Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

advice from another right sider

Postby worldthreat » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:41 pm

so... those guys weren't very helpful. and kinda sound like dicks... but they're right.

You don't want to work your first year there. it IS kinda late to "be part of a camp". Your job should be getting a sunburn and walking 28 miles a day. I'm a 4 year (2005 ->) veteran from the east coast and i did it that way twice....
besides, there are "open camping area" scattered throughout the city, AND you'll most likely wake up on a strange couch in a strange place! if you really want to jock a camp that catches your eye, camp in the closest open area... bring plenty of baby wipes, sanitizer, granola and alcohol.... oh and water! you'll be fine! :)
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Postby harrypotterybarn » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:52 pm

Holy crap, now I'm terrified because I joined a camp that accepts newbies (on the advice of a friend). Should I be thinking of backing out on this one? I'm totally prepared to camp alone, but a sense of purpose and contribution are important to me.
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Postby geekster » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:30 pm

I wouldn't back out now that the commit has been made. Just be careful about biting off more than you can chew. Most of the better camps are pretty easy on virgins anyway as the they want you to be better acculturated to what BRC is about. If you get one that schedules work time for you for every day of the event or something, yeah, you made a mistake, but don't sweat it. Next year was better anyway.

To use our camp as an example, it has basically two "ranks": whippencracker and everybody else (bitches). Well, three, because if you work for the org, you are a minion. So you have the whippencracker of which there is only one, the bitches which is the rest of the camp, some of whom may also be minions. Bitches is not gender specific, we are all the whippencracker's bitches. Still using our camp as an example, you would be a virgin bitch. Virgin bitches are expected to help set up, tear down, and help with one mid-week general camp sprucing up and that is about it. They are free to engage in any other camp activities that might catch their fancy but aren't required to. They will be expected to go outside and play most of the time.
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Postby harrypotterybarn » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:52 am

geekster wrote:To use our camp as an example, it has basically two "ranks": whippencracker and everybody else (bitches). Well, three, because if you work for the org, you are a minion. So you have the whippencracker of which there is only one, the bitches which is the rest of the camp, some of whom may also be minions. Bitches is not gender specific, we are all the whippencracker's bitches. Still using our camp as an example, you would be a virgin bitch. Virgin bitches are expected to help set up, tear down, and help with one mid-week general camp sprucing up and that is about it. They are free to engage in any other camp activities that might catch their fancy but aren't required to. They will be expected to go outside and play most of the time.


See, this sounds perfect to me. Sometimes having too many options of activity can equal paralysis (at least in my case). A little structure to the day would be good for me. I'll keep me from getting all socially awkward and hiding away, too.
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Postby talito » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:22 am

if you need someone to be socially awkward with, i'll be at the BRC Institute for Unlearning, located at 3:00 / D.

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Postby harrypotterybarn » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:10 am

talito wrote:if you need someone to be socially awkward with, i'll be at the BRC Institute for Unlearning, located at 3:00 / D.



We can stand around and trade tight-lipped smiles and talk about the weather :)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:29 am

Have you talked to these people? Did your psycho alarm go off?

If it really turns out to be unbearable, you can bail on them during the event. This is sort of the nuclear option, perhaps, but it's on the table.
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Postby alt12 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:02 pm

harrypotterybarn wrote:Holy crap, now I'm terrified because I joined a camp that accepts newbies (on the advice of a friend). Should I be thinking of backing out on this one? I'm totally prepared to camp alone, but a sense of purpose and contribution are important to me.


you don't owe anybody anything, so if you don't like it just leave..... a certain amount of flakiness is built into the system.... Some camps are nazi-like in terms of shifts, megaphones at 7am announcing kitchen duty, etc. Other (like mine) are very laissez faire..... As would be expected, the more relaxed ones tend to be filled with friends of friends and don't recruit or look for strangers to join.....The ruthlessly efficient ones tend to recruit newbies because they burn them out year after year...
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Postby CapSmashy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:43 am

Hmmmm.... we need some fresh meat for the camp walls.

We have some space available behind the evap pond and over near the car gulag. You guys only need to bring 2 maybe 3 days worth of supplies. We prefer our last minute newbs stick to a diet of unseasoned noodles and water until they are incorporated into the artwork.

Cuts down on the smell a bit.

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Re: Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

Postby stiles » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:09 am

[quote="mayava"]Hey Burners!

Some friends and I, all newbie Burners, are roadtripping from the East Coast to hit up Burning Man this year. Since we're coming from so far and riding in a regular sedan, we won't be able to haul large objects or substantial infrastructure like shade structures, portable showers, generators, bicycles, etc. Are there experienced, newbie-friendly theme camps, pref near the center of things, that we can join that do have all these things? We're totally happy to hustle and exchange serious volunteer support in any capacity.

Thanks for any advice!
~Maria[/quote]

As others have mentioned, you don't need a generator or a shower enclosure, you do need a shade structure and a bike would make things a lot more pleasant.

First year out, I brought too much water and too much food that needed cooking as well as too many glass bottles.

I now bring: a tent, a shade canopy, a cooler, some bent rebar and a hammer, wide mouth nalgene water bottle, a sleeping bag, air mattress, a pillow, a big plastic bag to cover my bed from the dust, earplugs, a cheap bike with lots of lights, a headlamp/nerd light and an LED bike taillight with belt clip that use the same batteries as my camera, goggles, several dust masks, baby wipes, sunblock, sunscreen, hat, toilet paper (the portapotties have run out some years), a plastic mug with lid and a carabiner to hang it from my belt, a towel, a plastic camping spork and a plastic plate. Paper towels, a few big trash bags and waterless hand cleaner are helpful too.

I pack food that generally does not need refrigeration or cooking and drinks in aluminum cans that are light and crush down. If you have to cook, a MSR whisperlite or Coleman multifuel camp stove are tiny and reliable. A simple solar shower rolls up small, but if you use one (or wash dishes) you'll need to catch and dispose of the dirty water. 5 gallon plastic pickle or paint buckets are free, nestle together when empty and have tight fitting lids, and with a funnel you can put the grey water back in the gallon jugs you brought your drinking water in (get the ones with the screw caps, not the pop tops).

The first few years I did sponge baths and washed my hair in my tent over a bucket, which does not make a mess, works if you're bashful and keeps you out of the dust, more or less. Since my cooler only had cans in it, the melt water was clean enough to use for washing up, reducing the amount of gray water generated.

Note that all this for three people fit into a standard 4 door sedan, no problem. A roof rack or trunk mounted bike carrier works fine; you can often score one off Craigslist for cheap. As mentioned, practice pack your car well before d-day and make sure your car is in tip top shape (tire pressure, belts, hoses, fluids) before you start driving. Get AAA plus if you don't have it. Bring a spare key for the car - ask me why I know this.

You're going to need most of this stuff whether you camp with a group or not.

You'll be in the middle of nowhere, it'll be hot in the day and cold at night. Plan accordingly.

HTH.

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Postby silkkat813 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:34 am

You can pick up waterless shampoo at camping stores. Rub it in your hair (in your tent to keep any from hitting the playa) then rub your head with a towel. I do it twice during the week and keep my long hair in braids most the week and it works well enough. And baby wipes are your friend. They are burnable and no grey water!

Last year my camp had LOTS of newbies. And I think only a 1/4 were helpful to us. Most just came to party and pass out. The helpful ones are thankfully returning. But the lazy ones seem to take showrers everyday and then were not around when we had too much grey water that didn't evaporate. So no shower nor pool for us this year and we capped off the number of campers to try to avoid last minute people.
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Postby C.f.M. » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:50 am

too many glass bottles

One glass bottles is too many bottles.

RE: waterless shampoo

I don't like the No Rinse body wash, but I've yet to try the shampoo I got last year.

Pretty much any....what's the word...well, you can use corn starch and other oil-absorbing stuff, too. Just brush it through.
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Postby Eric » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:27 am

C.f.M. wrote:too many glass bottles

One glass bottles is too many bottles.


As long as you take them back out with you and clean them up thoroughly if they break, glass bottles are fine, just heavy. I carry my good alcohol in glass, and my celebratory bottle of Chimay is in glass for late in the week.

Pack it out, clean it up: if you can follow that you can work with glass.


As for the No-Rinse line- I love them, both the body wash & the shampoo. The only negative I've found is that you smell like talcum powder for a little while after using them (the Fine Scent of Nursing Home, as my boyfriend calls it). No mess, no fuss, cuts the dust, lasts a long time.
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Postby C.f.M. » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:32 am

Eric wrote:
C.f.M. wrote:too many glass bottles

One glass bottles is too many bottles.


As long as you take them back out with you and clean them up thoroughly if they break, glass bottles are fine, just heavy. I carry my good alcohol in glass, and my celebratory bottle of Chimay is in glass for late in the week.

Pack it out, clean it up: if you can follow that you can work with glass.


As for the No-Rinse line- I love them, both the body wash & the shampoo. The only negative I've found is that you smell like talcum powder for a little while after using them (the Fine Scent of Nursing Home, as my boyfriend calls it). No mess, no fuss, cuts the dust, lasts a long time.


1. I will have something for you, if it survives the trip.
2. Boooo, boyfriend, crossing you off the make-out list, then!
3. I tried the No Rinse bodywash for the first time this weekend, I didn't like it. I don't like the baby powder smell, and though it did get rid of the faint B.O. under my arms, it left a filmy feeling, rather than a clean one.

When you rub it on, as the instructions say, how does it interact with the playa dust (that I, at least, was covered in)?
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Postby Eric » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:54 pm

C.f.M. wrote:3. I tried the No Rinse bodywash for the first time this weekend, I didn't like it. I don't like the baby powder smell, and though it did get rid of the faint B.O. under my arms, it left a filmy feeling, rather than a clean one.

When you rub it on, as the instructions say, how does it interact with the playa dust (that I, at least, was covered in)?


I pour the concentrate onto a damp washcloth, then use that to clean. Towel off lightly after to get rid of any film.

I only do spot-cleaning (face, hands, feet, "bits") because I don't see the reason in trying to get fully clean; I've never had a problem with it cutting through the playa dust & sunblock. I'm also fairly tolerant of the dust, YMMV.
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Re: Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

Postby Test Tickle Ease » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:04 am

So I'm curious: how did it all turn out?

I was a freeloading, innocent newbie. I had a blast. I found that people who worked way too much were way too proud of the amount they worked and way less focused on the spirit of the whole thing. Which really isn't horrendous, especially considering my lack of effort into the whole thing, and how much they did in comparison, but really, it's camping. It's life. If you show up and aren't parasitic nor a fucking moron, people take you in. If you need, you'll get, and when people can provide, we do.

This thread is one of my favorite I've read. But it's really not reflective of who I met at Burning Man. Everyone seemed to be a lot more chill than this, and a lot more accommodating to whomever has curiosity around them. Only now after a couple of years do I understand all the gazes I received along with the "Ahhh--First time Burner..." statements. But they were all good-hearted and from people who "get it."

If you've been, then you know how important this place is. If you haven't, you deserve to go just as much as anyone else. Just show up; the Playa will provide. Bring your A-Game, and let's do this.
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Re: Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:53 am

Test Tickle Ease wrote:

Just show up; the Playa will provide.


I wouldn't count on it.
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Re: Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

Postby TomServo » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:19 am

Test Tickle Ease wrote:I was a freeloading, innocent newbie. I had a blast. I found that people who worked way too much were way too proud of the amount they worked and way less focused on the spirit of the whole thing. Which really isn't horrendous, especially considering my lack of effort into the whole thing, and how much they did in comparison, but really, it's camping.


Sounds like you need to reevaluate your real reasons for attending the event. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd feel a little ashamed about making a boast like that. If 2011 was your first year, I would pay money to see how you handle the playa at its BEST!
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Re: Best Theme Camps for Newbie Burners from the East Coast

Postby Test Tickle Ease » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:00 am

TomServo wrote:
Test Tickle Ease wrote:I was a freeloading, innocent newbie. I had a blast. I found that people who worked way too much were way too proud of the amount they worked and way less focused on the spirit of the whole thing. Which really isn't horrendous, especially considering my lack of effort into the whole thing, and how much they did in comparison, but really, it's camping.


Sounds like you need to reevaluate your real reasons for attending the event. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd feel a little ashamed about making a boast like that. If 2011 was your first year, I would pay money to see how you handle the playa at its BEST!
Image


I did. 2010 was my first. I arrived arrogant and left humbled. And 2011 changed my life forever. The place is majestic and crucial to humanity. I think what I was unsuccessfully trying to communicate was that people can get caught up in the logistics and creation of a camp, and can lose sight of the bigger picture. And that would be a true shame.

The human tendency to grab and hold the things we cherish most can encroach into the sharing of those same things with others around us, and with something like Burning Man, it's imperative that it's shared just as much as it's cherished. Maybe I'm crazy too. :lol:
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