Camp Life

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

Camp Life

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:28 am

Sort of inspired by the RV Rules threads, along with the general idea that I don't always "get" social undercurrents so making things explicit helps. The most important rule of the Booby Bar (except for making sure our patrons could drink alcohol and having fun) was "No Drama". Piney used to explain that as anyone can have something some emotional outburst, but that when it happens twice or more, that's drama.
But there's other things as well. Last year I had a bunch of blank greeting cards with a booby appropriate picture that I didn't open until after the post office closed. So I passed them around and we wrote notes to each other. So we spent a low-key hour writing each other messages, so now we have a nice souvineer of a camp that is no more.

And there's always MOOP and Kitchen discussions.

So, advice, suggestions, high points, low points--what are your tips for camping well with others?
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Re: Camp Life

Postby lemur » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:40 am

high point: kicking ass and surprising others with how awesome you can be

low point: suicidal robotripper girl
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Dr Helix » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:45 am

"You made it, YOU clean it up."

Number one rule in our camp. I know this sounds so basic, but it is amazing what people are capable of in terms of creating a mess and then not taking responsibility for it. Nothing jerks my chain more than seeing a dirty kitchen filled with other people's meals. Or MOOP everywhere cuz someone decided to have a painting party. Clean it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Camp Life

Postby VultureChow » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:16 am

Can't say I have any good BM camping rules, but have two backpacking social rules.

1)If you are going to do something stupid, make sure people are around to see it. Sure it might be embarrassing, but everyone needs a laugh and good stories to tell. Plus that really embarrassing time when you accidentally flashed an entire boy scout troop in the wilds of North Carolina becomes funny and not that embarrassing after a while.

2)If you see someone about to do something stupid, say something. If they stop, you might have prevented a disaster. If they don't listen, like when you gently suggested pouring stove fuel directly on the fire might not be such a great idea, and they still decided to light the Great Smokey Mountains on fire, you have an epic, "I told you so."
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:43 pm

Only do one stupid thing at a time. For example, if you're going to shoot off illegal fireworks, don't be carrying narcotics.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Lassen Forge » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:11 pm

Do not... DO NOT... put your tent guy line and uncapped rebar in middle of path to jots - Is not way to win popularity contest! I was known one year for opening side of my ankle, falling over damned guy line, and landing face down about 4" from uncapped stake... then to subsequently (and rather loudly) removing said offensive tent, guylines, and rebar from said location in heap. Similarily, staking your tent in pathways of bicycles, or right in front of vehicle that may have to leave during event, is kind of dumb, and may make said vehicle operator somewhat cross... or may to make you cross when they don't realize it's there and run it (or you) over. (It has happened!!!!)

Camps are Do-Ocracys. I hate term, but is truism. You see something that needs to be done - DO IT. Moop on ground - GRAB IT. You got cool idea to make camp pop - RUN WITH IT! Someone having shit time staking or striking their campsite, don't wait to see if they ask for help - ask them and DO IT. And most importantly - if you have campmate who is going 5150 / Nev2000 / "off the edge into oblivion" in camp, and they cannot to be talked down, realize you need prolly green dot ranger, if not ESD, and DO IT. ;)

And this is biggie... for me at least. If your camp has theme (like, say, a neo-Sovietsky Afghani gulag... don't know where that came from?? lol...), do not to join, then decide you don't like theme and try to change it. Not only will people look at you funny in "you did not get memo??" fashion, but it will cause drama, which is in DIRECT VIOLATION of BoobyLaw No. 1. Being in theme camp means PARTICIPATING IN THEME!

Speaking of... PARTICIPATE! Don't make your camp just crash pad between runs from 2:00/10:00 spokes, Jots, and back again... Be part of your camp.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Dustdevil » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Somebody or a couple of somebodys need to be in charge. No committees, no board, etc. If the drama level for anyone in our camp exceeds what the three camp principals can tolerate, that person(group) is gone. If any one of the three principals want someone gone, for any reason, they are gone.

Everyone works, whether it is on our shows, in camp, loading the trucks or strike, everyone works. No exceptions.

Everyone cleans the camp, every day. Even if it is only for a short time, staying on top of MOOP makes strike a lot easier.

It works for us......
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Mojojita » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:26 pm

My camp rules:
1) Jungle Camp is a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy
2) No drama
3) No illegal substances (I have no idea nor care what people do in their own tent or yurt)
4) I have a special chair - if you are in it and I stand over you looking wistful, get the fuck out.
5) Don't throw anything in the evap pond
6) If you leave your goggles, backpack, blinky thing, water bottle, etc lying around, the Camp Bitch (one of our camp jobs) will
take it and put it in the "black box of despair", where you should go look if you are missing anything.
7) Do not take our "communal gift beer" out of camp to give away somewhere else. It is for camp guests.
8) Don't put anything in the aluminum cans being saved for Recycle Camp (like ashes or cigarette butts).
9) We have an air horn - if you hear 5 blasts, the world is ending or something needs everyone's immediate attention, gather fast
in the shade structure.

There are more - generally the same as most "party fouls"
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Re: Camp Life

Postby trilobyte » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Giving this a gentle nudge over to shelter and camping…

Aside from other great tips & tricks, I'd say keep an ear/eye out for signs of depletion. Most camp drama comes from people who are cranky or moody, they're essentially having a biological reaction to the strange and unusual environment. When people get tired or worn out or dehydrated, they get cranky and little things bug them more than they should. Have a nibble, and offer nibbles to your campmates. Hydrate (or beerdrate), and offer drinks to your campmates when you can. And aside from any recreational substances a person may have partaken in, extended periods of awesomeness and epic surroundings can deplete your body's seratonin levels. When that happens you feel lethargic, moody, and depressed. Take a 5-HTP pill (available at most pharmacies and health/nutrition shops). And the desert will fool you - even though the high altitude and breezes keep you from being a sweaty mess, your body's sweating out essential salts and minerals - replenish your electrolytes (either through emerg-n-c, gatorade, pedialyte, electrolyte tablets or your own homebrew concoction). And don't underestimate the power of a nap.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:14 pm

Mojojita wrote:4) I have a special chair - if you are in it and I stand over you looking wistful, get the fuck out.

Indeed.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby AntiM » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:22 pm

Don't go through your campmate's crap. Sure it seems like their bins may be communal property, but that is not necessarily true. And if you do need to open a bin, say the one you think the first aid kit is in, don't strew the contents around the camp and leave the bin open.
Don't sit on the bins/rubbermaid totes, action packers. They look sturdy, but even that cute little 90 pound ass will crush them.
If you bring home a playa wife for the evening, don't let them be obnoxious in camp. If your campmates aren't comfortable with your date mate watching them shower and dress and eat breakfast, exit gracefully.
Oh, and no matter how petite you or your playa wife may be, most camp chairs can't bear the weight of both of you. If she must be in your lap, use the sturdy bench or cot or rug on the ground.
Don't smoke anything in my shade structure, no, not even that hookah.
If the cooler is covered with a blanket or cozy, put the damn thing back when you are done.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby graidawg » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:46 pm

I totallymisunderstood the title of this thread. it is far far more useful than i thought it ws going to be
completely unconcerned.
"Savannah" I like it . . . it makes us sound forward-thinking, and not at all like trailblazing, professional-level procrastinors.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:47 pm

Helpful:

- Learn and know peoples' names. I am so bad at this. Might be a nice idea to have a name-to-photo list just for new/forgetful people. This coming year I'm planning on going through the photos people have shared and note the faces with the captions so that I'm not at a loss when I have to remember peoples' names. Oh, and state your name if you know someone can't remember (and don't take offense).

- Cook a meal. Our camp has subgroups that must cook one dinner for the rest of the camp. The genius of this policy was apparent to me after the first year: it forces you to work, plan, interact, and cooperate with other people you probably don't know; it's a form of participation for those who are not good at just jumping in; you only have to worry about preparing one dinner the whole BM trip; it's like "gifting" even if you're "forced" to prepare the meal; the quality of other peoples' dinners make you want to bring something really nice for others (you should anyway, but it ups the ante); the joy of seeing other people enjoy your food (the best physical gift) is just great.

- Nail down where other people will be, where waypoints will be at when traveling in groups, waiting-for-other policies, "where are you guys?"/"wait for me" calls/signals, etc. I remember reading with dismay someone here describing (I think it was graidawg?) getting detached from friends and then having to head back to an empty camp.

- Have a toss-in bin for anything you don't want to lose, but don't want to spend time putting away properly. This helps a lot if you're drunk.

- Besides reducing MOOP, pick up any stuff that looks like it is "lost" and put it in a designated lost items area so it can be found later (like at the bar). Don't give it to other people as a gift if you don't know who it belongs to. I lost a good pair of sunglasses that way, and while I'm not mad at the person for having given away those sunglasses to somebody who left for AUSTRIA by the time I found out, it could've been prevented by just putting it somewhere where someone looking for something lost could find the object.

- Encounter somebody who is totally shitfaced, lost, or otherwise in trouble? Make sure they're hydrated and go through the effort of escorting them back home if needs be, lest they end up somewhere they don't want to be.

- Instead of Rubbermaid bins for storage, just use cheap coolers. They're stronger, have better handles, you can sit on them, you can drain them, and you can pack out wet garbage easily too. They don't really cost much more anyway.

- Bring extra lights for your darktards. All camps have darktards. Hell, my subgroup was pretty darktardish the first year and we relied on some really lame-ass glow sticks, and only after realized just how darktardish we were. We overcompensated the next year, and made sure our darktards were not so tardy.

- Don't be afraid to toss some douchebag out of camp (talking about non-campmates). You have the backing of your whole camp, and usually everybody else is thinking the same thing, but is too afraid to do it.

- Keep bottles around for piss jugs.

- Bring a large enough cooler to pack out a body if necessary. Oh sorry, forget that.

Not helpful:

- Not knowing all peoples' names and faces and being too trusting. We nearly lost a bike because of a I-thought-you-knew-him-no-I-thought-you-knew-him situation involving some thief one night. It worked out in the end, but could've been worse. Don't be afraid to ask other people you do know if they know this stranger.

- Gifting other people's stuff, or group stuff that you're not 100% sure about. Yeah, I know you're there to make friends with everybody, but ask first, or be extra sure, so as to not cause seething resentment.

- Locking up other peoples' bikes with your bike lock that nobody knows the combination of but you. Yeah, it happened to us. It was funny--but still annoying--so now we remember to share the combos.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:50 pm

When you're staring blankly at the map, considering the placement of your theme camp, or wandering around in general population wondering where to park and set up, consider this:
Find a road that lies across the line of the prevailing wind. Pick a property on the upwind side of that. Park all of your vehicles on the upwind border of that property and the mass of vehicles will help block out the prevailing wind (which may shift temporarily). Then you can set up the rest of your camp along the road, and have a reasonable chance of wind protection as well as interaction with passing weirdoes.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Boijoy » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:51 pm

if you are prone to "crabby",, DO make sure you have a little "me space" set up by your tent. & make sure your camp mates understand what the "me space" is for.. ME DAMNIT!

DO. offer to get someone else ice on your ice run.
DO. make sure everone understands their camp responsibilitys before committing to the camp.
DO. pick up after yourself & offer to take someone elses stuff to the trash while your up. ( I mean who doesn't do this anyway?)
DO NOT forget to hydrate. ( or you will spend alot of time in your "me space" ) gets me a couple times every year. :D
DO NOT offer to make supper & then not make everyone supper. ( that's just rude )
don't forget to floss
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:53 pm

BBadger wrote:Don't give it to other people as a gift if you don't know who it belongs to.

Corollary: Don't lend something that you are also borrowing. I've lost more good things that way.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Elorrum » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:30 pm

good topic, also reminds me how little of what we might call common courtesy, or common sense, is actually shared by as many people as the word "common" might imply. speak it out loud or have it written somewhere. "Clean up after yourself", in a shared kitchen, means when? After you've eaten? before you've eaten? before you go to bed? sometime after you wake up when you feel more yourself? I swear some folks think they are in compliance if they remember to do it at all. A shared area has to be a clean area, in my fantasy camp. Having lived in many shared living situations makes me enjoy camping on my own. I'm a great neighbor, come visit, have a seat, I'll fix coffee, food, I'll bring to the pot luck etc. I love my burning man neighbors!!! but I have my own place to go to when I choose. Me space gets addictive, I guess. This makes it doable for me. No drunk stumblers, shouters, fighters or takers and breakers of items.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:37 am

Elorrum wrote:good topic, also reminds me how little of what we might call common courtesy, or common sense, is actually shared by as many people as the word "common" might imply. speak it out loud or have it written somewhere. "Clean up after yourself", in a shared kitchen, means when? After you've eaten? before you've eaten? before you go to bed? sometime after you wake up when you feel more yourself? I swear some folks think they are in compliance if they remember to do it at all. A shared area has to be a clean area, in my fantasy camp. Having lived in many shared living situations makes me enjoy camping on my own. I'm a great neighbor, come visit, have a seat, I'll fix coffee, food, I'll bring to the pot luck etc. I love my burning man neighbors!!! but I have my own place to go to when I choose. Me space gets addictive, I guess. This makes it doable for me. No drunk stumblers, shouters, fighters or takers and breakers of items.


"Clean up after yourself" means immediately. Leave no trace. Much easier, quicker, and more pleasant for everybody if you clean as you go. Seriously, I am not fond enough of pancakes to want to clean up all the batter that's been slopped around... :? and the same goes for salsa and chips, geez, if you are not going to deal with the mess that makes, please do not bring it. I would really rather not have a "gift" that comes with a cleaning chore. :|
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Re: Camp Life

Postby lucky420 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:14 am

The golden rule always try to live by the golden rule no matter where you are 8)

oh and don't be an asshole.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Trishntek » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:04 am

If you open it, close it.
If you use the last of it, replace it.
If you turn it on, turn it off.
Respect the spaces, paths and common areas and keep your personal shit contained.
Don't piss off the bartender.
If you use it, clean it.
If you break it, fix it.
If you commit to do it,,, DO IT BEFORE TAKING YOUR FUCKING BIKE RIDE!
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Lassen Forge » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:27 am

And if it's not yours, DON'T TAKE IT. And "borrowing it" without telling anyone... is taking it. There is a HUGE difference between "Gifting" and "Taking"...
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Re: Camp Life

Postby dragonpilot » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Geez..it's nice to know that I'm not the only anal retentive at Burning Man...
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Trishntek » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:44 pm

I can be when it comes to matters of efficiency and peace among the tribe. But then, it's also like herding a bunch of cats and so we cannot take ourselves too seriously.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby AntiM » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:54 am

lucky420 wrote:The golden rule always try to live by the golden rule no matter where you are 8)

oh and don't be an asshole.


Somewhere, floating in old eplaya threads, is the Golden Rule of Burning Man: Don't be a Dick.

Unless you ARE a dick, then simply don't behave in dickish ways.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:20 am

AntiM: As ever, The Voice Of Reason.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby ranger magnum » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Dont fuck in someone elses camp unless asked to. We came back to camp at night for a little refreshment, only to find a strange couple shagging on our couch. Which was a bummer cuz we all took naps on it in during the day...
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Re: Camp Life

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:10 pm

Next time that happens, skin em, wash off in shower, and use the skin as a couch cover. Cause that's the deserved fate.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby knowmad » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:34 am

Never take someone time for granted. If you've just returned to camp from the Playa, and notice some of your crew gearing up to leave, don't ask them to wait while you; costume change slam a beer, run off to the jots, change your outfit, re-water, smoke, flirt with the neighbours, Play your Ipod on the Sound system, and offer a massage to the hawty walking down the road. Your Crew deserves better, and you are the one out of synch, get some rest, drink your water, just say NO! for once. In fact tell them you'll see them later, and when you've rested and watered, maybe a shower(?) go make them that awesome fruit salad that you brought, and offer that to them when they walk back into the clean camp you had enough leisure time to straighten out. Also unless you know for fact that some one is going to "be right back" don't tell your camp-mate's friends; "They'll be right back". The time is precious short on the Playa. Make no one wait for you.
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Re: Camp Life

Postby CornMan » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:49 am

Dr Helix wrote:"You made it, YOU clean it up."

Number one rule in our camp. I know this sounds so basic, but it is amazing what people are capable of in terms of creating a mess and then not taking responsibility for it. Nothing jerks my chain more than seeing a dirty kitchen filled with other people's meals. Or MOOP everywhere cuz someone decided to have a painting party. Clean it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Rule #5: Any unattended dirty dishes will go in the trash 5 minutes after warning blast from air horn.

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Re: Camp Life

Postby plantmandan » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:01 am

It really comes down to attitude and intent. It's not difficult to quickly sniff out a camp leech. Here are a few tips if you do not want to be a camp leech:

1) If you are going to disappear for three days, don't take anything from your camp that is not unequivocally yours.

2) Save some energy for the cleanup days after the burn. Then use that energy contributing to the cleanup effort.

3) If you plan on leaving before most of your campmates, take all your stuff with you. Leaving your s**t for your campmates to pack out is inexcusable.
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