When I first came to Burning Man in 2002, I was invited by a Burner, and was lucky to stay with him and with an extremely experienced, organized camp of 7 year burners. To be honest, I had no clued how blessed I was to be with those guys. I started out chasing fly-by MOOP on my bike, kept hydrated, ate like a king, and enjoyed the hell out of that first year...
Just a hypothesis, but how many first-timers were out there this year with NO friends, contacts, directions or support other than the survival guide - which, if you hadn't read it BEFORE you packed, is sort of pointless.
I surmise that issues with MOOP, unpreparedness, basic etiquette etc. stem from this problem.
I camped with a different theme camp this year, and started off the week by kicking two squatters out of a clearly marked Theme Camp area.
We had two first timers in our camp, one in particular who saw no reason to follow the Leave No Trace rule of Burning Man. The literal quote was "I thought this was a place where there were no rules, and now you're telling me there are." He was taken aback that there was law enforcement at Burning Man. He was there to party, which he did, but by the end of the week he was definitely a changed person and we kicked him to shape, starting by getting him to ash into a can instead of the playa etc.
On Friday, my wife and I went on a tour of the outer ring late at night, just to get away from all the lights and actually see some open desert. We were surprised to see cars still rolling in, as we had heard a rumor that no new participants were being let it (this is true, but if you had purchased a ticket earlier you could still come in). We went to a parking car and talked to the driver.
The woman told us that she had no experience at Burning Man, knew nobody at Burning Man, but "saw it on Current TV" and thought it would be cool to come with her daughter. She knew enough to have lights, but had grossly overestimated on water (16 gallons!). We told her not to the leave the car until she had the read the survival guide, and also told her to how to avoid/deal with Playa foot, which the guide doesn't address.
I got back today, and my roommate related a story about her friend who had just come back unhappily from Burning Man. She also did not know anyone at BRC, and thought it was a music festival. She drove out with her car, a change of clothes, her curling iron, and a ton of cash. She thought she would be able to stay at a hotel and travel to the festival at her leisure, buy food/water onsite etc. She was flabbergasted that she was actually expected to "rough it."
Any observations from the anyone else, especially the Greeters?
Anyone on these boards who came to BRC with no veteran advice?