Observations on first timers.

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:11 pm

i had a feeling there would be some leash and collar jokes so heres the skinny....


yes, it was a choke collar....

yes, that shit hurts like hell....

and yes, that was me barking at the hubcaps of your art car as you rolled by...
breathe deep, the playa is the dust of your ancestors

A gift for the Playa
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Virgin

Postby poda13 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:48 pm

So this is my first time going to the burn and I am stoked. Would you vets advise that I bring my truck and my tent and all necessary MRE's to live or should I get some people to go in on a RV with me and do it that way. If I do bring my tent where could I get a big awning or cover to put over it so the sun doesn't bake me. Also, where is a good place to get an outdoor shower or could I go with out it?? If I bring my own supplies including water would someone let me use theirs? Also, how much water should I bring. I have also read so much on this website and have folders separating topics but you can never be to prepared.
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amused

Postby swampdog » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:28 pm

One thing about this thread amuses me - all the 07 virgins that post here were well prepared - think maybe eplaya is a self-selecting group? People who read and post here are probably the type of people who studied this all out well in advance.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:10 am

Do you like to eat MREs? Would you be happy to do that for a week?
Wisdom is you eat less, because of the heat.
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Postby poda13 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:27 am

Of course I dont like to eat MRE's but they are fast, full of calories, and one could potentially do me good for at least half the day. Im not sure what I want to do thats why I am getting ideas so I can make a decision.
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eplaya self-selecting

Postby chiefdanfox » Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:46 pm

Swampdog,
I think you hit the nail on the head. My first year was 2006, and I read everything, including just about every thread on eplaya, tribe and of course the BM website. It was both helpful in the logistical sense, but also in the social sense. I came loaded for bear, just the right amount of water (2 gallons unused).

Some earlier posts reflected on friendly-not friendly aspects. I am naturally a little shy. What I noticed in 2007 is that if I walked around with a big shit-eating grin on my face, then 9 out of 10 smiled right back, and I met a number of people, danced like a monkey-boy and generally had a gregarious time. My biggest regret was not jumping off my bike near 4:00 and Esplande to talk to two beautiful women who wolf-whistled at me! Too goddamn shy. IDIOT! Oh well.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:47 pm

Damn, if I knew how to wolf whistle, I'd ask you to parade by the house this weekend.

You don't happen to have a stump fetish do you?
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Postby Mr.MaskedDude » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:38 am

This is a Quote ->We asked the guy nearby if the spot was taken, and he said "Yes, we've been saving it for you!" Turns out we camped completely by accident right next to Happy Camp, who we love. <-- That was a quote

Holy Hotdog Octopus that is awesome. It's damn simple but thats like loving coolness squared. Damn. I cant make it this year (ill be lucky if im not homeless by then) but i'll be there soon enough. I must join this Happy Camp.
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Postby DaddyMassive » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:10 am

07 was my first year, but I'd been aware of the event since 97 and been planning to come since 05.
Since I come from England, I was always prevented from coming because of the cost of air flights and lack of holiday time. I did have a bunch of friends who'd been a number of times themselves, so I benefited from their experience (in some regards) and knew what was needed to survive.
Along with listening to my friends & reading t'internet, I was sure to read the survival guide cover to cover.

The minor problem we had were..
We were over-prepaired with food, water & alcohol.
Under-prepared with accomadation(6 berth RV for 6 adults is never good).
Personal squabbles before the event with the self-appointed(by virtue of no. of times attended) ring leader of the group certainly didn't help either.

The only real problem I had was with my bike(not bringing a repair kit) & goggles(trusting a veteran burner to get me some.. that turned out to be useless).

This year though... it's gonna be sooo diffferent.
:D
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aw shucks Fishie

Postby chiefdanfox » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:33 am

shucks Fishie, <blushes, kicks an imaginary rock> you let me know where you'll be, and I'll come by.
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Postby emotion_sickness » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:10 pm

07 was my first year...I was very prepared for a noob since I was doing my virgin year all on my own...i wanted it to be a very personal experience and i didnt want to have to rely on anyone in case shit hit the fan so I made sure to be as prepped as possible, and the result was:

I should have brought a bike...
i should have either eaten more or brought less/different food, or given more away...
i had way too much water...
i ran out of SoCo and wine but had way too much PBR...
i should have come up with a greywater evap plan & a better garbage/moop removal plan
needed way more lights, batteries, glo-sticks & blinkies
loved wearing the hakama, but needed some more outlandish & less-heat-stroke-inducing costumes...
needed more airflow in my tent or a better shade structure but considering the space i had available in my car i think i did ok...my $4 thrift store tent got trashed tho & lost 3 out of 4 zippers...

but i am stoked at the fact that i managed to do the whole thing on my own without dying or going broke...in fact, the playa gods must have been smiling on me cuz the whole thing went off without a hitch!
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Postby BitterDan » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:31 pm

but had way too much PBR


No such thing....
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Postby falk » Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:52 pm

Valkyrie wrote:All of the bad advice I received, that led to a lot of unhappiness and frustration, came from experienced burners. I was told by a fellow I'd dated who had been many years that I'd have a great time if I went and camped myself. y'know, without a camp. I think that's the worst, but it's not the only bad advice. One burner told me I didn't need a water bottle to carry around. (And every time I ran into him on the Playa he had none!) I was told that ziploc bags were anal and not worth your time. (Boy am I glad I ignored THAT advice. Dust in my undies is not something I relish.)


Wow, that really is apalling advice. Camping alone might work for some people, especially veteran burners, but newbies should amost definately be part of a larger group, for too many reasons to mention here. Suggesting you could do without water was insane.

... I realized that the survival guide and common sense went further than any advice.


Yep. That guide is probably the result of a lot of people pooling a lot of experience. I make it a point to re-read it every year before I go.

Advice you get from other burners is a nice supplement, but not a replacement for the guide. Any advice you get from an individual burner will be colored by their own experiences and not be representative of what your experience will be.

For example, I harp on and on about playa foot because that's what happened to me my first year. Someone who was laid low by dehydration would likely be telling you how important it is to piss clear. Someone who's never personally had a trouble with hydration would tell you it's not so important as the guide would have you think.
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Re: Virgin

Postby falk » Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:04 pm

poda13 wrote:So this is my first time going to the burn and I am stoked. Would you vets advise that I bring my truck and my tent and all necessary MRE's to live or should I get some people to go in on a RV with me and do it that way. If I do bring my tent where could I get a big awning or cover to put over it so the sun doesn't bake me. Also, where is a good place to get an outdoor shower or could I go with out it?? If I bring my own supplies including water would someone let me use theirs? Also, how much water should I bring. I have also read so much on this website and have folders separating topics but you can never be to prepared.


I think RVs are overkill, but if you really care about your creature comforts and want to bring a portable hotel room with minibar to the Playa, they're the way to go. I know a lot of people who wouldn't do it any other way.

If you're going to bring a tent, you need a shade structure unless you like getting up at 8 am every day. Both of them need to be anchored ten times better than you ever anchored them before. Dunno where you'd get a shade structure; I've always camped with people that set up big communal shade structures, lived in a big dome, or gotten used to waking up at 8 am. Search eplaya or tribe.net and you should find plenty of plans for homebuilt shade structures. Otherwise, stores that sell tents will probably sell canopies or other shade structures as well.

What kind of truck do you have? Is it enclosed and big enough for a mattress? If so, consider that option.

Join a camp, and there will probably be a shower you can use. Otherwise, a "camp shower" can be had for about $10 in any camping supply or sporting goods store. It's a black bag that you put a gallon or two of water into and leave out in the sun all day. Then, all you need to do is to find a place to hang it up over your head. In all cases, you'll have to provide your own water.

Bring 1-2 gallons of water per day, depending on how many showers you like to take.
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:07 pm

If you have a nice truck and plan on keeping it for a while - dont bring it. Thats my advice.

I would rather drive to Reno, and rent a uhaul and camp in the back. Thats my advice anyways.

RV's are great but reserve now, and make solid plans. They are usually all booked by the end of march or so for the summer.

have funa nd see you playa side.
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but why?

Postby poda13 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:21 pm

Why would you recommend me not bringing my truck. I have the RV rented, its just a matter of getting the people. But I also have one solid person here in Phoenix willing to ride in my truck. But why not bring it? Its a decent truck by all means but nothing spectacular. No rims or fancy shit, just a tinted truck with some cool stickers. Keep me posted.
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:36 pm

Poda -

I should gone more into detail. by all means bring it if you want, but my experience is from the dust. The dust on the Blackrock is so fine it is like talcum powder. Even if you do not open the vehicle the dust will still permeate every seal and the air-conditioner

Even months later it will still be dusty, smack the dash or the seat and dust flies out.

Its your truck I am just pointing this aspect out. I gave up on cleaning rigs, and bring junkers, or rentals I can carpool in and have professionally cleaned.

have fun.
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Postby pinemom » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:15 am

mdmf007 wrote:Poda -

I should gone more into detail. by all means bring it if you want, but my experience is from the dust. The dust on the Blackrock is so fine it is like talcum powder. Even if you do not open the vehicle the dust will still permeate every seal and the air-conditioner

Even months later it will still be dusty, smack the dash or the seat and dust flies out.

Its your truck I am just pointing this aspect out. I gave up on cleaning rigs, and bring junkers, or rentals I can carpool in and have professionally cleaned.

have fun.


hehehehee, do you have a problem with playa dust Mdm?
yes, first time I turned on the heater this yr...pwufffffff playa!

was nice, but good I didnt have black on!
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".
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read read read readread read read

Postby honeyfire » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:16 am

poda13 wrote: I have also read so much on this website ...


poda, honey, no offense, but based on the questions you list, you need to read a lt more. Every single question you ask in that post is addressed on the eplaya as well as in the guides. Camp vs RV is subjective, so that's one you'll have to contemplate for yourself, but there's a ton of shade structure info here...
That said, enjoy and good luck! :)
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Postby moonrise » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:56 pm

Interesting and useful look back a few years.
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Postby Turnip » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:20 am

2009 was my first year.
neighbors were surprised we were virgins.
we got constant compliments on our shelter. (air conditioned tent!)
we brought too much water.
we camped alone as a group of 3 virgin burners.


I'd grade us at a solid B+
God Please, don't make me make myself look like a moron...
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Postby graidawg » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:06 pm

the thing i got from this thread is

1, if you try to prepare people will forgive
2, you,ve got to go to know what you need
3, camp alone ro camp with a crowd. whatever works for you
4, simon used to be a lot less jaded
completely unconcerned.
"Savannah" I like it . . . it makes us sound forward-thinking, and not at all like trailblazing, professional-level procrastinors.
the rest of us are in the School of Fukkit. "Eric"
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:25 pm

Pshaw! Simon came out of the womb and began giving shit about that teeny tiny little slap on the ass--"is that what you call getting the breathing started? In my last life..."
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Postby moonrise » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:47 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Pshaw! Simon came out of the womb and began giving shit about that teeny tiny little slap on the ass--"is that what you call getting the breathing started? In my last life..."


Well put Fishy!
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Observations on first timers

Postby PurplMyst » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:33 pm

My virgin year was 2004. I had just started hearing about Burning Man & the company I worked for at the time had a few burners as employees as well as freelance contracters. The Monday of burn week we had a meeting the end of which evolved into who was going to Burning Man & when. I said that I wanted to go but hadn't learned about it in time to save the money for a ticket. Afterwards one of the managers came up to me & said "I know you & you need to go to Burning Man. Leave it to me, I'll figure something out". On Wednesday I received a "bonus" that was just enough for a ticket & some gas money. As ticket sales were already closed I started trying to scrounge up a ticket; but there was much more demand than supply on Craigslist. Then, as the fates would have it, a friend of mine who already had a ticket (will call) couldn't go. I bought his ticket & despite the onset of a cold off I went.

I arrived Thursday night at dusk. All by myself; as all my friends who were going were already there... somewhere. I found a random spot to camp & went out adventuring. That year I made friends with the 15 or so people camped around me, powered through a nasty sore throat that didn't like playa dust, lost my first (so far my only!) tent to a dust storm, and was hooked for life.

My 2004 Virgin learning experiences:
*My neighbors & I were so busy partying at camp that we almost missed the burn! Now I pay a bit more attention to things on Saturday
*I learned that once playa dust is inside your car, it never comes out
*There were fewer JOTS then, but I recall wandering about for an hour looking for one. I found a bank of 2 with a long line... and they were full. Ew. Luckily there are now more banks with more pots, but I always try to mark their location in memory.
*I never did see any of my friends that year; but every subsequent year I run into at least one person I know on pure random chance.
*I was crazy lucky with weather that year. The warmest thing I had was a sarong, a windbreaker, and a white scarf that was gifted to me. 2004 taught me to be better prepared.
*Light your own camp! I spent 2 hrs looking for my tent on Saturday after all signs/landmarks were gone. I was just about to give up when I stumbled upon it.
*The only thing I cooked that year was one round of Mac n cheese, and I was never hungry.

I've missed 2 years since them, but am beside myself with glee to be coming out this year.
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Re: Observations on first timers

Postby moonrise » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:46 pm

PurplMyst wrote:I've missed 2 years since them, but am beside myself with glee to be coming out this year.


Nice story! Welcome back!
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Postby Lowz » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:04 am

I thought that you were not a virgin anymore as soon as you ring the bell ?

My point is after the gate you are free to become what you want some will be eternals sfirst timers, some will suddenly become 10 years vet, and i even know a couple that set up a tent next to mine but still never arrived.

If you camp alone you'll need differents skills than if you choose to be in a camp.

So far, My first year in a camp was a real succes, thank to a bunch of old burners who where very experienced in handling mad dog like me. But still this year i know that i’ve to dig a little more.

My 2 cents : whatever you fail in there always a chance that the Playa helps you to get through. All you got to do is not push too much on the first days.
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Suarez principle #23 " The Whims of The President and Chairman are final."
I feel every year fantastic, shitty and great days all.
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Postby Speedbump » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:45 pm

In 2009 I was a virgin and came along with a friend. My fiancé was recovering from surgery and I felt better about her being home honestly since I had no idea what to expect. We joined a theme camp and were at 3&E. It was a great time. We brought too much food and water and not enough costumes. I had desert training in the military and lived in the Utah desert for 3 years so the conditions weren’t that unusual for me. We prepared according to the survival guide and had a blast. We returned our rental car after a proper cleaning and all was good!

In 2010 my wife and a friend (both virgins) joined me. My experience the first year helped but now having two virgins with me, again I brought too much food and water and our tent which should have slept three was big enough for 8.

This year we’re both looking forward and are well prepared. We have however sworn off traveling to BM with others. Babysitting someone for days on end really can be somewhat distracting. There’s plenty of virgins around without us bringing one of our very own. ï
Get out while there's still time!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:24 pm

Speedbump wrote:We brought too much food and water and not enough costumes.
Simon's real sig line?

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Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:44 pm

Don't we all?
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