virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

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virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby superspatula » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:05 pm

I'm trying to find avg temps and what I'm seeing is high 80s. I'm from Nebraska and that sounds FANTASTIC! Is that really the desert heat I keep hearing of?
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby ibdave » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:09 pm

expect 75-120 daytime and 80-35 nighttime.. really.. learn to expect it all and hope you guessed right that year as to what really happens. and it does rain from time to time.. yup and if it's bad, it sucks ass :shock:
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby hookahdude » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Yes.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

80 is an average.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

The dust will suck the moisture from your body and your heels will crack and bleed and you will be hobbled.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

Best week you will ever have...

If you hydrate..

If you don't,

You will die...

See you next year.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Savannah » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:25 pm

That's right. The average range is narrower (50-90F, or 100F) but a little of everything does happen. You'll want breezy little numbers for day, but also a warm and possibly festive coat, and a sleeping bag rated to about 40F with a blanket and a light sheet inside (that way you can sleep on top of the bag with just a blanket or sheet on a warm night) . . . and maybe some jammies to layer if the night is really cold.

The coldest I've ever felt there was 37F (several nights) and the hottest (that I'm sure of) was 113F. No humidity.

And what hookahdude says is true. Even if it's just 80 or 90, all your moisture goes through your skin sometimes and you will realize with surprise that you haven't peed in 12 hours (and when you do, why does it look like iced tea?) That's a sure fire way to end up in the med tent. So, water, electrolyte drinks, food, snacks, more water. Some V-8. :) Keep your pee pale and clear.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:33 pm

and by hydrate he means beat the heat with icy cold PBR!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:38 pm

hookahdude wrote:Yes.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

80 is an average.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

The dust will suck the moisture from your body and your heels will crack and bleed and you will be hobbled.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

Best week you will ever have...

If you hydrate..

If you don't,

You will die...

See you next year.


With all respect.....spare me the hydration equation. Yes, you need to drink water. But you WILL NOT DIE if you don't dump gallons of water down your throat. It's like any place where sun and wind wick the water out of you. Drink yes. But this extreme view of "water or die" makes me tired. Please provide me with stats of those who perished from lack of dehydration (at BM) and THEN I'm with you. Otherwise it's scare tactics.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby superspatula » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:42 pm

well i guess a burning man funeral would be cool then right?
:D
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:52 pm

superspatula wrote:well i guess a burning man funeral would be cool then right?
:D


No, but lets not make BM into a survival course either. Basic common sense should be the theme, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby waxpraxis » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:53 pm

I think people in our day and age simply aren't used to being outside, in the hot sun, for that long. I'm also pretty sure that in general many people are dehydrated every damn day.

In defaultia that gets you a headache. On the playa that puts you in a shit mood any may send you to the medical tent. It's just REALLY easy to forget to drink enough and screwing up your burn. One dude in our camp has been going for years AND he's a ranger... and he put himself in a bad place a couple times this year by not drinking enough.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Savannah » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:54 pm

I saw a lot of heat exhaustion on my shifts this year. Much more than last year. Had to convince a friend to go into medical in my off hours. God bless her for listening to me, a lowly lifeguard. (The camp nurse backed me, that helped.)

First, you realize you haven't peed in forever. When you do, it's the wrong color. And you feel pretty crappy. Then the headache sets in. At this point, if you rehydrate and eat, it might stop. It didn't, for my friend. She tried everything--different electrolytes, water, food, sleep.

If you go to Medical, they can put you in a cool spot & usually reverse things before the nausea & vomiting sets in, which is truly unpleasant. (This is when we got my friend to go in, before the nausea). But if you get to nausea and vomiting, you can't hold down water or food even though you need it. You will probably be confused and dizzy. You may faint. This is when you get transported from station 9 or 3 to Center Camp for an IV. You can lose precious hours from your glorious Burning Man day to this generally preventable condition, and it sucks. Better to take it a little too seriously than not seriously enough.

I don't know if any of the cases of heat exhaustion I saw progressed to heat stroke, because they all got whisked away to Center Camp.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby ygmir » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Dr Helix wrote:
hookahdude wrote:Yes.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

80 is an average.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

The dust will suck the moisture from your body and your heels will crack and bleed and you will be hobbled.

If you don't hydrate you will die.

Best week you will ever have...

If you hydrate..

If you don't,

You will die...

See you next year.


With all respect.....spare me the hydration equation. Yes, you need to drink water. But you WILL NOT DIE if you don't dump gallons of water down your throat. It's like any place where sun and wind wick the water out of you. Drink yes. But this extreme view of "water or die" makes me tired. Please provide me with stats of those who perished from lack of dehydration (at BM) and THEN I'm with you.Otherwise it's scare tactics.


did I miss some sort of double negative joke?
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby hookahdude » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:12 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:and by hydrate he means beat the heat with icy cold PBR!


Well Duh!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby hookahdude » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:23 pm

Regardless of whether or not it is a scare tactic, it did manage to get a crap load of posts centered around proper hydration which was really my hope.

Now - in reality -
Dehydration can kill, just as hyper-hydration can. If you drink 1.5-2 litres a day you should be fine. If you are a big person like myself - 6'2" 250lbs - I would probably recommend more.

The real point is, even if it is a moderate tempurature - it is still hot, dry and windy and you will become de-hydrated - and while I have never heard of anyone dying from dehydration at Burning Man, it does not lessen the dangers of the condition.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:33 pm

Savannah wrote:I saw a lot of heat exhaustion on my shifts this year. Much more than last year. Had to convince a friend to go into medical in my off hours. God bless her for listening to me, a lowly lifeguard. (The camp nurse backed me, that helped.)

First, you realize you haven't peed in forever. When you do, it's the wrong color. And you feel pretty crappy. Then the headache sets in. At this point, if you rehydrate and eat, it might stop. It didn't, for my friend. She tried everything--different electrolytes, water, food, sleep.

If you go to Medical, they can put you in a cool spot & usually reverse things before the nausea & vomiting sets in, which is truly unpleasant. (This is when we got my friend to go in, before the nausea). But if you get to nausea and vomiting, you can't hold down water or food even though you need it. You will probably be confused and dizzy. You may faint. This is when you get transported from station 9 or 3 to Center Camp for an IV. You can lose precious hours from your glorious Burning Man day to this generally preventable condition, and it sucks. Better to take it a little too seriously than not seriously enough.

I don't know if any of the cases of heat exhaustion I saw progressed to heat stroke, because they all got whisked away to Center Camp.


Look, I am not soft pedaling the heat or the potential for consequence. I got welders who work for me that are out in the hot sun with full leather on. We constantly preach to them about water intake. But this idea that if you don't drink you'll die, is overblown. It's not not an all or nothing proposition. Drink some water each day and you'll be okay. Some folks are more sensitive to be sure. My girlfriend drinks buckets of water and stiull has problems with the heat the first day. Water is no panecea, but at least, it may mitigate your discomfort. The ones who need to be careful are those who are combining drugs/alchohol with a LACK of intake. For those, definitely a primer is in order. Water 101 baby.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:37 pm

hookahdude wrote:Regardless of whether or not it is a scare tactic, it did manage to get a crap load of posts centered around proper hydration which was really my hope.

Now - in reality -
Dehydration can kill, just as hyper-hydration can. If you drink 1.5-2 litres a day you should be fine. If you are a big person like myself - 6'2" 250lbs - I would probably recommend more.

The real point is, even if it is a moderate tempurature - it is still hot, dry and windy and you will become de-hydrated - and while I have never heard of anyone dying from dehydration at Burning Man, it does not lessen the dangers of the condition.


I do respect your comments. And frankly, more is better in this case. But I always worry that if we paint BM as a place where life hangs in the balance, there are those who might not come. Common sense is the watchword with me. Do the dilligence, and you'll be fine.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby I11I1II1 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:48 pm

This years weather was perfect with no white outs lasting more than about 5 minutes and it never really got above the mid 90's during the week after the 29th of Aug. For very little humidity, 90 feels rather pleasant. I felt very blessed to see Sun every day.

I ended up playing guitar at the temple before sunset on the day the man burned because after seeing the way the perimeter crew worked with the trojan horse on Thursday night I figured there wouldn't be room to play on Sunday night before the temple burn. The solo concert went great and many thanked me for playing and it was a large crowd at the temple. Next year, I'm going to bring my big amp instead and cruise around the deep playa. I only had my 30 watt this year, but the Roland JC120 watt is much clearer at low volume.

I was camped at 2:30 and H between Bare Humanity and Scott's portrait studio. They gave me a playa name 2 days into the event: "sola gangsta", due to the way I power my guitar.

I was going to stay until Tuesday but someone needed a ride back to Reno and the exodus line was about 8 hours on gate road on Monday (11am to 7 pm). It only took 5 hours to get in starting Monday Aug 29th at noon - 5pm.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby graidawg » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:57 pm

Dr Helix wrote:
hookahdude wrote:Regardless of whether or not it is a scare tactic, it did manage to get a crap load of posts centered around proper hydration which was really my hope.

Now - in reality -
Dehydration can kill, just as hyper-hydration can. If you drink 1.5-2 litres a day you should be fine. If you are a big person like myself - 6'2" 250lbs - I would probably recommend more.

The real point is, even if it is a moderate tempurature - it is still hot, dry and windy and you will become de-hydrated - and while I have never heard of anyone dying from dehydration at Burning Man, it does not lessen the dangers of the condition.


I do respect your comments. And frankly, more is better in this case. But I always worry that if we paint BM as a place where life hangs in the balance, there are those who might not come. Common sense is the watchword with me. Do the dilligence, and you'll be fine.


If we don't paint Bm as a place where life hangs in the balance we will get more idiots who do no preparation. one of my camp mates did none at all. they got lucky this year with no serious issues. next year when they intend to be going out all day as well as night? i do not want to be taking people to medical, but i will feel bad if i let them die. don't interfere with my brn by getting ill dude radical self reliance and all that
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Trishntek » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:30 pm

I think what makes it more extreme is there is no shade. The only escape from direct sunlight is what you create. The light beige playa reflects the sun like water. The dust is talcum powder basically. Have you ever licked antiperspirant? That is what the dust constantly does to your skin, your eyes and all the other orifices of your body.

Put simply, nothing lives naturally on the playa for a reason,,,, it sucks the life out of flora and fauna alike. Because of the dryness, you will not be aware you are sweating and that is the danger. Trish didn't pee for the first two days we were on the playa and we were getting concerned. She was drinking plenty and her shirt was white with the salt from her sweat,,,, but the shirt was dry.

Yeah there is hyperbole in the playa stories. But also consider the sources. We who live in the coastal areas consider 80 F to be a hot day. Plus we always have 50-60% humidity. I know i've been in Nebraska when the humidity was in the 90's and so was the temperature. I fucking melted sitting under a tree drinking beer.

The dryness of the playa is not only in the air, but in the dust. It is alkaline and it is thirsty. A FIVE GALLON bucket of fresh water dumped on the playa in the morning will completely disappear by mid afternoon. It will drink you dry unless you throw fluid down your neck on a regular basis,,,, 'nuf said.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Sham » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:05 am

Before I head out of camp each day, I drink a good, deep guzzle of water and try to remember to drink all through the day. Where I tend to have trouble is while I'm in camp and setting up the camp, tents and cooking areas etc. My effects of this is I tend to get really bitchy and irritable. I become unsociable and just want to go and sleep early. I wasn't sure why I was so miserable and realized it was HYDRATION.
I wasn't going to die, but I wasn't having a good time and I wasn't happy.

People tend to let their guard down at night, when it is cooler out. You still need water at night--especially if you're dancing or just moving all over the playa.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby RedHeaven » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:56 am

Yeah its not the heat, its the dryness. Heat can be fixed with a spray bottle or wet sarong and some shade. Dryness wants liquid. I cannot believe the beverages I went thru this year. Barely any food but a huge list of bevs: 4 Kombuchas, 4 Amazake rice almond shakes, 3 Odwalla smoothies, 24 cans of coconut water, 5 gallons of regular water, a 6 pack of ginger ales, 5 Santa Cruz lemonades from arrival to hitting thepavement after exodust. (oh yeah and a 12 pack of sierras and 4 bottles of zin, sshhhhh dont tell the desert gods :)

When shopping for next year I am going to put even more thought into fun beverages that hydrate and some that nourish. That dry heat and alkali takes away hunger......


I noticed this year was much cooler all around temp wise. What we dont get in heat in the daytime we get in cold at night. Years where the temps soared up to 100 left for very comfortable nights. I remember in 07 and 08 people were complaining that they made these big fuzzy playa coats but it never got cold enough to wear them. This year though we got mild day temps (for the playa) but it did get bitter cold at night, first time in years I wore the "baby bear" coat. (Ii didnt go last year)
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Lady V » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:18 am

Our first burn, in 2005, on our very first morning, my then-future husband and I ran into a guy wandering down the street with a thick, heavy coat on in over 100 degree heat. He was weaving and delirious with cracking lips and an unfocused stare, and kept going in and out of consciousness. We steered him into a nearby camp, gave him sips of water, sprayed him down, and I ran down the street like a crazy person screaming for a bike. Some kind guy tossed me his bike, I rode to the med tent, and - let me just pause here to say, again, medical is amazing - they immediately sent three people in a vehicle. It turns out the guy didn't know who or where he was or how he got there and had scars from a prior suicide attempt on his wrists. They said they didn't know if he was going to make it and were going to try to transport him to Reno ('try' as in, he may not make it that long). I tried to find out what happened to him afterward, but wasn't successful. My guess is, people with severe dehydration/heat stroke who get transported off playa who subsequently die would be recorded as Reno deaths. (There's a thread on that somewhere.)

If you look at the afterburn reports, under medical, you can get a sense of the scope of dehydration and heat problems out there... all the alcohol and caffeine and other diuretics makes it very dangerous, too.

And if you are a woman, you may get your period at a weird time out there, and it may well be a strange one (the alkaline dust changes the Ph of your body).
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Snow » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:35 am

Sometimes its hot as hell, sometimes its freezing (literally like monday nite in 2010 it dipped below 32). This year was pretty mild both with heat and cold. Except for the week leading up to the event it got over 100, of course when we were working our asses off setting up.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby superspatula » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:57 am

wow thanks for all the replies! this was my first post cause im not much into introductions so this was a pleasant suprise!
well my husband works outside and is impervious to heat and im kind of into healthy--back in my more teenage drug days i was all about hydrating and sleeping when everyone else was all about, "hey we can stay up for ANOTHER day" lol
i was more worried about the comfort which sounds like will be less of an issue.
camping in NE is 100 degree heat with tons of humidty probably wont kill you but it will definately make you miserable and ugly!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby jella » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:13 am

Welcome superspatula


My 1st burn I drank so much water I was up all night :shock: . Yes the temps can be extreme but tollerable as long as common sense prevails, listen to your body and carry water with you at all times. I am a small person so my tummy gets full and too much water actually flushes nutrients out so balance is key. Add a little salt to your diet prepare for the sun and the cold any way you wold normally do
and for cripes sake have fun :)
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:16 am

Even when it's cold, the playa is extremely dry!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby avidiva » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:25 am

I used to come to Burning Man from Miami and I found the day time temperatures to be kind of nice in comparison. However, the dryness was intense and I was FREEZING at night. Now that I live in San Francisco, it feels really hot to me during the day but the night cold is no problem at all. You will find the temperature changes from day to night much more drastically than in the NE. The dust makes you look good, though, so while you may be uncomfortable you will be looking your dusty best!
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby Turnip » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:42 pm

There is no humidity, which means A LOT as far as comfort.

I'm from Illinois and am used to heat meaning you walk outside and are instantly drenched. At Burning Man, it's so dry you hardly sweat.

You don't notice the heat unless you're baking in the sun or sitting somewhere with no breeze passing through. Just take it easy during peak heat times (2-6/7ish?) and the sun falls behind the mountains and the temp cools off dramatically.

This year was unbelievably mild. No dust storms from Thursday on. It was even kinda cloudy on Sunday.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby TomServo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:13 pm

YES! The playa is DRY as a popcorn's fart! A cheap spray bottle will do you wonders out their. As previously mentioned, its best to lay low during the day...in your comfy shade structure.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:22 pm

Or someone else's comfy shade structure, if you're not intruding. Lazy socilization is permitted.
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Re: virgin question: is it REALLY that hot?

Postby BBadger » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:12 pm

It's not hot if you're in the shade. The lack of humidity is just awesome, meaning that a single shadow will keep you cool in most case. The heat sucks when you're in your tent trying to get sleep in the morning, but that's because of enclosed greenhouse-like conditions inside the tent. With a shade structure over your tent you'll be able to sleep perfectly. A Costco carport, with just the roof, works wonders as a shade structure for your tent(s) and your supplies.

Do bring sunblock, because you're at a higher elevation and being in the sun does cause you to burn. Chapstick is also good. Long-sleeve, but loose airy clothing works great to block the sun and keep you cool. Bring a shade hat.

On hydration, I think 5 gallons served me for the whole week, with a few other beverages to supplement. We had a big water dispenser that we'd fill up with water from time to time, and some ice to keep it cool. Tasted great, especially with a slice of lemon in the water bottles. I was more hydrated at BM than I generally am at any time of the year, and were it not for the playa dust, my hands felt very moisturized, and feel extremely soft post-burn (maybe it rubbed off that layer of skin?). I didn't need to drink electrolyte drinks for the most part because of decent meals, and lots of sodium from playa mainstays like bacon.

I think Dr.Helix is right about the hydration issue being overblown. The 1.5-2.5gal per day estimation is a bit high for my standards. Plus, I'm rarely doing much during the day when I'd be sweating, and as stated before, being in the shade mitigates that. To stay adequately hydrated: drink when you're thirsty, and always have the water on-hand (e.g. a Nalgene bottle or Camelback) if you're going out during the day, or for long distances. I did have some instances where I was getting a headache from not enough hydration. Gulping down a glass of water (8oz, 1/4th 32oz Nalgene bottle) quickly remedied that, and that was when I was working on some project during the day, which was a less frequent case. I also had many instances where I was pissing too much because I drank too much water. Not good for electrolyte balance, a waste of water, and a pain to have to go to the bathroom all the time. I'll drink less water next time.
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