Walk In Camping

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Walk In Camping

Postby WitnessCrew » Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:16 pm


Veteran Burner(s) here, wanting to try inhabiting a new part of BRC next year.

Does anybody here have experience with walk in camping, or know someone who does it? We're a sturdy self-sufficient lot, and are fine with the logistics etc, just wanting to get perspective from someone who has lived in the "rural" outposts of our city. Pros, cons, experiences, etc.


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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Bob » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:57 am

Heard 40,000+ had already showed up by early in the week this year, so parking at or near the edge of walk-in camping is harder to find. And people on work crews who show up before the event snag most of the spots on the edge. Even so, there's usually plenty of space to set up tents, just don't assume you can readily use your vehicle as part of your camp, as many people do. Use bomb-proof tents/structures and don't leave your valuables out there.
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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby WitnessCrew » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:30 am

Thank you for the advice! :)

It's good to know that lots of the inhabitants of the walk-in area are work crews and early-arrival kids. Helps to get a sense of the community there.

We actually would rather not camp on or near the edge, we're looking to shelter in a relatively B.F.E.-type isolated area of walk-in camping, so this is good news.

Been building those bomb-proof shelters since 2005, and looking forward to leaving the vehicle behind for a week in order to create the aesthetic we desire. We've also designed a people-powered cart to transport our gear, which converts into furniture once we've set up.

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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Mr. Googles » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:09 pm

We camped in the walk in area this year for a change..

I normally wouldn't want to camp so far out, but it was a unique experience with positives and negatives.

Extreme isolation.. I don't think I'll be camping here again because of this. It seemed that most of the neighbors that I met that camped out there weren't really into socializing, and were going for isolation. This worked out well for us though because we had a psycho ex friend stalker that was hunting us down all week! He never thought we'd be in the walk in area..

Wind.. Lots of wind out there with no obstructions. At all times of the day, we had a steady breeze of wind, and our camp was an oasis in the distance.

Dust.. Hardly any dust because we were so far away from the road.

Noise.. It was perfect to go to sleep to. I've only been to 1 burn before this one, but I think it even sounded differently out there. It seemed that all the noise blended into one big white noise that sounded like a jet taking off all night long. I don't recall hearing the playa quite this way the previous year.

Cops.. They patrolled a little bit, but they didn't seem to harass the area as much as I remember living in the city.

Bathrooms.. We were very very far away from all bathrooms.

MOOP.. It was so easy to clean up our area, and then some. We had lots of open playa to scan before we left.

I'm glad to experience this perspective, but I don't think we'll be doing it this way again due to the isolation. Hope this helps..

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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Rabbette » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:47 am


My sweetheart and I have been to all kinds of camping festivals (typically with music playing into wee hours of the night) We have camped in the thick of things as well as on the outskirts.

I choose walk-in camping for us this year at BM. I knew we would really appreciate a low noise level (and sleep was going to be much sought after since we DROVE from VA and would be recovering a bit from that kind of journey) We parked our car at the line & walked our things only about 50 feet into the walk-in area... it was just far enough to not be bothered by people driving by and yet close enough we could still see art cars & cool bikes zoom up and down the last main street.

__ Pros _____________________________________________________________________________
Noise - the sound was beautiful. You could still hear the city, but like Mr. Googles said it was a nice ambient noise. I can say I have NEVER slept so well at a festival.

Dust - hardly any dust (really I know hard to believe) The only real dust we had come our way was when the winds changed direction and we had that tiny white out for just a bit. Since the wind is always coming from behind us and no one is driving in that direction, dust is minimal.

Breeze under the shade - The beautiful cool mostly non-dusty breeze that was a constant dance by the entrance of our monkey hut (ours was turned into a Bunny Hut) was PERFECT in the heat of the day. (if you properly face your hut opening North it was not only great for always having shade no matter where the sun was at, but kept the wind coming from behind it *our tent was blocking the rear side of the structure*

No theft- I know when we have camped where a lot of people were walking by, we have had theft out of our coolers (which now we keep inside our tent) but out there if there was someone walking by most likely they camped out in the middle of no mans land with you. So it was a lot like being in the out skirts of any default city. I felt way safer and more secure being out there with our stuff and not having to be super cautious about hiding everything (not that I left things out to tempt anyone, but if I went to the bathroom I didn't feel the need to make sure every little thing was put away)

__ Cons _____________________________________________________________________________
Bathrooms - Oh my if you had to pee in a hurry you best just use your jug (definitely get a jug and don't be to proud to use it) Out there a ride on a bike to the bathroom is quite the mission and (having to prepare, meaning make sure to take goggles, bandanna, water *and of course bathroom stuff*) was by far the most difficult part if you had to pee really bad. AND you MUST always prepare, b/c if you were caught in a white out that far from camp you would NEVER EVER make it back to your camp site. Its best to have water with you just in case you need to take it really slow or stay where you are. ALSO be prepared to have a bucket & triple bag a #2 at your camp in case of emergency. I told my sweetheart this and he was like we won't need that (we are in our 30's and good health). Well I came prepared with this and LOW and behold my sweetheart got one hell of a fever & was so sick (he would have never made it to the pottys) and well we did what we had to do in that situation. LIKE I said don't be to proud when nature calls and ur not feeling enough energy to make a bike ride to the bathroom you got to be prepared for all kinds of situations)

Neighbors - I actually found our neighbors to be quite friendly and 2 of them we met we shared our shade with so they came over all the time. YOU do need to reach out and introduce yourself to your neighbors, but once you do I found all the ones I met to be VERY friendly, helpful and just down right nice. (Since we are all camped in the same area, we know why we are there *most likely b/c we just want a quite place to sleep, low dust and traffic*) Don't be afraid to ride your bike about and go meet your neighbors.

NEED a BIKE - yes if you are doing walk-in camping you are going to need a bike, no doubt about it. Not only for that ride to the potty if you do need to (pay your doos) but for meeting neighbors, going into the city in a timely manner and of course getting ice.

Overall, I LOVED it. I don't think I will want to camp in the city after having such a great experience out there in isolation.
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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby trilobyte » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:52 am

This was an extremely light year for everyone as far as dust was concerned. And as for theft, we didn't have any either (as a registered/placed camp). I know of friends who have experienced theft in all parts of BRC (placed camps, open camping in the city, and walk-in camping), so I won't mislead you into thinking it just doesn't happen, but I don't think it's a rampant problem anywhere (especially if you take reasonable precautions).

If you do have a small group, consider camping someplace in the city proper. For noise levels, the 2:00 and 10:00 'spikes' at the each side of town are where the bigger sound systems are at, once you get a couple streets in from that you'll find that most camps have nothing oppressive in the way of sound (though art cars will still occasionally travel past). Regardless, a good night's (or day's) sleep can be had easily. There is no requirement to be in a theme or do something ambitious and crazy if you want to camp in the city, and the connection to a 'neighborhood' that you'll get is amazing. Plus you'll have the advantage of being closer to services (porta-potties, ice, etc) as well as closer to art and some camps that do some really amazing things.

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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Irreverent Moniker » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:04 pm

Sleep is the one thing that's never an issue for me on the playa. I was getting crap from my campmates for sleeping till 12pm/1pm in the afternoon
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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Oldguy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:18 pm

The best rest I had was Thursday on the couches behind RockYerBalls. I was out 3 hours on a survival nap.

One advantage in walk-in is the clean potties out by the flightline...not many visitors.

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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby dragonpilot » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:35 pm

Just to drive the point home ala Trilobyte...this was the most dust free Burn I've experienced in the last 7 consecutive years. In years past an area as exposed as the walk-in camping area with few structures to act as a wind break really bears the brunt of a high wind dust storm...just bear this in mind when choosing to camp put there.
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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby lemur » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:55 am

yep. pretty much a dust free year...

i think i only had to put on my bandana for the dust 1 time.. and it only stayed on for a few seconds.. and i didnt use my goggles at all..
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Re: Walk In Camping

Postby Packoderm » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:10 pm

I would not consider camping in the walk-in area without one of these:


And one of these:

(currently Zeke Chaparral)

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