If last year was your first year, take heed!

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

If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby zifra » Sun May 06, 2012 6:30 pm

I ran into a lovely gentleman last year who was there to lay the groundwork for his large group to come this year. I asked him what he thought so far...he was quiet for a moment and then said "you people really overbuild!". Of course after we laughed for several minutes we explained to him the amazing weather he was experiencing was in no way normal.

Do not be fooled by last year. The playa can be a mean hostess! Plan for high winds, dust storms and even rain. Maybe if we plan for the worst, we will get another banner year like 2011.

See you in the city!

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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Coastburner » Sun May 06, 2012 6:41 pm

I have to say, I agree. I had two people at my house on Saturday and was doing my best to explain what to expect including expect the unexpected including weather, heat, cold, wind, dust, rain, etc. I've been going to BM for 10 years and last years weather was amazing. I have no problem with the dust, heat, cold, etc. and always prepare for everything. I'm curious to see how some of the new people do this year if the weather does what it normally does. Don't get me wrong, I was a newbie once and always embrace and help newbies but you have to read, understand and prepare for everything. I think last year gave a lot of newbies a false sense of the environment. It's only my opinion and as I always say, opinions are like ass-----, we all have them. I just hope that anyone coming this year for the first time or coming for a second time with last year being their first, that they're prepared for anything. I would love to have weather like last year, every year. I'd also like to win the lottery on a weekly basis. I'm more likely to win the lottery.....if you understand what I'm saying. I always bring extra dust masks and goggles as I'm always surprised how many people aren't prepared for crazy weather. It's burning man....beautiful and unpredictable.

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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Elderberry » Sun May 06, 2012 6:59 pm

Definitely good advice here.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby junglesmacks » Sun May 06, 2012 11:33 pm

Since when did "holes" become a bad word?
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun May 06, 2012 11:39 pm

and remember virgins to breathe deep, the radioactive playa dust is good for you, so when you're sucking down 2-3 cups a day during the white-outs, it's actually beneficial.





Next year you wont need any lighting at night.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon May 07, 2012 7:00 am

One of our veteran campmates said to me, regarding the weather after last year's event, "Anybody who came to Burning Man for the first time this year has never been to Burning Man." I pretty much agree with that. But all things considered, I'd rather have lovely weather than that which was inflicted upon us in 2000 (rain every damn day, with highs in the low 80s), 2005 (temperture ranging from 28 degrees to 105 degrees in 36 hours, coupled with non-stop 60 MPH duststorms), and even the double-rainbow producing storms of the past couple of years.

Still, for my money, 2004 might have had the best weather, but it's all rather subjective at this point.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby graidawg » Mon May 07, 2012 8:04 am

ok i have my heed, were do i take it?
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby 5280MeV » Mon May 07, 2012 8:19 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:One of our veteran campmates said to me, regarding the weather after last year's event, "Anybody who came to Burning Man for the first time this year has never been to Burning Man."


2011 was my first year and I kinda feel that way - I was actually disappointed after my veteran friend ranted and raved about me getting proper dust gear for two months as we shopped around at surplus stores. I wore the goggles around my neck all evening wondering when they would actually truly come in handy.

Maybe I should be more careful about what I wish for, but I have been secretly been daydreaming about getting blasted by a proper 4 hour dust storm.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby dragonpilot » Mon May 07, 2012 12:39 pm

5280MeV wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:One of our veteran campmates said to me, regarding the weather after last year's event, "Anybody who came to Burning Man for the first time this year has never been to Burning Man."

Maybe I should be more careful about what I wish for, but I have been secretly been daydreaming about getting blasted by a proper 4 hour dust storm.


How about 11+ hours...anyone remember Monday 2008?
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Savannah » Mon May 07, 2012 1:08 pm

Wasn't that a mere 8 hours? :D

It hit before noon and by the time the sun set it was (pretty much) done. Same with Burn Day.

Maybe I'm misremembering because after encountering the thing at its zenith, a few final gusts seem like nothing.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby AntiM » Mon May 07, 2012 1:23 pm

Still cancelled the fire conclave performance before the burn. Anyone who had early entry was brutalized also.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon May 07, 2012 1:25 pm

my sewing machine, staple gun and air compressor were never the same...
fuck you, it's magic


it's not a fucking festival, it's a PROJECT.

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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon May 07, 2012 1:28 pm

i was sewing broken tipi covers in a white-out...


it was surreal.....sewing machine....table....open playa.....me hunched over.


it was like a scene out of the east village in NYC around 1900, in the garment district.


if the garment district had 60 mph winds carrying abrasion grade grit in every direction.
fuck you, it's magic


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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon May 07, 2012 4:12 pm

Savannah wrote:Wasn't that a mere 8 hours? :D

It hit before noon and by the time the sun set it was (pretty much) done. Same with Burn Day.

Maybe I'm misremembering because after encountering the thing at its zenith, a few final gusts seem like nothing.

Sunday night was horrible. We got stuck between the temple burn and camp and we were giving a ride to a bunch of twits from Ireland. Now, the wind gets to me, not so much the dust, but the incessant wind. We were on the trailer; I'm hunched in the wind and these bloody Irish are sitting at my feet more or less. And the lead Irisher is talking too loud, and I'm wanting silence and he starts telling jokes. "What did the blind man say to the deaf man..." "What did the blind man say to cripple..."
Um, yeah.
I point out the obvious and pretty much start yelling. He apologizes, and I tell him that I want him to shut the fuck up. He keeps apologizing/explaining and I end up shouting "What part of 'shut the fuck up' don't you understand?"
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Boijoy » Mon May 07, 2012 4:48 pm

2008 ::shivver:: first time I ever thought I might actually die out there. I couldn't breath. :|
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Rice » Mon May 07, 2012 6:50 pm

2007, the Monday afternoon/evening after the temple burn was a 12 hour dust storm. Taught me to be prepared.

2011 had some dust, in the gate line, for a bit. Nothing I would classify as epic, or even interesting. Did not put my ever-present goggles on or wear a dust mask.

I doubt that we are going to get two years like that.

Its easier to dig out your dust gear from your backpack than it is to struggle through eye-blasting, breath sucking, cannot-see-your-elbow dust back to your camp.

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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby AntiM » Tue May 08, 2012 5:58 am

On Saturday night in 2008, we had to navigate out to the Man on foot, pulling the fuel cart, by going from lamp post to lamp post. Couldn't even see the Man at all until we got very close.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Sham » Tue May 08, 2012 6:35 am

I've always thought it would be a good idea to have a bright beacon type light on the top of Center Camp. So often as the week goes on, the landmarks that are there one day, are gone the next. Especially on Saturday night when the Man burns and there are so many lights on the playa, it's easy to get disoriented and not know where you are.

Something like this on the top of the tent would be awesome for finding your way and getting your bearings.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue May 08, 2012 7:33 am

Good idea... kind of like a lighthouse. And Centre Camp is probably a good place to head to if you're lost and/or in need of help, generally.
What colour of light best cuts through a dust storm. Is it amber, as with fog, or something else?
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby illy dilly » Tue May 08, 2012 8:14 am

5280MeV wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:One of our veteran campmates said to me, regarding the weather after last year's event, "Anybody who came to Burning Man for the first time this year has never been to Burning Man."


2011 was my first year and I kinda feel that way - I was actually disappointed after my veteran friend ranted and raved about me getting proper dust gear for two months as we shopped around at surplus stores. I wore the goggles around my neck all evening wondering when they would actually truly come in handy.

Maybe I should be more careful about what I wish for, but I have been secretly been daydreaming about getting blasted by a proper 4 hour dust storm.

I'm with you in the exact same boat!
I would say in my 3 years. The only mildly bad dust storm was Burn night 2009.
There were short mild dust storms in 2010, but nothing to write home about.
And we all know 2011 was way TOO nice! It wasn't hot, it wasn't cold, it was little dusty, but was pretty freaking awesome.

I am hoping, that this year's weather totally Fucking sucks! Hopefully it will drive some folks away. Scare some people off. Maybe, just maybe even, drive some people out of the city early!!!!!!!!!
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby dragonpilot » Tue May 08, 2012 12:02 pm

Savannah wrote:Wasn't that a mere 8 hours? :D It hit before noon and by the time the sun set it was (pretty much) done. Same with Burn Day.

Maybe I'm misremembering because after encountering the thing at its zenith, a few final gusts seem like nothing.


Yeah, maybe, but "11+ hours" sounds so much more...what do I say...experiential? It started at 10:30 as I was just a few peddle strokes away from camp on my way to get some ice when I looked up to see that "The Mummy" dust cloud approaching...seemed to me that it went past sunset, but even after 8 hours my brain was fired being confined to camp that long...yeah, we've had it way tougher!

I also used to walk to school in blizzards, 5 miles, one-way, uphill in both directions...
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Eric » Tue May 08, 2012 12:58 pm

illy dilly wrote:There were short mild dust storms in 2010, but nothing to write home about.


You must have been on the 9:00 side of BRC- we were at Esplanade & 3:30 (or 4, I forget) in 2010 & we got hit with an endless duststorm Burn Night (the Playa Boyfriend & I just huddled under my kaffiyeh, finding way to occupy our time..) and Sunday went on for at least 8 hours. We had to stop breaking down camp.

This was the end of the week in 2010 for us:


At least that on wasn't a white out. We could still go wandering in it.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Sham » Tue May 08, 2012 4:04 pm

catinthefunnyhat wrote:Good idea... kind of like a lighthouse. And Centre Camp is probably a good place to head to if you're lost and/or in need of help, generally.
What colour of light best cuts through a dust storm. Is it amber, as with fog, or something else?

White is used for lighthouses since it can really cut through fog for miles and miles! Blue however would be really sexy! :D
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue May 08, 2012 4:08 pm

Shambala wrote:Blue however would be really sexy! :D


...until some tripping raver runs, screaming, away from centre camp thinking s/he's being chased by the cops.

No, wait; especially then! :twisted:
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Savannah » Tue May 08, 2012 4:22 pm

Eric wrote:
illy dilly wrote:There were short mild dust storms in 2010, but nothing to write home about.


You must have been on the 9:00 side of BRC- we were at Esplanade & 3:30 (or 4, I forget) in 2010 & we got hit with an endless duststorm Burn Night (the Playa Boyfriend & I just huddled under my kaffiyeh, finding way to occupy our time..) and Sunday went on for at least 8 hours. We had to stop breaking down camp.

This was the end of the week in 2010 for us:


At least that on wasn't a white out. We could still go wandering in it.


I remember that one. There was a Friday night dust storm in 2010, and Burn Night as well. It hit the 9:00 o clock side just fine. :D I remember it because I was tempted to go out that Friday night, but I could see from the distance of 8:30 and E that the Esplanade was a wall of horizontal dust (it was less in the suburbs) and I had a 7:30 shift in the morning and--not knowing how long it might last--I decided to just get a good sleep by 10pm. Saturday night, there was a storm that descended right as the Man burned, and the drifting fireworks looked like the Man was a sorcerer casting spells. People scattered pretty quick after he fell. Visibility was only a few feet. It was pretty exciting. I remember facing the direction of my camp, and just walking as evenly as possible so my path wouldn't arc. :lol: Once off the Esplanade, the storm seemed to ebb, and I went "indoors", so I don't know how long it lasted.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 08, 2012 5:56 pm

When you consider how long it took the man to fall in 2010, it's hardly a surprise that the crowd didn't stay long after...
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby Savannah » Tue May 08, 2012 10:15 pm

2010 (in the storm) was not so bad in duration--to my memory; 2011 of course downright brisk. 2009 was the really long one--Evolution. The Man burned and burned and burned . . . and revealed its amazing alien face, really slowly . . . but after 40 minutes, I went off to start my evening. It's the first and only time I ever left before it fell. I'm told it stayed up at least another 20 minutes.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby MyDearFriend » Wed May 09, 2012 4:31 am

graidawg wrote:ok i have my heed, were do i take it?


I'll take your heed if you'll take mine, Grai. 8)

Seriously, we are warned, thank you all.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby hotmess » Wed May 09, 2012 9:47 am

I am happy to see many posts about the importance of anchoring things down. Also, I find it is helpful to keep an eye out for your neighbors. If you notice something loose, dangerous, or not properly staked down ask around and find out who it belongs to. If you can help out to secure something down it will benefit everyone. I go by the motto that when I think I have enough rebar in the ground, i always add just a few more for good measure.

I might also add that it is VERY important to tag any guy lines you might have with either ribbon or some sort of reflective material. I sometimes like to think of the playa as one big construction zone that is around 87% completed. There are tons of hazards all around that you can easily trip, cut or impel yourself on. Any safety measures you can take to prevent someone getting hurt is much appreciated. Another good one, cut open old tennis balls and put them on the ends of your rebar. This makes them very visible and also less dangerous.
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Re: If last year was your first year, take heed!

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 09, 2012 10:21 am

I think I read somewhere here that the majority of injuries at Burning Man are from guylines and rebar!!! :shock:
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