Where do I camp?

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Where do I camp?

Postby LeadingMan » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:03 am

I'm coming back for my second burn. Last year... my small group was part of a theme camp. This year... we were planning on camping independently. Since we were part of a theme camp last year - we knew just where to go when we arrived on the playa. So - my question is - if we are not part of a theme camp this year... is it just first come first served - find an open "lot" on a street and camp? Or is there some kind of sign-up/location for non-theme camp folks???
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Postby Dork » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:18 am

First come first serve. Drive to an area that looks like it has some open spots and park at the side of the road. Walk around talking to people and asking about the open areas. Once you've found some people you like and an area big enough move your car in and set up.
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Postby Playa Tom » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:21 pm

For an extra hundred bucks a person you can camp with Larry.
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Postby drucake » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:43 pm

yeah, i was kinda wondering the same thing as well. where would be the best place to camp or where would be a place to go to first as far as location. and also, are rvs allow to park anywhere? i will be arriving the first day of bm so i dont know if some of the better places would be more available then or not.
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Postby EB » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:10 pm

The event fills up from the inner rings outward which means -- generally -- the more hardcore groups camp near the center. But really, it's like taking a seat in a movie theater -- yeah, the center seats near the middle go first but in the end everybody watches the same movie. It's the last thing I'd be concerned about.

RVs can park anywhere in your camp. Some use them as windbreaks or as a defensive perimeter. Probably best to work it out on paper first if you have a complicated camp.
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Postby Oldguy » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:28 pm

As a senior, I like to camp in sight of a potty bank. I orient my camp so that I can find my way even in a whiteout. I camp in the middle of a block to avoid traffic dust. I camp away from main radials, especially six o'clock. For a quiet camp, I usually am close but not in Hushville. I park my vehicles on the southwest corner of my camp to block most but not all prevailing winds. My tent door is pointed north to be in the shade all day. I usually set myself on the gerlach, not the Man side of the road. Too much info?
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Postby phil » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:45 pm

Where ever you park, please take the time to assure you're not in an area reserved for theme camps.
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Postby ibdave » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:57 pm

Park the rig, get out and TALK to those around you to check in. If no one is close by, keep walking around. Look for signs stating Theme Camp areas. Land Grab is frown on but it happens. Try to work with your neighbors. If you want loud, look for loud. Want a cool calm area, ask about that also.You still might get someone park later and set-up a rave right next to you.. It happens... Just like Shit does... :shock: :wink: 8)
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Postby drucake » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:35 am

would you suggest camping as close to center camp would be good thing or maybe a little more out. sorry for all the questions guys. im a virgin. ive been to a lot of regional burns but not the big one. i just want to make sure i end up in a good place. isnt bm like 9 miles wide? thats a lot of ground to cover. i just want to do this right the first time. thanks everyone for all your input. i really appreciate it. :D
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Postby AntiM » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:49 am

Close to center camp is usually full of theme camps. You will be back a few streets. The choice is middle, sides and ends.

2 miles wide or so, you're thinking of the perimeter.
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Postby Dork » Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:57 am

The main things I consider are:

1) How far is my camp from the nearest porta-pottie bank? About a 2 minute walk is optimal - far enough avoid crowds and smell, close enough it's not a pain.

2) How close is it to the esplanade? That's where (traditionally, but it changes from year to year) the theme camps are and it's closer to the center of the playa making everything closer.

3) How close is it to the big sound camps? They're on both ends. You want to be at least a couple blocks in if you want to sleep.

Some people really like going to center camp, personally I've spent maybe 5 hours total there in 8 years. Now that there are ice stations spread through the playa it's even more optional.

Generally, the further you are from the center the quieter and less crowded it is which some people like.

I'm turning this thread into a sticky because it comes up so often.
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Postby Patrick Hand » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:31 am

[quote]Where ever you park, please take the time to assure you're not in an area reserved for theme camps.[/quote]
I thought that all the camp had to be set-up by Monday... so if a place was avalible... it was up for the taking....

I want my camp to be somewhere around 5:30ish... so I can place it due North and South..... (hey... it's the way I designed my shade structure...) and it will face right dead center towards "the Man" :D ....... and chaos has such a nice "ring to it"... and that isn't too far from Center Camp....

Last year (my first) I camped with a group.... this year I'm doing it all by my self, so I have to be nice and make friends with my neighbors... (not a bod thing) But it's a (matter of survival.... your sweat dries instantly on the playa,,, and heat exhaustion is when your body stop sweating... how can you tell the difference.?.. I will keep an eye out for my neighborers and hopefully they will do the same for me.....I can survive... but if heat exhaustion happens you don't know it... and I don't wanna die. from it.....


So I figure.... I will park my car kinda sorta where I wanna camp.... and look around.... if it looks cool... then I'll set-up.... if it's next to a buncha bastards... I will camp somewhere else......



I'm still goinna have a grand tyme......
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Postby ygmir » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:48 am

Patrick Hand wrote:
Where ever you park, please take the time to assure you're not in an area reserved for theme camps.

I thought that all the camp had to be set-up by Monday... so if a place was avalible... it was up for the taking....

I want my camp to be somewhere around 5:30ish... so I can place it due North and South..... (hey... it's the way I designed my shade structure...) and it will face right dead center towards "the Man" :D ....... and chaos has such a nice "ring to it"... and that isn't too far from Center Camp....

Last year (my first) I camped with a group.... this year I'm doing it all by my self, so I have to be nice and make friends with my neighbors... (not a bod thing) But it's a (matter of survival.... your sweat dries instantly on the playa,,, and heat exhaustion is when your body stop sweating... how can you tell the difference.?.. I will keep an eye out for my neighborers and hopefully they will do the same for me.....I can survive... but if heat exhaustion happens you don't know it... and I don't wanna die. from it.....


So I figure.... I will park my car kinda sorta where I wanna camp.... and look around.... if it looks cool... then I'll set-up.... if it's next to a buncha bastards... I will camp somewhere else......



I'm still goinna have a grand tyme......


good on ya......

and:
are you camping with Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary?........
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Postby gyre » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:21 am

Patrick Hand wrote:
Where ever you park, please take the time to assure you're not in an area reserved for theme camps.

I thought that all the camp had to be set-up by Monday... so if a place was avalible... it was up for the taking....

I want my camp to be somewhere around 5:30ish... so I can place it due North and South..... (hey... it's the way I designed my shade structure...) and it will face right dead center towards "the Man" :D ....... and chaos has such a nice "ring to it"... and that isn't too far from Center Camp....

Last year (my first) I camped with a group.... this year I'm doing it all by my self, so I have to be nice and make friends with my neighbors... (not a bod thing) But it's a (matter of survival.... your sweat dries instantly on the playa,,, and heat exhaustion is when your body stop sweating... how can you tell the difference.?.. I will keep an eye out for my neighborers and hopefully they will do the same for me.....I can survive... but if heat exhaustion happens you don't know it... and I don't wanna die. from it.....


So I figure.... I will park my car kinda sorta where I wanna camp.... and look around.... if it looks cool... then I'll set-up.... if it's next to a buncha bastards... I will camp somewhere else......



I'm still goinna have a grand tyme......


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I think when you stop sweating you're well into trouble.
When you're active, you dry out fast.
If your mouth gets dry, you need to drink more water.
Some years you are always catching up.
Pay attention to the warning signs.
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Postby sebastopol sassafrass » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:03 pm

ibdave - could you clarify what a "Land Grab" is? i'm not a virgin but it's my first year choosing our camping spot and want to make sure i know what that terminology means. i don't want to cause frowning!
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Postby Barbie » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:13 pm

Land Grab means to camp in a spot reserved for Theme Camps... Reserved spots have a small sign that says RESERVED FOR THEME CAMP

Hope this helps! Always more room on the 9:00 side than the 3:00 side... GO left instead of RIGHT! (most people turn RIGHT)

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Postby Elorrum » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:16 pm

Land Grab: everyone lines up their horses and wagons behind the line for miles and when the cannon goes off... away they go!!!! some may have snuck in early and planted their stakes and flags... they are called Sooners.

Seriously, It's a big big place and everybody fits.
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Postby epic_elite » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:41 pm

most theme camps are pretty good about roping off thier sections so no one grabs thier required land.

i showed up a bit after noon last time and got myself a pretty good plot for our camp.

although, this time im going to make a designated path to the street and rope it off with poles and lights, like a fence. as the place gets more and more packed, people become more willing to smash into a smaller space. someone smashed thier RV between ours and a neighbors camp on the third day. so we had to walk through thier camp to get to the road. kind of anoying, probly for us and them.

and as was mentioned earlier, we thought we chose a quiet section of town to be woken up on day 2 by thumping techno across the street. good thing i didn't go to BM for a good nights rest.
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Postby PlayaPanda » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:27 pm

My group and i are arriving later in the week so we'll be arriving half way through the festivities.

Will i still be allowed to drive my car to my camp site in that case?

And once i get there what the best way to go about looking for a camp site?
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Postby ibdave » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:06 pm

PlayaPanda wrote:My group and i are arriving later in the week so we'll be arriving half way through the festivities.

Will i still be allowed to drive my car to my camp site in that case?

And once i get there what the best way to go about looking for a camp site?


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Postby Arcanum » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:49 pm

at what point is the theme camp page usually updated?
looking for a home...
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Postby EmilyD » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:45 pm

[quote="Oldguy"]As a senior, I like to camp in sight of a potty bank. I orient my camp so that I can find my way even in a whiteout. I camp in the middle of a block to avoid traffic dust. I camp away from main radials, especially six o'clock. For a quiet camp, I usually am close but not in Hushville. I park my vehicles on the southwest corner of my camp to block most but not all prevailing winds. My tent door is pointed north to be in the shade all day. I usually set myself on the gerlach, not the Man side of the road. Too much info?[/quote]

Not at all TMI Oldguy...very helpful info. I didn't know about Hushville and as a light-sleeping first timer...I'm definitely going to check it out.
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Postby gaminwench » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:01 pm

Theme camps are sending in their applications NOW, it usually takes a month or so for the org to process everything, then make approvals... maybe Mayish?? All the deadlines were moved up this year, hopefully to avoid last-minute info crunches like last year's.
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Re: Where do I camp

Postby Rommel » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:15 pm

When you arrive, you'll get a tri-fold with a map of the
entire area. If you take it easy, and orient yourself to the
map, you'll be sure not to end up in the theme camp area;
it's clearly denoted on the map.

For the most part, theme camps [u]do not like [/u]waking up to
find squaters in their area.

If you come in at night, and you are not quite sure where
you are in relation to the map, stop and camp but to not
unlimber until you can verify your location. If you strike
camp, and set everything up only to find that you are
squatting the next morning, nobody is going to be a happy
camper when they're asked to pull up stakes and move.

Once the sun rises, it will be much easier to finally unlimber
in an area that is open. After that, it's PBR and SPAM for
days.
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Postby BitterDan » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:47 pm

Here are a couple tips for intra-city camping;

Do NOT show up on Monday morning at 3am and pull your RV into a spot at 6:00 & B. These spots are invariably reserved for camps with early access despite whether they are official 'theme' camps or not.

We had three 40' RV's pull into Moonshine Tavern at 4am Monday morn last year and they were not happy that we told them to move on. It took almost an hour of coaxing to convince said newbies that 50+ people were camping in this spot and that their RV's had to go. It really almost got violent...

Do not camp at 7 & B and then come out of your god damned CruiseAmerica RV and complain that people are too loud. This is burning man, if you don't like noise, park your $10,000 rental out on K street.

Parking 'near' a portapotty is nice but dont get too close. Too close not only means you will smell shit for your entire vacation but you will also have to deal with the constant slamming of doors.

Above all else, talk to your potential neighbors BEFORE you decide to park your RV. Trust me, your week will be a WHOLE lot better if you have not alienated yourself from your neighbors on day one by parking your RV in a space where other's had intended to camp. There is PLENTY of space out here for all of us so don't try to cram yourself into the center of the city.
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Postby Janet Planet » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:03 am

What would Mr Rogers do?
I was a virgin last year, camping with a theme camp. Our next door neighbors, Bacon Without Borders, taught me by example. They pulled in with a bunch of RVs and came over to meet us first thing, telling us to please let them know if they did anything annoying, and to drop by anytime for some of their bacon infused booze. They were so sweet; they crushed my cranky preconceptions about RVers. They had great afternoon parties and packed up the music at night. I slept like a baby.
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Postby gyre » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:16 am

BitterDan wrote:Here are a couple tips for intra-city camping;

Do NOT show up on Monday morning at 3am and pull your RV into a spot at 6:00 & B. These spots are invariably reserved for camps with early access despite whether they are official 'theme' camps or not.


So, are you talking about space you just decided to reserve?
Or officially reserved space?

If it isn't in use, you can't save it for someone coming later, unless it is part of that placed space.

That's what the map is for.
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looking for a cool theme camp to camp

Postby markquest » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:10 pm

I am attending the BM for the first time. I would like to join a really cool theme camp. I have a 40ft Motor Home so self contained. Can anyone help me out??
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Postby Token » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:08 pm

Hi Mark,

Unfortunately most Cool Theme Camps will not be able to fit you in.

To become a placed theme camp you have to fill out a bunch of forms and submit drawings of your desired camp layout.

Since there are so many theme camps the tireless hamsters at the BM hq. have to pack all those camps in nice and tight so that they all fit in the limited space.

This is all done in the spring when the deadline for theme camp registration happens.

The odds of you finding a 40 x 20 space for your rig in a theme camp two weeks before gate opens are pretty much Zero.
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Re: looking for a cool theme camp to camp

Postby maddamn8ball » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:38 pm

[quote="markquest"]I am attending the BM for the first time. I would like to join a really cool theme camp. I have a 40ft Motor Home so self contained. Can anyone help me out??[/quote]

Hello. I am attending BM for the first time as well. I have a huge tent and all the necessities I need to be self-sufficient, but if you want to join up and start our own "Unofficial" Camp. Let me know!
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