Burn Baby Burn – How to Survive Your First Burn and More- Part I Basics

Now I’m sitting at my desk, tapping my fingers on the keyboard, everything happened during the last 7 days seems more and more like a dream. It’s funny how human memory works, we don’t remember much of the pain and the frustration when your heart is filled with joy and happiness at the time.

I survived my first burn more than alright thanks to everyone at Camp BaeWatch, and I can’t wait for BurningMan 2018. BurningMan is everything you can imagine and much more; BurningMan is also what you want to be and what you make of it.  You can choose your burn to be just a journey of seeing art/sculpture/installation/; a journey of enjoying music/DJ/Dance; a journey of tasting all kinds of food and drinks; a journey of discovering your sexual desires; and or course, a journey of  all the above.

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So Yay, now you get all excited and want to go to BurinngMan, here’s a brief summary of what you need to know to prepare and get your self ready for next year.

Tickets:

Burningman Tickets:

There’re several ways to purchase tickets. Ticket information on Burningman.org will be updated for the next year event, follow instructions and get lucky. We purchased our tickets during the OMG sale this year; however, we did budget to buy tickets through Ebay or Subhub as a last resolution.

Plane Tickets:

Depending on where you live, you may need to fly to Reno for the event. We were glad we stayed from Sunday to Sunday, although we missed the temple burn. Pending on your vacation days, you may want to stay Sunday to Monday or Saturday to Monday.

Getting Into the Playa:

Burner Express Bus Tickets:

We took the Burner Express Bus from Reno into the Playa and back. You can purchase water with the bus ticket and fill your multiple 5 gallon jug Monday-Thursday on the Playa.

This option worked really well since we decided to tent camping the entire event , as we did not plan to drive an RV nor a van to the camp. Also to note that the Burner Express Bus has its own entrance line, so you will not need to wait in the 6-8 hour line to get into the Playa. In addition, if you take the Burner Bus back, you will receive one BXB trash bag and recycling /person. If you manage the amount of your trash, you will not need to worry about dumping after

There’re also Burner Bus directly go into Playa from SF.

RV/Van:

If you don’t love camping or  not use to camping in extreme heat/cold, RV or a Van is a good option, especially an RV with private bathroom because porta pottys aren’t as clean as you wish near the end of the event.

Do plan to be in line between 6-8 hours to get into the Playa; and 4-8 hours to get out the Playa

Get your camping gears and necessities to the Playa:

We used the DC container truck to ship most of our gear to Playa. I heard that there are similar organization in Philly, and possibly in other cities. Talk to your local burners, join local burner Facebook groups, and see if you can ship your gear.

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Hotel:

We booked a room the night before and the night after the event.

Flying 8 hours back to the East Coast, right after Buringman sounds absolutely miserable to me. Just imagine you were only sleeping 2-6 hours / day for a week, and now you have to fly 8 hours while still covered in a week worth of dust and sweat. I’d curse my self so hard if I did that.

Remember to book your hotel rooms early. Rumor has that everything was booked in the radius of 40 miles of the Playa on Sunday night after the event this year. Plus you can always rescue your friends when they need a place to crash.

Traveling is exhausting, give yourself some time to recoup before entering the playa or go home.

Shopping in Reno:

There’s a very popular Wal-Mart in Reno that everyone shops at. Things such as camping stoves, tents, chairs, do sell out there. Don’t rely on buying everything there, especially you aren’t arriving until Sunday.

There’s an REI not far from the Reno airport where you can also purchase camping gears and food.

We also walked to Save Mart to purchase other good to have items such as coffee and alcohol.

Water:

We purchased about 30 gallons of water via the Burner Express Bus for Logan and I.  I think next year, we can go with 20 gallons of water instead. In the last few days, I see a lot of people giving away water because they brought too much. I do think 1.5 gallon/day/person is an accurate estimation.

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Tents/Shades and Set Up:

Shades:

Shade structure is extremely important for your camp . You will want a place to nap during the day that has great air flow as your tent will be too hot to sleep in.

Tents:

For us, we brought two tents  this year.

The 6 person tent was used during none night time sleeping hours – it functions as a utility tent where we store everything, food, clothes, sunblock, hats, lotion, baby wipes, etc.

We used the 2 person tent as sleep only tent.  Most likely you will not  sleep in your tent during the day due to the heat, so we kept it shut the majority of the time and hoping to have minimum dust.

Anchors/Tent Pegs:

Many people use rebar to secure shade structure and tents. We used these aluminum pegs and they worked great. You can also purchase Steel ones as well. We’ve used same pegs during our other adventure in severe weather and they work just fine. I personally prefer these pegs than rebar. Don’t forget to bring a hammer.

 

Bike and Bike Lock:

As a first time burner, you definitely want to bring a bike. Walking under the sun and heat in general is exhausting . A fat tire bike is ideal but a beach cruiser will do just fine. Don’t bring a road bike though. You can purchase a bike at the Walmart in Reno and bring it with you onto the Burner Express Bus. You can also ship the bike via the container truck and then pick up on the playa. And make sure you have a lock to lock your bike up to itself, just so that no one mistake your bike to theirs.

 

Personal Care Prior to Arriving:

Hair:

Ha, so the one thing I did not think or prep was my hair and I really regret Not braiding my hair before hand. If you have long hair, def braid them before coming to the Burningman because otherwise, you maybe like me, onto the 10th time of washing your hair and still can’t run your finger through.

Nails:

Trim your nails short because dust gets under your nails and everywhere. Bring a nail clipper just in case you have time to clip your nails mid-week.

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What Else You Need to Know:

Go through important information from the BurningMan Site and especially Preparation Information.  Understand the 10 Principals and the importance of Leave No Trace,   Also what you need to know with Trash, Recycling, and Gray Water.

If you are going solo, you can either camp at Walk-In Sites, or camp with the burners that take Burner Express Bus, or email themed villages and camps to see if you can join them.

Receiving and Gifting:

We had several discussions about what to gift for our first Burning man prior to departure and resulted in no conclusion. We didn’t want our gifts to be MOOP and I never really liked the idea of gifting because you need to gift. Then one of our campmates told us that some of us have an idea about gifting this year and we will figure out when we get to camp.

Since there’s no money involved on the playa other than buying ice, we experienced the true meaning of sharing, receiving, and gifting. I did feel quite a bit weird the first day or so to receive drinks and food from camps or people that I’ve never met before without the exchange of money.

The whole idea of someone giving me something without expectation of receiving anything in return almost made me uncomfortable, which I know, sounds a bit crazy.

As a result of the burning man environment, I grew to be more thankful and more helpful to others. Truly, giving can be everywhere and any time, lending a hand when someone needs help to carry something, help strangers find where they need to go, even a hug or a smile. It’s the little things that you can offer and can make people’s day.

You are in a desert, everything is more precious than ever. When @industwetrust gave me a can of iced Perrier, I’m pretty sure I was on the edge of jumping into the air 100 times because of I was so happy….. I literally was having sparkling water withdraw syndrome before that . It’s the little things that bring you endless joy and happiness.

As a camp, I can’t think of a better way of giving this year than what we did. We made hot pizza in the middle of the playa at night via a portable pizza oven , and shared with folks who stopped by.  One girl was so emotional and thankful to have a slice of hot pizza on a cold night, she almost started crying.  Giving felt really good.

 

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