International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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paul_bennett
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International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by paul_bennett » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:10 pm

Hello there people! As someone from outside of USA, I'm finding a lot of challenges to go to Burning Man the first time. If you are from outside, are you willing to share how you figured things out?

For example: I wish I could build an Hexagon Yurt, but I just won't bring my tools all across the globe on the airplane. They'll charge me for overweight luggage! Also, I won't prepare an Yurt inside an hotel room, they'll think I'm nuts. Any big structure, like large art, seems out of reach for someone without a house in USA. So, tiny art, plus small camping tent must be.

Other simple challenge: do I buy a bike on craiglist or do I rent one? Because the rent is as expensive as buying an used bike. Plus, if you loose your bike, the rental company charges you even more. But if I buy one, what do I do with it after Burning Man? I won't bring it back on the plane, that would be silly.

Do I rent an RV? Do I rent a car+tent? Do I go by bus?

So I ask any international traveler to share some stories about your trip to Burning Man. How much luggage did you bring to US and how much did you came back with? Did you just went straight to Reno or did you got a car in Miami a crossed all America up to Nevada's desert? Did you packed enough food? Did you bring any art? How did you deal with batteries and leds?

Cheers!

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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by Ratty » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:33 pm

Paul, Welcome to eplaya. Please look at the other thread where you posted. Don't be a stranger. We really can help with this logistically difficult vacation.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by AntiM » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:12 am

In the past, we have hosted international burners. Not this year, as I wasn't even sure I'd make it, but usually. They come in on Burner Express. We provide a monkey hut and tent and help them set it up. Access to our sitting shade and kitchen. Water. They bring their own food and essentials, but we can fill in the gaps if they forget small things like earplugs. They arrange for their own bikes most of the time. No yurts in our camp, too hard for us to transport, a tent is tiny. We set them up, then set them loose.

We do this because we can, and it is nice. Always been a one time deal, our last guests are now active in the burner community in Europe instead of making the long trek to Black Rock. Another is in graduate school and on to other adventures. The guy from Brazil vanished with all his stuff after a bad dust storm and we never heard from him again.

I'd like to think other camps could and would host international burners too. They probably do, but don't broadcast it much in order not to be overwhelmed. As Ratty wisely says, stick around, we really can help.

You can do this.

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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:47 pm

Does Misa ever check in around here anymore? Misablue is her screen name. She's from the Czech Republic, started out on eplaya. Went to the event. Went again. Brought more first timers from Czech. Led a CORE burn...

So, it's completely possible. Ah, and the Wires, from Norway. ELWire, Tripwire, I've forgotten the other names, but perhaps you can search in the list with *wire.

I've known others. It's possible. This is a good place to make connections with US burners--but by no means the only place.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by trilobyte » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:06 pm

I'm nudging this over to Bikes & Transportation, since I think that's a better fit for discussions about transportation logistics.

With the exception of things like customs and travel visas, international travelers face a lot of the same kinds of logistical issues that people coming from other parts of the US face. It's big-ass country (see the pic below for size comparison), and every year tens of thousands of people travel by plane to Reno on their way to Burning Man.

Image

If you're just doing the 'bucket list burner' thing and not planning to return or have no interest in thinking about it in the long-term, then yeah it can be pretty limiting. You can still buy cheap tools locally and build a basic shade structure, then donate tools to charity on your way out... and lots of people do that. But if you are looking at things over the long haul, look into getting storage in the Reno area. That way the infrastructure and tools can be kept from one year to the next. Your camp could also benefit by either diversifying, or partnering with a group that's based in the local area. My camp has members who've traveled by plane from other parts of the US as well as other continents, I think it's worked out pretty well though I have seen it go badly.

It's tricky to find the right people and the right balance. From your perspective the people living locally or able to store something has it easy, but from their perspective they're often shouldering the bulk of those costs (storage, tools, etc) and spending many many months of designing and building the camp infrastructure. When it works and everybody arrives and jumps in and makes sure everything gets done (setting up and striking camp, as well as cleanup), it's a joy. When it doesn't, animosity builds up fast. If the long distance campmate shows up late or leaves early (or both), or doesn't do their part while they're there... it gets awkward.

Another suggestion is to start participating and connecting with others in your regional group. It might make sense to join forces when it comes to shipping and freight logistics, or even storage, and other aspects of getting camp or art project plans put together.

@theCryptofishist - Misa doesn't get the chance to pop in as much these days (she's an international fellow for Burning Man, and helps regional groups around the world), but she is still around.

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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by ygmir » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:15 pm

I know Barbie Death Camp usually has a large contingent of overseas burners.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by Dr. Pyro » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:35 pm

ygmir wrote:I know Barbie Death Camp usually has a large contingent of overseas burners.
Oh great, now you're just going to encourage them.

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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by ygmir » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:02 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:
ygmir wrote:I know Barbie Death Camp usually has a large contingent of overseas burners.
Oh great, now you're just going to encourage them.
50/50 chance Doc, just tryin' to help.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:59 am

About 20% of burners at the event are from outside the US and many burners fly in from parts of the US. There are even about 1% from Latin America - about 700.

http://z9hbb3mwou383x1930ve0ugl.wpengin ... Report.pdf.

As mentioned, reach out to your regional http://regionals.burningman.org/regionals/ - they may even need help!

Some international burners, if they can get an extended time off, travel by rental vehicle around the Western US after the event (and after washing the dust off all their things!)

I'm a big fan of packing lists - you can find many BM packing lists online - then just acquire much of the list in SF, LV or Reno.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by BBadger » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:37 pm

The international burners who were at my camps in the past were able to get by because they had friends in the camp who could find them stuff like bicycles and stuff. Even so, some slept in tents like the rest of us (without shade that year!) or in their car with some foil coverings and stuff to keep out the heat because it was too late/expensive to find an RV.

There was even some Australian kid we met (early 20s) who got a ticket, flew to the US, bought a motorcycle and some gear, traveled and stayed with people he met. Then he drove to BM by himself, had enough food and water to survive without a camp, and did it essentially on an impulse. Real nice guy. Yeah people deal with that kind of shit.

It's rough, expensive, or both if you don't have people state-side that you can rely upon. I'd start building connections.

And, you know, there are stores and stuff too. This isn't Antarctica. This isn't the 1950s. Bikes can be had for $80 new at Walmart. Batteries and LEDs can be bought everywhere. This is America man!
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by engineer2012 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:52 am

Hi, I am from the Netherlands and attended BM twice, 2012 and 2015. And I am planning for 2017!!

If you can afford it, a RV is the most easy way to go. I fly to Las Vegas (bonus evening out), and pick up the RV in Henderson. The drive to Fallon (about 400 miles) is about seven and a half hours, with stops. In Fallon we stay for two nights and get all of our supplies (buy bike at WM, donate at your way out of BRC, just before Gerlach). From Fallon to BRC is only about 100+ miles. This worked for us and we will do this again in 2017.
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by Ratty » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:32 am

That sounds like an expensive but workable plan. If you intend to donate your new bike please make it a Huffy Cranbrook. It's practically the cheapest bike on the market and you can donate it on playa to the Yellow bike camp. (They're on 5:30 close to the Esplanade.)
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Re: International burners - the challenge for not having a home in US

Post by Dr. Pyro » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:20 pm

And I would like to remind our international travelers that you'll be able to reserve a bike which you can pick up either in Gerlach or on the playa for less than a WalMart bike will cost you, and in all likelihood helping out either a local or burner-related individual rather than a large megacorporation. The sites will begin popping up (keep an eye on The Jackrabbit Speaks) a couple of months before TTITD.

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