Last Minute Burning Man Tips

Burning Man Series Part 4
by: Jessica v. Beusekom

You will need a bike



As mentioned, preparing for the burn is a lot of effort. And apparently something which gets better over time. The first time I went to Burning Man, I read about 3 ‘survival guides’ and went over my necessities lists about 63x times. The first hurdle you need to get over is to realize that you don’t go to Burning Man to have all your comforts from home come with you. You won’t sleep like you do at home, you will be dirty all the time, you’ll sleep terribly.. So it’s important to draw a line somewhere as to what you can and cannot take with you. 

We decided to do most of our groceries on our way to the playa. We had a friend which we had to pick up at the Reno airport, who asked us to get some groceries for him beforehand, so it would save us some time. Of course he has to be a pain in the ass and have some interesting requests: 2 ripe avocados, 4 unripe avocados, 4 spotted bananas, 6 kinda still green-ish bananas.. and so on.It took us forever to get what we needed. Everytime we thought we were done, we remembered something else we really really really needed.. like a pink pool noodle for example (true story!), cause why wouldn’t you need a pool noodle in the middle of the desert where there is no water at all? I ended up spending about $300 on just food. By the end of the week I learned it was WAY TOO MUCH. I ended up eating not even half of it, but I made a homeless guy somewhere in Oakland very happy with two cool-boxes filled with untouched food. 

So, what do you really need and what not? 

  • Headlamp: you will absolutely use it. I would also recommend any additional lamps as well, like EL wire. Mind you, there aren’t streetlight on the Playa, so don’t be a darkward; it’s absolutely necessary to ‘light up’ in order to avoid a burner biking onto you and yelling “LIGHT UP, YOU IDIOT!” 
  • Wet wipes: you’re on probably one of the dustiest places on earth, and unfortunately, showers are a luxury item on the playa. Fear not, you will embrace those wet wipie showers eventually. Just make sure you get quality wet wipes. 
  • A lot of water: but really, think a lot of water. About 3 gallons per person, per day! Yes, that’s a lot of water. You’re in the desert, your body needs it. 
  • Bring a cup that you can take with you wherever you go. Many camps offer an open bar, but you will need to have your own cup on you to get yourself a drink. 
  • A bike! The playa is huge and walking from one side to the other may take you up to an hour, that’s how big it is. Also, make sure you bring a bikelock! Any bikes that are not locked are ‘considered a gift’ to the playa and will get taken. 
  • If you decide on a tent, you’re gonna need a shade structure for your tent to go under. The sun hits hard in the mornings and afternoons, so in order to get your rest in the morning and midday after all night of partying, you’re gonna want that extra layer of shade to leave the heat outta your tent. 
  • Energy bars/nut bars: chances of you leaving camp and not wanting to go back to camp for dinner are huge. Bring ‘to go’-food like bars to keep in your backpack that you can pull out at any time. 
  • (A copy of) your ID. As mentioned earlier, open bars, and they ID. Even when you are obvioulsy in your 50’s or 60’s, they still ID. 
  • And last but not least, an open attitude. Please be open and accepting of all the experiences that come your way. That’s the only way you’re going to get most out of your Burn. 

Another tip is to plan your meals beforehand; it will allow you to buy just enough and avoid spending $200 more than you really should. Remember that a lot of camps gift food, so you will defo ‘eat out’ a lot too. 

As we’re getting closer to the Burn, I’m getting ready myself and going over lists if items I’m gonna need. Going for the third time defo makes it easier to plan ahead. It might be overwhelming at first, but I promise it gets easier. Good luck prepping to those that will be going this year. Please come give me dusty hugs if you see me! Talk to you guys in the next post, in which I’ll reflect back in my BM 2017 experience and share with you my stories. Happy Burn!


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