any minimalists?

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any minimalists?

Postby missprism » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:03 pm

hello fine people!

i've spent a lot of time perusing the VERY helpful info to be found on this forum. i am a virgin burner and am soaking up all the info from experienced people that i can!

my question is...yall are SO well prepared, so thoughtful and so VERY packed. the camping list checklists are frankly, astounding!

with an event of 50,000+ plus people from all walks of life, is everyone really bringing so much stuff? any people here just show up with a tent, water, dry snacks, sunscreen and clothes?

most of the stuff presented in this forum seems very well deserved and i don't doubt a minimal approach is a rough one, just wondering if all burners are so prepared. i have a small apartment in the bay area and even if i could afford all the materials, i wouldn't have any place to store them for next year!
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:12 pm

Yes people go minimal. You don't need a lot of silly clothes. You don't need a kitchen. You don't need a shade structure. You don't need a bike. You don't need a lounge chair.
Part of it is a sort of grand extravagance--I'm spending a week in the desert, and I'm so skilled you will not recognize it as a desert. Part of it is taste. I do need a shade structure, and a cot.... But that's me. You can go minimal. Or you can combine forces with others--perhaps you offer hard work and cargo space instead of infrastructure. You get to do this however you want, and as long as you are honest and grateful and willing to give in return if you do end up out there without something that turns out to be necessary, you will likely find someone who can provide you with a reasonable facsimile. And people come on airplanes, buy what they need in reno and donate it after the week is over.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Turtleburp » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:26 pm

Some people come so minimalist they don't evn have food or water one of my favourite stories last year was Felony feeding two such urchins who promptly squabbled over the food she'd given them.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby maladroit » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:34 pm

If everyone came minimalist, it would be a boring city of boring tents with people sitting in the dirt going "now what?"
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:42 pm

:lol:
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:48 pm

I'm not a minimalist, but there are plenty who are. Some by necessity (flying in and camping solo, etc), others by choice (they just prefer that route and aren't bothered eating MRE's and energy bars and such). Others join (or form their own) camps, not only so they can camp with friends and like-minded individuals, but so they can share resources (kitchen, shade, etc).
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby BBadger » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:06 pm

Turtleburp wrote:Some people come so minimalist they don't evn have food or water one of my favourite stories last year was Felony feeding two such urchins who promptly squabbled over the food she'd given them.


Those aren't minimalists, those are parasites -- and not the symbiotic type either.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby maladroit » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:08 pm

If you camp minimalist (there's a walk-in camp area) and then go work on stuff with other people, that's cool. But if you get to the playa and start bragging about how little you've had to do and all the cool stuff you've seen, you'll quickly find that it's possible to not "get" Burning Man, despite radical inclusion.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby winebuff » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:48 pm

Just make sure you have the really important things like dust mask, sunscreen, martini shaker and booze :coffee:
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby 9ah » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:53 pm

lights!

I'm trying to become a minimalist IRL... It's hard... I started packing my playa essentials to aid in this process. I've got my two containers almost full (They'll be shipped on the NYC Container) already, one duffle bag and one backpack. I'll still need to acquire food/water/booze.

That''s about 9cu/ft of stuff... Is that minimalist? :coffee:
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Eric » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:04 pm

You have to remember that part of the reason most people are well prepared is that you have to rely on yourself to survive. While there may be others there who have what you need, they may not be willing to give it (they don't have enough to share), or may not be around when you need/want it.

Yes, there are bars. They may not serve you (nothing personal: they may be talking to friends, they may close, you didn't bring a cup & they only serve to people who have one)

Yes, there are people serving food. They may not serve when you're hungry, or want to serve you 3 days in a row, or run out before you get to the front of the line, or may not get around to ever opening (had this one year with the camp next to us. They said they started serving at midnight, we never saw them serve to anyone outside of their own camp, despite the prime placement...)

Yes, there are green (community) bikes to borrow. They may not be there when you need them, or you may get off yours to look at art in the deep playa, and someone may take that bike because they need one (community bikes mean no locks & anyone can take them)

Figure out what you need for you to survive a week out there - "costume"-type clothes should be at the bottom of the list. Think survival, then comfort, then partying. Everyones list is different, and it can be done minimally. Just do it smartly.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Rice » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:46 pm

I have flown down to the burn for my last 3 burns. Two hockey bags on the plane and I bought some stuff when I got to Reno. I could probably do a burn with one hockey bag of gear and buy misc supplies (aka food & water) once I got to Reno, but I would miss stuff.

All things being equal, I prefer to drive down - thus allowing me to bring all the gear I desire. It is nice to have my own shade, lawn chairs, lounge chairs, big dust-proof tent, cooking gear, cleaning gear, shower, tables, etc. I just do not like driving 3000Km by myself to the burn. And that drive home seems like 3000 Miles. . .

I know exactly what i need to be minimally comfortable, also what I find makes my burn more comfortable (beyond bare bones camping). It is highly likely, that some gear I cannot do without many other burners cannot figure out why I bring it. I am fine with that. It was my third burn before I started to get my gear sorted correctly - figured out my needed and unneeded stuff. Every year since I have been adding and removing stuff as necessary. (Although each burn has different weather, a burn with no real wind is very different than one that has 70 MPH winds every day...)

One of the things that makes Burning Man a bit more challenging than other camping experiences is the remoteness. Being totally self reliant means you need to bring it if you wish to use it. Also the climate. Super hot during the day, close to freezing at night. It is fairly dry, and at a higher altitude than many are used to.

I come from Canada, so I tend to do ok in the cool. I, however, find the heat to sometimes be a challenge. The altitude does not seem to be an issue. (I still bring warm clothes - but I also normally wear shorts when its 30F (-2C) ;)

I am stubbornly self-reliant. Suffering, rather than asking others for help. Therefore I make sure I have my bases covered. (including extra batteries and spare flashlights/headlamps).

In the end, no one can tell you that you are "doing it wrong", but if you are not adhering to the basic Burning Man principles - you are not really doing it right either.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby missprism » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:03 am

to be clear, i think i already have an idea of what i require based on my funding and abilities (a medium amount of comfort- likely a cargo van with materials for a shade structure, decent tent, coolers, 1 camp stove, lots of wipes and lotions etc)

just curious about how many people actually show up. you hear a lot about people buying luxe RVs but not so much about people just going with basics. i have to wonder when i see a lot of people who seem, frankly, like young kids there to party..how much foresight they really put into the conditions. i'm glad it's my nature to RESEARCH RESEARCH PREPARE PREPARE!

i think going with nothing and expecting others to give to you very much violates the idea of a gift economy! yuck!
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby BBadger » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:18 am

Really, you should get out of the mode of thinking about what other people are bringing and doing for themselves (except for ideas), and start thinking about what you are going to bring and do to make your trip (and others') a memorable experience.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby missprism » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:49 am

fair play to that!
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Savannah » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:01 am

esmeralada wrote:to be clear, i think i already have an idea of what i require based on my funding and abilities (a medium amount of comfort- likely a cargo van with materials for a shade structure, decent tent, coolers, 1 camp stove, lots of wipes and lotions etc)


You'll (probably) be fine, then. I am a minimalist (besides bringing a lot of clothes).

I've had some naps in a friend's RV, but I take great pleasure in the fact that I have done 8 Burns in a tent. Me! A girly girl. :) A good attitude and sound preparation go a long way.

About half the city sleeps in a tent.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:46 am

Take a look around the Shelter & Camping board to get a sense of the different ways people camp. More than fifty thousand people actually come out to the event (despite popular thinking, the majority of which aren't coming from SF). RV's will range from tiny campers to big luxury rentals. Tents come in all shape and size, some of them are directly under the sun (or as I like to refer to it, Easy-Bake Oven style), while others are under shade structures (and those come in all shapes and sizes too). A cargo van is plenty of space, up until our camp expanded last year my girlfriend and I used our cargo van to haul out not only everything we needed for ourselves, but all our camp's infrastructure (shade, kitchen, shower, and art structure).
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:58 pm

YOu might want to look at the realistic non-cooler food thread, too.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Savannah » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:03 am

theCryptofishist wrote:YOu might want to look at the realistic non-cooler food thread, too.


Good idea! Terrific thread.

Realistic non-cooler based menu planning
viewtopic.php?f=276&t=35430
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby illy dilly » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:44 pm

9ah wrote:lights!

I'm trying to become a minimalist IRL... It's hard... I started packing my playa essentials to aid in this process. I've got my two containers almost full (They'll be shipped on the NYC Container) already, one duffle bag and one backpack. I'll still need to acquire food/water/booze.

That''s about 9cu/ft of stuff... Is that minimalist? :coffee:

:shock: Bravo! I would indeed say you either are a minimalist burner, or right on the edge!

I couldn't imagine packing everything into that amount of space!
We've been saying we're doing 2013 "minimalist" but I think we need to change our slogan to "Not as big".
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Rice » Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:23 pm

The first time I flew down to the burn I was able to get all my gear into the trunk of a midsized car...

I was camped up against a wall. Yes, that is my flag & flag pole (old tent polls work as a simple flag pole).

My_Camp.jpg


I had access to a shade structure during the day. The lawn chair is a luxury for getting dressed.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:58 am

Everyone has their own definition of minimalist as far as this goes, be we take a minimal approach. This is more in regards to luxury than amount of stuff though.

We fly in fron NY so everything including art and gifts pretty much has to either fit in suitcases, be UPSable, or be bought in Reno. Since money is a bit tight we try to minimize purchases that are dumped / gifted after the burn.

We don't want to spend our time at the burn doing mundane things so:

1. Our camp sets up in under 30 minutes. We sleep in the box truck so this is basically setting up the shade structure, unloading the chairs and cooler, and securing some bags for trash and recyclables.

2. We don't cook, and eat out of cans all week. We don't even bring a stove. Cooking is fine for those who wish to, but is a massive time sink - especially when you figure in cleanup.

About the only luxury we bring is good booze and lots of it.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby 9ah » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:43 am

illy dilly wrote:
9ah wrote:lights!

I'm trying to become a minimalist IRL... It's hard... I started packing my playa essentials to aid in this process. I've got my two containers almost full (They'll be shipped on the NYC Container) already, one duffle bag and one backpack. I'll still need to acquire food/water/booze.

That''s about 9cu/ft of stuff... Is that minimalist? :coffee:

:shock: Bravo! I would indeed say you either are a minimalist burner, or right on the edge!

I couldn't imagine packing everything into that amount of space!
We've been saying we're doing 2013 "minimalist" but I think we need to change our slogan to "Not as big".


This is not including food and stuff... Water alone is a ton of space. I'm really trying to keep it within that space though. (I am cheating a lil bc I left my rebar with a friend and I'm going to borrow an air mattress pump)
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby TomServo » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:29 am

TICKET, WATER, Food, Tent, Sunscreen, Goggles, Respirator or rag around your face (Shemagh), A pleasant personality and A SPRAYER BOTTLE. It can really be That simple. If you want a little more comfort, volunteer your labor for a theme camp or a B.M. Dept. DPW gets fed at the Commissary! Excellent food! and Ice Cream!
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Rice » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:01 pm

TomServo wrote:TICKET, WATER, Food, Tent, Sunscreen, Goggles, Respirator or rag around your face (Shemagh), A pleasant personality and A SPRAYER BOTTLE. It can really be That simple. If you want a little more comfort, volunteer your labor for a theme camp or a B.M. Dept. DPW gets fed at the Commissary! Excellent food! and Ice Cream!

PG&E (Perimeter, Gate & Exodus) crews also get a meal or two at the Commissary!!

I enjoy volunteering & do at least one shift every day that I am on the playa..

I love my crew & what I do , but realize that it requires a certain personality to enjoy ;) YMMV
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:20 am

9ah wrote:
illy dilly wrote:
9ah wrote:lights!

I'm trying to become a minimalist IRL... It's hard... I started packing my playa essentials to aid in this process. I've got my two containers almost full (They'll be shipped on the NYC Container) already, one duffle bag and one backpack. I'll still need to acquire food/water/booze.

That''s about 9cu/ft of stuff... Is that minimalist? :coffee:

:shock: Bravo! I would indeed say you either are a minimalist burner, or right on the edge!

I couldn't imagine packing everything into that amount of space!
We've been saying we're doing 2013 "minimalist" but I think we need to change our slogan to "Not as big".


This is not including food and stuff... Water alone is a ton of space. I'm really trying to keep it within that space though. (I am cheating a lil bc I left my rebar with a friend and I'm going to borrow an air mattress pump)

Hum... I guess if you just break it down to hardware and clothes/person items, then that is about on par with what we bring.

Actually, that's a flat our lie. Our kitchen is a big rubber made with wheels, plus the stoves, tables, and sack of green 1lb propane cans. Our clothes are 2 medium suite cases and 2 bins of costumes. Other camping gear is in another large rubber made with wheels and a small plastic tote. Then there are the chairs, the tent, the hammock, the evap pond, and the car port (the actual kitchen structure). None of this is part of the "theme camp" gear.
If we're going "not as big" this year maybe we'll skip laying down carpet for the kitchen. :wink:
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Sunbeam56 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:55 pm

We are Yuppie Scum Campers, and not too ashamed about it. :)
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby TomServo » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:37 pm

Sunbeam56 wrote:We are Yuppie Scum Campers, and not too ashamed about it. :)


your in for a surprise. :)
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:38 pm

Frank Stella doesn't come any more. He says that the organizers sold out.
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Re: any minimalists?

Postby Marscrumbs » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:40 pm

Conceptually the Playa can support a true minimalist spirit. After survival (including a bike) take off into the deep open playa and experience the simplisty of the vastest flattest nothingness you will ever know. Go naked if you wish ( sunscreen and water recommended.)
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