Some handy advice for new burners...

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby caveatlector » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi all,

I wrote up a starter how-to on Burning Man for new burners: https://medium.com/@jshessel/burn-any-way-you-want-8cc191d30ab0

If you see something grossly incorrect or think it needs an addition, could you mention it in the comments below?

Thanks!

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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Eric » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:21 pm

If you can’t use the Burner Express:
Maybe because (like me) you need to get onto Playa early, you're going to be stuck with driving out. Try and get someone local to carpool with you, or be prepared to rent a car and pay through the teeth when you return the dusty vehicle to your agency over a week later.


DO NOT ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO RETURN A DUSTY VEHICLE!!!
(I am not the kind of person to lightly use all-caps, this just needs to be emphasized)
Tell them to clean the fuck out of it (engine & vents included), and then clean it again. Returning dirty vehicles is one reason it's getting harder & harder to rent vehicles for the playa, and a reason it's so expensive. Treat the car like it belongs to your boss, and your continued employment is conditional on how it comes back to him. This goes for RVs & box trucks as well.

Still reading the rest.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Eric » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Rest is good, though I would mention sun-block in with the essential "to bring" items.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby caveatlector » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:59 pm

Got it. Sunblock and a reminder / explanation in cleaning your rental car.
I'll add those in a bit.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Ratty » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:29 pm

Mountie, Thank you for taking the time to instruct newbies. I just started reading and I'd like to ask WHY.
Why would you say...
You will probably be camping in with the walk-ins on the outer rings, which has it’s own appeal. That makes NO sense. I don't even know where the walk-in camp is, and I've never belonged to a placed camp. Prime real estate is saved for non-placed persons. You can't camp closer than 'G' street until the gates open. Once the gates open you can camp as close to the Esplanade as you want. Check your map that the Greeters gave you. It shows all the reserved spots and the open areas. The streets are very far apart. Look for a driveway between camps and drive in behind them to the big open space that doesn't front on a street. Or, just squeeze in between those guys and set up. (If anyone is home please ask first just in case they are expecting company.) There is no shortage of prime real estate until Tuesday or Wednesday. In fact there is empty space that doesn't get used for the entire event if you don't insist on frontage to the street. I say camping without an organized camp is not roughing it. It's easier and less stressful. Of course if you are flying or bussing it, gear is an issue.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:47 pm

Walk in is outside the Outer Ring, somewhere 4-ish if I recall correctly. It's definitely NOT where the vast majority even want to be, because it's so far out. To the ones who do it, the remoteness is the appeal but it's just like default world real estate. The further out of town you move, the more property is available and the quieter it is - at the cost of being a very long commute.
Hell if you want to get away from everyone and everything, why go to Black Rock City?!

But overall, nice job!
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:35 pm

Walk in is a specific area. The outer rings are a large area. Very different experience.

Most people lose appetite. Suggestion to bring more food than you think should be rethought. People like salty food, comfort food and snacks.

Statistically the event is not dangerous. There are more than needed auto accidents especially related to sleep deprivation.

I would mention do not do's to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement on travels.

Good for you spreading your experience.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Eric » Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:16 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Most people lose appetite. Suggestion to bring more food than you think should be rethought. People like salty food, comfort food and snacks.


I disagree with the first part for a virgin - they're going to have no idea how their appetite reacts. While anecdotal evidence is that most of us lose our appetites, not everyone does, and having them under-bring food leaves them hungry at the end of the week. Better to over-stock the first year than under-stock.

Definitely agree on the salty foods emphasis - pickles (real brined pickles if you have a place to keep them cold), chips and salsa, crackers, salted nuts, trail mix - all work well. The sun will be taking the salts out of your body.

On the subject of "pissing clear", emphasize that just drinking lots of water is NOT enough. You want something that replenishes your salts & minerals. Pediolyte or similar works, as does coconut water. Especially if you're drinking alcohol.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby caveatlector » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:04 pm

Right. Commentary about electrolytes, camping locations, and sunblock added.

Thanks!

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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:24 pm

Hahaha, Mr Eric and I disagree on this but who can argue with Moses. Eric is entirely correct that individual metabolisms are individual. If you are a person who needs to eat every 2-3 hours and become grumpy when hungry or low blood sugar you are different from people who only get seriously hungry after 18 hours. Diabetics have their own burning plan. So guess you just have to go and see for yourself. The altitude change and diurnal change reduces appetite. I'm in the 18 hour category, it is impossible to starve in a week, and as other have said, sometimes surprise food is offered at unexpected times. And of course, if anyone feels they are having any medical problem related to food, consult playa medical, they are open day and night.

If you save your packaged non-perishable food for later in the week, I believe there is a local food bank collection for food you did not eat. It is a good donation!

Playa medical should be added to your guide as well.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:34 pm

I've never used it, but I always bring cold medicine, aspirin, sore throat stuff etc.
It would really suck to need that stuff and not have it, and it's really small and light.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby BBadger » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:40 pm

Magnesium.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby gaminwench » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:32 am

Licorice (sun) tea.
Good for playafied lungs.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby caveatlector » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:30 am

I decided to err on the side of caution when it comes to bring food. Our caloric needs, while on playa, are incredibly high. We may not have an appetite, but playa-fuckery definitely takes its toll. My first burn, I brought not enough food-- although I'd been careful to bring three squares a day. I ended up hitting a brick wall mid-week when my sugar crashed and I started having a serious problem.

The next year involved bringing way more high-energy and easy to eat stuff-- and my problem was more-or-less avoided.

And yes. If people bring too much food, they can donate it on Collexodus on the way out for DPW. I have a side-note about that mentioned in the article-- although the notation system Medium creates isn't super noticeable.

Licorice / Slippery Elm tea
Magnesium
Pain killers / cold meds

I may need a separate article on things to pack.

Thanks again for the advice.

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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby maladroit » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:17 am

I don't know, this article is mainly an opinion piece on how to act rather than a survival guide. Not even a complete packing list, that's left as an exercise for google.

It's pretty much every first-time burner's blog article about Burning Man, except with bigger font.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby BBadger » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:15 pm

I get an assload of calories from the drinks I bring. Water ends up being just a vehicle for carrying flavor enhancers. Beer, Gatorade, soft drinks, picklebacks, milk, Carnation instant breakfast, etc. will give you lots of calories in addition to whatever you happen to drink.

I do like those energy gummies though. Pretty darn tasty.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby maladroit » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:39 pm

BBadger wrote:I get an assload of calories from the drinks I bring. Water ends up being just a vehicle for carrying flavor enhancers. Beer, Gatorade, soft drinks, picklebacks, milk, Carnation instant breakfast, etc. will give you lots of calories in addition to whatever you happen to drink.

I do like those energy gummies though. Pretty darn tasty.


You can mix Horizon milk, Instant Breakfast, a single-serve instant coffee stick, and ice for an "oh shit I woke up at noon" start to your day. Add Kahlua as necessary...
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby caveatlector » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:05 am

maladroit wrote:You can mix Horizon milk, Instant Breakfast, a single-serve instant coffee stick, and ice for an "oh shit I woke up at noon" start to your day. Add Kahlua as necessary...


... ARE YOU A WIZARD?
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Jackass » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:01 am

caveatlector wrote:
maladroit wrote:You can mix Horizon milk, Instant Breakfast, a single-serve instant coffee stick, and ice for an "oh shit I woke up at noon" start to your day. Add Kahlua as necessary...


... ARE YOU A WIZARD?


DUH, A MAJIKAL BREAKFAST WIZARD...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Eric » Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:44 pm

maladroit wrote:for an "oh shit I woke up at noon"


Is this unusual? That's about when I get up every day (well 11:30 - 12). I actually get up early on the playa for some strange reason.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:39 pm

Use contraception at every conceivable opportunity!!! 8)
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:43 pm

Don't become engulfed in a morass of expectation lest it ruin your burn.

So remember, NO MORASS!!!!!!!!!!! 8)
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby myfaverach » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:18 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Use contraception at every conceivable opportunity!!! 8)


:)
We were hoping you'd be offended.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Christian The Jew » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:01 am

LOL! Mountie!!! :lol:

I saw your picture with the bell and couldn't stop laughing. I'm from Minnesota, it was just comical to see a Canadian Mountie on the playa.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby robbidobbs » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:36 pm

Take care of your teeth, even if you don't feel like it. Bring dental floss, you'll thank me later.
I'm not in the profession, just KNOW that the whole week can go by and you realize you've brushed your teeth twice the whole time.
This year I'm going to try to take my teeth gear out with me on Poop Patrol and just get my ass into that unit and brush my fucking teeth!
It takes me a fucking MONTH to get my gums back into shape after the event. My hair and feet do better.
There was a dental floss camp down the road from me a couple years ago. Brilliant. The participants looked like they were enjoying themselves, in an eyes-rolled-back kind of way.
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:42 pm

It's weird I feel like the odd man out because I don't do anything differently in Black Rock City than anywhere else.
I get up, take a shower, use all the exact same cleaning and hygiene practices and products as at home, eat the same food.
But then instead of going to work, I go wandering in Black Rock City!
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Re: Some handy advice for new burners...

Postby robbidobbs » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:35 pm

I a BOAT!
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