Whats the best way to camp at Burning Man?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Whats the best way to camp at Burning Man?

Postby Dubsocket » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:02 am

This will be my first year going, so I'm wondering what the best way to camp out on the playa is given the unique conditions. What has worked best?
"We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together." -Terence Mckenna
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Postby ygmir » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:10 am

Welcome Dubsocket;

I would suggest you read the first timers guide, and survival guide, on the main BM page....if you haven't...., very thoroughly.

Also, there are many threads here on eplaya that address different camping "styles" and such.

jump in here and ask questions.
But, know, that if you ask the obvious, easy to answer yourself questions, some folks will get a little "snarky"........

this is about "radical self-reliance", after all............
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Postby Dubsocket » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:12 am

Yea I understand it's about self-reliance, I am very self-reliant person and have been kind of a loner my whole life. Ive read through a bunch of stuff online and have a pretty good grasp on what to do, but my specific interest is in some tricks or things people have found work well for them that you might not find on those sites.

Also, what might be the most fun way to camp out in some peoples opinions?

The first timers guide, survival guide, and the main BM page definitely gave me a good idea, but why not get some opinions and experiences? I'm going to be traveling from New York, so I want to make sure I have everything right.
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Postby Elderberry » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:30 am

As Ygmir said, more politely than most here would say it, read the Survival Guide and First Timer's Guide--they were compiled from years of experience and cover almost all of the 'standard' tips and tricks to ensure your first time on the playa will be enjoyable.

I've been going for several years now, and I find it helpful to re-read those guides myself preparing for the next year. It's amazing how many of the basic things can be forgotten.

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Postby Token » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:56 am

You want to find a slightly sloped surface to set up your tent. It doesn't rain often, but when it does, you want to make sure there is some slope to the ground. You don't want to spend all that time digging a berm now do you.

The best camping is always next to the communal shower for a large theme camp.

The 4:20 and A street camp is where you can borrow any tool you forgot to bring. Just offer some "sage" for the favor.

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Postby TomServo » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:33 am

Shade and a good way to tie it down! Look through the many threads to get an idea. I tend to go overboard, when anchoring my shade structure...and have gotten plenty of snarky comments and criticism for it here....BUT my system worked flawlessly. RVs are too much of a pain. Make yourself as comfortable as possible! Drink water and bathe...another testy subject, some dirty hippies like to debate. Comfort is key! Lay low during the day and go out in the evening.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:37 am

First year I camped in an unshaded tent. = Stifling Hot!
Second year I camped in a tent under a silver tarp igloo. = Stifling Hot + humid(ugh-body sweat humid)!
Third year I camped in a 8X8 plywood cube under shade. = Better. + 2 more hours of sleep.
Fourth year same as 3rd. Did not securely tie down shade structure and PVC framework was ruined.
Fifth year I camped in the box of my box truck. = 1/2 hour less sleep than year 3 and 4.
Sixth year same as 5th = Addition of a lovely bed mate and super cold night disrupted my sleep. Starting the event horribly sleep deprived did not help matters at all either.
This year I plan on a Hexayurt. = Being able to sleep in to 13:00 on Thursday will allow me to recoup and be ready for the weekend madness.

Camping on a road frontage or with some sort of attraction will make your camp "More Fun."
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:45 am

TomServo wrote: RVs are too much of a pain.

Agree 100% with everything else you said!

However, you'll never hear me criticize your "overkill" build and tie-down methods!
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Postby Rice » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:38 pm

There seems to be a debate regarding securing your structure(s). Enough depends on the conditions... A 12 hour dust storm with large wind gusts may damage a structure that was secured for a 4 hour dust storm. For my shade structure I tend to use 2 guy ropes per corner pole and one per center pole, plus ratchet straps holding all the parts together underneath. It is a pain to setup and remove, but it stays together... Again, that is just how I like it.

A tent is fine for your first burn. If you really need to sleep, go to be earlier and it will be fine. No matter how I have camped, it seems that by 9:30am I am awake and escaping the oven of dead air in my tent... I don't sleep when its hot, last year I had shifts at night for the first three nights and was a wreck. Nothing wrong with my camp, just my stupidity. Exhaustion will be your worst enemy anyhow.

Make plans, and backup plans.... Ask for help if you need it! Even the best plans sometimes don't work out.

Please, set up all your gear at home and be sure you know how it goes together... Nothing is more frustrating than having gear fail due to NOT testing it! (thats a good way to lose friends :(

See ya on the Playa!

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Postby Elorrum » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:04 pm

If you bring a regular unshaded tent and you want your full complement of rest:
1. sleep at night
or 2. have a good shade source, plus a cot or recliner lounge, for a daytime nap

I don't use my tent for an indoor relaxing place at all, and in a dust storm it is not a good refuge. In a dust storm, I put my goggles on, perhaps wander around, but am most likely to find a windbreak and a chair near my campsite so I can go check on ropes and flapping intermittently.

Check out the Civilized Explorer and Alternate Energy Zone sites for lots of good info. first hand experience, and links. These are both linked from the main burning man site, so why not start there?
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.... THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR.......

Postby Rabbi Dali Rick » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:45 pm

May try one of those all exclusive packages from Expedia.com, or one that Priceline offers, they include: "Party Bus" ride to and from the event (open bar and pretty, Hippy Hostesses), your ex-large tent (already set up when you get there), 24 hour access to a communal Artcar, work on a major art project (you may even get to work on the man), and front row tickets to the Burn, in the VIP section. They are a little pricey, $2,000, be sure and get the wine and gourmet meal option.






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Postby Dubsocket » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:02 pm

Thank you so much for all the info everybody, I really appreciate it!
"We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together." -Terence Mckenna
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Re: .... THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR.......

Postby Rice » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:51 pm

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote:May try one of those all exclusive packages from Expedia.com, or one that Priceline offers, they include: "Party Bus" ride to and from the event (open bar and pretty, Hippy Hostesses), your ex-large tent (already set up when you get there), 24 hour access to a communal Artcar, work on a major art project (you may even get to work on the man), and front row tickets to the Burn, in the VIP section. They are a little pricey, $2,000, be sure and get the wine and gourmet meal option.
the rebbi


I tried that last year and it was horrible!!! There was dust in my tent!
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Postby C.f.M. » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:43 am

Whats the best way to camp at Burning Man?

As far away from me as possible.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:25 am

What's the best way to camp at Burning Man?

Joyfully.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:05 am

in a chair next to a burn barrel cuddling with yer nice warm coat ;)
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Postby gyre » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:15 am

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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:33 am

Holy crap! If there was such a joint on the playa, I'd pay.
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Postby gyre » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:09 pm

http://www.jumeirah.com/PageFiles/2454/ ... %20JAN.pdf

Don't let the aed rates scare you.
At current exchange, the most expensive drink is only 3900.
The Per-Gold-Fashion would be about 2600, but it does have gold dust in it.

Now I'm thirsty.
Just not that thirsty.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:14 pm

At Barbarian Camp, we are NOT giving away free tickets for camp slaves.
That is a vile rumor.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:48 pm

gyre wrote:http://www.jumeirah.com/PageFiles/2454/01%20-Skyview%20Bar%20Menu%20JAN.pdf

Don't let the aed rates scare you.
At current exchange, the most expensive drink is only 3900.
The Per-Gold-Fashion would be about 2600, but it does have gold dust in it.

Now I'm thirsty.
Just not that thirsty.


1 U.S. dollar = 3.6725 dirhams
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