Frequently Asked Questions: Look here first.

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Frequently Asked Questions: Look here first.

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:15 pm

There's obviously a need for this... I'd repectfully request this thread doesn't get drifted - please just post questions that get asked a lot and the answers.

Q: Do I have to go naked?
A: Hell no. Prepare to dress appropriate for the elements and according to your comfort level. If you want to go naked, half-naked, painted blue... go for it. Or not. It's what you wanna do.

Q: Do I have to go costumed?
A: Hell no. See above "Do I have to go naked?" A great many people seem to confuse being in costume with being a participant. They may call anyone not in cosutme names like "spectator". Fuck 'em. Please yourself in what you wear.

Q: What do I have to bring?
A: Here is a decent list to start with. A google search along the lines of "burning man list" will lead you to lots of home pages where people have lists of what they think is necessary and fun.

It's very important you read The Survival Guide. Read that fucker twice. Read it until you know it. It CHANGES every year, you dig? So even if you read it last year you'll wanna read this years.

Q: Do I need a bike?
A: You will probably want one - the city is big- one that works but isn't a "good" bike because it'll get all kinds of messed up anyway. Lock it up if you don't want to lose it. Do NOT plan on leaving it there when you leave.

Q: Can I drive my car around during the event?
A: No. Park it at your camp. There is a provision for Art Cars - but they have to be cleared by the Department of Mutant Vehicles before the event now. Anything with a motor that you can sit your ass down on is now considered a car. Don't expect to bring a golf-cart, string x-mas lights on it and get to use it. The DMV and Rangers will impound any motorized vehicle that isn't a licensed Art Car.

Q: What is MOOP?
A: Matter Out Of Place and LNT is Leave No Trace. MOOP is anything that doesn't belong on the playa once we've got all our freaky selves off it. Glitter is moop, feathers are moop, nails, pistachio shells, CIGARETTE BUTTS, bicycles, grey water... whatever you bring in, make sure you have a plan for getting every last bit of it out. Don't bring costumes that shed (like feather boas or sequined outfits). Whatever *you* shed or drop or leave is something someone else is going to have to pick up. Therefore shedding or dropping or leaving it makes you suck. Don't suck. Pick up your own shit and pack it out.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:15 pm

Q: What is the Spirit of Burningman?
A: I'm cheating here by pretending that anyone is actually asking this. A great many people will volunteer their opinion on this issue regardless of whether or not they've even attended. This question can only be answered by YOU. It's highly individual, for some it's the same every year and for others it varies a great deal from year to year. There is no "Spirit of Burningman" that covers every person that attends and what every person gets out of it. Period. Define it for yourself and be content with that.

Q: Will I need money?
A: Coffee and tea are for sale at the Center Camp Cafe. Ice is for sale at Center Camp too. There is no other vending allowed.

Q: Do I have to bring stuff to give as gifts? What about for barter?
A: No. You don't. Do you want to?
I would strongly suggest you think more along the lines of gift than barter as barter brings your interactions back into the realm of commerce... and we all get plenty of that in the default world.

A couple of things to think about: Consider expanding your concept of the word gift. A gift can be a song, a hug, a piece of art you share with everyone. Little trinkets and toys are easy to bring and give away... but think about what is going to happen to those Oriental Trading Store neckaces... will they be *valued*? Will they be dropped on the Playa and become moop? Will they add to the crap people have to take home and dispose of? Hand made items mean more than store bought... but memories of interactions often mean even more than that. Bring your talents, your sense of humor, your off-key singing voice...

This goes for barter too... some bars are "barter bars" - they want to trade you something for a drink. Ice and booze are always welcome, cigarettes sometimes... your little plastic toys maybe not so much. It depends on the bar and the bartender - but many just want your interaction - be entertaining or funny or touching.

Q: People have to give me stuff at Burning Man, right?
A: No, they don't. If they feel moved to give you a gift they may. But they don't have to. Running around with the expectation that getting swag is what you bought with your ticket is just going to piss people off. Pissed off people are more likely to give you the gift of a piece of their mind. That's valuable, but probably not what you wanna sign up for. Expect nothing, demand nothing and give of yourself freely... you'll make *friends* this way. What's better, a glowstick or a friend?
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:25 pm

Q: What do I do for shelter?
A: There are as many answers for this as there are attendants. A good start is Bob's site http://www.geocities.com/potatotrap/.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Ivy » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:51 pm

Lydia, you should write a book. Or at least compile this stuff on a website or something. I'd hate to see it get buried here.
User avatar
Ivy
 
Posts: 979
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:20 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:57 pm

Q: Will the cops hassle me if I do [fill in the blank]?
A: Will they hassle you if you do that on your front lawn? If so then it's likely they won't take kindly to it on the Playa either. Naked is OK... but public sex could get you in trouble. Drinking is OK (if you are of age) but toking up is still illegal and so is driving under the influence. Burning Man is not an escape from state (in this case Nevada's) and federal laws. Law enforcement is out there and they are actively looking to bust people for drug use.

DON'T ASK HOW TO GET AWAY WITH SOMETHING ILLEGAL ON THIS BULLETIN BOARD! If you are bound and determined to do something illegal at Burning Man you are just going to have to figure out how to do it your own damn self.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby DVD Burner » Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:00 pm

If the Org. does'nt mind you ae more than welcomed to use my site Lydia anyway you see fit to publish it.

Sounds like a really good idea Ivy.
Image

"The art is in the digit!"

The Original Digiman
User avatar
DVD Burner
 
Posts: 9741
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:09 am

Postby Tancorix » Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:13 pm

How about finishing out the FAQ's for another couple of days, then moving it to a new read-only section where it can be permanently archived and prominently displayed? No offense DVD but why should you host it when this info directly supports the ORG and is one of the primary reasons for the eplaya in the first place? Keep it here, make it highly visible, and help contribute to the vision of what the eplaya should be. </rant>

Also with a few more contributions, this would be a great thread to mention on the eplaya BBS link off the main BM homepage.
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:25 pm

I'm hoping that all y'all will see questions that get asked repeatedly and post both the question and the answer here.

Matters of pure opinion, arcane questions that get asked only very rarely and where this thread should live are all things that can be discussed and/or debated elsewhere. Please feel free to bump the thread regularly.

Q: I've heard that if I were to show up with nothing the community would take care of me. Is this true?
A: Probably. But the community will likely reserve the right to call you mean names everytime they have to do so.

It's a harsh environment and very necessary that you educate yourself on what you need to survive. I myself would take care of anyone in need... but I'll be happier about it if it's because of mishap (i.e. your water gets stolen) than because you were a dumbass about it (i.e. you thought you could live off beer). I and most other repeat attendees highly value self-sufficiency. Relying on others to take care of you makes you suck. Don't suck. Be prepared.[/b]
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby DVD Burner » Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:33 pm

Great point Mr. K. . The offer is still open as was done before for Eplaya. (or the ETF.)
Image

"The art is in the digit!"

The Original Digiman
User avatar
DVD Burner
 
Posts: 9741
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:09 am

Postby diane o'thirst » Mon Jul 19, 2004 4:08 pm

Q. What if I don't do well in the heat?
A. The heat isn't necessarily an automatic thing. There have been years when it's been downright cold, as in "Is this August or is it November?!" And the sun periodically goes away: the wind never does.
If you don't like heat, you have several options. You can train yourself to get round to a twilight/night uptime schedule and sleep through the hot hours in the middle of the day. Be sure to line your vehicle windows with space blankets to keep the sun out, or have a nice shade canopy over your tent. Bathe your feet and forehead in meltwater from your cooler during the Sunstorm, it's incredibly refreshing!

Q. Speaking of wind, is it really as bad as people say?
A. It can be. It's ever-present, varying from nice bracing kite-breeze to top-drawer gale. It can tear camps apart, choke you with clouds of dust (especially later in the week), wick the moisture out of your skin faster than you can say "evaporation" and sometimes even pummel you into abject, sobbing submission. It's also glorious; nothing like a good tail-wind pushing you along on your bike! When the afternoon storms die down, and the wind lightens up, the Playa comes alive with kites soaring aloft and banners swaying and flapping throughout the city.
ImageImageImage
User avatar
diane o'thirst
 
Posts: 2095
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:04 pm
Location: Eugene, OR

Postby Burp! » Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:47 pm

Q: I'm a guy and was wondering if it is ever a good idea to walk around wearing just a tee-shirt with no bottoms?
A: No

Q: I haven't been drinking water, is it OK if I collapse in your camp?
A: No, Drink water you moron!!!

Q: What's more disgusting than a turd on the playa with toilet paper stuck in top flapping in the wind?
A: Not a whole lot. Know where the porta potties are and use them. Please!
User avatar
Burp!
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 5:27 pm

hope

Postby naken » Mon Jul 19, 2004 6:11 pm

Thank you Lydia Love,for a good basic look at stuff,it seems some just dont get it,they want it,they try to recreate it,analize it,screw it,influnce it,wack it,etc.----Hello w ?---just get your ticket,do the survival guide an go.....
naken
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:51 am

Postby Lydia Love » Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:01 pm

Burp!, while I'm delighted that you'd contribute I must say that

Q: I'm a guy and was wondering if it is ever a good idea to walk around wearing just a tee-shirt with no bottoms?
A: No


is a matter of opinion. It's your opinion and the opinion of countless others but not everyone's and it's not a statement of fact.

So,

Q: I'm a guy and was wondering if it is ever a good idea to walk around wearing just a tee-shirt with no bottoms?
A: There are varying opinions. But the truth is there is no dress code on the Playa. You must protect yourself from the elements and please yourself. If the tee-shirt, no pants look pleases you, go with it.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Tancorix » Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:58 pm

Q: Will my cell phone work on the playa?
A: No. ALL of the major carriers do not have towers in Empire, Gerlach, or in the surrounding mountains. (Despite rumors to the contrary). You should expect your cell phone to lose it's signal approximately 15 miles away from I-80, depending on your company's signal strength, tower location, home coverage/roaming agreements and your phone's abilities. YMMV, literally. Satellite phones work well but are a pricey alternative.

Q: Where is the nearest pay phone to the playa?
A: Gerlach has one at Bruno's bar, or did, and there is one at the Empire store. During prime hours expect a line. Also using a calling card could save you time, money, and frustration. If you have to leave BRC to make a call, consider using the bus service to Empire / Gerlach. It only costs $5, vs $20 to drive your own vehicle through the gate.

(The second question is a rehash of what's already out there but it tied in with the first one which is a subject I know very well).
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby Tancorix » Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:21 pm

Q: I'm coing in from the East via Winnemucca. Should I take the Jungo Road shortcut?

A: Jungo Road is hell on vehicles, no matter how tough your ride is. It's 110 miles across there, but don't expect to take it at 60 mph. The first 60 miles heading West from Winnemucca is nice. The first 10 heading East from Empire...is rough but passable. But the section in between has steep washes, 4 inch or larger rocks in the roadway, and at night with all the turnoffs it's easy to make a wrong turn and get lost out there. And even with a 4x4 and 10 ply commercial grade tires, be prepared for flats and a 15 mph max speed. Anything faster will make you feel like your vehicle is going to shake apart from how rough the road is. (This is the section that begins when the road disappears behind the mountains on the East side of the playa)

This is not the place for a low clearance vehicle as damage is almost assured. There is no cell phone coverage to call for help. Traffic is minimal so don't expect someone to come along and help you out. If your vehicle is loaded down with gear, this road will test your vehicle to it's limits and beyond. Believe the stories and the warnings. They are for real.
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby Stormy » Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:29 pm

[Kudos for this idea Lydia, BTW.]

Q: Can I leave the event and come back?

A: Only if you want to pay $20 and wait in line for a long time, both ways. Or you might take the Gerlach-Empire Shuttle Bus, but it's really much easier to pack what you need and stay in the city. Who knows what you might miss by spending the day travelling in and out of the city.

Q: When walking along the Esplanade, should I go up to every camp that I think might have a bar and demand a drink?

A: Wouldn't it be so much nicer to hang out at a camp a bit and interact and add something to the experience, before hitting up the people for drinks? Most theme camps pay for their equipment, decorations and booze out of their not too deep pockets. The bar is a little nicety for true guests, not a free watering hole for the entire BRC.
Be the change you seek in the world.
User avatar
Stormy
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 8:03 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Postby admin » Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:30 am

Lydia, this thread is so great that I made it sticky so it'll stay where folks can see it. Thank you oodles for starting & seeding it, and thank you to everyone else who is contributing.

I would like to echo Lydia's request that this not drift too much. It is a valuable resource and it would be a shame for it to lose credibility due to some cockamamie folderol.

With Lydia's permission, I may take it upon myself to trim off any unuseful tangents in the future. What do you think, Lydia?

~technopatra~
eplaya admin
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 9:52 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby Ron » Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:32 am

Q: How do I get laid at Burningman?

A: At heart the same way you get laid anywhere else. Don't imagine that this is a sexual shopping mart, filled with naked and willing folk who will do you just because you're there and horney. Be yourself, be honest, be open, and then see what happens as you interact with folk with a good heart. Maybe you'll get lucky, maybe you won't, but just as in the outside world nothing cools the heat of passion like a waft of desperation.




Ron, who also thinks this is a great thread...
User avatar
Ron
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:21 pm

Postby waltsnipe » Tue Jul 20, 2004 10:55 am

Q: what about footware on the playa?

A: Excellent question. The playa surface is an alkali dust that will really eat at your skin. Add to that the daily heat, and the fact that you'll spend WAY more time on your feet on the playa than you're used to, and this amounts to a big load on your tootsies. While some people claim to have super-feet that are impervious to the effects of these conditions, the rest of us mortals need to take a few precautions in order to ensure that foot problems don't wreck your mobility during the best week of the year :-).

I always advise my newbie friends to wear the same shoes they would wear if they were conducting traffic in the Astrodome parking lot for 8 hours a day.....in August in Houston. That translates to breathable socks and comfortable tennis shoes (already broken in). Change your socks when you need to, and for gods sake don't wear hiking boots (found that out the hard way when I was a newbie in '99)! Stop blisters before they start, and treat your feet to lotion in the evenings--they'll thank you for it.

waltsnipe
waltsnipe
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:43 pm

Postby waltsnipe » Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:12 am

Q: Should I bring my precious musical instrument to the playa?

A: If you love it, then no. Playa conditions are hell on musical instruments. The low humidity and temperature extremes are especially tough on wooden instruments. Even if you put a humidifier in your guitar case (see below for homemade model), after a week on the playa the wood will possibly crack at the neck join and maybe in other spots as well. Only take your "campfire" guitar.

As for drums, same thing goes for those with wood in their construction. Also, leather drum heads will crack in the low humidity conditions. There are good alternatives, though. The metal-bodied Egyptian dumbeks, with synthetic heads, do very well on the playa (just WD-40 it when you get home), and you can rig a shoulder harness for them out of nylon mountain climbing straps and webbing. As a second choice, Remo has an extensive line of hand percussion with synthetic construction of the bodies and heads.

If you do take a guitar, and don't already have a humidifier, try this simple trick: take a 35mm film container and poke holes in the lid with an icepick. Then place a piece of sponge in the bottom. When you're getting near the playa, wet the sponge (not sopping, though). Keep the sponge that wet throughout the week, and keep your guitar in the case when not in use (but you know to do that anyway, right?). You'll be amazed at the blast of cool air you get everytime you open the case, which says more about how little humidity there is in the playa air than it does about what the little humidifier is putting out.

Play on,

waltsnipe
waltsnipe
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:43 pm

Postby Lydia Love » Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:29 am

Technopatra - absolutely! Trim whatever you feel is necessary!

Q: In case of a death in the family or similar emergency, how does my family reach me on the playa.
A: (Directly from Burningman.com) "If somebody you know is attending Burning Man and there is a death in the family, or similar circumstance that necessitates contact, please call information in Northern Nevada and get the phone number for the Burning Man office in Gerlach. We will use our resources to find the needed party. If you know the name of the camp or group the person is with, that is helpful information.

Similarly, if you know you might have an emergency situation arise while attending the event, please let the Directory at the Greeter's station know your whereabouts, or leave a message with Burning Bell in Center Camp."

In other words, get your family that number, your camp name and be sure to register with Playa Info if you are worried about this sorta thing.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Icepack » Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:41 am

Lydia Love wrote:Technopatra - absolutely! Trim whatever you feel is necessary!

Q: In case of a death in the family or similar emergency, how does my family reach me on the playa.
A: (Directly from Burningman.com) "If somebody you know is attending Burning Man and there is a death in the family, or similar circumstance that necessitates contact, please call information in Northern Nevada and get the phone number for the Burning Man office in Gerlach. We will use our resources to find the needed party. If you know the name of the camp or group the person is with, that is helpful information.

Similarly, if you know you might have an emergency situation arise while attending the event, please let the Directory at the Greeter's station know your whereabouts, or leave a message with Burning Bell in Center Camp."

In other words, get your family that number, your camp name and be sure to register with Playa Info if you are worried about this sorta thing.


To add to that-- Make 2 Info sheets- one to give to the folks back home, and one to give to someone you are camping with (the lead contact from your theme camp, or your best friend, or whatever).

For the folks back home tell them if you will be using a different name on the playa (and what that name is obviously), where you will be camping, who you will be with, any vehicle information, your expected arrival/departure days, itinerary, and anything else you can think of that will be helpful in finding you on the playa in the event of an off-the-playa emergency.

For the folks you will be camping with- the name and phone number of your nearest of kin, blood type, allergies (especially to foods and medicines).

I also get a little piece of mind by wearing dog tags that have my name, blood type, and emergency phone number of my dad (who will have my off-playa emergency contact info). This way if something happens to me and my travel companion (such as a car accident) then there is someone to contact. I also have the name of my camp on it, just in case I pass out in the sun and need medical attention but not evacuation, etc.
Icepack
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Black Rock City

Postby Icepack » Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:50 am

Q: Why does everyone have funny names? Where do you get them from?

A: Many people like to leave the default world behind and come to the playa to escape the baggage of their every day lives. Choosing a playa name gives you a sense of rebirth, maybe. You can be anyone you want to be, without being tied to your normal self. If you are shy and timid in the default world, and want to come to Burning Man, and take your shirt off and hug everyone you meet, you might feel more at ease doing this without being "Jane Doe" for a week. I'm sure others can express this better, but I wanted to get the question up on the board because non-burners have asked me this.

Playa names are names you choose for yourself, or nicknames that a friend may give you, or maybe you have used the name in a game or in a play or something and really like it.

Mine was given to me because I am cold even when it's over 70 degrees in the room or outside. :-)
Icepack
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Black Rock City

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:24 pm

Q. Should I believe everything I read?

A. Until you think you know better. Hey, you asked.

Q. I have this great idea!

A. Search the main website, the eplaya, and use a web search engine to see if anyone's done something similar, at Burning Man or elsewhere. Be prepared for constructive criticism, either from other eplaya participants or the forces of nature.

Q. How do I get on the grid?

A. There is no grid.

Q. Who or what should I join? I want to participate, and I don't want to feel alone.

A. Despite the impression that no one camps at Burning Man without joining a group of some sort, there are plenty of people who aren't joiners, and you might consider camping just as you might at any campsite. Float around, get to know people, and if you're so inclined ask if they need help building their structure or installing their art piece. It helps to have work gloves and a small tool kit with hammer, pliers, a wrench, vise-grips, and such. Get to know your neighbors, and lock up your valuables.

Q. In general, where can I volunteer, post a note, check if my friends have arrived before me and where they're camped, find a locksmith to get back into my car, or ask other questions when I get there?

A. Playa Info in Center Camp.

Q. Oh! Ouch! The dryness, the chafing, the sunburn, the headache!

A. Wash the dust off your hands once in a while. Carry around lotion and/or balm that won't leak in you pocket or pack, along with headache pills and a wet rag or moist towelettes. Liberally apply hand lotion before you put on work gloves. Antihistamines can help. Wear a hat. Stay out of the afternoon sun if you start to feel trashed, take a siesta, and remember the high altitude can affect people as hard as the heat.

Q. I heard something about a "gift economy". What gifts should I bring?

A. Don't take it so literally. Your gift can be a smile, advice, or help with raising a tent pole. After everyone leaves, the playa is full of little "gifts" that only amount to trash that someone else must clean up. Burning Man, as a responsible user of public lands that are essentially wilderness, must maintain good relations with other users of the desert and the BLM, which is why minimal impact and leaving no trace is so important. Before you leave, please carefully scan your campsite and the nearby area for any bits of debris, no matter how small. Trash blows around easily, so feel free to pick up what may have escaped from someone else's camp or costume as you walk around the event.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Just because I keep hearing these questions over and over...

Postby robbidobbs » Tue Jul 20, 2004 1:08 pm

Q: Why aren't there trash cans near the porta-potties?
A: Because this is a Leave No Trace Event, and you alone are responsible for your refuse, be it trash, rotten food, tampons or grey water.

Q: What should I do with used tampons?
A: wrap them in TP, and put them in a zip-loc baggie that you brought along with you when you went to the camode. Then take them home with you as any other trash.

Q: What about piddling on the Playa? Its sterile isn't it?
A: It's a bad idea, not because of the sterility, but because it leaves playa-puddles, and someone (like ME!) could slip in it, and that is just NASTY.

Q: Can't the pottie vendor take better care servicing them? Sometimes there is shit on the seat, or piddle on the floor.
A: Aim better. Also, the reason for the icky-ness is due to an evil practice called hovering. Park yer butt on the seat, and you won't get cooties. If there is some wetness on the seat, just wipe it down with TP and then park your butt. The vendors are just as pissed off as we all are when a unit is fouled. They service the potties every 6 hrs per contract, and do a DAMN good job considering the abuse people put them through.

Q: Is it a good idea to talk to others in line about pottie etiquette?
A: Please DO! Strike up conversations with those around you so everyone is on the same excremental-correctness page.

Q: What's a good way to make your day, Robbi?
A: Feed me beer!
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
13 years of doing the porta-potties wrong.
User avatar
robbidobbs
 
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Pottie Central
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Dept of Over-Engineering

Postby Mithra » Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:28 am

Q: How do I get clean on the Playa?
A: Actually, you don't. But you can remove a few lays of playa dust, body paint or what not so new layers can accumulate.

Bring baby wipes, a garden sprayer a plastic dish pan to stand in a face cloth and some Dr. Bronners soap. Make a friend and have them spray you down and use a face cloth and some DILUTETED Dr Bronners (use peperment if you want your nether regions to be tingley), soap up, spray again and your done. It uses a lot less water than a solar shower. You can set the dish tub in the sun so the water will evaporate.

Use the baby wipes in between showers for that I need to get fresh now feeling. Keeping the baby wipes in your cooler is a good thing. Think cold and damp.

Dr. Bronners can be used for dish soap as well.

If your feeling exra sociable check out the Human Carcass Wash. Check What Where for time/location.

Mithra
User avatar
Mithra
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:04 pm
Location: San Diego

Postby Silver 2 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 8:25 am

Not to step on the toes of a god (Mithra) but here is my version.

How do I shower or otherwise keep clean out there?

Lots of ways, I will start with the most private and least water and move right up to in front of god and everybody.

There is a company that makes a no-rinse product that you simply slather on yourself and wipe off with a towel, they also make a pre-soaked towel rather like a big wet one and you just scrub and toss. Their final product that I have used mixes a bit of product (body wash) with a quart of water and you wipe or pour it on and towel off. You can do all of this in the privacy of your tent and use very little water. http://www.norinse.com/outdoorproducts.htm

The next step up is a solar shower. It is basically a black plastic bag with a hose, clamp and a little shower head. You put the bag in the sun and after a bit it will be between warm and real, real hot. You get the bag up somewhere, tripod, special shower enclosure, top of your truck/van/whatever and let the water flow down on you. To avoid a lot of water usage, wet yourself down, stop the water flow, soap and scrub and then rinse. I used the no-rinse Body-wash as soap and rinsed with the solar shower. At this point we have two issues, 1. Enclosure and 2. Graywater. If you don't have much in the way of body issues you can ignore having an enclosure and shower in the open, if you do you can buy or construct an enclosure with a bit of effort. Graywater, you don't want to let this stuff sink into the Playa for two reasons; one, this is a leave no trace event and that's leaving a trace, two, Playa dirt/grit/powder is about the stickiest stuff around when it gets wet and would not be pleasant to stand in. The easy way around this, for one or two people, is to buy a little kiddy pool to place under your shower. You've got to weight it down with something (I used water jugs). Unless you go overboard most if not all of the water will evaporate from day to day. If you've got a lot of people you will have to look up evaporation ponds.

Another option is to talk around and see if someone has a shower installation that they will let you use. Don't forget to make it clear that you will provide your own water and help with any graywater issues.

In front of god and everybody; thought that's what I was talking about with the no enclosure? Nope, I cannot guarantee that they will be providing this service in any particular year but the Polys host the 'Human Carcass Wash' at least some times and this is about the most interesting way to get clean. You show up and get put to work drying, rinsing, scrubbing and soaping people. After you have put in your time you get soaped, scrubbed, rinsed and dried. I would suggest that if you use this method you return the gift with a couple of gallons of water. The downside of this method is that you have to get there at the right time and it takes a while. On the other hand it is an interesting experience.
I like playing with fire.
User avatar
Silver 2
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: DC/Northern VA

Postby Silver 2 » Wed Jul 21, 2004 8:54 am

It is cold and dark, the potties are a long way away and I've got to pee. What do I do?

You don't step out of your tent and pee in the common area. You turn on a light, reach over for your pee jug, and ...
Male: Unscrew the top of the jug, pee in jug, screw top back on (very important) go back to bed.
Female: Unscrew the top of the jug, insert funnel (large) into jug, pee down funnel, put paper waste in trash, store funnel, screw top back on (very important) go back to bed.

You really want to empty (carefully) your jug every day.
I like playing with fire.
User avatar
Silver 2
 
Posts: 232
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: DC/Northern VA

Postby Tancorix » Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:07 am

Silver 2, you forgot something. Zodi makes a propane heated, battery powered camp shower that is wonderful. If you are willing to heat your own water, you can save $70 by buying just the battery operated pump and shower head. But if you spring for the propane heated version, it's around $100 and you can take a shower even at 3 am, no need to wait for the solar shower to heat up. And the pump puts out moderate pressure that makes you feel a bit cleaner.

Short of having an RV, this is a pretty serious step up.
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby diane o'thirst » Wed Jul 21, 2004 3:08 pm

You can shower (or bathe) at 3AM. You just need to fire up the campstove and heat a pot of water. Mix it with cold water to taste and go for it.

That rinseless soap sounds interesting, think I'll look it up...
ImageImageImage
User avatar
diane o'thirst
 
Posts: 2095
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:04 pm
Location: Eugene, OR

Next

Return to Q & A Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest