How much should I REALLY bring?

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How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:39 am

Hello beauties...

I'm a virgin burner and would love to know to what extreme should I pack. I'm flying in from out of town and I'm not sure how much stuff I can really take on the plane and if it is all worth it. I'll have all my camping gear (Are the air mattresses a real pain to pack on the way home?) and I'd like to bring my drum. Should I just leave it at home though? And I'd love to bring my bike, however I may just rent one when I get there.

From what I have been reading so far, the weather is very unpredictable and ranges in temperature.

Should I bring everything from a bikini to a winter coat and rain boots?
And what is good footwear for the playa? Should our feet always be covered?
AND (lol) as far as our outfits go, should I take stuff knowing it will get ruined? I have some bellydance outfits I'd love to wear. Should I not take them?

And finally where do you dispose of coolers and things you will not be taking back on the plane? Drop them at local dumpsters? Or can we donate them?

Thank you kindly. xo :D


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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby trilobyte » Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:50 am

Welcome to ePlaya! You should take the time to read the Survival Guide and First Timer's Guide (linked on the main Burning Man page), which covers a lot of the basic info. From there, take some time to read the boards, your questions have already been asked and answered. You pack out everything, including your trash. There won't be much opportunity to dump trash/recyclables between Burning Man and Reno, but there should be a few options once you get to Reno (stay tuned for a resource guide that gets published in the summer), both for your trash as well as to ship goods back home. Good luck sorting it out!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:21 am

Thank you! Thank you! I actually read a good majority of the info on here already (still have some more to go and will most likely reread a lot, as I have already) and have watched quite a few videos full of fab info. It's a bit overwhelming for a first timer (so please bear with me) and if I posted a question that was already answered in the readings, my apologies. I must have forgot.

I know about taking our own trash out. Thanks for telling me. Was just curious if I could donate some things, as I'd feel bad throwing coolers out (when I get back to Reno), when someone else may use them. Hoping someone may know about donations or maybe there are some locals that would want xyz. Same with food (hopefully I can give that to peeps on the Playa though, if there are left overs). Would love to give stuff like that away.

Thanks again! :D
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Savannah » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:50 am

Sealed non-perishable food and sealed alcohol can be donated to the Department of Public Works (DPW) during Exodus. (They also take feminine hygiene supplies). When you're in the line of cars on the way out, just look for a large shade structure off to the side with stacked food tended by dusty folks in black. They built the city and will be there for months afterward cleaning it up (though naturally you'll need to do your part with that, as well). Note: they do not take sealed fresh water. That, you must haul out.

Coat - Something warm enough should it drop to 40F. Rain boots - No. Regular boots or shoes, broken-in, are fine. Bikinis - yes. Bellydancing outfits - Nothing uncleanable. Nothing precious, because corrosive alkali dust gets into everything. Nothing poorly made, especially cheap hip scarves (those shed like crazy). Shedding things of any size on the playa is bad for the environment, & disrespectful to the aforementioned DPW. Tiny beads, loosely sewn sequins, loose coins, loose threads = bad. Ironclad work you have done yourself & well-reinforced stuff you can literally beat against a wall without destroying = much better. No feathers, please. :)

As Trilo says, the Guide will tell you where you can recycle, trash things, or donate things in Reno.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:06 pm

Wow.. you're going to get an earful of differing advice on this.

I too fly from across country now along with my other half. From trial and error, I've got it down to one checked suitcase and one carry on. Some, like Lemur, have the minimalist thing down to a simple backpack. I give in and just pay for one checked bag since it opens up so much more carrying room.

As far as temperarure range of clothing goes, the most important garment you can bring is a good set of long underwear. Get some quality polypropylene that's thin and light yet warm and breathable. Beyond that, it's all layers. Fleece is wonderful. I bring one set of fleece upper and lowers, poly long underwear top and bottoms, nice zip up hoodie and ski hat. There's all the warmth you'll really need.

I personally would leave the drum at home. My first year I lugged my 50lb solid wood djembe 2000 miles and didn't touch it once. There are a million other things to do.. and it will most likely turn into way more of a pain than it's worth.

I'm typing on my phone so ill keep it short, but wanted to get that out. :D
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:50 pm

Another option is to pack the cooler with clothes and mail or UPS it back home.

I believe the post office will accept it taped shut with an address label on it. UPS charges extra if it is not in a carton iirc.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:52 pm

Welcome to eplaya!!!

As for flying in, I don't have a lot suggest. I can't understand at all how people pull it off. But, I also come with 2 of everything "just in case".
Though, regarding clothes, that greatly depends on you. Most night on playa I'm fine in long pants, of some sort, and a tshirt, maybe a long sleeve shirt. Where as my girlfriend will often rock a jacket or coat, long underwear, or leggings.
"How warm is a tough question"
Oppositely, "how cool?" is easy, as little as you feel comfortable in- and it will still be hot out!

For donating and possibly getting a little help your first year, you should check out a recently created theme camp buy a fellow who hella knows his shit!!!! It will be his first year, so he will need supplies for next year. Maybe you could work a deal where you guy some stuff in Reno, he helps you camp, and in turn you leave the stuff like coolers and things.
http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=283&t=55074&p=823259#p823259
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby dr.placebo » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:37 pm

Temps can get over 100 F in the day, down to freezing at night (usually over 40 F, but freezing has been observed more than once). Temperature can vary by 40 F in the space of a few hours.

The sun, wind and dust are challenging. Having something that gives protection is a plus. A bikini (or less) in the daytime is usually OK, but I've enjoyed having a light robe for cover against the elements (not for modesty). A light robe is also useful for those transitional times as the temp cruises through 60 F in the morning and evening.

Many people need good foot covering. The playa dust is corrosive as all hell. Personally, I use a pair of crappy sneakers that give full foot coverage, but my feet are on the sensitive side. Oddly enough, my hands are not easily attacked, but some people insist on having gloves when working in the dust. Goggles and hats are useful, too.

Air mattresses are often not as good as backpacking pads. Air mattresses can be bulky, puncture prone, and they don't insulate you all that well from the cold (yes, cold!) ground.

Rent a bike, or buy a junker when you get here. The playa ruins bikes.

Second the advice about leaving the drum. Too much weight and bulk for too little use. Borrow a drum when you must have one (they won't be far away).

Have a great trip, and enjoy the dust!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:42 pm

The dry air wreaks havoc on instruments. The advice I've seen is to not bring your good *viola* and to have a sponge or something in the case that's a little damp, so that it doesn't dry and crack the instrument.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:44 pm

If you are a costume person, that's a great area to put energy into in advance. Camping with friends the same size and visiting some of the costume camps like the Black Rock Boutique can be fun. Personally I don't bring anything I can't throw in the washer at home or for a very few items take to a cleaner. Never found footwear that can be cleaned by hand to normal world condition. But I've seen many stylish boots (which I hope were comfortable) on the playa nonetheless. And of course accessorize!

When I have flown, I've used heavy duty duffels that can just go in the wash too. Luggage will get the same dust treatment as footwear.

Enjoy your burn!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:27 pm

Savannah wrote:Sealed non-perishable food and sealed alcohol can be donated to the Department of Public Works (DPW) during Exodus. (They also take feminine hygiene supplies). When you're in the line of cars on the way out, just look for a large shade structure off to the side with stacked food tended by dusty folks in black. They built the city and will be there for months afterward cleaning it up (though naturally you'll need to do your part with that, as well). Note: they do not take sealed fresh water. That, you must haul out.

Coat - Something warm enough should it drop to 40F. Rain boots - No. Regular boots or shoes, broken-in, are fine. Bikinis - yes. Bellydancing outfits - Nothing uncleanable. Nothing precious, because corrosive alkali dust gets into everything. Nothing poorly made, especially cheap hip scarves (those shed like crazy). Shedding things of any size on the playa is bad for the environment, & disrespectful to the aforementioned DPW. Tiny beads, loosely sewn sequins, loose coins, loose threads = bad. Ironclad work you have done yourself & well-reinforced stuff you can literally beat against a wall without destroying = much better. No feathers, please. :)

As Trilo says, the Guide will tell you where you can recycle, trash things, or donate things in Reno.


Thank you Savannah. You response really helped answer a few things. I have read about feathers. Is that because them come loose on a lot of things? I have a head piece with feathers and they are pretty tight in there. I'll leave it at home though, as I wouldn't want it ruined. A friend and I are going to make some things to wear, so I will keep everything you said in mind. Thank you kindly.

Some things seem so bulky as far as packing, so personally I'd like to pack as little as possible. If I were driving in, it would probably be a different story. Why do you say no to rain
boots? I figured they would be good to get dirty and to wear in the mud.

Thanks again! :D
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:33 pm

Feathers break up into smaller bits which have to be all picked up. Every single tiny bit.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:36 pm

junglesmacks wrote:Wow.. you're going to get an earful of differing advice on this.

I too fly from across country now along with my other half. From trial and error, I've got it down to one checked suitcase and one carry on. Some, like Lemur, have the minimalist thing down to a simple backpack. I give in and just pay for one checked bag since it opens up so much more carrying room.

As far as temperarure range of clothing goes, the most important garment you can bring is a good set of long underwear. Get some quality polypropylene that's thin and light yet warm and breathable. Beyond that, it's all layers. Fleece is wonderful. I bring one set of fleece upper and lowers, poly long underwear top and bottoms, nice zip up hoodie and ski hat. There's all the warmth you'll really need.

I personally would leave the drum at home. My first year I lugged my 50lb solid wood djembe 2000 miles and didn't touch it once. There are a million other things to do.. and it will most likely turn into way more of a pain than it's worth.

I'm typing on my phone so ill keep it short, but wanted to get that out. :D


One checked and one carry on sounds good to me. That is how I normally fly.
Thank you for the tips on warmth. I'll try and be very minimal with it, as those things take up a lot of packing space.
Sounds good..leave the drum home, I will. I have a djembe too! Love it! I'll at least have my finger zils! :)
Thanks for taking the time to post on your cell. Much appreciated!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:39 pm

Drawingablank wrote:Another option is to pack the cooler with clothes and mail or UPS it back home.

I believe the post office will accept it taped shut with an address label on it. UPS charges extra if it is not in a carton iirc.


Thanks for the idea. :) I really don't need the cooler though.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:40 pm

illy dilly wrote:Welcome to eplaya!!!

As for flying in, I don't have a lot suggest. I can't understand at all how people pull it off. But, I also come with 2 of everything "just in case".
Though, regarding clothes, that greatly depends on you. Most night on playa I'm fine in long pants, of some sort, and a tshirt, maybe a long sleeve shirt. Where as my girlfriend will often rock a jacket or coat, long underwear, or leggings.
"How warm is a tough question"
Oppositely, "how cool?" is easy, as little as you feel comfortable in- and it will still be hot out!

For donating and possibly getting a little help your first year, you should check out a recently created theme camp buy a fellow who hella knows his shit!!!! It will be his first year, so he will need supplies for next year. Maybe you could work a deal where you guy some stuff in Reno, he helps you camp, and in turn you leave the stuff like coolers and things.
http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=283&t=55074&p=823259#p823259


Yeah, I'm mostly concerned about the cool weather clothing. I can pull off the rest. I didn't want to have to pack a winter coat if I didn't have to.
Thank you so much for the link, I'll check it out! :D
Last edited by tara on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby gaminwench » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:44 pm

My current playa shoe favorites:

dingo boots (everything, or nothing, looks great with them),
converse super high tops (for climbing expeditions),
flip flops (trips to the JOTS),
Uggs (campfire, 4AM).

all of these I also wear the rest of the year;
vinegar in the wash, give the leather an oiling...
Voila!

(I also go barefoot in camp; vinegar/water spray and a baby wipe before socks keeps my feet happy)
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Savannah » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:46 pm

Why do you say no to rain
boots? I figured they would be good to get dirty and to wear in the mud.


When it rains, which does not happen every Burn, walking in it is kind of fruitless. Rain usually passes quickly, and sinks into the earth quickly, but in the meantime, the mud's crazy. It mires cars that are foolish enough to drive in it. It will collect on the bottom of your boots several inches thick (we call them "playa platforms") and it starts to harden in less than 5 minutes, making walking a ridiculous task in any kind of footwear. I almost pried the soles off my good boots using a screwdriver trying to get it off. If you walk around during a particularly hard rain you may get playa platforms and I don't know how easy they will be to fix. :) Additional opinions on the ease of removal (how and when) may pop up in this thread. But it's a pain in the ass.

Anyway, when it rains, many people simply begin the cocktail hour. Or if you're my friend Leslie, you run around barefoot laughing and fetching drinks. I imagine she followed this with a footbath, and perhaps vinegar and lotion, as she did not get playa foot.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:52 pm

dr.placebo wrote:Temps can get over 100 F in the day, down to freezing at night (usually over 40 F, but freezing has been observed more than once). Temperature can vary by 40 F in the space of a few hours.

The sun, wind and dust are challenging. Having something that gives protection is a plus. A bikini (or less) in the daytime is usually OK, but I've enjoyed having a light robe for cover against the elements (not for modesty). A light robe is also useful for those transitional times as the temp cruises through 60 F in the morning and evening.

Many people need good foot covering. The playa dust is corrosive as all hell. Personally, I use a pair of crappy sneakers that give full foot coverage, but my feet are on the sensitive side. Oddly enough, my hands are not easily attacked, but some people insist on having gloves when working in the dust. Goggles and hats are useful, too.

Air mattresses are often not as good as backpacking pads. Air mattresses can be bulky, puncture prone, and they don't insulate you all that well from the cold (yes, cold!) ground.

Rent a bike, or buy a junker when you get here. The playa ruins bikes.

Second the advice about leaving the drum. Too much weight and bulk for too little use. Borrow a drum when you must have one (they won't be far away).

Have a great trip, and enjoy the dust!


Thanks for the great tips dr.placebo! I have seen pics of ppl with gloves on. So mainly they are just for working on things...not something you have to wear when walking around?
I have never tried to sleep on a backpacking pad. Is that ok for your back? Blankets on the bottom of a mattress help a lot with the cold. I have camped on one in freezing weather. My sleeping bag is also made for the freezing cold. If I can get around lugging an air mattress, I will. I'll give the pad a try before BM. Thanks.

If the Playa ruins bikes, how well does that go over with bike rentals? lol

Thank you so much! :D
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:54 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:The dry air wreaks havoc on instruments. The advice I've seen is to not bring your good *viola* and to have a sponge or something in the case that's a little damp, so that it doesn't dry and crack the instrument.


All votes are in, drum stays home. :) Thanks!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:57 pm

some seeing eye wrote:If you are a costume person, that's a great area to put energy into in advance. Camping with friends the same size and visiting some of the costume camps like the Black Rock Boutique can be fun. Personally I don't bring anything I can't throw in the washer at home or for a very few items take to a cleaner. Never found footwear that can be cleaned by hand to normal world condition. But I've seen many stylish boots (which I hope were comfortable) on the playa nonetheless. And of course accessorize!

When I have flown, I've used heavy duty duffels that can just go in the wash too. Luggage will get the same dust treatment as footwear.

Enjoy your burn!


Thanks! One of my friends that I am going with actually does a resale traveling trunk show...so I'm sure she will love visiting the boutique, as will I. And we are the same size. :D Thanks for the tip about luggage. Now I know what not to bring. lol. Thank you!!!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:58 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Feathers break up into smaller bits which have to be all picked up. Every single tiny bit.


Gotcha! Thanks!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:01 pm

gaminwench wrote:My current playa shoe favorites:

dingo boots (everything, or nothing, looks great with them),
converse super high tops (for climbing expeditions),
flip flops (trips to the JOTS),
Uggs (campfire, 4AM).

all of these I also wear the rest of the year;
vinegar in the wash, give the leather an oiling...
Voila!

(I also go barefoot in camp; vinegar/water spray and a baby wipe before socks keeps my feet happy)


Thanks for the shoe tips gaminwench. nice to hear you say "barefoot" as I do want to place my feet on good ole mother earth. :D
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:08 pm

Savannah wrote:
Why do you say no to rain
boots? I figured they would be good to get dirty and to wear in the mud.


When it rains, which does not happen every Burn, walking in it is kind of fruitless. Rain usually passes quickly, and sinks into the earth quickly, but in the meantime, the mud's crazy. It mires cars that are foolish enough to drive in it. It will collect on the bottom of your boots several inches thick (we call them "playa platforms") and it starts to harden in less than 5 minutes, making walking a ridiculous task in any kind of footwear. I almost pried the soles off my good boots using a screwdriver trying to get it off. If you walk around during a particularly hard rain you may get playa platforms and I don't know how easy they will be to fix. :) Additional opinions on the ease of removal (how and when) may pop up in this thread. But it's a pain in the ass.

Anyway, when it rains, many people simply begin the cocktail hour. Or if you're my friend Leslie, you run around barefoot laughing and fetching drinks. I imagine she followed this with a footbath, and perhaps vinegar and lotion, as she did not get playa foot.


Hahahah, that's hysterical. The more you explain this, the more I want to bring my rubber rain boots, cuz I really don't care how beat up they get. I bought them to wear to a festival I camped at a few years ago, cuz it gets very muddy there.

Telling me this, I will be a bit more choosy with the shoes I bring. Thank you bunches, Savannah!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby SnowBlind » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:15 pm

tara wrote:And I'd love to bring my bike, however I may just rent one when I get there.


Depends what you mean by *there*. You won't be able to rent any at Burning Man. You might borrow one from neighbors, but they will want to use it themselves a lot of the time. There are community bikes you can use when you find one, but they are in high demand, and others can take it, so if you park it somewhere it might be gone when you come back.

There are places in Reno that rent bikes for Burning Man. You have to reserve ahead of time and they usually do sell out at some point, so you want to reserve early.

tara wrote:as far as our outfits go, should I take stuff knowing it will get ruined? I have some bellydance outfits I'd love to wear. Should I not take them?


I try not to take anything that I would mind if it got ruined. That means if it's too expensive, or too precious to you, I'd leave it home. That said, most textiles clean better than a lot of other things. There are things that you will never get the playa dust off of. Most clothing that you can machine wash is usually fine afterwards.

tara wrote:And finally where do you dispose of coolers and things you will not be taking back on the plane? Drop them at local dumpsters? Or can we donate them?


There is a couple of costume boutiques on the playa, and I think they take costumes to bring again next year. I've not heard of someone taking coolers. You could ask your neighbors if anybody wants an extra one.

Savannah wrote:Sealed non-perishable food and sealed alcohol can be donated to the Department of Public Works (DPW) during Exodus. (They also take feminine hygiene supplies).


They also seem to like Tobacco, (clean, wrapped) socks, and once we were asked for condoms.
And if the alcohol is good stuff, they might relax the 'sealed only' rule.

tara wrote:And what is good footwear for the playa? Should our feet always be covered?


There is a bunch of opinions on that, and a ton of threads on this board to go with them. Generally, some people run around barefoot or with flip flops, while other have problems with their feet if they get exposed to the alkaline playa dust for too long. They will prefer closed shoes or boots.

Some threads to get you started:
Frequently Asked Questions (also has another question regarding instruments
Need new playa shoes
ISO the perfect playa boots
Playa Boots
your opinion if these boots are suitable for the playa
boots
UGG boots on the Playa?
playa impact on shoes
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SnowBlind
 
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:58 pm

There are many responses for dealing with the cold nights when Burningman comes alive in its special way, and one is a long to longer winterish coat. That can range from a faux fur thrift store item, to a fancy hooded one you could imagine elves wearing in the Lord of the Rings. (It's no secret that Burningman is where many film industry costume designers vacation.) I'm not one to leave the warm clothes I have shed unattended, so an individualized knapsack or shoulder bag kept with you to throw it into when you step into a warmer spot or dance can be useful.

Plenty of participants wear outdoor camping clothes without any style concerns as well, and even if you are costume-oriented they are a good back up and many people already have them.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion
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some seeing eye
 
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Clar-i-ty » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:45 am

You know the one you really want to talk to is Rice, aka stretch80. He has it down to two duffles and a stop at the Walmart.
GET OUT OF MY TRUCK HIPPIE!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Bob » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:56 am

Just bring your mind, and your ass will follow.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:04 am

Clar-i-ty wrote:You know the one you really want to talk to is Rice, aka stretch80. He has it down to two duffles and a stop at the Walmart.


That's pretty much us. A suitcase and a Walmart/liquor store/smoke shop trip. Cake.
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby illy dilly » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:33 am

junglesmacks wrote:
Clar-i-ty wrote:You know the one you really want to talk to is Rice, aka stretch80. He has it down to two duffles and a stop at the Walmart.


That's pretty much us. A suitcase and a Walmart/liquor store/smoke shop trip. Cake.

And a run by the truck rental joint, and a run to buy a couch, and a quick run to pick up a mattress..... :wink:

But, you also have the swankiest box truck in BRC!
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
Plan for the worst, expect the best. Make the most out of it under any conditions. If you cannot do that you will never enjoy yourself. ~CrispyDave
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:50 am

Oh.. you just wait until 2013..

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Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.
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