How much should I REALLY bring?

What to wear? What not to wear? Where to find and how to make anything from goggles to fantastic pieces of playawear.

Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby lucky420 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:29 am

junglesmacks
Cake.
YES!!

a quick note about feathers. Yours may be sewn in, glued on (or whatever method you use really tight). It's just that other people see feathers and think "YAY" I'll just pick up that janky ass headress or feather suit and be really cool and hip on the playa." I picked up a shit ton of feathers and really tiny pieces of feathers last year while mooping.

so thanks for understanding and leaving yours at home.

See ya in the dust!
Oh my god, it's HUGE!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby illy dilly » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:58 pm

DAMN!!!!!!!
Where are you gonna rent that one from? That will be real nice parked right out in front of camp.
But, why not 2012?
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:13 pm

SnowBlind wrote:
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
Advice on Shoes for Guys on the Playa
Comfy shoes for the ladies?
Shoes for the Playa
Shoes & Boots: Your Best Friend On The Playa
Men's Shoes At BM



WOW!!!!Thank you for ALL this info. I actually looked at a bike shop in Reno already. I'm surprised ppl take bikes at BM. If I rent one I will be sure to lock it up and thanks for telling me to reserve it early. I'm sure the shops go through them fast! I peeped through the frequently asked question section and actually had some things answered by reading it. I'll def check out the rest of the links on my day off. You rock!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:35 pm

some seeing eye wrote: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.


Good tip on the knapsack. Thank you!!


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.



Thanks, will do!


Bob wrote:Just bring your mind, and your ass will follow.


Totally. I feel ya!!


lucky420 wrote:a quick note about feathers. Yours may be sewn in, glued on (or whatever method you use really tight). It's just that other people see feathers and think "YAY" I'll just pick up that janky ass headress or feather suit and be really cool and hip on the playa." I picked up a shit ton of feathers and really tiny pieces of feathers last year while mooping.

so thanks for understanding and leaving yours at home.

See ya in the dust!


You're welcome. I can go without. If it helps in cleaning up moop and the land, I'm all for it. :) See you soon!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Super Evil Brian » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:22 am

tara wrote:
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


The playa bike thing is an iffy subject. My bike was fine after the playa. I just cleaned the dust off the chain when I got home and had no worries. A friend of mine from NYC also brought his "real" bike like me and had no problems. The dust may cause some problems with the bearings and working parts of cheap bikes, but it doesn't ruin them. I'm pretty sure there are a few threads on that with all sorts of opinions.

I wore desert issue combat boots (Air Force sage before, playa color after) and they were comfy. I had some odd canvas Adidas sneakers (non-cushioned rubber sole, rubber toe cap, I bought them at an outlet but never saw them anywhere else) that were also fine after. All the clothes I had went in the wash in a laundromat in Hawthorne, Nev., on the way home, no special washing or treatment. The car still has a layer of playa dust inside as does the non-working parts of some camera lenses and bodies. My little radio is a nice shade of beige instead of boring black.

I left my smartwool sweater at home but brought a 100-weight fleece jacket instead. It's less of a pain to wash and was all the insulation I needed at night. (Smartwool socks are simple to wash, but this sweater isn't).

Goggles and a scarf/bandana/shemaghs/neck gaitor is a good idea to use as a dust mask or to keep the sun off of your skin. They can also add some insulation depending on the fabric. I had a hat or two with me, one from Outdoor Research and the other a well-worn Tilley hat. Keeping the sun off of your skin and out of your eyes makes a world of difference in keeping cool during the day. Also a hat may help keeping your hair from becoming playafied (haha ... not really). I found the boots were better for walking since they didn't accumulate dust in them, but the sneakers were better for riding my bike around.

A light, non-cotton sweater (preferably fleece -- even better if it's wind proof) and a lighter layer or two should keep you comfortable and not take up too much space. A light jacket like a Marmot Precip packs down to nearly nothing and is windproof and water proof. The windproof being the bigger deal on the playa. It's inexpensive and can be easily washed ... or just hosed off later.

The first day or two you may get fully dressed to use the loo, but by the end of the week you'll just walk over stark naked with boots on. Or at least I did. By the end, everyone is dusty (except the ones who hide in RVs and shower), everything is dusty and no one even notices anything. All of your gear will have dust in it, except whatever is in unopened plastic bags.

One tip I learned here on ePlaya is to have a clean set of clothes in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag to change into once you're away from the dust. You may not even realize you're filthy, crusty and coasted in dust until you change. If you pack all of your clothes in vacuum bags, you can squeeze more in whilst still keeping the bag under weight restrictions.

I used a Camelbak Ambush with a 3l bladder (until I tore a hole in it accidentally by dropping an effervescent electrolyte tablet with the thing nearly empty. It sat in a small puddle in a corner and somehow built up pressure enough to rip a hole. It was a super-durable bladder, not the wimpy blue ones) that allowed me to carry water, a blinky light, Powerbar and some other stuff. I have a lighter weight back pack I plan to use this year, but either one will go into a carry on or checked bag with no problems. I had a spare 1-liter aluminum bottle but I had to refill it a million times and carry it. A bladder in a back pack (there are several brands and they all work well) is the easiest way to do it.

One thing not to forget is a good headlamp. Big box home centers have them with their flash lights or you can go to an Eastern Mountain Sports or REI (or other outfitter/ adventure gear store) to see what they have. Don't get the cheapest one they have because it will fall apart. It's a good way to light up what you're doing around camp (or home or traveling!) and keep you from being a dark wad out in the playa. You don't want to be run over by a fire-shooting praying mantis.

I slept on an air mattress and it was oddly cold. Something about them sucks the heat right out of you and they're heavy. A sleeping pad for camping is a better option. I had a borrowed sleeping bag and a wicking "travel sheet," which is like a sleeping bag with no zipper that packs into a SMALL bag. It's for adding some comfort in motels or guest quarters, or possibly places where the sheets are less than springtime fresh.

The playa isn't like visiting somewhere and staying in a hostel or Motel 6. Your sleep patterns will go out the dusty window and you may find yourself taking naps in center camp mid day and being awake all night, only to fall down from exhaustion on whatever looks like a bed in your camp/tent. You're not going to sleep well or normally. Black Rock City is like nowhere else you've been and no one is born with a reference.

The best anyone can do is read everything here, maybe check weather patterns and take an honest look at what you really need.

I was living in San Antonio in an epic drought at the time (which was hotter than the playa) so I was able to figure out how to stay comfortable in dusty conditions, so I maybe had a better chance than a virgin coming from Maine or Florida. I also was able to camp on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico before and was lucky enough to have a fierce storm the whole time. The playa was actually more comfortable than I expected.

Unless you're bringing costumes you should be able to get all of your clothes and a lot of camp/comfort gear in a large checked bag. If you bring a cooler keep in mind how long the lines for ice can be. Maybe look for a thread on camping with no refrigeration or ice. It's not only possible, it's easy and less to worry about.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby funkyjigsaw » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:32 am

There is a LOT of really good advice here. I live in the UK, so come to the playa by plane to San Fran.
I'm an old crusty pervert, and I've camped in some very extreme climates over the years. Here are some pointers from my own experience :
- Rent a bike. Either in Reno or out on the playa itself. HOWEVER, I find that walking around the playa is a much better experience. Bikes are good for getting to a 'destination', but can be a pain when you get there. Waking up at midday asking yourself "Where the fuck did I leave my bike?" is a common thing. I use my bike during the day, but not at night.
- How fit and healthy are you? If you are fit and healthy, you need to worry less.
- Do you do drink and drugs? If yes, then you need to plan accordingly. Drink and drugs effects are magnified because of the environment.
- How comfortable do you need to be? It is only one week. Repeat ... It is ONLY one week.
- There is talk above about sleeping bags. Bring a serious 4 season sleeping bag. Also bring a sleeping bag liner. These liners are cotton or silk and go inside your main sleeping bag. Sleep inside the liner inside the 4 season. You will be toasty if you need to be. If you feel hot, unzip the 4 season, but stay inside the liner. The 4 season becomes a pseudo duvet. As it heats up in the morning, I end up in just the liner, with the 4 season set aside. Then I end up just lying naked!
- A camp pad is good enough. BUT, buying a nice pillow can make a big difference. Buy this in Reno for a few dollars and donate / ditch it afterwards.
- Cold out on the playa? If you dance a lot, then think layers. I dance a lot and am never cold. Combine a costume with a warm coat. I bought a yeti-coat last year and will this year sew some blinky lights into it. That will be my night playa wear. Maybe a T-shirt underneath. Keep your top warm ... don't worry about your legs.
- Coolers. Buy one in Reno. Gift it / trash it when you leave. Keeping stuff cold in a cooler is easy. If you run out of ice, just go get some. No big issue. I've met and had some great experiences in the ice queue!
- When it gets hot. Just make sure you drink LOTS of water. LOTS! If your pee isn't light in colour, drink more water. If your pee is dark, it's a BAD sign. Light pee, often. And find shade. There is lots of shade. Don't be afraid to say "I need to get out of the sun, may I relax here in your shade for 30 mins?"
- Food. I don't go to BM to sample the cuisine. I'm a freeze-dried / trail-mix person. I do love my powdered Miso Soup though! Think electrolytes. You will need less and want less food than you imagine. I plan for two meals per day. One when I get up after sleeping. Another before I "head out" for the night. Plan for small meals. Tinned fruit is good for a snack. By the end of the week, we are all gagging for fresh fruit and salad!

Enough ... :o)) xx
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby funkyjigsaw » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:54 am

I forgot a few things :
- Footwear. This depends on how tough your feet are. The best advice is to wear some sort of combat boot. HOWEVER, whatever you wear must be comfortable! I bring about 15 pairs of thin ankle socks. Very thin. Just enough for the boots to be comfy. I also wear flip-flops and trek-sandals a lot around camp. I bring combat boots and trek-sandals.
- Eyewear & Dust Masks. THIS is vital to think through. I wear spectacles and contact lenses. You have day vs night. Dust vs no dust. If you are fortunate enough to not need spectacles or contacts, it's easy. If you need specatcles / contacts, then you need to spend some time thinking it through.
- Keeping clean. Everyone is dusty and dirty! I love it! I bring LOTS of baby-wipes and keep very clean. And I love the occasional shower. Feel free to shower naked in full view ... seriously, nobody cares. I wash my hair every morning with a litre of water ( I am male and have short hair) .. having clean hair is important to me. I just put my head over a evap pond ... cold water is OK. If you have long hair, you can still do this ... best to find a buddy to help.

J xx
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Super Evil Brian » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:04 am

funkyjigsaw wrote:I forgot a few things :
- Footwear. This depends on how tough your feet are. The best advice is to wear some sort of combat boot. HOWEVER, whatever you wear must be comfortable! I bring about 15 pairs of thin ankle socks. Very thin. Just enough for the boots to be comfy. I also wear flip-flops and trek-sandals a lot around camp. I bring combat boots and trek-sandals.
- Eyewear & Dust Masks. THIS is vital to think through. I wear spectacles and contact lenses. You have day vs night. Dust vs no dust. If you are fortunate enough to not need spectacles or contacts, it's easy. If you need specatcles / contacts, then you need to spend some time thinking it through.
- Keeping clean. Everyone is dusty and dirty! I love it! I bring LOTS of baby-wipes and keep very clean. And I love the occasional shower. Feel free to shower naked in full view ... seriously, nobody cares. I wash my hair every morning with a litre of water ( I am male and have short hair) .. having clean hair is important to me. I just put my head over a evap pond ... cold water is OK. If you have long hair, you can still do this ... best to find a buddy to help.

J xx


Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Ratty » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:18 am

A couple of years a go there was a perpetually burning piece of art near center camp. I kept wondering if the artist knew it would be a weenie roast all week. Even if you don't bring a stove you can always find a way to heat food. There's no shortage of fires or helpful neighbors.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Drawingablank » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:20 am

There are a few things I would not consider attending the burn without:

1. Pump garden sprayer - Useful for a ton of stuff from showering to cleaning dishes. Minimizes water use so less grey water to deal with.

2. A decent head lamp. Having hands free light in the portos and your tent is priceless. When traveling at night wear it around your neck, aimed at the ground just ahead of you. If you wear it on your head it will blind anyone you look at.

3. Good, well broken in boots.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Ratty » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:31 am

Drawing, Thanks! I'm bringing a garden sprayer. Great idea!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby AntiM » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:05 am

Super Evil Brian wrote:
Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)


You know, they don't really clean those adequately after use and yes, they do re-use them. Ick. Bring a squishy teddy bear, that's what we use on the plane.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:24 am

AntiM wrote:
Super Evil Brian wrote:
Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)


You know, they don't really clean those adequately after use and yes, they do re-use them. Ick. Bring a squishy teddy bear, that's what we use on the plane.



Often, when I camp, I just bring an empty pillowcase, then at night I fill it up with folded clothes.... sweaters or things like that which don't have hard buttons on them. This tends to give you a pretty firm pillow, which I know isn't to everyone's liking (it is to mine), but it lets you save a lot of space when you're packing. The biggest drawback is that by then end of the week your pillow is made out of dirty laundry... but on the playa, that's likely to smell more of dust than sweat, anyways.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Ratty » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:36 pm

I double, double what cat said. (especially if you have faux fur to stuff in the bag.)
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby ranger magnum » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Socks. I bring enough for two changes per day
Goldbond medicated lotion. That shit is magic on dry parts....
Ugg boots rock at night. Buy the cheap immitation ones
Baby wipes
REI sells a waterless shower soap.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:34 pm

First of all....YOU ALL ROCK!!!! :D OK, now time for responses......

Super Evil Brian wrote:
tara wrote:
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


The playa bike thing is an iffy subject. My bike was fine after the playa. I just cleaned the dust off the chain when I got home and had no worries. A friend of mine from NYC also brought his "real" bike like me and had no problems. The dust may cause some problems with the bearings and working parts of cheap bikes, but it doesn't ruin them. I'm pretty sure there are a few threads on that with all sorts of opinions.

I wore desert issue combat boots (Air Force sage before, playa color after) and they were comfy. I had some odd canvas Adidas sneakers (non-cushioned rubber sole, rubber toe cap, I bought them at an outlet but never saw them anywhere else) that were also fine after. All the clothes I had went in the wash in a laundromat in Hawthorne, Nev., on the way home, no special washing or treatment. The car still has a layer of playa dust inside as does the non-working parts of some camera lenses and bodies. My little radio is a nice shade of beige instead of boring black.

I left my smartwool sweater at home but brought a 100-weight fleece jacket instead. It's less of a pain to wash and was all the insulation I needed at night. (Smartwool socks are simple to wash, but this sweater isn't).

Goggles and a scarf/bandana/shemaghs/neck gaitor is a good idea to use as a dust mask or to keep the sun off of your skin. They can also add some insulation depending on the fabric. I had a hat or two with me, one from Outdoor Research and the other a well-worn Tilley hat. Keeping the sun off of your skin and out of your eyes makes a world of difference in keeping cool during the day. Also a hat may help keeping your hair from becoming playafied (haha ... not really). I found the boots were better for walking since they didn't accumulate dust in them, but the sneakers were better for riding my bike around.

A light, non-cotton sweater (preferably fleece -- even better if it's wind proof) and a lighter layer or two should keep you comfortable and not take up too much space. A light jacket like a Marmot Precip packs down to nearly nothing and is windproof and water proof. The windproof being the bigger deal on the playa. It's inexpensive and can be easily washed ... or just hosed off later.

The first day or two you may get fully dressed to use the loo, but by the end of the week you'll just walk over stark naked with boots on. Or at least I did. By the end, everyone is dusty (except the ones who hide in RVs and shower), everything is dusty and no one even notices anything. All of your gear will have dust in it, except whatever is in unopened plastic bags.

One tip I learned here on ePlaya is to have a clean set of clothes in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag to change into once you're away from the dust. You may not even realize you're filthy, crusty and coasted in dust until you change. If you pack all of your clothes in vacuum bags, you can squeeze more in whilst still keeping the bag under weight restrictions.

I used a Camelbak Ambush with a 3l bladder (until I tore a hole in it accidentally by dropping an effervescent electrolyte tablet with the thing nearly empty. It sat in a small puddle in a corner and somehow built up pressure enough to rip a hole. It was a super-durable bladder, not the wimpy blue ones) that allowed me to carry water, a blinky light, Powerbar and some other stuff. I have a lighter weight back pack I plan to use this year, but either one will go into a carry on or checked bag with no problems. I had a spare 1-liter aluminum bottle but I had to refill it a million times and carry it. A bladder in a back pack (there are several brands and they all work well) is the easiest way to do it.

One thing not to forget is a good headlamp. Big box home centers have them with their flash lights or you can go to an Eastern Mountain Sports or REI (or other outfitter/ adventure gear store) to see what they have. Don't get the cheapest one they have because it will fall apart. It's a good way to light up what you're doing around camp (or home or traveling!) and keep you from being a dark wad out in the playa. You don't want to be run over by a fire-shooting praying mantis.

I slept on an air mattress and it was oddly cold. Something about them sucks the heat right out of you and they're heavy. A sleeping pad for camping is a better option. I had a borrowed sleeping bag and a wicking "travel sheet," which is like a sleeping bag with no zipper that packs into a SMALL bag. It's for adding some comfort in motels or guest quarters, or possibly places where the sheets are less than springtime fresh.

The playa isn't like visiting somewhere and staying in a hostel or Motel 6. Your sleep patterns will go out the dusty window and you may find yourself taking naps in center camp mid day and being awake all night, only to fall down from exhaustion on whatever looks like a bed in your camp/tent. You're not going to sleep well or normally. Black Rock City is like nowhere else you've been and no one is born with a reference.

The best anyone can do is read everything here, maybe check weather patterns and take an honest look at what you really need.

I was living in San Antonio in an epic drought at the time (which was hotter than the playa) so I was able to figure out how to stay comfortable in dusty conditions, so I maybe had a better chance than a virgin coming from Maine or Florida. I also was able to camp on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico before and was lucky enough to have a fierce storm the whole time. The playa was actually more comfortable than I expected.

Unless you're bringing costumes you should be able to get all of your clothes and a lot of camp/comfort gear in a large checked bag. If you bring a cooler keep in mind how long the lines for ice can be. Maybe look for a thread on camping with no refrigeration or ice. It's not only possible, it's easy and less to worry about.


WOW! What a plethora of info! Thank you so much! I will take what you said into consideration. Thank you. Thank you! I'm a veggie who leans towards raw foods. I don't like eating a lot of processed food, however I will be making an exception during BM. I'm sure one week will be fine. Still would like to have a cooler with a few items, even if it only lasts a few days. Then again who knows, I'm sure my mind will change about a few things within the next 4 months. :) Does everyone's sleeping space get really dusty too?


Super Evil Brian wrote:
funkyjigsaw wrote:I forgot a few things :
- Footwear. This depends on how tough your feet are. The best advice is to wear some sort of combat boot. HOWEVER, whatever you wear must be comfortable! I bring about 15 pairs of thin ankle socks. Very thin. Just enough for the boots to be comfy. I also wear flip-flops and trek-sandals a lot around camp. I bring combat boots and trek-sandals.
- Eyewear & Dust Masks. THIS is vital to think through. I wear spectacles and contact lenses. You have day vs night. Dust vs no dust. If you are fortunate enough to not need spectacles or contacts, it's easy. If you need specatcles / contacts, then you need to spend some time thinking it through.
- Keeping clean. Everyone is dusty and dirty! I love it! I bring LOTS of baby-wipes and keep very clean. And I love the occasional shower. Feel free to shower naked in full view ... seriously, nobody cares. I wash my hair every morning with a litre of water ( I am male and have short hair) .. having clean hair is important to me. I just put my head over a evap pond ... cold water is OK. If you have long hair, you can still do this ... best to find a buddy to help.

J xx


Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)


Thanks J!!! You are all so awesome with all these details! I'm def going to get a pillow! Picking one up in Reno is a great idea. How do you all shower? Just take a cup/bottle of water and wash? I probably won't wash my hair all week. Been looking up dust masks and goggles online. Love that they make them with clear and tinted lenses!


Ratty wrote:A couple of years a go there was a perpetually burning piece of art near center camp. I kept wondering if the artist knew it would be a weenie roast all week. Even if you don't bring a stove you can always find a way to heat food. There's no shortage of fires or helpful neighbors.


Haha. Thanks Ratty! I eat a lot of raw foods, so I think I can get by without heating anything. Though some roasted marshmellows would be fun! :-P


Drawingablank wrote:There are a few things I would not consider attending the burn without:

1. Pump garden sprayer - Useful for a ton of stuff from showering to cleaning dishes. Minimizes water use so less grey water to deal with.

2. A decent head lamp. Having hands free light in the portos and your tent is priceless. When traveling at night wear it around your neck, aimed at the ground just ahead of you. If you wear it on your head it will blind anyone you look at.

3. Good, well broken in boots.



I didn't know what a garden sprayer was till you brought it up. They seem to run pretty inexpensive too. Thanks. And thank you guys for suggesting a head lamp. Adding that on my list! :wink:


AntiM wrote:
Super Evil Brian wrote:
Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)


You know, they don't really clean those adequately after use and yes, they do re-use them. Ick. Bring a squishy teddy bear, that's what we use on the plane.



Always nice to have something to cuddle with!


catinthefunnyhat wrote:
AntiM wrote:
Super Evil Brian wrote:
Oh yea, a pillow. That's the most important thing and I forgot it.

One can just steal an airline pillow :)


You know, they don't really clean those adequately after use and yes, they do re-use them. Ick. Bring a squishy teddy bear, that's what we use on the plane.



Often, when I camp, I just bring an empty pillowcase, then at night I fill it up with folded clothes.... sweaters or things like that which don't have hard buttons on them. This tends to give you a pretty firm pillow, which I know isn't to everyone's liking (it is to mine), but it lets you save a lot of space when you're packing. The biggest drawback is that by then end of the week your pillow is made out of dirty laundry... but on the playa, that's likely to smell more of dust than sweat, anyways.



That's a great idea!!! :)


ranger magnum wrote:Socks. I bring enough for two changes per day
Goldbond medicated lotion. That shit is magic on dry parts....
Ugg boots rock at night. Buy the cheap immitation ones
Baby wipes
REI sells a waterless shower soap.



Thank you for the list ranger!!! :)
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby AntiM » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:09 am

Everyone's sleeping space does not get dusty. Mine has minimal dust, but we bought a tent without mesh. We do not change clothes in the tent, or bring dusty things into the tent such as shoes, we even wipe our feet before bedtime. Of course, we have a very small tent under shade, and all dressing, bathing and so on, happens in the shade area, not inside the tent.

I think our hair is the dustiest thing to go in the tent.

Always, always zip up your tent when you aren't in it, even for a few minutes. You never know when you'll wander off.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby SnowBlind » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:45 pm

AntiM wrote:Everyone's sleeping space does not get dusty. Mine has minimal dust, but we bought a tent without mesh.


My tent does have mesh, so dust gets inside. More on some days, less on others. One year I picked up my (dusty) sleeping bag and realized how clean every thing underneath was. So now I bring an extra bed sheet and throw it over the whole bed in the morning. That way I just remove that sheet and night and everything underneath is relatively dust free.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Drawingablank » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:11 pm

Ratty wrote:Drawing, Thanks! I'm bringing a garden sprayer. Great idea!

Was going through some of our plastic tubs from the burn yesterday and came across the sprayer. I found this at the hardware store for $14 and it worked great for us. Nice and compact and no hose to mess with . It holds 1.5 quarts and adjusts from a fine mist to a high pressure spot spray pattern.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Clar-i-ty » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:09 pm

2013 will be my year. I know I say this EVERY YEAR, but I swear with Naked Bob as my witness, this is the last year I am tent camping. Momma needs an upgrade.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby ranger magnum » Tue May 01, 2012 5:47 pm

AntiM wrote:Everyone's sleeping space does not get dusty. Mine has minimal dust, but we bought a tent without mesh. We do not change clothes in the tent, or bring dusty things into the tent such as shoes, we even wipe our feet before bedtime. Of course, we have a very small tent under shade, and all dressing, bathing and so on, happens in the shade area, not inside the tent.

I think our hair is the dustiest thing to go in the tent.

Always, always zip up your tent when you aren't in it, even for a few minutes. You never know when you'll wander off.


So true....

Years ago i wandered away from my camp for what i though was "just a moment". Turns out i was gone for almost 30 hours!
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby AntiM » Wed May 02, 2012 6:03 am

SnowBlind wrote:
AntiM wrote:Everyone's sleeping space does not get dusty. Mine has minimal dust, but we bought a tent without mesh.


My tent does have mesh, so dust gets inside. More on some days, less on others. One year I picked up my (dusty) sleeping bag and realized how clean every thing underneath was. So now I bring an extra bed sheet and throw it over the whole bed in the morning. That way I just remove that sheet and night and everything underneath is relatively dust free.


Bring a spare blanket and clip it over your mesh. Worked like a charm on our old tent which had two mesh panels in the top. Skip the rainfly, it is a dust scoop.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Savannah » Wed May 02, 2012 11:02 am

Do you use spring clamps for this, AntiM? Or some other kind of clips?

(I discovered spring clamps in 2010, and I am in love . . . )
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby AntiM » Wed May 02, 2012 11:03 am

Yes, spring clamps, the cheap ones from HF. They're adequate for this task. We have a clamp bucket! Old kitty litter bucket, useful things. They make good MOOP buckets too, because they have attached lids.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby tara » Wed May 02, 2012 8:47 pm

This is great advice everyone. Thank you!

AntiM wrote:Everyone's sleeping space does not get dusty. Mine has minimal dust, but we bought a tent without mesh. We do not change clothes in the tent, or bring dusty things into the tent such as shoes, we even wipe our feet before bedtime. Of course, we have a very small tent under shade, and all dressing, bathing and so on, happens in the shade area, not inside the tent.

I think our hair is the dustiest thing to go in the tent.

Always, always zip up your tent when you aren't in it, even for a few minutes. You never know when you'll wander off.


As far as hair, maybe try wearing shower caps to bed or wrapping your hair (depending on how long it is) in a shawl. The shawl (or cloth or some sort) may be more comfortable though.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby AntiM » Thu May 03, 2012 5:09 am

Yeah, I already know I can't sleep with a wrapped head. Shower caps? Euw, crinkly. I just bring an extra pillowcase and swap out later in the week.
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Re: How much should I REALLY bring?

Postby Oldguy » Thu May 03, 2012 11:00 pm

Wool socks, long underwear, glove liners, knitted cap, earplugs, sleeping mask, dust masks/ bandanas, 2 bags zipped together, mummy bag with liner, wool blankets, sheets, favorite pillows, day clothes, night clothes, canned food, water bottles, big ass tent, smaller tent, shade structure, bike/ride, sleeping pad/foam mattress, camelback, sierra cups, butane stove, propane stove , coffee pot/boiler, bowl, utinsels, rake, shovel, moop bags, 4 colemans to hold stuff/seating, igloo for ice/soda cans/beer, lemon drop/ butterscoth candy, 5 gal. water can, 5 gal. gas can, fire bottle, can openers, hand tools, first aid kit, trailer, handicap/ mutant golf cart, beaners, ropes, candycanes, lamps, lanterns, led garden lights, boots, shoes, daily socks, underwear, award/ confirmation letters, cash, spare batteries, KFC bucket/ pizzas for first day, jack/teguilla, hats, , go home clothes in baggie, small rugs, art stuff, radio, duffle bags, and other stuff.
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