Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby N2FBoston » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:05 pm

Hello everyone!

As a virgin burner I am doing as much research as I possibly can. To organize all this information I began putting together a nifty little document on google docs. Its growing rapidly and at this point I think could really be helpful to anyone starting to do research. There are lists of things you may need, as well as links to helpful pages. Some of the info on there is specific to my personal planning, but the large majority would be helpful to any burner.

Enjoy! and if you have anything to add please post in this thread, I would love to hear any suggestions!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iFE ... f4Cyc/edit
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:26 pm

PREPERATION -> Preparation.
Please correct and return for grade.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Savannah » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:48 pm

Thread moved to the "Q & A Tips and Tricks" forum.
*** 2013 Survival Guide ***

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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Bob » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:58 pm

N2FBoston wrote:Hello everyone!

As a virgin burner I am doing as much research as I possibly can. To organize all this information I began putting together a nifty little document on google docs. Its growing rapidly and at this point I think could really be helpful to anyone starting to do research. There are lists of things you may need, as well as links to helpful pages. Some of the info on there is specific to my personal planning, but the large majority would be helpful to any burner.

Enjoy! and if you have anything to add please post in this thread, I would love to hear any suggestions!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iFE ... f4Cyc/edit


As a "virgin" burner, please get to know people before you insert your tit in a wringer, and leave the niftiness to the professionals.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Trishntek » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:57 pm

Not to shit on your enthusiasm, but is this not reinventing the Survival Guide? Thanks for sharing and WELCOME TO EPLAYA!
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby International Incident » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:30 am

Enthusiasm is great! Your document is going to be really handy for you and might give others some ideas how they could do their own.

But don't expect praise from us lot - we don't do that.

Keep preparing and keep reading eplaya.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby CornMan » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:41 am

I think you making this document is a great way to internalize much useful info regarding being prepared for your first visit to Burning Man. Our camp did pretty much the same thing on one of our docs. One thing you might want to focus on is a plan to deal with all the trash that gets generated toward the end of the festival without it causing too much fuss and inconvenience. This might include partially unwrapping some foods and supplies and discarding the excess wrapping at home before heading to BRC. Maybe bring a mesh bag to put your wet food items such as melon rinds so they can dry out and not be such a yucky mess to bring home.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby N2FBoston » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:51 am

Wasn't looking for any praise. Was hoping for helpful tips on what to add, and perhaps someone would find it useful.

Thanks Zeke thats a great tip! May as well get rid of everything you can before you get out to the desert and face all its challenges.
When shall I be free?
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In perfect harmony.

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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Noboundaries » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:52 am

A very broad brush document of the big picture. The little things are missing.

Look at each area on your document and start adding a list of the little things you'll need and how you intend to pack them.

Our spreadsheet packing list had 238 entries ranging from the structural segments of our Monkey Hut down to ear buds.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Bob » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:05 am

Overthinking.

It's just a fucking, camping, trip.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby N2FBoston » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:14 am

Yea I realize that No Boundaries, this is basically the reason I posted it here. I have almost a year to go until BM 2013, and I'm just getting started so I only have the basics down. I'm hoping through ePlaya and more research I'll be able to clue in on the smaller details and specifics.

Do you maybe have any specific tips or points to share from your experience?
When shall I be free?
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Bob » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:57 am

Shrink wrap -- check.

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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:15 am

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Neonbeliever » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:22 pm

One word of warning.... Make your RV dust tight but don't kill yourselves with carbon monoxide from the fridge etc.... We did too well with our windows and what not so much so the carbon monoxide monitor went off every few hours. We just turned the fridge etc off and winged it. Fridges seemed somewhat irrelevant once your enjoying the playa.
I however went to the burn blind, I hadn't read so much as I didn't want to spoil it, it's best to go with no idea and find your wings when your there..... Take water, food, goggles and dust mask and you will be fine x
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Milayna » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:12 pm

I did something similar last year leading up to my first burn, and it was super helpful to have it organized in a google doc like you do.

One recommendation- I did a mountain of research on monkey huts before I went, and if you happen to be setting up a monkey hut for 1-2 people, or if you have to fit materials in a standard vehicle (ie not a box truck or cargo van) then I'd highly recommend this design over the lovemonkey http://www.maxicon.com/Burning_Man/PVC_ ... _playa.htm This is mainly because the largest pieces are broken into 5 foot sections making them much easier to transport. Also, instead of using pvc joints on the ribbing you use rubber material or duct tape, and that allows the structure to have a little more give in the wind, PLUS it's much less confusing (at least it was to me). I followed this and my monkey hut survived every dust storm, including the one that raged almost all night one day. I was also able to put this up entirely by myself in a dusty wind Sunday evening, so it's pretty simple. :D :D
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby ranger magnum » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:15 pm

Interesting document, and it has some good points, though I would suggest attending first before writing a survival guide. It would be more credible.

Anyway, do not use chain lube on your bicycle chain while on playa. All it will do is attract more playa dust and create more problems. Best to run it dry, and either clean it thoroughly when you get home or just replace it.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby maryanimal » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:43 pm

LMAO and hugs Bob! My favorite curmudgeon of a couch! You're gentle spirit always warms my heart!

FIGJAM: What a great link! *swoon*

N2F: My first year was 2011. I came in with the same wide-eyed innocence and did the exact same thing you did with the list! I think it'll help many a newb so keep building it! I was crushed by all the snark when they guffawed at my lack of research, but they lead me in the right direction and I gained a really thick skin! You'll be making lists, different lists, every year. Next year, my list will be very different from this years. I appreciate you and your efforts!

You'll come to learn the folks in here are the best! As my dear sweet AntiM says: I love all you fuckos!
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby maladroit » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:58 pm

This was my first year. Next year I will be bringing far fewer "necessities" and a few more luxuries. Overall I'd like to reduce, not necessarily the volume, but the total number of things to bring. Clutter is the enemy.

I will bring a big stack of clean towels and wash cloths. Combined with a spray bottle of water and a little soap, I found that sponge baths were far easier, less messy, and cleaned better than baby wipes. However, I only had two towels. If you've been out playing in the dust like a proper burner, you can't use a towel twice...maybe a washcloth first, then you could reuse the towel for drying.

The first day or two, I wasn't happy with having always-dusty hands. Grabbing anything feels like swiping your hands along a dusty chalkboard. Eventually got used to it, just added lotion from time to time to keep them from actually drying out. Full gloves would have just gotten full of dust, but fingerless gloves actually helped a lot. Good luxury item (in addition to real work gloves, which are a necessity).

I brought too much food. This was after knowing I would bring too much food, and cutting back. Your first year, cooking will be a chore. I did drag out the camp stove a couple times, and fry up some bacon and pancakes, but for the most part subsisted on Clif bars. Don't worry...a Clif bar with ice water tastes so good on playa, and getting bored of your food is probably the most unlikely thing to happen. I did bring Chef Boyardee, but here's a warning: try eating a lot of Chef Boyardee near the beginning of August. Unless you eat it on a regular basis already, a change of diet can be a nasty surprise on playa. I had a very unpleasant day which was eventually resolved by a much appreciated gift of Imodium. When porta-potties in scorching sun are involved, you don't want to take that risk.

Finally...like a dumbass (but mostly because a ticket didn't free up until a month before) I bought new boots to wear on playa, and we didn't get a chance to break each other in. They destroyed my feet. I didn't get playa foot, but I did get massive raw blisters. I still have holes in my feet now. If you want to take a large chunk of enjoyment out of your experience, try agony at every footstep.

To sum up: don't focus so much on bringing everything, but make sure everything you do bring is good quality and tested.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby maryanimal » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:07 pm

maladroit

+10
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:25 pm

maladroit wrote: I will bring a big stack of clean towels and wash cloths. Combined with a spray bottle of water and a little soap, I found that sponge baths were far easier, less messy, and cleaned better than baby wipes. However, I only had two towels. If you've been out playing in the dust like a proper burner, you can't use a towel twice...maybe a washcloth first, then you could reuse the towel for drying.

Personally I find towels to be a waste and they take up a lot of packing space. The heat will air dry you so fast I never even bother with towels. Unless of course you plan to wash up in the cold of night.

maladroit wrote:
Finally...like a dumbass (but mostly because a ticket didn't free up until a month before) I bought new boots to wear on playa, and we didn't get a chance to break each other in. They destroyed my feet. I didn't get playa foot, but I did get massive raw blisters. I still have holes in my feet now. If you want to take a large chunk of enjoyment out of your experience, try agony at every footstep.


This is possibly the best advice any new burner can get. Well broken in boots that fit well are a must. I also recommend bringing back ups such as sneakers, and something that slips on in case you need to make a middle of the night run to the portos.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Savannah » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:33 pm

Yeah . . . if you have a quantity of small wash cloths and hand towels, you can get by with fewer full size towels.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Noboundaries » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:07 pm

Do you maybe have any specific tips or points to share from your experience?


I see that you are a mechanical engineer by trade. That explains your analytical nature, just like mine. I majored in structural engineering but left it behind vocationally when I graduated a few decades ago.

2012 was our first burn, but not our first trip into potentially hostile weather conditions. We have a long history of backpacking in the Sierras and a shorter history of remote 4WD camping. For our first Burn we prioritized the Ten Principles and put Radical Self-Reliance on the top of our list. The last thing we wanted to be was a pain in the ass to anyone else.

For BM we decided we wanted the conveniences of an RV without the RV. We spent a casual year putting our camp together, upgrading some of our camping equipment, redesigning the MH to my liking, building evaporators, and deciding what was essential and what wasn't. Our camp was perfect for us. For some it would be overkill and for others too spartan. For us the only things we felt we needed were measuring cups and a broom, and those really weren't essential.

We took too much dry food, eating fresh food all week out of our $40 Coleman 5 day extreme coolers. We repackaged everything into watertight snaplock type containers so we didn't worry about contaminating our melt water. We gifted food and lots of tequila. In the end we could have gifted the extra food to the DPW when we left the playa but I forgot all about that opportunity and the food was buried in our 5x8 trailer. Next time, any left over gets positioned so it can be donated.

Water suitcases seemed to be popular. Instead we bought 5 gallon mylar bags for $3.50 each and Home Depot buckets with lids, also about $3.50 each. The bags have a nice watertight spigot on them. We filled the bags with water from the tap and put them in the buckets. The bags collapse completely when empty and the empty buckets got filled with trash and unevaporated greywater from our last shower. The bags and buckets are basically indestructible so we're set for water storage for as many Burns as we attend.

Figure your cooler melt water into your water and bathing needs. A 20 lb bag of ice will melt into 2.4 gallons of water; a 7 lb bag of ice into .84 gallons of water. Melt water is drinkable if not contaminated by food, but it is definitely good for bathing when you buy replenishment ice at the Arctica stations.

Skull Candy Titan earbuds cancel a lot of ambient sound when you are trying to sleep if you listen to music on a phone or ipod when you hit the rack. A cheap 100watt inverter and an inexpensive garden tractor 12Volt battery will keep your digital camera and phone charged all week when the batteries run low.

Since you are coming from Boston and it sounds like you are flying, you'll have to take a different approach than we did. We just drove over the hill from Sacramento. With a pickup and a cargo trailer we weren't concerned about packing room. Two of our best camp accessories were anti-gravity chairs. Man, we siesta'd for hours in those things every afternoon they were so friggin' comfortable.

Make your prep your own. Heck, planning the camp was ball! It reminded me of a lot of the engineering projects I did back in school. We're planning on using solar power supplemented with a vertical wind generator for next year's Burn instead of quiet generators. Designing the projects from scratch is a lot of the fun!
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Drawingablank » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:38 pm

Noboundaries wrote:
Do you maybe have any specific tips or points to share from your experience?


Make your prep your own. Heck, planning the camp was ball!

This is great advice, planning your first burn is part of the fun. On our first burn we planned like it was the Invasion of Normandy and drove all that crap cross country. We discovered that we were just as happy with a minimalist approach and for our second burn we brought a small fraction of what we had the previous year and a quickly written shopping list for when we got off the plane.

But until you have been there it is best to be a bit overprepared since everyone reacts differently to the conditions on the playa regarding food / appetite, comfort, cold, dust, noise, etc...
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby knowmad » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:00 pm

Snark; Live it, Love it, Learn it.
Lots of Feathers!!
Glowsticks Bring enough to share!
Don't let anyone tell you you are doing it wrong! They're just being redundant; But you knew that already.
Spelling!! God knows I'd be rick if every Virgin that Shows up to the Playa misspelled the simple words on this list.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Bob » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:43 pm

Pretty sure one pack of ShamWow towels holds enough water for the week.

Get a second pack at no extra charge, sew them into a Mobius strip, and you've got a greywater evap system.

Get a ShamMoop Mop for only an additional $7.95 shipping, and your moop problems are over.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:17 am

last year was my first. few things i see you most likely can go with out-

you prob wont use as much duck tape as you think. bring super glue though it is great.
chain lube you want to go with the dry stuff. wd40 will gunk up your bike with playa mud.
lotion- get the good quality coco butter. is soaks in well and is not greasy. also get cuticle balm. your cuticles will crack and bleed and it hurts like a bitch!! thank god i just threw some in with my burts bee bag of stuff. it saved my hands.
carpet- mehhh. im 50 50 on this. it is spendy to toss once you get out of bm. it is pretty much trashed after then burn and not worth re using.
the using bins thing... embrace the dust. even in the bins its going to be dusty lol.
after sun/aloe- I am super white and wore spf 15 all week and did not burn once.
camelbak- i took one with me... its really not worth it. taking bottles of water is much easier and your back will start to be raw by the end of the week if you dont have a shirt on. it just a hassle.
el wire- i have a link to cheap el wire that works very well. pm me and i will give it to you.
you are going to want eye drops along with the nose spray. Better yet bring a netti pot. it hurts less then the saline.
charcoal for the grill- you might want to re think this as the burn charcoal will be a moop issue. you are going to have to haul out the used stuff. consider a camp stove with propane instead.
go with paper bowls and plates. you can burn these in the public burn piles. just make sure they are mostly food free. we used alot of water cleaning dishes last year and you have to haul all of that out.

Clear tarps you want for your roof... you will fry to death. it will be an oven inside your structure! you want to use silver tarps or if you can afford it shade cloth. we used white last year and it was still about 107 inside.

gifts- dont bring the glow sticks. they are moopy and fill up the landfil. if you want to give light buy those led camping sticks and gift them. they are about $3 a pop but can be used year after year and wont fill the land fill. not to mention glow sticks are not enough to light someone up out there. many times i just about hit people on my bike that had glow sticks on cause i couldnt see them.
orentail trading comp is good but it will be slim that you find anything that is not a moop hazard. they are cheap trinkets.

caffeine drinks also dehydrate you almost as much as beer or spirits. water is the only thing that will make you pee and i say good luck with that.. i drank alot of fluids and hardly peeded or pooped.

do not accept cranberry drinks from strangers. this is one of the top ways to get drugged because the cranberry covers up the flavor. this is coming from my husband who is an 11 year vet who has worked at some of the bigger bars.

cooler- i say good luck with only opening it at night. you will use it threw out the day. best thing is get it up off the ground, wrap it with a wool blanket. DONT tape the dry ice cooler shut. it needs to be able to breath or your cooler will exspload.

few things i learned my first year-
deodorant melts keep it in a cool spot meaning not in the car and in the shade. thank god for back ups!
leave the perdy platform shoes at home. at night they are a hazard! you cant see the roads well enough and WILL fall in the pot holes. i did this friday night and was stuck at camp the rest of the night cause i hurt... i missed crystal method because of it.
make sure to pack a change of clothes for when you get back into the real world. DO NOT TOUCH THEM! trust me your body will thank you once you take a shower and have non dust filled clothes.
bandannas do not cut it as dust protection. playa lung SUCKS!!!
make sure to check your shoes and bedding. we found a scorpion in my camp mates tent. it is very rare but you dont want to risk it.
dont get calluses from your feet removed before the burn. they will help you keep from getting playa foot.
make sure to bring a cup with you everywhere you go, have fun with it make it perdy!
make a playa coat and sew el wire on it. you never know where you might sleep at night. it comes in handy for that!
bring more socks then you think you need. i brought 10 and i really should have brought 20. they get dusty and crunchy fast.
bring many small towels not one big one. they get gross as well.
BRING 5 THINGS OF MOLE SKINS!!! you will get blisters out there and so will your friends. trust me best thing i brought. if not i would have been camp bound all week. i had a huge blister on the bottom of my foot from walking.
baby wipes in the cooler are a GOD SEND!! they feel so good!!
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby Humin » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:25 pm

"Festival Ticket: there are tickets on sale in Jan/Feb, there are 10,000 tickets offered for 240$ (cheapest youll find them). then they can go as high as 390$"

lolwut?
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:48 am

Where are you getting this information, Humin? As details aren't released until January 4, it's likely this is wrong.
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby wh..sh » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:57 am

Humin wrote:"Festival Ticket: there are tickets on sale in Jan/Feb, there are 10,000 tickets offered for 240$ (cheapest youll find them). then they can go as high as 390$"

lolwut?

theCryptofishist wrote:Where are you getting this information, Humin? As details aren't released until January 4, it's likely this is wrong.

Humin quoted stuff from the "prep doc".
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Re: Burning Man 2013 Prep. Document

Postby trilobyte » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:02 am

Neither the OP's Prep Document nor any of the information contained in it constitutes official information from Burning Man.
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