First time burner seeking company!!

First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Irish eyes » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:44 am

Hello you lovely people,

I am a 29 year old first time female burner from Ireland. I am very very very excited about this trip and it's only April! :D I am really looking forward to having a unique experience and opening my mind to everyone and everything at BRC. I have done quite a lot of reading (I still have a lot more to do) and I am just trying to figure out if there is any shade within the theme camps if I was to stay in a tent? I am trying to decide if an RV is essential or if I could survive the heat in a tent for a week. That kind of heat is a far cry from what I am used to! Also as I am planning on travelling alone, I would appreciate any feedback from people who have used the Burner Express from either Reno or San Fran (as I can get a flight to either) and who were travelling alone with all their water/food/bags etc. I have some concerns as to how I will be able to manage to handle everything!

Also, are there any females/groups out there looking for someone to share an RV with?

Any females who have travelled to the festival alone before I would also really appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!!! :D
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby trilobyte » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:20 am

Hello and welcome to the site. It sounds like you still have a lot of reading to do. Not only with the Survival Guide and First Timer's Guide, but also in perusing the boards here. We've got plenty of information about the event, organized into various categories (which makes it a little easier to find what you're looking for). For general preparation related stuff, the preparation board (and its shelter & camping board) can help you with questions about things like tent stakes, dialing up your own shade or kitchen and so on. For things specific to this year's event, such as specific camps and what they're planning or offering, you'd want to check out the 2014 event's theme camp board. I'd also highly recommend reading the 'How To Join A Camp' thread at the top of that board, it's got excellent info I think would help you greatly.

It's a bunch of info to take in, but you've got time to read up and figure things out. Except for RV's - in SF and Reno those things always book incredibly early and you may either be out of luck or have to pay a high premium to rent one in either of those cities (though Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City may still be more affordable options).
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Irish eyes » Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:58 am

Ok I will keep reading so. Thanks! :D
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby GingerGinge » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:14 am

Howdy Irish Eyes!

For your peace of mind I am female solo newbe travelling from the UK. I have joined regional networks in England and have already met some burners at pub nights and events, have also I have done A LOT of reading which lead me to the understanding that you do some basic planning and the rest Playa provides (depending on your style and survival skills of course) :)

Definitely worth it joining the regionals for contacts!
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Elorrum » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:42 pm

GingerGinge wrote: I have done A LOT of reading which lead me to the understanding that you do some basic planning and the rest Playa provides (depending on your style and survival skills of course) :)

No, not really. You should have your necessities well thought out, well planned. If you go minimal, you can seek shade daily in many places as that is something many people construct as part of their interactive gift.

I think it means, "Playa provides" some magical added flourishes and accents, unexpected but perfectly fitting the time and situation. You are walking walking, and feeling kind of hot, and somebody gives you an icy something or other.

Not, you don't bring any water, because it's very heavy and takes up a lot of space, so somebody "playa provides" you with five gallons of water, or all your hot dinners.
I don't mean to be so extreme. I just want you to be careful in your preparation, and don't mistake gifting for providing.

Welcome in any case.
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby FossaFerox » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:00 pm

Radical self reliance is super fucking important.

If you can't survive comfortably with what you bring with you, don't expect to survive. And I don't mean that in the "Oh man, that was a rough trip I'm glad it's over!" sense, I mean a ranger very well might find your lifeless body in deep playa.

Don't get me wrong. By and large the people there are awesome, but this is not a magical dream world. We are talking about one of the harshest environments on the planet. The food, water, shelter, and other basic supplies on the playa were brought by other people JUST LIKE YOU and they almost certainly didn't bring them for your benefit.

People bring gifts to make random strangers smile, not so they can take care of you and fund your burn with their sweat and savings. Someone might give you a cool hat. No one is going to be giving you seven pairs of clean socks. Someone might give you an icy. No one is giving you 10 gallons of water (not early in the week, anyway). Get the picture?

While the playa provides magical experiences and occasionally spectacular instances of serendipity, it also provides dehydration, sun burn, wind burn, chemical burns, BURN burns, difficulty breathing, a host of skin disorders, incessant noise 24/7, and 68,000 strangers you probably don't want to entrust your life to when it comes down to it.

It's VERY doable, but you need to actually do it. Don't just half ass the prep work and assume everything will work out; the stakes are simply far too high.

Read the survival guide. Read the first timer's guide. Read the forums here. Use Google to answer any simple questions you may have and bring any tougher questions right on back to these forums. There are some absurdly sweet and talented people on this forum who can help you figure out your food, water, shelter, shade, lighting, wardrobe, and transportation logistics, but they've probably already posted the info at least twice so they aren't going to spoon feed you easy answers. If we did, we'd never have the time or energy to respond to the people asking tougher, less basic questions.

Sorry for being an asshole, but when I see a virgin burner throw out that "playa provides" nonsense I feel that a reality check is in order. I do this because I want you to have a great time, not spend the entire week in medical with an IV drip in your arm.

IrishEyes:

Most theme camps provide shade for their members to pitch a tent under but the theme camps are operated independently so the type and quantity are totally variable. If you're in a basic 2 or 3 season tent with the vents blocked (zippered, sewn, taped, etc) which you should be to keep the dust out, good shade will keep the tent tolerable until about 10 AM. Without shade your tent will be a sweat lodge by about 8 AM. There's also the option of adding a bucket cooler. With about 30 seconds of work you should be able to find what I'm talking about on the forums here. ;)

Obviously RVs and more advanced structures are more comfortable, but they're also more expensive and relatively hard to come by. Personally I found that my tent pitched under a silver tarp was all I needed. I could never sleep in past 9 or 9:30 anyway partially because of the noise (despite my ear plugs) and partially because my brain just knew there was so much to go out and see.
ygmir wrote:Everyone loves you there, and no one cares a shit about you..........all at once. and vice versa.
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby GingerGinge » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:53 pm

It was purely a romanticised view on self reliance, maybe wrongly interpreted. I am doing all the preparation, taking my ow water, food, shade, goggles, duck tape and various other survival items, some in extra quantities for others who may be slightly less prepared :)

I understand radical self-reliance and believe everyone going should do their homework too.
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby FossaFerox » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:56 pm

Awesome, sorry for jumping to conclusions. There *have* been instances of people showing up with little more than the clothes on their back (and sometimes not even that) and expecting to coast through the week. It usually doesn't go well. :roll:

These days they'll actually stop you at the gate if it looks like you aren't adequately prepared, from what I've heard. When they searched our truck though we apparently passed muster so I can't confirm this first hand.
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby GingerGinge » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:20 pm

I forgot to say I appreciate your reality check and agree it is much needed. I already have seen and met people who are so clueless and don't put the effort in. People like you make the Playa experience more fun for those who bother to read :) I still have much reading to do! Peace x
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Elorrum » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:03 pm

Sounds good Ginger! I forget sometimes that the small percentage of folks who even peek in here, and then the percentage that do post, are likely to be folks who do care about finding out, and being ready. There are a lot who just get the ticket and show up, and don't even know about moop, or what does not go in the port-a-potties.
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Beatwrangler » Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:17 am

Irish eyes wrote:Hello you lovely people,

I am a 29 year old first time female burner from Ireland. I am very very very excited about this trip and it's only April! :D I am really looking forward to having a unique experience and opening my mind to everyone and everything at BRC. I have done quite a lot of reading (I still have a lot more to do) and I am just trying to figure out if there is any shade within the theme camps if I was to stay in a tent? I am trying to decide if an RV is essential or if I could survive the heat in a tent for a week. That kind of heat is a far cry from what I am used to! Also as I am planning on travelling alone, I would appreciate any feedback from people who have used the Burner Express from either Reno or San Fran (as I can get a flight to either) and who were travelling alone with all their water/food/bags etc. I have some concerns as to how I will be able to manage to handle everything!

Also, are there any females/groups out there looking for someone to share an RV with?

Any females who have travelled to the festival alone before I would also really appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!!! :D



Hey Irish Eyes - I'm in a similar(ish) position. I'll be travelling to the Burn alone (although I have people to hook up with when i'm there) and will be camping. Havign trawled through countless threads, blogs, websites etc it seems it's perfectly possible to enjoy the event when bringing everything in on your back (and the Burner Bus which i'm also doing) as long as (a) you're well prepared and (b) you're resilient and resourceful...and prepared.

It just means you have to think REALLY hard about what you're going to bring and how to solve those knotty issues....this is my take on them..you may have all this figured out but just in case:

1. Getting there - Go for the option that involves the most reliable connections. For me that means travelling down to London to get a flight to San Fran and then flying from there to Reno to get the Burner Bus. THis means that I get a night in SF..which will be cool...I have time to buy heavier things over there (and get a second bag for them once teh air travel is done) and importantly - the intercontinental bit is one flight. I would rather rely on a regular train service from London than a connecting flight service. Also - taking teh Bus from Reno gives me more packing and shopping options. (and i'm getting a loop bike which I need to pick up in Reno)

2. Tent - i'm using a low profile (to help with the wind thing) vango banshee 200. Very lightweight, easy to put up but very strong. To get around the tent stake thing (because as i'm sure you know standard tent pegs don't cut it) I did think about rebar..but decided against it. They add significant weight (given the weight constraints of air travel) so I'm going for 10" tent stakes (Halfords do them) and also some extra tough, longer ones from Alpkit (only available from their website). Low profile tent, placed near some big shelter (like someone's RV) if possible and long tent pegs (10" min) properly angled and hammered right down into the playa should do it. Use every guy line!

3. Water - this is THE big ballache because it doesn't fold very well and it's damned heavy for 10 gallons (which is what I'm taking for both drinking and washing) No way round it i'm afraid. I'm getting it in Reno (probably getting foldable 5gal carriers and filling up at the hotel ..may get prefilled though) and will only be flannel washing daily. You'll need a separate bag/secure box to put them on the bus I think. Again - the luggage options are better from Reno.

4. Food - the other big ballache....we're flying in, we have very limited weight constraints (not least because we're carrying everything) so adding a stove in becomes something to consider very carefully. Two choices I think - either get an MSR Pocket Rocket or similar (and get gas at a camping/military surplus store there) or buy self heating camping meals. If you go the first route then freeze dried meals are the way to go (but you may need more water). Personally I haven't really decided but self heating meals are pretty good, i've used them before. THere's a bunch of different types...the downside is they can be heavy in bulk (about 250-300g per pouch) and they're expensive by comparison. The upside is you don;t need a stove/gas, you can prepare them anywhere (so if you go for a wander you don;t *have* to go back to your tent to eat) and they're usually high calorie so you don't need too many of them.

5. Bike - I'm using a Loop Cycle bike, bit pricey but it comes playa ready and it glows in the dark! PLus when i'm done I can gift it or return it and it will go to Namibia to provide much needed transport for people in remote areas..thereby extending the gifting idea. The alternative is http://www.playabikerepair.com/ where you can hire one (but need to sort it BEFORE you go)

6, The details - make a separate list of the things you wouldn't normally take camping....goggles, vinegar/limes, extra first aid kit, extra sunblock and moisturiser etc. The things that are essential for your safety and comfort. Oh and toilet roll!! The SINGLE ply variety!!

I'm planning to carry as much as possible from here to minimise running around there but it is inevitable that some things will need to be bought over there. All of that will happen in Reno. So I'm going to pack here..and weight it...and gradually work out what is essential to take from home and what I can buy there based on weight/necessity. It's very do-able...

There's more info in my own thread here: https://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic ... 77&t=69484

Lots of great suggestions from people and in particular the excellent Burning Man Guide to Reno that Trilobyte linked to.

Good luck!
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Re: First time burner seeking company!!

Postby Sparrigan » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:40 pm

Hi!

It is also my first time this year, and although I was originally planning on an RV with friends, I'm ending up going solo, so I've decided to camp in a tent, getting the burner express from Reno. I'm flying into Reno two days before the burner express takes me in, which gives me time to get together some stuff that is too heavy to bring across in my checked airplane luggage. However, I've tried to not rely on getting things in Reno that will sell out, as I'm assuming that anything non-renewable that could be useful will be bought up quick.

Although I'm sure that some more experienced burners might correct or add to this (which would be super helpful!), here is my two pennies on what I've found about things I initially thought might be a bit of a logistical nightmare (including more Euro-specific places to order stuff):

Tent:

I already have one, but the wisdom is that larger tent pegs are a must. Rebar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebar) is a common recommendation, but it's very heavy - no good if you're flying in. So I've found what is hopefully good enough... very long Alluminum tent pegs. I am bringing a combination of these two kinds in the hope that they'll work:

http://www.cotswoldoutdoor.com/blue-mountain-alloy-snow-sand-stakes-31cm-77210018

http://www.camperlands.co.uk/all-mighty-12inch-peg.html


Shade:

I've decided to bring my own shade structure - again tricky given that it's all going in checked luggage. I'm making a structure based on an idea awesomely described here:

http://www.jonstarbuck.co.uk/archives/171

That's a great looking shade structure, but I calculated that even a reduced version of it would take over the luggage size and weight allowance for the wooden struts alone (breaking them up into smaller pieces)!

I'm therefore putting together a 'backpack-able' smaller version, a kind of 'wedge' using two pieces of wood as supports and aluminet (or a shade cloth equivalent) as a roof from the ground up to the supports. The whole thing will be (securely) clipped together with carabiners so that the 'flappy bit' easily rolls down in strong winds. I'm planning on cutting the wood supports to half length to fit in my checked baggage and I'll pre-prepare them to be secured together with bolts. If you decide to make a shade structure then let me know and I can share the suppliers I found for good sources of aluminet type material in UK/Ireland, and give you a more detailed explanation of what I was thinking. It may also be the case that other people here have much better and tried-and-tested ideas for carry-on one person shade structures, but I've not found anything existing so far.

Water:

I rang the people at Simply water (a store recommended by the burning man website) in Reno, and they were super awesome and helpful - they open loads before the start of the festival. They sell water containers there but unfortunately couldn't put one by for me, so I'm taking these kind of things (30L worth, as per the burning man recommendation of 1.5 gallon per day, spread over 5 days)

https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/3130147885953068462?q=fold+down+water+10L&espv=2&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.72197243,d.d2k,pv.xjs.s.en.1omNKBfcxKQ.O&ion=1&biw=1231&bih=610&tch=1&ech=1&psi=MsLeU8W5Jsil0QXXlIDACg.1407107641708.7&ei=P8LeU7b_KYK40QWlpYGACA&ved=0CJwCEKYrMAw

I'm planning on filling them at Simply water and then taking them in on the burner express.

Food:

The burner express does a stop at a super-market on the way if you get the midday bus, but I'm planning to also take some of these kind of camping foods:

http://www.alloutdoor.co.uk/survival-kits-foods/survival-foods/wayfayrer-pre-cooked-all-day-breakfast.htm?gclid=CO2my_uc-L8CFVIPtAod6QcAsg

The only trouble is that the US TSA does not allow you to carry camping gas in checked luggage on flights, so I'm still figuring out how to get a camping cooker over to Reno. One possibility is that the Black Rock City bikes folk that I bought a bike from (see below) are apparently cool with you sending supplies to them as well for you to collect when you collect your bike. So perhaps an order from amazon.com could be sent to them - but I've yet to check that with them so it's just an idea at the moment.

Bike:

Black rock city cycles had burner bikes available a few weeks ago when I rang them, and you can pay and collect in Reno when you arrive (there's a city bus that goes right up to their shop from downtown - which is where the cheap hotels are).


That's by no means everything that I think is needed, but just so far that's the main stuff that's seemed logistically most tricky from the position of going solo and not being already in the US. I'm sure more interesting logistics will pop up, but until then hope some of that helps!

Cheers,

Nic
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