So – a squee post over all things Burning Man. Maybe it’s even going to be my version of what new attendees should know. We’ll see how long I can spend on it today 😛
Random and I are camping with Homebrew for a Homebrew, which is a registered theme camp for the first time this year! That also means we moved. We are going to be along Evolution (the OUTER ring around Center Camp) close to the 6:00 spoke. (Note that if you are walking along DNA, this should also take you right in front of our camp. Though the addresses are approximate, once you get near the intersection you should be able to find it.)
We’ll be spending a lot of time at PEX – Esplanade and 8 – as well as other favorites… Camp Jersey is in the 4:30 keyhole plaza (in the plaza if the Man is at 12, they are at 7). Whiskey and Whores were placed at the 7:30 keyhole, and we’ve been asked to help out with a bartender shift as they will have much more traffic! 😀 Some of the people from our conclave group are with the OMCC, at Center Camp and 3. And well, there’s hundreds of other theme camps too!
A larger number than expected were rejected from official placement (due to a smaller city than last year and more applications), and there will be a separate what-where-when guide that many of these camps are compiling together. Don’t worry there will be plenty of fun stuff to see and do!
Though I hate having a schedule, we’ll have more of one this year than ever before. A friend of ours will be having a wedding out there! Wednesday night we will perform with our conclave group at PEX. Since the Shiva Vista stage is burning Thursday night, I expect we’ll try to spin there during open spin times on Wednesday night. We’ll need to figure out when we are bartending at Whiskey and Whores, and Saturday night of course is our main conclave performance before the Man burns!
Since I talk about it a lot – if you don’t know what Burning Man is, go to www.burningman.com. My blog about last year is here. I did a blog for my town blog in two parts – here and here. Those are the best places to get started – though there are lots of places you can find anyone’s thoughts on the event or search for photos. (Oh my photos are here – but taken with disposable cameras, I leave the good shots to those who take better ones out there!)
If you think you could never camp in the desert, I just want to say that’s what I thought and this will be my 4th burn. You’d be surprised. Weather can be harsh, it’s hot in the day and cold at night, but it’s really not that bad. Sit around in the shade if it’s too hot. Do whatever you have to do during dust storms. (Hunker down or go for a walk! Just be CAREFUL because some people still insist on driving/biking in white out conditions.) Try not to expect any one thing, and be open to everything (at least everything within your boundaries – though it’s fun to push them a bit :D)
What’s that? You got a ticket? Great!! If it’s your first time, here’s some help.
GO READ THE SURVIVAL GUIDE. Even if you have been before! The first timers guide will also have good advice. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to the Jack Rabbit Speaks – there’s been a bunch of resource emails sent already this summer, if you need back copies try looking here https://lists.burningman.com/mailman/listinfo/bman-announce
You are going to have a million questions, but those places have most of the answers. Where to camp, what to bring, what not to bring…
Our previous NJ regional rep did a series of youtube vids to share his advice, and it’s pretty good! Part One, Part Two, Part Three. A great example of what you always should have with you is here on Flickr, with lots of notes. (And bring all THAT as well as food/water in YOUR car! I’ve caravaned out with other drivers, and we were stuck in a dust storm before entering the event and ran out of water and food as it was in another car. We ran into them eventually, but be prepared!)
So – things not to bring or that don’t work. Cell phones don’t work. Satellite phones do but are expensive. Walkie talkies can work but hundreds of people use the same channel, probably not worth it. No (or limited) wifi access. Prepare to be totally offline. In the event of emergencies, there’s always ways to get in touch with back home. Don’t bring pets, guns, fireworks, anything illegal pretty much. Don’t bring anything that would completely gut you if it was lost or destroyed. Do not bring feather boas – they leave feathers everywhere and it’s a “Leave No Trace” event!
Bring: (in addition to regular camping gear – which needs special attention for dust and high winds, read up on that on the site/survival guide)
– goggles (sunglasses may work for most of the time but you will want a good pair of goggles!!)
– dust masks and bandanas. Bandanas again will be enough most of the time.
– headlamp. Do not shine headlamp in the eyes of people you are talking to. For walking around, I’ll hang it around my neck – lights the ground, not who I look at.
– extra one-ply toilet paper.
– a bike if you can. This year the city is back to 2007 size, and more manageable on foot. You can get by either way, but a bike is nice.
– camelback bag, or a back pack with room for water bottles. (And start drinking water NOW! lots of it!)
– emergen-C because plain water gets boring.
– a sarong. My favorite thing to have with me – it’s a skirt, a dress, a blanket, protection from the sun or dust storm, extra warmth if you are cold. I also love armwarmers for adding warmth without a lot of bulk in the bag at night.
– fun blinkies/glowies. Eh, even if you hate ravers and despise the environmental impact (we’re trying to do more battery operated things now), cars and bikes can hit you in the dark if you don’t have something. El-wire is awesome and you can put it on just about anything.
– hand sanitizer
– first aid kit and any medicines you take
– baby wipes
– a hat or parasol to keep the sun off.
– vinegar. if you go in sandals or barefoot, once a day, wash your feet with a mixture of vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 3-4 parts water? I think…) Slather on moisturizer and clean socks. Trust me.
– Extra clean socks. 2 pair per day plus a few to spare.
– cash for ice/coffee. That’s all that’s for sale out there!
– something fun/funny/entertaining that no one would expect you to have in the desert
– card game or something for when you are waiting out a dust storm
– extras of anything to share
– fun costumes/accessories. If you are stressing because you don’t have costumes, just wear whatever you WISH you could wear in your daily life. The sky is the limit, just put on lots of sunblock and a towel to sit on if you go au natural 😀
– gallon ziplock bags. They keep things clean. I get too many of them and have trouble finding stuff, I may scale down. But I also get the bigger ones, they have all sizes, for socks, underwear, and costuming that is hard to wash and I want to keep cleaner. Also, if you are flying home right from the event, put a set of clean clothes and important items all together in a bag and don’t open until you are off the playa!
For more help, I’d be happy to answer questions, or hop on to E-Playa (the official forum) or Tribe (has many groups devoted to Burning Man, and one for virgins each year) and lots of people will help you out.