Blogs about burning man, many of them written by tip-giving first timers, are a dime a dozen. And here’s another…
I now believe you cannot, or should not, go to Burning Man just once. I spent the whole week trying to figure it out and survive. Don’t get me wrong, I experienced many amazing things, but I missed SO MUCH (umm, like the Thunder Dome). The greeters– see part 1— hand out booklets with events for the week that I Never. Even. Opened.
I saw tons of art, made it to 1 of my 2 ice/Arctica shifts (tisk tisk), attended countless weddings, danced a lot, but didn’t even scratch the surface.
Approximately 70,000 men, women, and children show up with everything they need to survive for a week in harsh conditions. They also bring something, whether tangible or not, to share with the community, without expectations for what they’ll receive. It’s a beautiful thing. Yes, there is nudity. Yes, there are drugs. Yes, there is alcohol. But in my week at burning man, I didn’t see anyone vomit (thank god!), nor did I see one belligerent person. That’s more than I can say for most concerts, or even a night at a crowded bar. I read somewhere that, while it exists, Black Rock City is bigger than downtown San Francisco. Then it disappears. Remarkable.
It’s a bit cliché to say that you can’t truly grasp BM without going, but it’s true. You can’t imagine the scale of the art, the beauty of the participants, or the misery of a dust storm day, without experiencing it.
For newbies, we were well-prepared, but took notes for potential future burns.
-Rent an escape campervan in San Francisco. The bed was comfy enough and we opted to keep it set up all the time, basically rendering the van a bedroom with a kitchen off the back. This meant we needed a place to keep our bags and change.
-We also rented a shade structure from the van company thinking it was more like a tent. It was actually just a bottomless, screened in shade tent. Luckily we had a tarp to create a floor and cover one side to block sun (and allow for a tiny amount of privacy, on 1 of 4 sides). It did not keep out any dust.
-If renting a van, we’d do a much better job of blacking out the windows for sleeping in. Once the sun came up our van turned into a greenhouse.
-A large tent with shade and an air mattress would suffice, and be cheaper than the van.
-I’d base myself in Reno because coming from San Fran/Sacramento added time and stress. Decompressing there would also be a nice change.
-You can never have enough wipes. Never. We felt squeaky clean with just wipes and decided it was WAY more trouble than it was worth to use the solar shower, which requires a plan for evaporating gray water. A complete wipe down, followed by lotion, before bed is enough to feel fresh.
-Bring more pickles.
You I can never have enough.
-Bring more whiskey. There is never enough.
-Particulate respirator masks would be nice. My dust cough still lingers…
-Cook food and freeze (to reheat on the Playa).
*Rumor has it you can fly from Reno to BRC for 300 very well spent dollars*
Forget all these logistics! Here are
some tons of my favorite photos…