Going Alone...

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Going Alone...

Postby nildogqt » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:02 am

I very well might be going this year alone. So, for those of you whom have gone alone or know someone who has, what was your experience? Did you feel safe, did you feel lonely or did you make friends to hang out with relatively quickly?
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby some seeing eye » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:40 am

Every year camped with friends in camps of 5 to >500. Camps are easy to find through your regional, through friends and on ePlaya. Some villages gather individual campers as well. With a camp, you can still independently adventure. Me, I wouldn't camp solo, too boring.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby missprism » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:49 am

there are some camps for solo campers to join up for a community of solo campers! no community art project, no dues, no shared amenities, just basically built in friends...

lots of people go alone it seems.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby geospyder » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:28 am

Most of the people I've camped with in the past are not going. I've had a few invites but I'm seriously considering going solo this year. More of a challenge to myself just to see if I can do it.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Elorrum » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:30 am

Going by yourself does not mean you will be alone when you get there. You will have fabulous neighbors, and neighborhoods. Many campers bring extra chairs for the purpose of having people besides themselves sit in their camp. Imagine!!!!
I go by myself every year, camp in the same neighborhood, and have returning neighbors, and meet new ones to hang out with EVERY YEAR! Not a problem. It's wise and safe as well to meet and know your neighbors. Have extra coffee, help with tent set up, be prepared for potlucks, bring snacks when you visit. Don't be afraid.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby jkisha » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Elorrum wrote:Going by yourself does not mean you will be alone when you get there. You will have fabulous neighbors, and neighborhoods. Many campers bring extra chairs for the purpose of having people besides themselves sit in their camp. Imagine!!!!
I go by myself every year, camp in the same neighborhood, and have returning neighbors, and meet new ones to hang out with EVERY YEAR! Not a problem. It's wise and safe as well to meet and know your neighbors. Have extra coffee, help with tent set up, be prepared for potlucks, bring snacks when you visit. Don't be afraid.

While I've never gone alone, this sounds like excellent advice if I were.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby maladroit » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:55 pm

I actually knew about 8-10 people on playa and was either in camp or within a couple blocks of all of them, my first year.

They were all friends I see maybe a few times a year, not super close friends at this point. So while it was a great thing to have familiar faces nearby and people to ask for advice, it felt like being alone most of the time. Actually, I felt far more alone sometimes than I ever have in defaultia. Within touching distance of 1000 people in a busy city, but emotionally still standing in the middle of an empty desert.

There's a fine line between self-sufficiency and isolation. Bring a close friend if you can, try to make friends if not. I was "Random guy 4623" pretty much everywhere, learning to engage is definitely my plan this year.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby VultureChow » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:12 pm

Last year was my virgin year, and I went solo, but camped in Barbie Death Village. It was the perfect level of community for me. I had intended to camp with Stag, but on Bobbin's advice, I begged Doc to let me in.

I was relatively self sufficient, but wound up leaning on a lot of people for help nonetheless. No matter how prepared I thought I was, I always needed help with something.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby missprism » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:02 pm

i have been welcomed to stag quite nicely! i am sure if you are a decent human, they would treat you the same.

but i think coming alone with the plan to engage others (respectfully) is a good gift. i'd think there are lots of people who didn't come alone but would like to chat with a new person about things they've seen, things they wanna do, how they're processing their burn but lack the incentive to strike up a convo with a stranger.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby 9ah » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:09 pm

I went alone last year, but I live in a camp... Plan on doing the same thing this year.

1. I felt safe.

2. I did not feel lonely. I had friends in camp, but I also made new friends.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:16 pm

There are some good reasons not to go with a camp, especially an intense theme camp.

I won't say that there isn't violence out there, but it's typically domestic violence, from what I know, and that you bring with you.
Make sure that you have a lid on your cup, to cut down on the opportunity for roofies, but in general people are open and are going to look out for you, especially if you make an effort to meet the neighbors.
It's their vacation, too, and the "community" (drink) is part of the fucking brand, to put it crassly.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Savannah » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:19 pm

I camped "alone" in 2010 (though I traveled in with a rideshare). I arrived a few days before Gate opened and it was very dark and quiet on Hanoi street at night, but it was a novel experience and I really liked it. Once the event started, however, I actually had neighbors within 24 hours. (I also had friends to visit and made some while I was there).

Coming in a normal time, you'll have few people on either side of you--unless you camp way out on L street, perhaps, and then maybe you'd have someone one one side but not always on the other side, for example. But still, other people will be within yelling distance. Virtually everyone has neighbors unless they go to great trouble not to (i.e. camp in the spot marked "Walk-In Camping", which is outside and to the South of the concentric streets laid out for you).

If you are honest yourself about what you want, you stand the best chance of Burning well. You still have a while to decide how you want to do this. Generally, you can:

* Join a theme camp, contribute work & money = receive comforts/contacts/fun/possibly prestige = obligate yourself in certain ways.

* Join a low-maintenance Orphan/Stag camp or village = typically pay nothing, few frills or creature comforts, but have some built-in social contacts.

* Go solo = physically harder, impressive = have neighbors, total freedom, will still meet tons of people.

NB: you do not necessarily have to live in the same city as a theme camp in order to join it. You can meet up out on the playa. Every camp does it differently though.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Canoe » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:52 am

Elorrum wrote:Going by yourself does not mean you will be alone when you get there. You will have fabulous neighbors, and neighborhoods. ...
I go by myself every year, camp in the same neighborhood, and have returning neighbors, and meet new ones to hang out with EVERY YEAR!
...It's wise and safe as well to meet and know your neighbors....

I always go alone. No one to babysit. Complete freedom to do what I want, when I want.
But then I'm a guy. Might be different for others...

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For example, theCryptofishist's point about roofies.

Alone? I've often gone walkabout, be it in the Rockies, Alps, Kalahari or closer to home by canoe (hence the nickname), so I'm used to being alone. But camping among 50K plus people is hardly alone.
It does take patience to deal with some Virgin (newbe), or Forever-Virgin (multi-year Virgin), trying to get you to take a useless piece of plastic as a gift, or the amazingly high numbers of "I'm here, I'm entitled, entertain me!" that showed up for 2012, but just wait for them to move past you, or you move past them, and you'll easily find the real Burners.

re: "Complete freedom to do what I want, when I want."
On ePlaya I go by my nickname, Canoe. On playa, I go by my real name. No nickname. No playa name. As I have the freedom to be Michael.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby nildogqt » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:35 am

I really liked reading everyone's thoughts here: thank you so much for sharing them, and keep them coming! I am looking very forward to all of this and all of you. :))
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:57 am

have you thought about dangling the carrot of sex in front of some code warriors who have never seen anything but their hand and some porn, but none the less are going to burning man with 50k of recently redeemed stock options and a really bitchin' RV and are looking for Eye Candy and possibly their first blow job?


starting in June, start looking in the cupertino craigslist under help wanted.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby 9ah » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:27 am

Last year did you do any activities alone?

Actually... do people that go in groups tend to do EVERYTHING together? I went with a couple before and we didn't spend every waking hour together. There were days when they went out alone and nights when I wandered around (or just hung out at the camp bar)....

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Re: Going Alone...

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:23 pm

I tried out LarryHarveys NEW! joined at the hip thing last year. I finally had to amputate with a swiss army knife.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby 9ah » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:01 pm

Fishy... you're sentenced to sparkle pony camp for that!!!
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby TT120 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Sparkle Ponies have their own camp??? Hmmmmm..... :D
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:32 pm

TT120 wrote:Sparkle Ponies have their own camp??? Hmmmmm..... :D

It's to keep them out of everyone's way.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby weesinator35 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:56 pm

I did it my first year in 2011. It was still an awesome experience. I made new friends on the playa and never really felt alone.

I'd join a theme camp. Do not camp by yourself - you will be much more integrated into a community if you join a camp. I tried to join one that had a communal kitchen and food since I also did not have a car and could not haul much in terms of coolers, propane stoves, etc.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby AntiM » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:32 am

A village is also a good option. Independent, yet you'd have a known quantity of neighbors at hand.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:40 am

I went solo my first year, and made friends with my neighbors, who also happened to be a bunch of people camping alone or in small groups. Had a great time. After that I've camped with the orphan camp. Not sure I'd go back to camping solo, as the main draw is to be able to see all my old friends now and build a theme camp. I did find the solo year a lot more intense of an experience but it's hard to separate that with it being my first time.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby VultureChow » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:09 am

AntiM wrote:A village is also a good option. Independent, yet you'd have a known quantity of neighbors at hand.


It was perfect for me. I also wound up volunteering way more than I had signed up for and loved it.

I should also add to the safety question: I'm a girl, and I never once felt unsafe, even when wandering alone at night. My first full night on the playa, I wandered some of the back roads and had that vague sense of uneasiness that comes from walking any deserted street at night. But then I accidentally walked into DPW and they fed me and all was well.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:49 am

VultureChow wrote:
AntiM wrote:A village is also a good option. Independent, yet you'd have a known quantity of neighbors at hand.


It was perfect for me. I also wound up volunteering way more than I had signed up for and loved it.

I should also add to the safety question: I'm a girl, and I never once felt unsafe, even when wandering alone at night. My first full night on the playa, I wandered some of the back roads and had that vague sense of uneasiness that comes from walking any deserted street at night. But then I accidentally walked into DPW and they fed me and all was well.

Now that you've revealed that DPW is all warm and fuzzy, they are going to have to kill you.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Oldguy » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:14 pm

Solo since 2005. Well, except for 2010 when the economy tanked.

Part of the fun is meeting the neighbors. If there are problems, I just pack up and move. One benefit of walk-in area is the cleaner potties, way out by the airport fence.

A fresh pot of coffee and platter of bacon brings the visitors in the morning. A table and chairs under shade helps to attract visitors also. This event is an opportunity, for an introvert like me, to step out of my comfort area. :coffee:
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby canexplain » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:29 pm

I suppose I will be going alone. My gf was (and maybe is) going to go, but it might be a bit rough for her. See did the Roo for days in fine fashion, but the Playa is a bit different I am thinking. Either way, solo anything is usually interesting to me..... cr****
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby AdamOfTheRedEarth » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:45 am

For me personally, I wouldn't want to go alone. I enjoyed having people I know to talk with and share experiences together, and when I wanted to do my own exploring I could do that too. It's nice to have someone you can rely on to take care of you or recognize when you're in trouble whereas someone who doesn't know you might think that's just how you are. If you aren't attracted to the idea of joining a theme camp, try and find a friend in your life that you can talk in to going with you.
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby Savannah » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:05 am

AdamOfTheRedEarth wrote:For me personally, I wouldn't want to go alone. I enjoyed having people I know to talk with and share experiences together, and when I wanted to do my own exploring I could do that too. It's nice to have someone you can rely on to take care of you or recognize when you're in trouble whereas someone who doesn't know you might think that's just how you are. If you aren't attracted to the idea of joining a theme camp, try and find a friend in your life that you can talk in to going with you.


Note: Anyone you really have to persuade is likely to have a $&%# time out there. (Mind you, some friends only need to hear what you're doing to leap at the chance.)

There's also the option of going to the main Burning Man website, and clicking on Regionals at the top right and meeting experienced local people. I traveled with locals my first year after a handful of little meetings during which I became vaguely acquainted with 3 or 4 of them. It worked out well!
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Re: Going Alone...

Postby graidawg » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:48 pm

i meant to go solo my first year, it was part of the appeal for me. To do this thing all on my own. it didn't work out that way though, I got invited to go with and by My Dear friend, now even if i didn't go with MDF it wouldn't really be solo, i have so many friends all round the site and the joy of meeting people it would just be like going home (which is exactly what it is) i basically spend the rest of the year panicking about being able to go or not, even being told that not going isn't an option. so don't worry about going solo your first year in my opinion its the only year you can really go solo. After that its just meeting family in the desert
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