How To Burn

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How To Burn

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:58 pm

Coming off my second burn I have given this topic a bit more thought.

Last year after the burn I felt miserable - in large part driven by the feeling that I had wasted too much of my limited time there sitting around camp and socializing. I did get out a few times and see some art, sound camps, the eplaya m&g, plus the man and temple burns.

This year I pretty much did the same thing, but I feel great about it. I have realized that for me the burn is about the people. Sure I like the art and other assorted distractions the burn has to offer, but for me they are secondary to the social aspect of the event. My fondest memories of burning man are of social interactions - not spectacular art, not performances, not massive fires, but conversations.

Watching my son burn, he seemed to be just the opposite. Always on the go, spending little time in camp, returning after dawn every day. But then he said to me the other day that his favorite part of the burn was during early entry (where we basically sat around socializing after the work was done). When I asked him why didn't he continue that once the gates opened - he couldn't articulate an answer. Perhaps it just never occurred to him that hanging out with friends is as valid as any other activity at Burning Man.

Perhaps next year I will feel differently and act accordingly, but for now I have identified what I like to do most at the burn.

I see so many people telling others how to burn or what to see / do next, but it's something everyone must figure out for themselves.

As long as you leave no trace - there is no wrong way to burn.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Savannah » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:01 pm

I think one's first Burn (or early Burns) are often almost unavoidably more task-oriented or experience-oriented. And if you're very young and energetic (like your son) or perhaps shy, even more so.

Then, as one collects subsequent Burns and friends, and have seen a Man burn a number of times it does become a little more "I just spent X number of hours just drinking and socializing with some of the Finest People Alive, and it was an excellent use of my day. Maybe we'll go watch something Burn too, at some point." :) Though not always.

I had perhaps my most balanced Burn ever, in terms of art, socializing, dancing, volunteerism, etc . . . and I STILL kinda wish I had seen even more art, and even more burning stuff, like Anubis. But I know there simply wasn't a way to do it all . . .

Yeah . . . everyone Burns a little differently and there is a certain amount of magic in determining what a really good Burn is for you . . . and then having it actually work out once or twice. :)
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Re: How To Burn

Postby shykat » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:32 pm

I met them best people this year. Made my burn. Actually best burn ever.. Imho.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby pink » Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:24 pm

Since joining a camp and not feeling like I'm there alone, I've done much more hanging around camp socializing with camp members and those that stop by. Being in a very interactive camp helps that way; people come to us, and I have so much fun I have trouble leaving.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby AntiM » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:44 am

I too used to worry I wasn't "doing" enough. But yes, people in camp are often the Very Best part of a burn.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby VultureChow » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:13 am

I had one truly magical night of exploration that ended around midnight. I manned a kissing booth, was made queen of some random castle, got fed by DPW, etc. And it was enough.

The time hanging in Drawingablank's monkey hut with Knowmad et al was as wonderful in a different way. I spend all of my time in the default world on the move. No real down time. So hanging out in the shade, with a light beer and nice people is precious to me.

Also, I discovered I love volunteering, so I'll do that more next year.

My only regret is that I couldn't stay up later. So I never experienced any of the sound camps in full swing, and actually missed the Wall Street Burn. But early morning around 6-7am is a wonderfully quiet time to bike out to the art on the open playa. Grill steaks and watch the all nighters find their way home.

I think dehydration played big part in that. I was hit with massive headaches around 7pm every night. I'd drink a lot of water and eat something, and it would go away. But I'll strive to avoid that next year.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby RedHeaven » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:00 am

Drawingablank thank you for this thread and all of your eplaya contributions. I love reading what you have to say. All of you, for that matter. I really like these kinds of subjects, and getting out these thoughts help me to process things.

After my 7th burn, I find myself having MORE expectations with every year. My brain says, I did this and that last year, so I can do that this year and then some!!! I have to realize that every burn is going to be unique. Sure I can attempt to replay some things, but if they don't happen, other things do to take the place of.
I also really love my camp, this year moreso than ever, we had the 430 & D corner and lots of fun traffic, people came to us which was great....Just being at camp was amazing. And stupid Hair of the Dog, our sister camp, down the street, fuckers played my favorite hits from the 80s all fucking week!!!! Totally killed my motivation hahahaha.....why go anywhere when I can dance in heaven at my favorite dive bar? UGH.....And why go watch sunrise anywhere else but our burn barrel in the burbs? I really tried to make it to Random Rab famous sunrise set out in the deep playa but I couldnt get myself to drink enough kool aid to do so. Also scolding myself to not of gone seen a sunrise out by the temple. And how about those funny What When Where guides? Did I read any of it at burning man? No. I read it all at home a week later, as usual. I think it would be fun to try something in that guide one of these years, just to meet new peeps and try something new. You can do that without the guide but some people like me have an odd form of ADD and we get a crazy case of the Whatthefucks.

And then there is the panic.....WE ONLY HAVE A WEEK!!! Every hour counts!!! Every minute! No wasted convos, no bullshit, no dealing with assholes or bad vibez. Our immediacy rewires things for that week. This year was brutal for me in the fact that I KNOW I cannot attend in 2013. Double panic!!!
I had a couple of super close hometown buddies camp at my camp who never burn, so I had to be mindful of how much time I spent with them, as I can see them at home. Did very well in this dept, and definitely went to new levels of our friendship (not in THAT way, perv minded ;) ) so that was really awesome. I did know when to leave them behind though and break free of camp in general. It was hard, but i did it......Dang you cozy camps!!! Sometimes it comes down to simple facts: I should of packed that really heavy faux fur coat, maybe thats all I needed to make it to a temple sunrise. dOh x 1000
I could of burned better in so many ways though, that plagues me sometimes. To break free of it I just think "be glad you got to go you spoiled brat"

You think you can do so much but having to take it easy out there and work with mother nature also helps slow the crazies and fear of missing outs....Sure I could always do it better, faster, more, but relaxing is part of the adventure. Hey wait, this is a vacation!!
I think part of the I CAN BURN BETTER helps us get inspired for the next round, but we have to keep it at that inspiration level and not over work ourselves (unless we just want to be overworked by burnign man). As usual, its about the balance. Finding it. Knowing that there is no blueprint on how to burn. If I am sad to leave but smile cuz it happened, I know I did my best!!
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Re: How To Burn

Postby moonrise » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:18 pm

Ayup, da people are numba uno!

DAB, you and your kid Water are TOUGH burners...I bet both of you could handle a month (or more) out there and barely feel the pain. :P New Yorkers are tough!!
Perhaps being in a HUGE and the BEST camp/village BDCamp & Wine Bistro!) made the difference between last year (probably only a few neighbors) and this year.
Themed camps happen for a reason (we the people...:) more people, zero drama equals a perfect situation. Thanks Doc, Felony, Stu et al!

I'm all busted up, and mornings are painful for me, but once I get my Java (and MDF's BACON, thanks Dear!) I like to trip all around the burn giving rides to other disabled burners and the tired/exhausted/dehydrated/too high and my friends and randoms (it's one of my jobs out there, and I make my own hours, yea'ah!) Btw, I noticed more and more disabled burners are able to find me now that BRC DMV provides us with disabled flags....next time I'll put a light on my flag for easier night time identification idicating the moonmobile is a disabled friendly mini mv ;) Oh the places we go... :shock: (hopefully NOT medical!)

Delivering the (evening) paper, BRC Weekly,that was fun and EVERYONE gobbled them up hungrily (especially the camps in the boonies on the outer roads!)

I like a medium/busy burn and moving really really sloooow in the mornings and during the heat of the day, sloth-like slow if it's super hot. :lol:
Last edited by moonrise on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:20 pm

RedHeaven wrote:And how about those funny What When Where guides? Did I read any of it at burning man? No. I read it all at home a week later, as usual. I think it would be fun to try something in that guide one of these years, just to meet new peeps and try something new.

A idea for a project. Take your whatwherewhen and go to camps and offer the people staying there one event to go to... So then they have a place to go, without having to plan too much or read the damn thing. Maybe--given how crappy the bindings are--you just "gift" them a page.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby ranger magnum » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:02 pm

This was the first year that the girl and i didnt spend long nights out. With a few exceptions, we were in bed by midnight. I did a graveyard shift friday night, but other than that I saw no other sunrises.

I dont see my camp members but once a year, so just hanging with them is a big priority. Plus we repair bikes and that alone requires most of us to stay in camp.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Trishntek » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:56 am

It took a wicked gust of wind and a smashed finger to make me realize the camp is in good hands without me. The biggest lesson learned by me this year is to delegate more. As someone who spends all year planning, plotting, building, hunting and gathering for the camp, it is difficult to hand "my baby" over to others.

It has always been about the people from my perspective. It seems this year had many more folks of the "entitled" mindset and fewer folks of the "grateful" sector. This makes it harder to get motivated for next year. I've always believed the event to be a gathering to the most generous, grateful and unpretentious people on earth.

Maybe it was only my perception. I hope that is the case. With a few adjustments and refining the focus of our camp, I'm looking forward to a more efficient infrastructure and a more people-centered camp next year. Our schedule was very ambitious and successful. But it was more than we needed. I do not want to grow the camp. I want to improve it.

Trish finally shook me out of the funk I've been in since returning. It was a depression of sorts and, it takes time to figure out WTF just happened. I'm pretty damned optimistic most of the time! The finger is healed, replacement parts ordered and most things in their place in defaultia. I'm still figuring out "How To Burn".
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Sail Man » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:54 am

I would def. agree that the social interactions are what has made my burn better and better ev year. Seeking out friends throughout the city, the eplaya mng are both fine examples for me as to what has made the burn very enjoyable, and why it was def. a bummer not to make it out this year.

We'll see about next year, but I am also thinking about checking out more of the regionals to help expand that social base.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby illy dilly » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:33 pm

Savannah wrote:I think one's first Burn (or early Burns) are often almost unavoidably more task-oriented or experience-oriented. And if you're very young and energetic (like your son) or perhaps shy, even more so.

Then, as one collects subsequent Burns and friends, and have seen a Man burn a number of times it does become a little more "I just spent X number of hours just drinking and socializing with some of the Finest People Alive, and it was an excellent use of my day. Maybe we'll go watch something Burn too, at some point." :) Though not always.

I think Savannah about hits it on the head!

Personally, my first two burns, very little time was spent at camp, and all my 'bests' happened out on the Esplanade our out in the playa. My 3rd year was a bit of a mix, but most of "favorite" or "Most memorable" actually happened in the streets of the city.

This year, all my best moments happened in the city. Sure there were some great adventures, but all my really memorable "remember this for the rest of my life" moments happened back in the streets socializing and hanging out with burners. This was my best Burn yet- and I didn't even climb the Man base this year or last year. Last year I was a little disappointed in my self for not at least climbing the man, but this year I've realized I don't really give a fuck. I'm not there for the man, or the raves, or the art, I'm there to hang out in the streets and meet some crazy and wonderful people. And, the Man, the raves, the art is all just icing on the cake. and to sell ice, cause selling ice kicks ass!

There are some amazing, mind blowing, out of this world, impossible, absolutely stunning, completely original things to see in BRC. Your first year its impossible not to want to take it all in, cause for shit sakes, its Dog Damn mind blowing!
And its odd that even though BRC isn't the same any two years, after a couple years your priorities change and the people become more exciting than the sights!
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Re: How To Burn

Postby mgb327 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:07 pm

"There are some amazing, mind blowing, out of this world, impossible, absolutely stunning, completely original things to see in BRC. Your first year its impossible not to want to take it all in, cause for shit sakes, its Dog Damn mind blowing!"

So sig-worthy. Tuanais mai, as we say in C.R.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:16 pm

ranger magnum wrote:This was the first year that the girl and i didnt spend long nights out. With a few exceptions, we were in bed by midnight. I did a graveyard shift friday night, but other than that I saw no other sunrises.

I dont see my camp members but once a year, so just hanging with them is a big priority. Plus we repair bikes and that alone requires most of us to stay in camp.


We also did not stay out late this year. Instead we got up early (5:30 ish) most days and headed out. Amazing fun! Saw lots of people in various stages of bliss or zombieism and even got a few home in our art car. Looked at a LOT of art and enjoyed the sunrise activities. Then it was off to a local watering hole for a bloody mary or whatever they were serving. Got back to camp about noon with a pleasant buzz, ate, then worked our cafe till 4. More horns, dinner, and some venturing out. Most nights in by midnight. Rinse and repeat. Really enjoyed the change up.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Drawingablank » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:21 pm

Being a writer, part of my decompression process is trying to put into words and sharing at least a portion of the experience, but we all know how tough describing the burn with words can be.

Although I originally posted this for that reason, I must say that I am thrilled at the way this thread has gone with others posting their thoughts and feelings on this subject as well. Please keep up the good work.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:11 am

I feel like my experiences have gone in general trends, with some occasional big changes to shake things up. The first five years I trended towards more and more scheduled work time, which was satisfying but also seemed to be adding a sensation of urgency that I thought might be unnecessary. I really dialed that back this year, but found that I added pressure to myself in the form of an art project that I do while I'm in BRC. The project itself has grown over the years and become pretty time-consuming in its own way. So that's interesting to me... it's like I have some inner drive to structure my time there, whether its volunteering with crews or designing my own project.

Some activities I do attempt to recreate each year, like going to particular places, or perhaps even trying to combine places and times in certain ways. But that can end up filling up the week pretty fast with activities that have expectations attached to them. So many of the things I like to do, I originally 'discovered' just by wandering around almost completely at random. It's a good thing to check in and ask myself, why am I wanting to do this or that? Some activities are comforting routines, but I'm not sure that I want to be in BRC for comfort.
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Re: How To Burn

Postby teardropper » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:27 pm

This was as a different kind of year. Without getting much into that, I have been ill most of the year and missed most of the ticketed events I had bought, just couldn't make them. But I wasn't going to miss the Burn. We met a couple former camp mates at Eagles Nest on the way down and decided not to join a camp this tear, to set up on our own. Our friends, young and strong, helped us set up our North Pole bar and bowling alley and another young man just passing by helped set up our camo shade over our couch and pound stakes. Burners are helpful and it would have been very difficult to do it all solo without their help . We were on a corner clear out in the burbs, 7:30 & J but it turned out to one of the best locations we had put it up. Lot of traffic. Just a neighborhood bar but art cars stopped to bowl a bit, late night crazies wanting a night cap, my little PA playing good enough tunes. Toward the end of the week many thanked us for the fun and the landmark to home. But is this How to Burn? Did BRC really need another bar, even one with a bowling alley? I don't know. It was one of our best years gifting cold drinks, both virgin and alcohol and offering White Russians while bowling with tbe Dude. It was terrificic. However, we were invited into a conclave as performance drummers, which took several of our evenings away from the bar. Jewel has argued that our 'How to Burn' has changed. We will not be bringing the bar and the bowling alley back to the playa. A new phase has started. How to Burn? Remember Evolution? Yeah. Evolve. Don't get stuck. Your first year may be be the best, but don't get stuck in it. BRC is never the same, year to year, and neither are you. Prepare to be unprepared for how YOU will react to it. I have been aware that BRC changed me from the moment I entered that first Monday dawn. And it's continued to knock me around through these years. But I was truly unprepared for the beautiful, esoteric and transcendental change it offered me this year. I knew I was a Burner before, but boy...
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Savannah » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:37 pm

teardropper wrote:A new phase has started. How to Burn? Remember Evolution? Yeah. Evolve. Don't get stuck. Your first year may be be the best, but don't get stuck in it. BRC is never the same, year to year, and neither are you. Prepare to be unprepared for how YOU will react to it. I have been aware that BRC changed me from the moment I entered that first Monday dawn. And it's continued to knock me around through these years. But I was truly unprepared for the beautiful, esoteric and transcendental change it offered me this year. I knew I was a Burner before, but boy...


AMEN, Mister. :D

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Re: How To Burn

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:50 am

Staying on topic...How To Burn...I suppose each person's experience is their own...there's no "right way" to Burn. A camp mate once said..."Hey, you really missed out...you shoulda seen (insert whatever here)!" I politely disagreed stating that I'm glad they had a great experience, but I had my own doing whatever it was I was doing at the time.

However, it does beg certain questions. For instance, are you a Burner if you're paid to be there, you don't have to buy a ticket, all your logistics issues (meals/shelter) are provided? Would you show up if you had to spend the money and totally take care of yourself? Or are you a Burner simply by being within the perimeter?

Some will say that showing up in an RV you're not truly a Burner...that true Burners sit naked under a lean-to surrounded by their water and a week's supply of granola bars. Or if you're a sheriff/BLM Officer, you're not a Burner, but being on paid medical or firefighter staff you are.

Hmmmm?
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Re: How To Burn

Postby teardropper » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:32 pm

"Staying on topic"
Hmm. How odd. Was someone off, to you...
Better fix that
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Re: How To Burn

Postby PhoenixFemmeFatale » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:53 am

Love this thread! Everything ive read until this has been 'bring this - do that - dont do this- blah blah'.... as important as all the specifics are, I like that this thread focuses on the incidentals that seasoned burners have come to embrace... thanks!
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Re: How To Burn

Postby burner von braun » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:55 pm

PhoenixFemmeFatale wrote:Love this thread! Everything ive read until this has been 'bring this - do that - dont do this- blah blah'.... as important as all the specifics are, I like that this thread focuses on the incidentals that seasoned burners have come to embrace... thanks!

Welcome to the eplaya PhoenixFemmeFatale :wink:
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Re: How To Burn

Postby PhoenixFemmeFatale » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:54 am

[/quote]Welcome to the eplaya PhoenixFemmeFatale :wink:[/quote]

Thanks!
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Re: How To Burn

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:46 pm

I've done the burn many different ways... I've been with big camps, BRC Post Office, Black Rock Spatial Delivery, Johnny @ the Playa Cruizers... I lived on Center Camp ring road, or right on the Esplanade, and been really in the middle of things.
I've also just pulled up on the outer edge about 4:30, on the outside of the outermost street and called it home.
I've worked all day fixing bikes, and I've slept all day. Some burns I did pretty much nothing but cruise my M/V all over the place.
I've gone by myself, I've gone with girlfriends, I've gone with a crowd of friends.

Which was best? All of them!!

So I say, the right way to burn is just GET THERE!
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Re: How To Burn

Postby illy dilly » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:06 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I've done the burn many different ways... I've been with big camps, BRC Post Office, Black Rock Spatial Delivery, Johnny @ the Playa Cruizers... I lived on Center Camp ring road, or right on the Esplanade, and been really in the middle of things.
I've also just pulled up on the outer edge about 4:30, on the outside of the outermost street and called it home.
I've worked all day fixing bikes, and I've slept all day. Some burns I did pretty much nothing but cruise my M/V all over the place.
I've gone by myself, I've gone with girlfriends, I've gone with a crowd of friends.

Which was best? All of them!!

So I say, the right way to burn is just GET THERE!

Captain Nailed It!!!
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Location: Denver, CO
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Gnome Dome

Re: How To Burn

Postby FTTraveler » Sun May 12, 2013 6:58 pm

Hello Burners

With 2013 being my first burn. I often wondered what the phrase "many ways to burn" really ment. After reading these posts I know exactly what that phrase means and I am even more excited about BM (if that was even possible).

Thanks to everyone who posted comments
"We are all shadows and dust"-Proximo
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