Few general question (Water, glow sticks, size of tent, etc)

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Few general question (Water, glow sticks, size of tent, etc)

Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:52 am

The only mode of transportation I will have is a full-size sedan to haul all my stuff in. This means a bike, tent, clothing, food, sleeping bag, water, and all other things. Few questions:

#1: What is the best way to get enough water to the event? I was considering picking up 1-gallon bottles, as it explains these "breath" so your water doesn't turn gross over the course of a few days, but it seems like 12-13 gallon jugs in the back of my car will take up quite a bit of much needed room. Suggestions?

#2: Glow sticks - I was planning on picking up a bulk of these, to hand out to people so they can light their bikes and have some trippy night time fun, I was just wondering if this is going to be majorly frowned upon as essentially handing out loads of trash that will end up on the ground.

#3: I already have a fairly large 9-person tent with only me (as of now) staying in it, do camp grounds generally have enough room for a 15'x10' tent? Seeing as how I could be shelling out up to $500-$600 on gas alone to the event and back, I'd rather not invest any extra on things that are not absolutely necessary.

#4: Is there any good ways you lot have devised to keep the heat out of your tent? My tent features a rain tarp, but it only stretches out over the windows, as to keep rain from entering - so the sun still beats on the lower half of the tent. Outside of buying a gigantic shade structure to tower over my already fairly large tent, I'd appreciate any ideas to keep my from frying to death on those early morning hangovers ;)

Any answers or other advice would be mega appreciated!
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Re: Few general question (Water, glow sticks, size of tent,

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:07 pm

#1: 2.5 gallon "suitcases." Easier to pick up and move, but less wasteful than the one gallon size.
#2: Yes, it will be frowned on. I haven't found an even halfway decent method of lighting (except for those christmas lights that you are lucky to have available for 3 weeks, and that's at box stores that can be hard to get to) so I'm back at glow sticks again, as at least a cheap indecent method. But watch, I'll get pilloried too.

#4: Can you open up the side panels of your tent so that a breeze can go through and cool you off, or is it sewn to the ground cloth?
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:08 pm

Let the ol' Doc try and help.

1) I use the 2 1/2 gallong "suitcases". The water will not go stale or skunky in a week, so don't sweat it. They can be used for showers, drinking water, and cooking. They also take up less space than one gallon bottles and generally are a bit cheaper. And they pack easily.

2) Bring on the glow sticks. As part of the dues to be in our camp, we buy about 400 of them, for our campmates and dark wads. If some PC yahoo doesn't like it and believe he or she is "burier than thou" then let them fork over the money for LED lights. It's your gift and you should be commended.

3) You tent is fine. That looks like a nice home on the playa.

4) The best way to keep the heat out is to put some sort of canopy over the entire tent, like a CostCo or Harbor Freight 10' long car port. If you can manage to keep the sun off the tent for the duration of the morning, you will be fine.

Your questions are reasonable and should be of good use to your fellow burners. You have passed the enlightened newbie test.
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Postby graidawg » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:16 pm

I hadn't thought of the sixe of water contaiers so thamks amswered a question i hadnt asked :D

A thought with the tent, is it big enough for a smaller tent inside? it would reduce the dust in your bedding and keep it cooler, also that would make your larger tent a shade sructure, may not help with the baggage space but seems to be a common theme.
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Re: Few general question (Water, glow sticks, size of tent,

Postby dragonpilot » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:17 pm

c1dh3d wrote:The only mode of transportation I will have is a full-size sedan to haul all my stuff in. This means a bike, tent, clothing, food, sleeping bag, water, and all other things. Few questions:

#1: What is the best way to get enough water to the event? I was considering picking up 1-gallon bottles, as it explains these "breath" so your water doesn't turn gross over the course of a few days, but it seems like 12-13 gallon jugs in the back of my car will take up quite a bit of much needed room. Suggestions?

#2: Glow sticks - I was planning on picking up a bulk of these, to hand out to people so they can light their bikes and have some trippy night time fun, I was just wondering if this is going to be majorly frowned upon as essentially handing out loads of trash that will end up on the ground.

#3: I already have a fairly large 9-person tent with only me (as of now) staying in it, do camp grounds generally have enough room for a 15'x10' tent? Seeing as how I could be shelling out up to $500-$600 on gas alone to the event and back, I'd rather not invest any extra on things that are not absolutely necessary.

#4: Is there any good ways you lot have devised to keep the heat out of your tent? My tent features a rain tarp, but it only stretches out over the windows, as to keep rain from entering - so the sun still beats on the lower half of the tent. Outside of buying a gigantic shade structure to tower over my already fairly large tent, I'd appreciate any ideas to keep my from frying to death on those early morning hangovers ;)

Any answers or other advice would be mega appreciated!


1. No way of getting around it...you need the recommended daily allowance of water. Don't forget...there's water in sodas, juices and electrolyte replacement drinks...so maybe some trade-offs can be made.

2. Yeah, the general consensus these days is to nix the glow stix. Your heart's in the right place, but they do become MOOP.

3. There's plenty of room for your tent. Mine's 11 x 12. Folks bring RVs that cover 300 sq ft or more.

4. You will fry if your tent is in direct morning sunlight. Try to position behind a larger structure like a bigger tent or someone's RV. Someone suggested a smaller tent inside a larger tent, but that just means double boiler. If all else fails just sleep as late as you can, then find the neighbor's big sunshade for naps (you should be friends with your neighbors by then).
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Postby ygmir » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:25 pm

how does one 2.5 gallon thing of water take up less room than an equivalent of gallon jugs?
well, maybe 2- 2.5's vs 5 1gallon.
If it's cheaper, well, that might make sense. I'd say, whatever is cheapest, and fits best, use that.

you're getting good advise here.
Good luck.

Maybe Doc can show you how they stack their water containers in the back of his RV?.........he's helpful that way.
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Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:26 pm

Thanks so much for the response guys, very helpful :)

One thing I wanted to clear up by 2.5 gallon 'suitcase', do you mean the larger bottles of water (like Culligan style), or is this some sort of unique water carrying apparatus?

I'll be sure to post any other pertinent questions in here, thanks again guys ;)
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Postby ygmir » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:31 pm

c1dh3d wrote:Thanks so much for the response guys, very helpful :)

One thing I wanted to clear up by 2.5 gallon 'suitcase', do you mean the larger bottles of water (like Culligan style), or is this some sort of unique water carrying apparatus?

I'll be sure to post any other pertinent questions in here, thanks again guys ;)


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Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:36 pm

Ooooh, ok. I bet I could fit 4 of those on my front passenger floor, and another 1 or 2 in the back seat somewhere, thinking bike in the trunk with clothes and extras strewn around it, tent in the back seat with lawn chairs and such, cooler and such in front passenger seat....

I think I am actually going to start engineering how to pack my car a couple months in advance, this should be very interesting!
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:38 pm

The suitcase style is more like a gas can shape. One thing about the 1 gallons bottles is you can stuff them hear and there to fill in smaller gaps in you pile of stuff. The 2.5's do have a valve on them instead of opening the lid like the 1 gal bottles have. So whatever suits your needs the best.

Your tent sounds large enough to set up a smaller 2-man tent inside of it. That would enable you to sleep in a relatively cooler and less dusty environment and also provide more protection from the wind. Just allow air to move through the larger tent and keep the smaller tent buttoned up. There would still be room for you stuff in the larger tent/shade area while keeping your sleeping quarters more protected.

Sounds like you're off to a good start!
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:39 pm

On the water, there are issues no matter what you do. 2.5 gallon suitcases are probably cheaper than gallon jugs on a per gallon basis (check your supermarket for prices). I buy the suitcases, but I also have collapsible jugs of 2.5 and 5 gallons, which I fill up at the motel before we leave.

Louise and I have a van, so space is not an issue on water containers. However, I find it much easier to pack multiple smaller items than say one bigger one that contains the smaller items. I can stick the small stuff in spaces between bikes, between air mattresses, and so on - places the 2.5 gallon suitcases won't fit. So while it may be cheaper and easier in some respects to have the suitcase size, you may find packing the gallon jugs easier if you can get them in small left over space in your car. shrug - it's a thing you have to figure out on your own, I'm sorry to say.

You _have_ to have water. Water weighs over 8 pounds per gallon. Be careful about where you store it so you don't have balance problems with your car.

There are no "camp grounds" at Burning Man. There is plenty of wide open space, but you may be out further from the Man and Center Camp, depending on when you arrive.

Rain tarps over the tent do no good for sun protection. You need stand alone shade that allows plenty of air circulation and blocks the sun. Your shade needs to withstand 30 MPH winds, maybe higher speeds. So does your tent. I have no ideas on shade other than a gigantic shade that towers over your already honkin' huge tent for one person. shrug - Burners are creative, so someone may have ideas.

Glow sticks? I don't care either way. Generally they don't last long enough to light me my entire night on the playa (and my entire night is very short). I don't see them in the dirt as moop very often, but people hate glow sticks for a variety of reasons. If you see a darkwad and gave her a glow stick, you'd have my thanks.
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Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:42 pm

Trishntek wrote:The suitcase style is more like a gas can shape. One thing about the 1 gallons bottles is you can stuff them hear and there to fill in smaller gaps in you pile of stuff. The 2.5's do have a valve on them instead of opening the lid like the 1 gal bottles have. So whatever suits your needs the best.

Your tent sounds large enough to set up a smaller 2-man tent inside of it. That would enable you to sleep in a relatively cooler and less dusty environment and also provide more protection from the wind. Just allow air to move through the larger tent and keep the smaller tent buttoned up. There would still be room for you stuff in the larger tent/shade area while keeping your sleeping quarters more protected.

Sounds like you're off to a good start!


This is an interesting idea. I could just pin the front door of the larger tent open while I am sleeping in the smaller tent, and I have windows on both of the 'long' ends of the tent, so I'd have essentially 3 ways for air to flow. You guys think this would be a viable option? That way I'd also have some private space outside my smaller tent inside the larger one to store coolers, bikes, and stuff like that.

Seems like a good idea, anyone agree or disagree with this?
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Postby graidawg » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:59 pm

this quote from another forum should be sent out with the ticket its the single best piece of advice i have read
VeganChoirGirl wrote:Katiedid:

CFM and Sav have given you a few good resources.

In addition to these helpful guides, you may want to beef up on your knowledge of the event, survival, and preparedness. In general, you will be more able to handle the inevitable little relationship struggles IF you are ULTRA prepared. Check out the survival guide and read the BM website completely. Sign up for Jack Rabbit Speaks (newsletter).

Biggest piece of advice on top of everything else. Have ALL your gear by July. Pack your car EXACTLY as if you were going to burning man. This will give you the opportunity to see how everything fits together, what you need to cut, and what you need to add. It will also give you an opportunity to learn how to TETRAS THAT SHIT! Now for the REALLY fun part, leave your vehicle TOTALLY PACKED, have a wicked night out with your boyfriend....stay out until dawn, drink WAY too much, smoke cigarettes, dance, scream to the music. Set your alarm for NO MORE THAN 2 HOURS AFTER you roll into bed. When you get up...DO NOT SHOWER, DO NOT TAKE ADVIL, DO NOT EAT. Take yourself, your boyfriend, and your car to a local park or camping spot. Preferable something in direct sun light and windy. Now TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SET UP YOUR CAMP! Tents, beds, put your coolers where they should go, your clothes where they should go. THEN when you're alllll done, pack it ALL back up and put it in your car. This is how it feels when you first arrive. Kind of hung over, hungry, thirsty, disoriented. This will give you a pretty good idea of how to work together, how to pack your car, how to set up your camp. Sounds a bit extreme, but practice really does make perfect! :)

A few helpful threads to look at for newbies in general:

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=4488

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=29356

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=33138&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38827&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38888&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38617&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=37745&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=34307&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=38625&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=35430&highlight=

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=36481&highlight=
[url]
viewtopic.php?t=36958&highlight=[/url]
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Postby geospyder » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:12 pm

I freeze a dozen one gallon plastic milk containers. They are kept in an ice chest with dry ice. Only opened as needed to remove one to thaw out for water.
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Postby VeganChoirGirl » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:09 pm

graidawg wrote:this quote from another forum should be sent out with the ticket its the single best piece of advice i have read
VeganChoirGirl wrote:

In addition to these helpful guides, you may want to beef up on your knowledge of the event, survival, and preparedness. In general, you will be more able to handle the inevitable little relationship struggles IF you are ULTRA prepared. Check out the survival guide and read the BM website completely. Sign up for Jack Rabbit Speaks (newsletter).

Biggest piece of advice on top of everything else. Have ALL your gear by July. Pack your car EXACTLY as if you were going to burning man. This will give you the opportunity to see how everything fits together, what you need to cut, and what you need to add. It will also give you an opportunity to learn how to TETRAS THAT SHIT! Now for the REALLY fun part, leave your vehicle TOTALLY PACKED, have a wicked night out with your boyfriend....stay out until dawn, drink WAY too much, smoke cigarettes, dance, scream to the music. Set your alarm for NO MORE THAN 2 HOURS AFTER you roll into bed. When you get up...DO NOT SHOWER, DO NOT TAKE ADVIL, DO NOT EAT. Take yourself, your boyfriend, and your car to a local park or camping spot. Preferable something in direct sun light and windy. Now TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SET UP YOUR CAMP! Tents, beds, put your coolers where they should go, your clothes where they should go. THEN when you're alllll done, pack it ALL back up and put it in your car. This is how it feels when you first arrive. Kind of hung over, hungry, thirsty, disoriented. This will give you a pretty good idea of how to work together, how to pack your car, how to set up your camp. Sounds a bit extreme, but practice really does make perfect! :)


Why thank you.

c1dh3d:

I also come in a sedan, actually a compact Ford Focus. I go for longer than the regular event and do just fine. For your bike, go on craigslist and get a little bike rack. Throw it on the back of your sedan (they just attach to the trunk). This will give you more room for your gear.

I agree that putting your tent in another tent is just making it a double boiler. It will be so hot in your tent soda cans will explode. I promise. they will. What you CAN do is get reflective cloth and clip it to the outside. This will help keep the temp down inside, but not a ton.

It's better to get some kind of shade structure.

#1 If you are coming long distances, you may want to use collapsible 5 gallon jugs and fill up in reno. The suitcases are better than the jugs, i think they tetras better and leak less.

#2 Glow sticks are whatever. For every glow stick you give out, moop for 2 minutes on the streets near the major sound camps...?? Because people are going to leave those things EVERYWHERE. Or just don't.

Hope that helps.
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Postby ibdave » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:49 pm

as VCG said, buy all your heavy stuff like water, beer, soda, ect in Reno if your traveling afar... As the event gets closer, more info about buying stuff in Reno will come out... The large box store have pallets of stuff staged by the doors and sidewalks for burners passing through..
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Re: Few general question (Water, glow sticks, size of tent,

Postby jlaux42 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:52 pm

The past two years I've been hauling all my stuff to the burn from New York in a compact Chevy Prizm. The first year was a little overpacked, so for the second year I put a rooftop cargo carrier on top and proceeded to overpack that as well. It seems one aspect of Burning Man is stuff-you-bring-to-the-burn expands to fill available cargo capacity (plus whatever you can strap to the back/front/roof/hood/bumpers). This year I'm thinking of upgrading to a minivan...

That said...

Coming from the east, I've been picking up my water as two boxes of 1-gallon six packs in Winnemucca. I usually stick one box on the passenger seat, and the other somewhere on the back seat to balance the weight between the axles. I've generally ended up with a couple gallons left over after the burn, which is no bad thing during Exodus when you're waiting for the next "pulse" of traffic and get thirsty or want to hit your Exodus friends with a mister for the road.

MOOP issues aside, it's nice to have "some" glowsticks to gift to hapless darkwads as you dodge them on your bicycle on the unlit open playa or as they wander by your camp. For yourself, go with some stylish battery-powered EL wire, LEDs, or get creative with some solar lights to make yourself visible. Make sure your bicycle has lights also (if you keep the lighting pattern unique, it can help you spot your bike in the jumbled pileup of impromptu parking lots that form around the sound camps at night) if you have one.

Your tent will fit on the playa just fine, but you might want to consider how well it will fit under your shade structure. Which leads to...

I've been using a modified version of the LoveMonkey MonkeyHut ( http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/ ) when I camp. The default version will shade a tent pretty well if you position it properly. Last year I doubled the size and was able to keep my tent reasonably cool for much of the day and had a good shaded area outside the tent for hanging out, socializing, napping, etc. My other modification was to cut all the PVC pipe lengths down to the point that they would fit in my trunk, and join them together with one-size-thicker PVC sleeves. If the morning sun hits your tent, or anything your tent comes into direct contact with, you probably won't be able to sleep in it past 8 or 9 AM.
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Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Thank you so much for that lovemonkey's nest idea! :D

Once this damn snow melts in MN (if it ever does), I'll for sure construct one of these and adjust it to fit my tent! That actually looks like a really fun project! Thanks a bunch!!
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Postby socks » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:53 pm

I have found the lower the profile of tent the better it is.Winds can cause a lot of problems and always happens when you are out of camp.When i leave camp i peel back my e-z top half way to avoid the flying e-z up.I can not stress this enough use rebar for all your tent and shade stakes.Number 5 rebar by 12 inches will work well.Be sure to top your stakes with tennis balls or plastic water bottles to avoid nasty cuts at night.
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Postby BBadger » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:08 am

What we did was bring a bunch of 5-gallon containers, and also a large 15-gallon barrel from an emergency supply store, and filled them up at the local grocery store in Reno (as there were no places to fill up tap water for free that we could find). The water dispenser sold water for about $0.30 per gallon--quite a bit cheaper than buying gallon/2.5 gallon jugs for $1 a gallon. We did buy some 2.5 gallon jugs too, just for convenience, and for refills. You'll also need a hose for a syphon. This was on top of the Gatorade/Vitamin Water/Beer we brought too. Next time we'll bring less raw water.
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Postby AntiM » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:56 am

A one gallon jug is very useful, you should have at least one in camp. A small garden sprayer will make quick clean ups and cool offs simple.

Slice an empty 2.5 water suitcase in half and you have a handy foot bath. Use the melted water from the cooler for your feet, but let it warm up first. Ice water surprise! Yikes!
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Postby c1dh3d » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:51 am

AntiM wrote:A one gallon jug is very useful, you should have at least one in camp. A small garden sprayer will make quick clean ups and cool offs simple.

Slice an empty 2.5 water suitcase in half and you have a handy foot bath. Use the melted water from the cooler for your feet, but let it warm up first. Ice water surprise! Yikes!


Question about the foot bath idea, because that sounds like that might actually be quite nice. Would you be able to dump the water away from camps back onto the ground, as I'd imagine it would be mainly sand and water, or would this be considered 'gray' water?
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Postby Mojojita » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:09 pm

It is considered gray water BUT the small amounts you are talking about can be evaporated pretty easily. What does not evaporate can be hauled back out in the same jugs you brought it in with. Many will tell you that if the water has been strained so there are no solids in it, it can be sprinkled on the roads. We did that years ago when there were fewer people - if everyone did that now, the city would be a real mess.

There is no sand on the playa. Camping in sand is much easier. The playa surface crumbles to an alkali dust that sticks to everything - you will learn to love it. It turns to very sticky mud when wet and you will have boulder size boogers any time there is a breeze.
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Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:55 pm

c1dh3d, I am one of the weirdos who likes a cold water foot bath. This might be obvious, but be careful about sharing the same foot bath with other people. I did it once unscathed (it was so hot out that even this germophobe couldn't turn down the opportunity to dip her feet in a cold kiddie pool) but I also met a guy one year who had shared a foot bath and had a possible infection. (That said, he honestly wasn't sure how he'd hurt his toe; it wasn't necessarily the water.)

Below is the link to the official Burning Man grey water policy. I have had success with the grey water evap pond they give instructions for, but that's because I always camp with 3 or fewer people, and we were spacing out our showers carefully. (Under their FAQ are the guidelines about sanitizing and sprinkling a small amount of grey water.)

http://www.burningman.com/environment/r ... water.html
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Postby AntiM » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:46 pm

When I am finished with my foot bath, I pour it into the evap pond, or set out the foot bath itself for evapping.

We only sprinkle excess cooler water on the roads, we bring a watering can to do that.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:21 pm

Where we come from, that qualifies as "dust abatement".
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Postby phil » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:45 pm

The BLM defines gray water (finallly!) in its contract with BMOrg, and if you rinse your feet off in drinking water, the resulting sludge does not come within BLM's definition. I haven't looked for the definition lately; my recollection is that gray water contains food or soap or both. Rinsing your feet off with drinking water is the same as just pouring the water on the playa as far as the written definition goes.

Now people will take you to task for pouring gray water on the playa no matter what you're pouring on the playa, so be prepared to ignore them or to provide them with a copy of the definition and an affidavit that you don't come within the rules of gray water. Rule-bound knuckleheads abound. Worse, rule-bound knuckleheads who haven't read the rules abound. However, the dude abides.
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Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:13 pm

I seriously printed out the grey water rules last year, in case anyone wanted to give me crap for sanitizing and sprinkling the occasional not-yet-evaporated grey water (solo camper, no dishes, not even any foot baths that year--just a little bathing).

I hate confrontation. :)
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