2013 was my first burn and I have to say that there's a few things that you can't go without
1.Babywipes, a brand new cheap washcloth for each bath, a bucket (big ice cream bucket), and alcohol wipes, Please take 2 baths a day
Use the baby wipes to get the first layer of dirt off then wash your body with a real washcloth and soap in a small bucket. Fill the bucket with 1/4" of water, and lather your wash rag clean yourself and wring out your rag in the bucket. When the water turns grey, dump it into a grey water bottle or your grey water evap pond. Fill the bucket some more and repeat till clean. When dry, apply the alcohol wipes to your pits to keep them smelling fresh, then apply deodorant. Clean your bucket with a baby wipe, and keep for later use. I found many uses for that bucket!
People were amazed at how clean I was all week.
BTW, baby wipes can be used for a variety of things especially to clean off the porta potty seat. Don't forget to bring a little ziplock trash baggy!
2. Misting bottle. You can use it to wash, or cool you off. Make sure to get one with a fine mist. You can add essential peppermint oil or a small amount peppermint castile soap to it to cool off.
3 Flip flops for your tent, long thick wool socks for your feet, and tall comfy shoes. Preferably boots that slip on or zip. Jeeze, my feet were swollen and needed to breathe. It was a pleasure to wear flip flops, so I could have them out and about. The playa makes your body swell.... I haven't figured out why yet. Anyway, the wool socks protect your feet from playa foot, and they usually don't stink after 3 days of use. If you get the right pair, they are comfy as all get out. The comfy shoes are needed for obvious reasons, you'll be walking and standing a lot. Shoe laces get caked with playa dust and are a nuisance to handle especially when you have to urinate. You need something that you can quickly put on and GO!
4. Plenty of BRIGHT blinking lights. Make sure they cover the front and back of you late at night. While riding my bike in the deep playa on Monday, my favorite Glowsitck/flashlight/whistle combo fell off and all of my lights started to go dim (Headlamp, elwire you name it) Over the course 20 min, I became a dark wad in the deep playa. That was my scariest moment during the burn. Other people with bikes couldn't see me, neither could the art cars. Thoughts of being ran over flooded my mind. DON'T BECOME A DARK WAD. THE PLAYA IS VERY DARK AND EXPANSIVE. YOU COULD GET LOST OR HIT. make sure you bring alternate sources of light as well as back up batteries.
5.Goggles, a bandana, and water. Water for the obvious reasons, its hot as heck out there. You'll end up drinking 2 bottles easily while riding your bike Make sure you bring 3-4 water containers 2 should have a wide mouth. Why so many containers? well, 1 for urine or grey water....Wide mouth! 2 for drinking and 1 as a back up for drinking in case you lose one (it can be a used disposable water bottle). I had to find all of that out the hard way, take it from me ,get 4! I was forced to urinate in my tent the first day because I didn't know where the porta potty was and I couldn't hold it
During day 3, I endured a white out in the deep playa. Not fun at all. For some reason my glasses kept out most of the dust, but you should really use goggles. my eyes were burning and aching all week (eye allergy or astringent drops preferably one with a lubricant added). as for the bandana, i didn't need it much, but when the white out happens its essential to your survival never leave out with out the essentials water,goggles and a bandana!
6. 12 inch military stakes, A good sledge hammer, guyline lights, and some tennis balls. Dang those stakes were awesome, but they won't come out without the back of a hammer and some water. Sure that cute plastic camp hammer might work after 20 swings, but a good 3 pound sledge hammer does it in 5 hits. Tennis balls can be used to cover the stakes. make x cuts in them and slip it on. and glow sticks and illuminate your lines with the help of zip fasteners or string.
7.Comfortable clothes. I bought plenty of outfits and I only wore my workout digs. It was hot and dusty and all my mind could think about was staying cool and being comfortable!
8. A positive attitude and an open mind. No one likes a grumpy cat, and no one appreciates being prejudged. Be open minded to whats going on, and try to see the beauty in all of it. Heck, some the things that are going on are quite offensive, but deep down you know that crap is funny...lol
9 A mirror, chapstick, Lotion (I used Cocoa butter), sunblock, and some good hair cream or conditioner. I didn't know what I looked like the whole burn because I forgot to bring a mirror..duh! Chapstick for the dry lips....you'll need it. Intensive lotion and sunblock for your ashy parts and tender spots....rub it all over. Hair creme......mmmm. My hair got so brittle and tangled that I was forced to wrap it up. My scalp was burning like crazy too, I think it was from the playa dust. Anyway, with a spray bottle of water, I moistened my hair, and untangled the knots. Then I applied hair creme and braided it. I finished the look with a nice cotton scarf on my head, and kept it like that for the entire burn. I heard of camps that do hair.... I need to check them out next burn. If you must wear a wig, get a short one because the wind blows like crazy and its hot!
10 Ear plugs for loud music/ loud sex...lol, powdered gatorade, salted crackers, trail mix, oatmeal and cream, tea bags, a pop up bowl, premade meals/soup that you don't mind eating cold and a plastic spork.
11. Bike lock, small lock for valuable goods in your tent.....Heck, lock your tent if you're that paranoid. We had a thief roll through one night, and he tried to steal a bike and made off with my camp mates camel back with 500 dollars worth of goods inside. For the most part, 99% of the people don't steal nor do they enter your tent uninvited, but there are some weirdos out there. Its up to you to be proactive against theft. If you like and cherish it, lock it up!
12 Don't do drugs or have sex in public areas or group shade. If that's what you like to do, do it in the privacy of your own tent. Its illegal, and you can get ticketed or even expelled!
13. Stuff you need to do. Go on an Artery tour, ride an art car, get an outfit at Kostume Kult or some similar camp and walk the runway, go to Tedx, get your skate on at the roller rink, get your bump on with a pedal bumper car, eat a grilled cheese sandwich at Mooncheese, catch a late night show at Crossroads, Make a medallion at the Dragon Smelter(center camp), grab some pancakes in the early morn, eat a PB&J at a specialty camp, make some buttons, make some pasties, ride your bike out to the deep playa solo and touch the fence, go see Robot Heart, ride the duck at duck pond, go to the districkt, go to Fandango and meet that annoying guy with the bullhorn and turn down his music j/k, swing like a monkey at swing camp, go to the Bureau of misinformation get misinformed, speak to God in the phone booth, visit the temple, visit the man, visit center camp, meet random people and chill out at their camps and enjoy their shade, eat their food, enjoy their liquor or at the very least their ice...lol (don't be a sparkle pony), gift something to someone and make their day, play at Charcade, wear all white during BRC's all white night Who knew!, wear a tutu, but not on Tutu Tuesday because you'll be a sheeple JK... wear the tutu, but make sure you wear it on other days, go to the regional burn, Hug a shirtcocker on shirtcocker Friday and let him sit on your chair...lol, run the 5k or the ultra marathon, take a steam bath, or go to one of those bathing camps with Foam mmmmm!
Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. - Mark Twain