This will be my first year having to fly in to the burn. I know it is difficult to obtain things for the playa and then figure out what to do with all your "stuff" when you leave. Throw it out?? Donate it to a good charity? Rent a storage space?? All viable options, but not really ideal.I googled Burning Man outfitters and one from Henderson, NV had the following post: The Seasoned Burners- 2 Person Package $650
The two person package includes rental of the following for your stay: Large shade structure, 2-person Tent, 2 Beach cruiser bikes, 6 5ft strands of EL wire with batteries, Chairs, butane cooker, Kitchen table, Cooking dish set, Carpet,10 gal potable water with refills, Greywater bucket, Greywater disposal at main camp. Other than the grey water disposal, it seems as if they are just renting the equipment. No problems there.
I do have a problem with changing the Burning Man ethos. The Ten Principles are what makes Burning Man, Burning Man.
All the large RV camps set up who offer the Burning Man "tourist" the opportunity to just show up with no preparation other than to show up with their costumes and glow sticks. Do they invite others to join in their space? So much for PARTICIPATION. In the spirit of radical inclusion, "sparkle ponies" and "tourists" do have their place, but which of the rest of the 10 principles do we sacrifice to make things easier for someone?
How about LNT? I would love to not have to moop. (I have seen a major change in the Burn, especially after we got WiFi and cell service. I see people sitting in center camp, updating their Facebook page, but not participating. I see moop blowing by someone, and no one even trying to catch it.)
After having seen these "plug n' play" camps, I wonder about "radical participation and radical self-reliance", if they are allowed to continue this we may have to remove the "radical" and insert "sort-of" in its place. They tend to circle the wagons, so to speak, to limit access to their exclusive areas. What about inviting me into your "plug n' play" camp, as I would invite you into my camp to share my food, drink, shade and hospitality??
Decommodification?? The principle states: "In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience." REALLY? Let's just say that someone, somewhere is making a butt load of cash on this. It may be pre-playa, but it still goes against the principle in my eyes. One of the reasons being that it makes it easier for someone to NOT participate, NOT to prepare, NOT to learn what the burn is about.
Having been a burner for the past 10 years (most of it in an RV), been part of a theme camp, coming to the burn for up to 3 weeks at a time, working the medical tent, being part of a funded art project, performing in the great circle with the fire performers, helping plan and put on a regional event, I feel as if I PARTICIPATED. Like most real burners (meaning participants, not observers), I try to live the 10 principles (O.K., so it is hard to do the Decommodification thing in the default world, but I volunteer my time, so maybe that counts). Burning Man happens every day in my life, not just for a week in the Nevada desert.