Walk-In Camping done SOLO - Whats it like?

Walk-In Camping done SOLO - Whats it like?

Postby deemunny » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:45 pm

So I'm a virgin AND I'm coming in solo. No worries on the self-reliant thing as I am very well versed on wilderness camping, gear, best practices, yada yada...

In my research I noticed the Walk-In camping area... I'm intrigued but have noticed that it receives precious little review in this forum - and I haven't yet found anyone describing the "experience" of the walk-in area beyond the fact that few camp there.

I'd really like to take the advantage of the theme this year by attending from a distance, and "journeying" by bike on regular pilgrimages to the center and partying with the inside camps as often as possible, returning only to refill on water/food/sleep/quietReflection as needed.

All in all - I'm completely clueless on this "Walk-in" stake of land. As an attendee of regionals and many, many Rainbow Festivals from back in the day - I get the spirit, and I understand my methods - but this event is "The Man Knows Big" and I don't want to pre-plan joining a group. I want that to happen naturally and change course as opportunity and grace befalls me. If your reviews are positive, I may keep camp out there all week.

Some basic questions for starters:

1> Assuming it doesn't rain all week - is it too far out and isolated for a biker to make regular pilgrimages back and forth?

2> How far is parking from the camp area?

3> Can I bike up to my tent?

4> Is my stuff safe out there? No one will be there the vast majority of the time, and my tent will be heavily tied down for wind and weighted with gallon jugs of water. The car too - will be locked up and hold the more valuable stuff. Theft?

5> What kind of company out there? I'm a poi spinner - including fire - and intend to cook coffee in peace, watch the event from a distance, do some yoga in the cool evening air, practice my poi spinning, then get my costume on and ride into "The Man Knows What" for "The Man Knows How Long" only to return thirsty and tired many hours later - repeat. With luck I can invite someone out to my "quiet spot".

6> How far from the regular areas is it?

7> Possible to pack up my tent and move to a camp if I find myself "invited in" to a attractive group?


I'm so fucking stoked to dress in costume, wander, volunteer, gift, and let the Man take me where he may.

Thank you guys so much - in advance. Hope to see ya out there.

- Hombre SOL-o
Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
deemunny
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Postby dr.placebo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:19 pm

As a confirmed resident of the walk-in area, I'll toss in some info.

The walk-in area is large and pretty empty. It is also the most remote of the inhabited parts of the playa. Being in the walk-in area brings you closer to nature, but farther from the action. It requires a bit more self-reliance, and some desert camping experience is a plus. There is less dust from vehicles, but there is nothing to slow down the wind.

For distances, see the 2010 map, which should be similar to the 2011 layout:

http://www.burningman.com/preparation/maps/10_maps/2010-BRC-20100616_full.jpg

My reading is that the outermost street is 1 mile from the center. The walk-in area starts at the outermost street. You can be less than 100 feet from the street, or as much as 3000 feet from the street, your choice.

It is easy enough to bike from the walk-in area if you don't mind the extra effort and time it takes. I usually make several trips per day from the walk-in area to the playa interior.

You can bike to your tent, and your stuff is reasonably safe out there (fewer visitors, but fewer neighbors to watch out for you, too). The residents tend to be friendly and relatively quiet (no generators or vehicles out there).

You can change your location at will, assuming that where you are moving to is an acceptable place to camp.

Hope that this helps.
User avatar
dr.placebo
 
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:03 pm
Location: Volcano, HI
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Cleu Camp

Postby delle » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:43 pm

And can you park a car there?

I've always wondered....
Worry is a misuse of imagination
User avatar
delle
 
Posts: 1923
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:13 pm

Postby Eric » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:38 pm

delle wrote:And can you park a car there?

I've always wondered....


I don't think so (dr. placebo can correct me if I'm wrong). I think there's a fence with small opening between walk-in and the outer road. You park along the fence and... walk in...
Survival Guide * First Timers Guide * Ticket Info

It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

Eric ShutterSlut
Ass't Editor, BRC Weekly
User avatar
Eric
Moderator
 
Posts: 8498
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:45 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Weekly

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:49 pm

Eric wrote:
delle wrote:And can you park a car there?

I've always wondered....


I don't think so (dr. placebo can correct me if I'm wrong). I think there's a fence with small opening between walk-in and the outer road. You park along the fence and... walk in...


I am not sure where the parking happens, but Eric is right. No parking cars in the walk in area.
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!
User avatar
VeganChoirGirl
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:54 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby Miles » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:50 pm

yup you can park your car at designated Walk In parking spots along the edge.

Personally, I'd say to skip it your first year. You'll spend a lot of time each day traveling regardlessly, but you'll be that much further from your supplies if you need a break or if something goes wrong. You'll no doubt meet more people if you live in a more dense part of the city as well.
I like bikes and stuff
User avatar
Miles
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:36 pm

Postby dr.placebo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:38 pm

If you want to camp in the walk-in area you can park on the outside of the outermost road. Outside of the parking area there is a rope boundary, which is easy to cross on foot. Then there is a lot of open space, where you can camp.

I usually go in 100-300 feet and set up a sleeping and kitchen area. Some folks camp closer to the parking area, and others camp out close to the trash fence, which is quite a hike out. There are lots of choices.

Whether you try the walk-in area is really a matter of preference. If you are a backpacker you might like it. Others may feel more at ease in the city proper. I don't think that first year vs. later years makes nearly as much difference as preference does (but I could be wrong).

And wherever you decide to camp, wander around and get to know your neighbors.
User avatar
dr.placebo
 
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:03 pm
Location: Volcano, HI
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Cleu Camp

THANKS

Postby deemunny » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:25 am

...just the stuff I was looking for!! Thanks guys!

As for me it's just a preference issue. I do solo backpacking trips a lot, and have lived in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. The winds are my biggest concern at BM. From what I've seen though, it looks like I could just about sleep almost anywhere I lay assuming no vehicle traffic and that I'm lit at night... I can sleep in public/dust if my face is covered. I don't think I'll even pitch my tent until I have a need to.

Question:
Are there enough structures in the city to catch shade when needed, and vacant things like sofas on the playa to catch a few hours sleep at night?

It seems very optional to me to drop anchor and make a camp - especially as a soloist. The more I read on eplaya, I discover there are kind souls everywhere... as a solo wanderer, I will need to lean on them and in return offer my stories, drum, strong back, gloved hands, and spinning poi. I can take care of my own water and food, but a Chai or coffee on occassion would be Outstanding and well compensated. I won't be drinking alcohol that week, I want to see sunsets and sunrises - every day if possible.

As for getting to know people - I suspect the doumbek drum I play and the poi I spin will initiate alot of conversation. I plan to teach some poi, and maybe some drum technique in Center some day(s). I frankly don't think I will stop drumming, spinning, dancing, and wandering for the entire week.

Can't wait - thx! You guys cleared up that mystery.
Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
deemunny
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Postby AntiM » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:33 am

There's plenty of places to catch shade, although nap opportunities vary.

Drop by the Home for Wayward Art, we're friendly.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
 
Posts: 17788
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:23 am
Location: Wild, Wild West
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art

Great Map of the area

Postby deemunny » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:05 am

I hadn't seen that map before - and it is a huge help in understanding the layout. I assume all the purple spots are reserved areas?

Considering that setting up for me is parking my car... I'll have lots of time early in the week to socialize, play, add/remove costume elements, and decorate my gear.

AntiM - I will stop by. Thanks for a warm first-invite.

Hombre SOLito

y pues, fue un placer conocerles... Muchicimas Gracias por pasandome la voz. Que les vayan bien!
Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
deemunny
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Re: THANKS

Postby VeganChoirGirl » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:48 am

deemunny wrote:...just the stuff I was looking for!! Thanks guys!

As for me it's just a preference issue. I do solo backpacking trips a lot, and have lived in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. The winds are my biggest concern at BM. From what I've seen though, it looks like I could just about sleep almost anywhere I lay assuming no vehicle traffic and that I'm lit at night... I can sleep in public/dust if my face is covered. I don't think I'll even pitch my tent until I have a need to.

Question:
Are there enough structures in the city to catch shade when needed, and vacant things like sofas on the playa to catch a few hours sleep at night?

It seems very optional to me to drop anchor and make a camp - especially as a soloist. The more I read on eplaya, I discover there are kind souls everywhere... as a solo wanderer, I will need to lean on them and in return offer my stories, drum, strong back, gloved hands, and spinning poi. I can take care of my own water and food, but a Chai or coffee on occassion would be Outstanding and well compensated. I won't be drinking alcohol that week, I want to see sunsets and sunrises - every day if possible.

As for getting to know people - I suspect the doumbek drum I play and the poi I spin will initiate alot of conversation. I plan to teach some poi, and maybe some drum technique in Center some day(s). I frankly don't think I will stop drumming, spinning, dancing, and wandering for the entire week.

Can't wait - thx! You guys cleared up that mystery.


Even though you'll be a wandering soul, finding a nice group of people to park your car next to is a good idea. That way there is more people around your stuff, things do get stolen on playa, and they may be able to offer a bit of infrastructure, like shade.

Also, do not rely on the kindness of people for shade and chai. Bring money for the coffee shop in center camp!! There is shade at center camp which you can use freely.

Hope you have a wonderful first burn.
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!
User avatar
VeganChoirGirl
 
Posts: 712
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:54 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Postby dr.placebo » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:11 pm

Yes, the purple areas on the map are reserved for registered theme camps. See

http://www.burningman.com/themecamps/

Be very careful out in the center when lying down. Art cars (aka "party barges") drive just about everywhere, and visibility is highly variable, right down to zero. Stay lit up at night!

The wind can get well over 50 mph in gusts. A tall tent is often more vulnerable than a low dome tent, but frankly most tents can be flattened without bracing.

It gets damn cold at night, too. Sometimes down to freezing. The play is in high desert (4000 feet) on a dusty alkali dry lakebed, and not a damn thing lives out there normally (except brine shrimp when it is wet).

If you are planning on wandering, making friends, and touring then there should be sufficient shade. Crashing out is definitely something, though, where it is wise to get an invite.

If you get near 3:45 on the outer rim that is roughly where we will be (Cleu Camp). Come visit.
User avatar
dr.placebo
 
Posts: 981
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:03 pm
Location: Volcano, HI
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Cleu Camp

Postby mdmf007 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:20 pm

1> Assuming it doesn't rain all week - is it too far out and isolated for a biker to make regular pilgrimages back and forth?
If it rains all week it would be Armageddon.

2> How far is parking from the camp area?
You can camp in your car, I have done it often

3> Can I bike up to my tent?
Yup

4> Is my stuff safe out there? No one will be there the vast majority of the time, and my tent will be heavily tied down for wind and weighted with gallon jugs of water. The car too - will be locked up and hold the more valuable stuff. Theft?
Shit is stolen all the time, Mu advice bring only what you can lose, have stolen, or so filled with dust it will never run right again.

5> What kind of company out there? I'm a poi spinner - including fire - and intend to cook coffee in peace, watch the event from a distance, do some yoga in the cool evening air, practice my poi spinning, then get my costume on and ride into "The Man Knows What" for "The Man Knows How Long" only to return thirsty and tired many hours later - repeat. With luck I can invite someone out to my "quiet spot".
All sorts

6> How far from the regular areas is it?
hmm? regular area? what is that. Esplanade to open camping is as short as 3 or 4 blocks in many areas

7> Possible to pack up my tent and move to a camp if I find myself "invited in" to a attractive group?
Of course.
User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
 
Posts: 5199
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:32 pm
Location: my computer
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: ESD

The THANKS keep coming

Postby deemunny » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:49 am

Very supportive guys - THANK YOU! hugs.
What a supportive community here on eplaya!! I am highly motivated by such direct and quick responses. They have shaped my early decisions on how to get involved and I appreciate that immensely.

Doc - I'll be sure to visit - regardless of where I camp. I will be well lit with 10ft of white EL wire in each bike wheel, and another 10 ft of yellow on my daypack.

Staying in my car as a soloist really seems to add up. It would act as a wind/sound damper, lockable storage for everything, and an ideal place to crash into my sleeping bag. The only valuable items are my food/water, clothes, camera, and hydration/day pack. I won't be bringing (or drinking) booze, music player, cooler, or anything of value to anyone else really... so no worries it seems. My food will be all cans, granola bars, and peanut butter - supplemented with playa treats I will have quite a variety it seems. Canned options these days are pretty good - including ready to eat soups.

Since I'm camping in my car, I will likely head toward the front of camp near an edge. I'll be in line with the rest of the cars waiting for the event to start late Sunday night, and expect to have a fair opportunity to pick a good spot.

Other changes in my course due to feedback from this thread include:
1> I'll be bringing my camp stove that runs on the same white gas as my fire poi - it will be used to cook my own coffee using a travel french press - that way I can offer coffee to neighbors and set up a sit down coffee cookout to share. I'll be sure to de-pressurize the fuel system before stowing due to the extreme heat. I'll use my larger cans from my food as water boiling pots.
2> Bringing a travel hookah (plastic base and lockable bowl hood) that I got for free. Cinnamon Chocolate shisha will go very well with that coffee and playa dust. Where I'll find quick-lite hookah coals in Reno will be a mystery since I am flying and can't pack them.

And just as a note for other first timers/soloists to be thorough - I'll be picking up the least expensive fat-tired bike from a store in Reno after my flight in on Saturday morning. I figure Wally World or K Mart will have something in stock - along with a couple rattle-cans of spray paint to de badge it and some EL wire to make-it-mine. I plan to borrow a milk crate from Reno and zip tie it onto the front handlebar frame. This way my stowage is visible to me while riding, and slightly less visible/accessible when parked next to bunch of other bikes to discourage picking through it. Like others have recommended in these forums, I'll be donating my bike to Kiwanis in Reno on my way home.

Can't wait to be found and stop all this silly planning. Thanks for all the great support guys.

-Hombre Solito
Capitalisation is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.
deemunny
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

Postby AntiM » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:15 am

Get a bike lock when you pick up your bike.

The car will be hot as hell very early in the morning. Try to figure out a simple shade rig so you have somewhere to nap/sit/zone out when near your car. A mini-front porch as it were.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
 
Posts: 17788
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:23 am
Location: Wild, Wild West
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art

Re: Walk-In Camping done SOLO - Whats it like?

Postby 9ah » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:16 pm

It'd be great to hear how car camping at walk-in went for this person... AntiM, did the poster ever stop by?
Illuminate. Navigate. Celebrate.
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
User avatar
9ah
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:37 am
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: Lamplighters


Return to 2011 Theme Camps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest