Burn Preparation Costs

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Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Rice » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:22 pm

I just did some rough calculations on what I have spent on my 5 burns.

2007 - $1300, 2008 - $1400, 2009 - $1350, 2010 - $1900, 2011 - $1800.

I did not include my ticket price in that cost. I do have to travel 3000Km each way to attend. Vehicle maintenance/preparation are not included. I did fly down to San Francisco in 2010 & 11.

Lots of people travel farther than myself & I know some spend more, others less.

My question is simply: What does your burn cost you?

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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby jkisha » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:24 pm

About three times you highest year. :shock:
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby graidawg » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:17 pm

It cost over me over a thousand dollar. just to get there thats before buying food drink etc.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Dr. Pyro » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:55 pm

If I can get away with it being under $4000, I consider myself fortunate. But my attitude is this: To go cheap is expensive; to go expensive isn't that much more expensive. I realize most people don't buy, oh I don't know, 12 pounds of filet mignons, five bottles of absinthe, 11 cases of beer (split between two of us), bring enough food to have a large French toast breakfast Monday morning for 40 of your closest friends, rent a $3000 RV, and just relish in the lap of luxury. And let's face it, $4000 isn't much money at all when you think about it. Burning Man however, is priceless.

Except it has a price tag.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby trilobyte » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:22 pm

Great way to look at it Doc.

I'd put this year's cost at a little more than triple yours (the scary bit is this year we were generally low key). And I'm only coming from 300 or so miles away.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Savannah » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:33 pm

I'm starting to feel better about my expenditures. :)
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:37 pm

We spent about 8500 in total for 3 of us round trip including tickets and all expenses.

Edit : That was round trip driving from New York.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:42 pm

This year will be under $1000 including my ticket. 8)
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby lucky420 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:59 pm

I don't really keep track. My biggest expenses the last 2 years were 3 tickets (each year but kids can buy their own this year), box rental truck, extra booze and shot glasses (2011). 2010 was more expensive because I didn't have a lot of camping stuff to begin with and the hexayurt panels were bought that year too. So most camping stuff is no longer an expense. Fuck if I know...
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Sham » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:08 pm

I am around $1500 including plane tickets and provisions. About the cost of an Alaskan cruise! Let me ponder this for a while.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Evvvvvvvvvvverything included.. airplane tickets ($300), event ticket ($280ish), truck rental ($550), food ($100ish), water ($30ish), gas ($100ish), alcohol ($50ish), assorted party accoutrements ($200ish), assorted random stuff you never thought you would need (the rest) .. $1700-$2000 +/-
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby BBadger » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:41 am

It's been pretty cheap for me these past two years. The estimated consumable costs this year are roughly:

- $210 ticket
- ~$150 my part in gas
- ~$100 food
- ~$200 miscellaneous other stuff (a hotel stay, lights and stuff).

Total: ~$700.

I spent another $300 or so on reusable gear.

My BM trips have ended up being some of the cheapest trips I've taken over the years, work or play, even excluding the duration of the trip, enjoyment, and overall benefit. I'm completely disillusioned with going to places like Europe, where everything has rip-off prices compared to the US, and all the towns look exactly the same. Going to Vegas has lost its charm--the glitz of BM, but the opposite side of the spectrum with respect to comodification and any sense of affection for the place/event. Even visiting some place like California for a day or two ends up costing quite a bit for little return.

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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Sham » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:16 am

Drawingablank wrote:We spent about 8500 in total for 3 of us round trip including tickets and all expenses.

Edit : That was round trip driving from New York.

Yikes! There are oodles of ways to cut that number in half. Why do you drive instead of flying and shipping your supplies? That drive can be a fun thing once or twice, to see the country, but 2 weeks in a car, can be grueling. The cost of gas, hotels, food, car repairs and other expenses, makes a 6 hour flight very appealing. Rent a large SUV once you land and pick up the stuff that you shipped ahead to your hotel. You might consider renting a storage unit in Reno and have your stuff waiting for the next year.
Shop hotel prices, use car rental discount coupons, use credit card miles for flights, and make long lists of supplies you will need prior to leaving home.

A good part of my $1500 spent, is on my SUV rental, hotel and gas. You could probably get the cost of your trip down under $3000 for the three of you if you plan wisely--and NOT spend 2 weeks driving as an added bonus.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Drawingablank » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:28 am

Shambala wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:We spent about 8500 in total for 3 of us round trip including tickets and all expenses.

Edit : That was round trip driving from New York.

Yikes! There are oodles of ways to cut that number in half. Why do you drive instead of flying and shipping your supplies? That drive can be a fun thing once or twice, to see the country, but 2 weeks in a car, can be grueling. The cost of gas, hotels, food, car repairs and other expenses, makes a 6 hour flight very appealing. Rent a large SUV once you land and pick up the stuff that you shipped ahead to your hotel. You might consider renting a storage unit in Reno and have your stuff waiting for the next year.
Shop hotel prices, use car rental discount coupons, use credit card miles for flights, and make long lists of supplies you will need prior to leaving home.

A good part of my $1500 spent, is on my SUV rental, hotel and gas. You could probably get the cost of your trip down under $3000 for the three of you if you plan wisely--and NOT spend 2 weeks driving as an added bonus.


Well it being our first year I was pretty paranoid about gettting to Nevada and some of the stuff I shipped not arriving so we drove. My wife was pretty well set on an RV too which really upped the cost and the fuel cost once we picked it up in Salt Lake City.

The RV turned out to be a complete waste for us. Current plans for 2012 are to have a much bigger camp so as of now we will be driving out in a box truck, then storing the infrastructure in a storage unit so we can fly home and to / from future burns. I haven't priced storage places yet, but it has to be way less than all that fuel and time off work.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:26 am

Do storage places give discouts for some kind of yearound contract?

Might be worth looking into. 8)
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby burner von braun » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:19 am

I seem to recall in one of the editions of JRS, where they sent out a poll to see how many people would be interested in long term storage, near BRC. Not sure if anything came from that, but I bet a lot of burners here, as I'm sure you already know, would have additional insight on the matter.

I spent a lot my first year, but some of that was one time expenditure, which I hope to eventually spread out over future burns. Thing is, even as I streamline my burn, I get more grandiose ideas of cool stuff I want to build and bring.. $ching-ching-ching
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby trilobyte » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:26 am

Drawingablank, you can also check with other NY burners about getting in on the shipping container(s). Could be a worthwhile option for getting some of the gear out there.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby tattoogoddess » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:44 am

Im looking at it about like this-

$160 Ticket ( I am trying for a scholarship)
$250 Gas riding with someone
$100 Food and Water
$60 Camp Fee
$100 In booze ( going to try to do this)
$100 In costumes and glow lighting
Gifts are being hand made out of things I have on the acreage.

So im looking at $670 to $770ish.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby AntiM » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:08 am

tattoogoddess wrote:Im looking at it about like this-

$160 Ticket ( I am trying for a scholarship)
$250 Gas riding with someone
$100 Food and Water
$60 Camp Fee
$100 In booze ( going to try to do this)
$100 In costumes and glow lighting
Gifts are being hand made out of things I have on the acreage.

So im looking at $670 to $770ish.


Okay, you have a tent, shade, sleeping bag, and a cooler? If you already camp, then I assume yes. Not items I would trust to a camp unless I knew them to be reliable and such things were specified.
What about health and safety items? Sunblock, saline tears, nasal rinse, foot cream, first aid kit, earplugs,baby wipes if the shower is out of commission or you don't have access to it 24/7, etc.? Don't skimp on those items! Don't assume your camp will have all you need as far as those things go. Probably, but you don't want to find out on the playa. You probably have most of those things, but do plan for them.
Goggles, dust mask, and good footwear will eat up a portion of your costume budget. A priority.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby lucky420 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:25 am

TG, you also might want to put a few bucks aside for a room either coming or going back home. Burners who travel aways always mention how nice it is when they get to a town and can sleep in a real bed and have a real shower before hitting the road again....
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:26 am

trilobyte wrote:Drawingablank, you can also check with other NY burners about getting in on the shipping container(s). Could be a worthwhile option for getting some of the gear out there.



Also, DAB.. Have you thought about doing the fly-in and box truck camping trick? You could pull the whole thing off for about $2500-$3000 for 3 people including everything and no cross country driving required. I would get the huge 24' truck and pimp that thing. For real..
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby lucky420 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:15 pm

Yep the 24 footer is really nice and big. I had a 24 footer in 2010 and then 12 footer in 2011. The 12 footer was packed full and I have a hexayurt to camp in. But the 24 was so mush nicer and we spent the night in it the first night we were there as we were to tired to set up camp...

Size matters... :wink:
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Drawingablank » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:49 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Drawingablank, you can also check with other NY burners about getting in on the shipping container(s). Could be a worthwhile option for getting some of the gear out there.


Also, DAB.. Have you thought about doing the fly-in and box truck camping trick? You could pull the whole thing off for about $2500-$3000 for 3 people including everything and no cross country driving required. I would get the huge 24' truck and pimp that thing. For real..


I'm on the NY list and I've considered the container option, it just seems like more hassle than it's worth - especially having to hump everything to our camp once it's on the playa.

Well the box truck is figured in to the plans but the current plan atm is to bring a much larger camp - huge shade structure(s), sofas, stove, barbecue, bunch of coolers, tables, chairs, sound system, big art, bikes, etc... More than can be economically shipped. We will also have more than 3 people and current plans are for several of us to drive the truckload out while the others fly and meet in Reno. Once the bulk of it is out there in storage, it will be easy enough to fly to / from future burns.

Of course all of that may come to naught, and if those plans fall through I'll probably be flying out solo and doing the minimalist thing in all likelyhood. Talk is cheap and we will see what happens when it comes time for camp members to pony up cash for tickets and the camp expeses so I'm keeping my plans flexible until January.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby tattoogoddess » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:55 pm

AntiM wrote:
Okay, you have a tent, shade, sleeping bag, and a cooler? If you already camp, then I assume yes. Not items I would trust to a camp unless I knew them to be reliable and such things were specified.
What about health and safety items? Sunblock, saline tears, nasal rinse, foot cream, first aid kit, earplugs,baby wipes if the shower is out of commission or you don't have access to it 24/7, etc.? Don't skimp on those items! Don't assume your camp will have all you need as far as those things go. Probably, but you don't want to find out on the playa. You probably have most of those things, but do plan for them.
Goggles, dust mask, and good footwear will eat up a portion of your costume budget. A priority.


Yep- Tent,shade,bags, cooler. Brother is a eagle scout and has done WAY to much backpacking in crazy places.
Babywipes I still need to get ( I'm requesting them at Christmas haha!)
Still need to find a nice pair of goggles and I Have a dust mask and footwear :)
I just have a few bits and pieces I need to get. I plan on just throwing them on the Christmas list. Usally it is always makeup and gift cards for more makeup. I am making it a point of no makeup this year as I have way to much.

I have types up a whole list of everything I have to bring. I stared everything I still need to pick up. Surprisingly not to much.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:05 pm

Hmmm. Numbers represent my best guess on my welding and repair camp materials, personal supplies, ticket and fuel plus noted additional major one time expenses. Drive round trip is 1,000 miles.
2004, $1,600 Camping equipment and coolers.
2005 $2,000 Ticket for 1 friend. Silver tarps and pvc.
2006 $3,000 Tickets for 2 friends. 1,000 sqft shade cloth, pvc and lumber.
2007 $16,000 Purchase Box Truck. Shower and evaporator materials.
2008 $9,000 Construct Mutant vehicle. Purchase trailer to haul it. Metal for shade frame. Buy, fix and modify Golficus Carticus.
2009 $3,000 Sell trailer and buy heavier duty trailer. Mutant vehicle modification.
2010 $1,500 Side walls for trailer.
2011 $2,100 Purchase and spruce up Travel Trailer.
2012 None yet.
Total $38,200 :shock: :?

If I could throw any amount of discipline down on my ass I could do the burn for $1,000. Fat chance of that though.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby jkisha » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:10 pm

motskyroonmatick wrote:
If I could throw any amount of discipline down on my ass I could do the burn for $1,000. Fat chance of that though.

LOL I'm sure there are many others besides myself that can relate!
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby pinemom » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:31 pm

OMG...LOLOLOLOLOL...scary aint it.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby Eric » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:43 pm

jkisha wrote:
motskyroonmatick wrote:
If I could throw any amount of discipline down on my ass I could do the burn for $1,000. Fat chance of that though.

LOL I'm sure there are many others besides myself that can relate!


I think I used to run $1,000 - $1,200, but while I've been unemployed the last few years I've managed to do a huge chunk of that in trade (jewelry, photo work...) so my actual cash outlay is a lot less; probably less than $300, mostly food, water, booze, bike maintenance and misc.

You can do Burning Man cheaply, but it certainly helps to have a network to draw on to help- I never could have managed on my own.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby jkisha » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:49 pm

I think you can do BM cheaper the younger you are; with age comes the expectation of their being creature comforts...even on a camping trip; and being comfortable doesn't come cheap.
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Re: Burn Preparation Costs

Postby AntiM » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:52 pm

We still fiddle with camp infrastructure from year to year. The Trailblazer was a concession to my misplaced L-5, and we upgraded the trailer last year. Annual supplies aren't much, as I scrounge sales all year, and much of the food goes on the truck with Larry the rest of the year.
Wayward art runs to quite a bit, although I've yet to itemize. Under $1K, but still a chunk of change. Less these days as I've built up a stock of paints, raw materials and canvas.
Booze runs a hundred or more, but mostly it is gifted out to bars.
Gas is a three to four hundred, although per capita, it isn't bad.
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