this is the list, my comments are in red
What You Must Bring:
• 1.5 gallons of water per person per day (for drinking, showering, washing, and food preparation.) Keep a bottle of water with you at all times.
I go ahead an bring 2 gallons. I suggest using either 5 gallon plastic jugs and a office style cooler or collapsible water containers that you find in the camping stores. The regular "suitcase" style water containers create a huge trash problem on the way home and they take up a lot of room. The first two options are recyclable and they can be filled up at one of the grocery store water vending machines in Reno, thus saving you weight as well.
• Enough food/beverages for your entire party
Yep, Think food from cultures that live in the desert, things like hummus, pitas and what not. Have lot's of snacks and easy to prepare food, but bring food that is nutritious and that you will enjoy eating. Think about bringing things that you can cook and serve out of one pot to make everything easier. Remember, you probably won't be as hungry as you are at home.
• First aid kit
Always a good idea.
• Warm clothing for evenings—this is a desert at 4000 feet elevation!
This one really get's over looked. The nights can seem exceptionally cold when contrasted with the high day time temps. Bring hats, gloves, long underwear, cold weather sleeping bags (or lot's of blankets).
• Bedding and shelter of some type; the winds can exceed 75 mph, and the mid-day temperature can exceed 100°
There are all kinds of links on shade and this is too big of a subject to get into here. Check out Bob's info here:
The basics are this, if you have a traditional camping tent you are going to roast in the day time. You need to set up an additional shade structure above the tent, preferably one with a reflective top. The secondary shade structure should also have sides attached to offer more protection from the sun. No matter what you decide to do, it has to be bomb proof to survive the high winds.
• A good camp tent is recommended along with warm sleeping bags. Evening temperatures can be in the 40’s.
• Garbage bags
I recommend setting up 3 different trash containers, one for burnable trash which you will burn at one of the designated sites at the event. Another for aluminum, which you can donate to recycle camp or take home with you and recycle it there and the third for all other trash. This technique has greatly reduced the amount of trash I've had to take home in past years. Of course the easiest way to avoid a problem with trash is to bring as little packaging and other refuse material as possible, go throw that stuff away before you pack.
• Any required prescriptions, contact lens supplies (disposables work great), or whatever else you need to maintain your health and comfort in a remote area with no services
Goggles really help in dust storms (especially with my contacts). Some people are too sensitive to even wear contacts in this environment, so if you are a contact lense wearer, bring glasses too, just in case.
• Flashlights and spare batteries (headlamps are useful)—to be sure you can see and be seen at night.
Headlamps are great, especially in the porta-potty! Get the LED kind, I haven't replaced the AAA batteries in mine for years. I don't recommend glow sticks as they create trash, instead get some blinkies or other battery operated lights, they are less expensive than glow sticks in the long run too
• Sunscreen/sunblock lotion and sunglasses
Don't forget lip protection with an SPF rating too.
• Fire extinguishers, if you plan to burn your art
• Common sense, an open mind, and a positive attitude
We Strongly Suggest You Bring:
• Shade structures, umbrellas, parasols, sheets; something to break the cruel mid-day sun
• A wide brim hat
Make sure your hat has a chin strap so that it does not blow off in the wind.
• A cooking stove if you expect to heat food or liquid
• A bicycle (mountain bikes or “cruisers” with balloon tires are best) which must be equipped with a light (for safe nighttime travel). A lock is helpful.
Really all you need is a beach cruiser, bikes tend to get pretty thrashed and I recommend you pick one up at a garage sale vs. using your daily commuter
• Portable shower
See the Shower thread on this BB
• Earplugs! (Not everyone is going to want to sleep when you do.)
• Watertight protective bags (e.g. heavy zip-type) for cameras or electronic gear
• Lotion/lip balm to treat cracked skin
• Smokers: portable ashtrays (e.g. an empty candy tin, or film canister)
• Costumes, musical instruments, props, banners, signs, and anything else you can think of that might make the experience more fun for you and your playa neighbors
• Fire extinguisher
• A radio
• Camp marker (flag, flasher, distinctive marking)
• Particle/dust mask (Dust storms are not uncommon.)
Those small paper masks are about useless, get a respirator type mask or better yet a rafiki or scarf/bandana work fairly well.
• 12" tent stakes (High winds are likely.)
I suggest rebar, 2 -3 foot length
• Plastic bottles or tennis balls to top and protect dangerous rebar stakes
You will also want to bring something to mark your guy lines with, so people don't run into them at night.
• Goggles to protect eyes in case of dust storms
• Extra set of car keys
Helpful Things to Bring:
• Tire repair kit and extra tubes for bikes
• Sewing kit
• Rope and/or string
• Ribbons, Mylar, etc., to flag tent ropes/guy lines
• Handy wipes
• Duct tape
• Spray bottle (for misting)
• Rugs to keep dust down in your camp
• Gifts to give to new friends
• Calling card just in case you have to make a personal call from Gerlach
Things NOT to Bring:
• Feathers of any kind e.g., boas (they shed, no matter what you do—try marabou instead)
• Glass containers of any kind
• Excess packaging from foods (For example, remove outer box from cereals and just bring the inner bag.)
• Loose glitter
• Nuts in their shells
• Too much fresh produce. Many melons are thrown out at the end of the week.
• Anything that will break up and/or blow away in the wind (trees, twigs, loose paper, etc)
Also buy the "good" Coleman or other style cooler, well worth the investment.
A mat or carpeting in your shade structure is nice, it keeps the dust down.
Chairs to sit in, especially the new "recliner" model camp chairs are great.
A personal mister is a god send (especially with a drop of essential oil, like lavender, put into the water)
A basket for your bike makes carrying extra water/supplies/ice so much easier
A camel back type water container or one of those mesh style straps to hold your water bottle means that you can carry your water with you at all times without having to remember to "hold" onto it.
A small back pack or bike messenger type bag is great for putting things like your lipbalm, sunscreen, camera, gifts, etc. when you cruise around the playa. Remember to bring your sunglasses/sunscreen with you at night just in case you have to make the "Walk of Shame" the next morning.
Think about how you are going to light your camp at night. Nothing is more frustrating than fumbling around in the dark trying to locate that perfect accessory to your costume, when you KNOW you packed it, and then finding it the next morning in the light of day. The battery operated lights tend to die quickly and eat through batteries, the propane lanterns burn hot and make that horrible hissing sound. I'm still experimenting with this one, and will probably go with a solar panel and some LEDs next year.
FOOT CARE- Very important! I bring a container to soak my feet in, fill it up with water and add some lemon juice. I soak my feet every night before I go to bed and then apply lotion and put on clean cotton socks. This helps prevent playa foot, something you don't want to get.
Hope this helps- Chai : )