrr more water than alcohol) to stay healthy. I have seen countless virgin and veteran burners dehydrate and have to remain in bed due to nausea and headaches.

Nourish - Provide your body with food. The heat will make you not want to eat, but feed your body so that you can continue to have fun.

Food - Buy food that can survive safely in the desert heat. Store food to protect it from the desert heat. Bread will mold fast, vegetables will wilt, plan a shopping list.

Rest - yeah, as in "Sleep"

As long as you take care of your health, all the other stuff will be easy.

Night - Temperatures can reach a windy low of 45F / 7C and night, so make sure you have warm clothes / layers so you don't get cold. Those people wearing fake fur coats - they know it gets cold.

Expert tip - If you are going to stay out until sunrise, make sure you have sunglasses.

Friends Whom you bring with you - You may become the best friends on earth and you may never speak to each other again. Choose whom you share this extreme desert experience with.

Losing them - Hey you are going to lose your friend(s) from time to time. That's your opportunity to experience meeting new people or doing new things. Embrace it, don't spend hours looking for your friend while missing the experiences to be lived under your nose. Some of my most memorable moments were the unexpected adventures from when I lost my friends, broke my bike chain, jumped on an art car by myself. Try it.

When you find your friends again, tell them about your awesome experiences.
Don't be a drama-burner.

New friends - At Burning Man you can approach anyone and talk to them (respectfully). Some friendships will be ephemeral while others may become FB friends or even lovers. Depending on how good your memory is, have a way to record the contact details of your new friends.

Camp addresses - I am sceptical about going to find people at their "camps" because, like you, many people are out and about most of the time. So, I suggest you try to understand their fun-pattern so you are sure they will be home when you visit. Take some paper and tape to leave a note if they aren't there. Remember - there isn't cell reception in BRC, so analog ways become the way to keep in touch.

Ask for help - If you need a drink of water, a tool, directions, an ear to talk to. Reach out and ask.

Rest There are few places where there is so much happening at the same time 24 hours a day. Of course you want to see and do it all. If you are in a tent try to sleep while your tent is cool (at night), if you are in an RV take advantage of the A/C to sleep whenever.

Please make sure that you select a designated driver for the exodus drive who is well rested and who won't accidently fall asleep while driving.

The kitchen sink You'll read in the above shopping lists to "Bring this, bring that" Take it easy, bring water, food, lights, read about the culture, bring an awesome participative attitude. Take all of your trash home.  
Duct Tape vs
Blue Painters Tape
In the extreme desert heat, the glue on duct tape will melt and leave grime on whever you stuck it too. If that happens to be an RV or car you rented, that's gonna cost you a lot of money.

Good quality blue painters tape will not leave grime on the surface it is stuck to. Problem solved.

Keep the heat out Shade - Keep direct sunlight off your tent (essential), car, patio by using a solid wind resistant shade structure. This is good shading material. Be sure not to place it directly on a car to avoid scratching the paint.

Protection - I tape mylar blankets over the OUTSIDE of all my windows (Using blue painters tape). This directly reflects the sun away from the windows before it hits the windows.

String / Twine You are going to want to tie small things to something (bike decorating, shade, necklace, cup, etc.) do your camp mates a solid and bring string. I recommend cotton string, as it's more environmentally friendly and the knots don't slip open like nyon string does.  
Wind Yes, there is wind on the playa. Day or night. Anything that is not heavy, taped down really well or attached to rebar hammered into the playa will probably fly away.
Those tent stakes that were delivered with your tent - NOPE - they won't hold up against the winds pushing your tent (they will slip out of the playa like out of butter).
Dust Playa sand is extemery fine and .... it gets on and into everything. You will get dusty and it's fun and you will survive.  
Bikes Walmart in Reno sells fully assembled Huffy Beach cruisers for about $90 before the burn. If you need a playa bike, I recommend buying these instead of renting a used bike.
Dispose of your bike responsibly at the end of the burn. Take it home, donate it to another burner who will take it off playa or donate it at a collection point off playa.

Your bike will get "borrowed" if you don't lock it every time you are not using it. Be sure to bring a bike lock.

Gifts A gift is given without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Also, the recipient of a gift can freely refuse your gift and this shouldn't offend you.

Be super creative with your gift. Consider gifting something that reflects you and won't become MOOP. For example: share a poem, a palm reading, a massage, volunteer, perform, etc.

Get off your bike

That thing happening, that art, that view, that sound, that person - yeah - slow down - park your bike and go experience it on your two feet and connect with the other people around you.

You'll be glad you did.



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Last modified:December 13, 2018