Burning Man Preparation & Thriving Tips

Tip #1:

We do tend to consume a lot in prepping for and going to Burning Man. So, to assist with waste management, please unpackage anything you bought newly that has packaging that you are going to throw away, or better, recycle. This way it can be put in the proper bin before you go to the playa, and it doesn't wind up in our garbage/recycling can's at camp, conserving space and weight overall. Use zip lock bags that can be washed and reused to contain anything that you unpackaged that needs containment or protection from the elements, including food items.
Happy Green Camp Manifestation!

Tip #2:

Costco has packages of batteries for about $13 for 50 (AA’s). This is far cheaper than anywhere I have found. Or, even better, spend some extra money and stock up on a lifetime supply of rechargeable batteries which you'll never have to buy again and won't go in the landfill! Amazon sells them cheap-ish!

Tip #3

If you are sleeping on an air mattress, it is essential that you get a wool blanket, army style is good, to put on top of the air mattress under your sheet that you sleep on top of. This will insulate you from the cold air that will come from under you inside the mattress. Believe me, I've done it both ways and it was a very, very cold, sleepless, uncomfortable night without the wool blanket. Never again!
Friends don't let friends air mattress sleep without wool!

Tip #4

Coolers and dry ice - though it is a bit more expensive, here is a tip for managing your cooler a bit differently which will have you not have to buy any or much regular ice.
  • Freeze about 30 single serving water bottles ahead of time (at least 2 days).
  • Then fill one medium to large size cooler with dry ice (costs about $50-$60) about 2/3 full. You can get dry ice at various markets like Lucky or liquor stores. There is a rush for this stuff around Burning Man time.
  • Put in 15 of frozen the water bottles on top of the dry ice.
  • Once your dry ice cooler is filled don't open it or leave it in the sun. If you do this, you may even find that it is so cold that it is slightly frosted over and stuck to the bottom of your car upon arrival to the playa.
  • Then fill another cooler with your perishable food and the 15 remaining frozen bottles, distributed throughout with a good amount lining the bottom.
  • About 2 or 3 days in, the frozen bottles in your food cooler will have started to melt.
  • Open your dry ice cooler and swap the 15 fully frozen bottles in there (cuz they will be fully frozen still) with the partially melted ones in your food cooler.
  • Repeat! - every 2-3 days until your dry ice is gone. Where did it go?
  • If you are on the playa for less than 6 or 7 days, it’s conceivable, if you do this well, that you would never have to get and buy ice nor drain melted ice water from your food cooler (chores!).
  • It's been tested and achieved and even food was brought home uneaten, still good and not water logged!

Tip #5

More playa wisdom…
Light your bike! You can get simple strings of battery powered, little, led lights of all shapes and colors on-line for like $5 each. One strand can spiral up and down your bike to cover almost all of it. Usually, they only take 2-4 AA batteries.
Do it and don't be a dark-tard! We want you to honor the first rule on the playa…don’t break your pretty face! And leave some time for shipping – only -267 days left! Huh?!

Tip #6

More cooler wisdom…
Put all vegis that go in your cooler in zip lock bags. You wouldn't necessarily think this was needed, but have you ever seen what a cucumber does when sitting in water for just a while? It's not pretty! So, basically, bagging anything and everything that is open, including vegis is just a good idea for your cooler water and the longevity of the items themselves!
Who wants to dig out rotting food out of their cooler on the playa? Yuk!

Tip #7

Rebar and Shade Structures
  • Tents and shade structure tethering should be done with rebar stakes, not the normal tent stakes. Basically, you need to create your own candy-caned stakes out of 3/8” x 1.5’ rebar. Mallets for pounding and benders are provided, though I recommend doing the bending before you get there (which you could do at my house if desired and accessible).
  • Shade structures are essential. When the sun comes up in the morning (and often you might just be rolling in to go to bed) tents start to cook. A shade structure will make your personal dwelling a place you feel comfortable going at any time instead of dreading. You can always take respite in the communal structures, but you want your personal space to be there as you wish.
  • Make sure your shade structure is sturdy. A lot of structures that you buy from a store are pretty flimsy. Winds get strong at times there and you don’t want that structure to crumble. We have had people have flimsy structures and they survived, so don’t worry about this too much, but do your best.
  • Make sure your shade structure is either UV protected, reflective or dark to keep morning light out, or all of the above.
  • Get better rope than the rope that normally comes with store bought shade structures. Doesn’t have to be real thick. This should be good. One 100 ft length should be good, two to be safe.
Flourish image
Flourish image