Favorite Tips!

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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accordionMan
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Favorite Tips!

Post by accordionMan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:37 pm

Here are my favorites:

Caution: This will not work if you are naked.

I've sewn elastic "thread" into the bottom of my pants pockets and I tie my key to it. Lots of folks store their keys in their tent, but if you need a lot of access to your car, you'll never lose your keys if they're tied to your pants.

I always pack my "going back to the real world" clothes in a zip-lock. So when I go to my hotel the night before I fly out, I just have to carry a small bag... and all is clean.

Apricots! Eat a few before you hit the sack and your body will be ready for the porta potties before they heat up in the late morning.

Gotta run... more to follow! (That wasn't an apricot joke)
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Post by BitterDan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:42 pm

- Bicycle Shorts (you know, the spandex stuff) will prevent chaffing from the 50 miles of walking you'll do.

- 18" Rebar or Auger-Type tent stakes are a must. Don't rely on those little twigs that came with your tent.

- You can rub a little Vaseline inside your nose to reduce playa-sinus.

- Ran out of water? Melt Ice.
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accordionMan
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Post by accordionMan » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:15 pm

I've posted this else were.... but plastic tarps and aluminum foil to line your car BEFORE you get onto the playa will keep it "clean".... very important if you are doing a rental and don't want to pay another $125 for the clean-up.

The first few years I kept misplacing my bike... at Center Camp! I guess I get so distracted... anyway, now I park my bike in the same place all week. It helps to do this specially at night. ( A blinky doesn't hurt either)

VIRGINS>>>
Make sure you know how to get back to your campsite before the Burn... without using the road signs... come Saturday night you're on your own... all the signs will be gone.... you've been warned!

Food: Throw all your canned foods, packaged foods, everything into zip lock bags, then into your cooler... your labels will stay on the cans and your food won't gunk up your iced water.
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Token
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The best fucking Tip, Ever!

Post by Token » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:05 pm

OK, here is the best, ultimate, no better tip ever in the entire universe...

Forget about all these posts you read on Eplaya, tribe, 3playa, facebook or wherever. Stop listening to folks who are telling you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, what to expect ...

Get yourself to the Playa and just let go. Forget about all the right things to do and just have an experience for a change. Go at it all fucking wrong.

Go, be god of your universe for a week. Fuck the rest, you got 51 weeks to figure it out before the next burn.

T

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accordionMan
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Post by accordionMan » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:32 am

[Forget about all the right things to do and just have an experience for a change.]

Yea... good advice. You should just get onto the playa and enjoy yourself.

The first year I was there... I had the time of my life. The following years I had a ball too, but I have to tell you, my personal favorite tips makes my experience even more enjoyable by reducing some of the hassels.

Now don't get me wrong... I love a giant wind/mud/dust storm that turns everything upside down... that's part of the fun... but putting on a clean pair of socks at night brings me to my next favorite tip:

Bring 2 pairs of socks for every day that you are there... ahhhh.

[/quote]
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asp3
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Post by asp3 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:34 am

Take two (or more) sets of keys and separate the electronic keyfob from the keys and use that to open/close the vehicle. Lock one key in the vehicle so that if you have to get it unlocked that you'll still be able to drive it after getting into it.
Immature beyond my years

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Rocket75377
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Re: The best fucking Tip, Ever!

Post by Rocket75377 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:44 am

Token wrote: Get yourself to the Playa and just let go. Forget about all the right things to do and just have an experience for a change. Go at it all fucking wrong.

Go, be god of your universe for a week. Fuck the rest, you got 51 weeks to figure it out before the next burn.

T
Truth.

There's a reason that you're a virgin before your first burn. No matter how ready you think you are, you're going to suck your first time. This is the world's best lesson in rolling with the punches.
I am the people your parents warned you about.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:30 am

If you are putting together a large attraction, please take time to build a corral for bikes to be parked so they don't wind up all over. Tripping over bikes is one of my pet peeves.

Get some of that cheap "astro-turf" from the hardware store and put that down inside your shade structure, feel real good on bare feet. :)

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accordionMan
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Post by accordionMan » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:36 am

One year I almost lost my bike lock... since I rely on my bike to transport my accordion around the playa, it could have been a big hassel to have my bike "borrowed" by someone.

Tip: Duct tape your bike lock to the shaft of your bike seat. It's always available, easy to use and won't get lost.
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:43 am

We made our camp bike rack from an old metal futon-couch back and a metal two-legged sign. Just tripoded them together and whacked in some rebar and threw on some lights.

Lord Of Ruin
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Re: The best fucking Tip, Ever!

Post by Lord Of Ruin » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:52 pm

[quote="Rocket75377"]
Truth.

There's a reason that you're a virgin before your first burn. No matter how ready you think you are, you're going to suck your first time. This is the world's best lesson in rolling with the punches.[/quote]

Ummm....beg to differ. I read and planned. I didn't overpack all that much except in clothes, since I tried to prepared for temp extremes and costumes in my first year.

Other than that, I was the one that set up my entire camp (with one of the other 7 members), provided food, fixed art cars and bikes, helped start fires, treated someone's cracking feet and even made some specialty cocktails one night.

I went to bed clean and dry each night. Each morning my clothes were playa free when they went on, and no permanent damage was done to my wife's custom truck that I drove.

So...ummm...preparation does help one be able to be relaxed, feeling good and going with the flow. YMMV, but I'd rather be comfortable and cheery so that I get the most out of this rare event for me.

LoR
The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion - W. Blake (attribution corrected)

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accordionMan
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Post by accordionMan » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Sometimes your tent stakes or rebar can get stuck into the playa... an easy way loosen them up is to pour water around them.

If it creates a hole, be kind and fill it.
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Post by Dork » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:39 pm

I switched from rebar and tent stakes to 12" galvanized roofing nails - $.50 each, tough as hell, very easy to put in and take out. I use them for most everything now, including my 20'x30' shade structure which held tight during the wind storms last year.

For socks, I wear quality hiking socks. They cost a lot more than cheap cotton, but they stay comfortable for much longer and last forever. With cheap socks I felt like I had to change them a few times a day - with the good ones I didn't have to. They go on sale at REI outlet regularly.

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Post by AntiM » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:48 pm

Lip balm on a string tied to your hydration pack or worn around your neck. You will use it more often than if you have to dig for it.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:19 pm

The Tri-tip at the hospital.
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:45 am

AntiM wrote:Lip balm on a string tied to your hydration pack or worn around your neck. You will use it more often than if you have to dig for it.
Is chapped lips a sign of dehydration? Just asking.

I have one of those Swedish army leather bandoleers that Chewbacca used in Star Wars. The little ammunition pouches are good for carrying all kinds of little things.

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Post by AntiM » Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:15 am

Yes it is. But in such a dry environment, if you lick your lips a lot, they will chap. Hence the lip balm. One with an spf 15 is good, sunburned lips hurt like hell.

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Post by Bob » Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:41 am

More caviar & an ice bucket for the vodka.
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Re: The best fucking Tip, Ever!

Post by CapSmashy » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:23 pm

Token wrote:OK, here is the best, ultimate, no better tip ever in the entire universe...

Forget about all these posts you read on Eplaya, tribe, 3playa, facebook or wherever. Stop listening to folks who are telling you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, what to expect ...

Get yourself to the Playa and just let go. Forget about all the right things to do and just have an experience for a change. Go at it all fucking wrong.

Go, be god of your universe for a week. Fuck the rest, you got 51 weeks to figure it out before the next burn.

T
Letting yourself go on the Playa will be fuckall easier if you are prepared for it when you arrive.

A burgin/newbie camper ignoring simple tips from experienced burners/campers is pretty ignorant. Encouraging someone to ignore such advise is irresponsible as hell.

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Post by CapSmashy » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:28 pm

Best trick I used last year was to bring XL ziplock bags and dump my ice into them. This kept the coolers dry and kept my ice melt clean. I used the ice melt to fill my shower bags since I had an abundance of bottled water and Gatorade for drinking.

This year I know to bring a funnel along with my shower bags to make filling the shower bag from the big ziplock a much easier operation.

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Post by accordionMan » Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:42 pm

I like the sun-block tied to my water and the XL ziplock bags for the ice tips... gonna do both this year.

On the subject of ice:
I always buy block ice not cubes... I find it lasts longer.

As far as dry ice.
One year I bought dry ice and put it in with my block ice. Big mistake! When the block ice melted and filled my cooler with water, it evaporated the dry ice a lot faster.
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Post by gyre » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:28 pm

You're after cold, not dry ice.
As long as the dry ice chills down the ice, cold is cold.
(Unless you have plans for the dry ice like drinks, etc)
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Post by skeetsh00ter » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:55 pm

AntiM wrote:Lip balm on a string tied to your hydration pack or worn around your neck. You will use it more often than if you have to dig for it.
I'm going to second AntiM on this one. I kept a chapstick key chain (found at REI i think) attached to my camelbak the entire week. Now i keep that same chapstick on my keys. Coming from a guy who loses everything he touches this is quite the feat (going on 7 months I've had it now!)

anyways, having chapped lips would have really made everything less fun.

Here is another tip that I feel is a must:

Practice setting up your tent/shade structure before you get to the playa. The last thing you're going to want to do when you get there is take forever to set everything up.
www.novicebrewers.com

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Post by AntiM » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:19 am

Practice, most assuredly!!!!!

Carbiners and spring clamps are your friends. Carbiners to attach stuff to you and your pack, spring clamps to hold your camp together in odd and unexpected ways. Both double as handy gifts.

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Post by Lakshmi » Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:17 am

I discovered that cold lotion from your cooler feels sooooo good on the feetsies. If you're feeling shitty take a minute and soak your feet in some cold cooler water and lotion and vinegar them up. You'll feel tip top after that.

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Post by BitterDan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:59 pm

accordionMan wrote:Sometimes your tent stakes or rebar can get stuck into the playa... an easy way loosen them up is to pour water around them.

If it creates a hole, be kind and fill it.
I have tried this and could not get it to work. I poured copious amounts of water over one of the rebar stakes and even 30 minutes later it would not budge. I got out my vice grips and twisted them out in seconds. The rebar that had water on it did nothing more than produce mud for me when I pulled it out with vice grips. Just use vice grips IMO and save the mess and trouble.

I think this has something to do with the length of the rebar. You simply could not pour enough water to soak 18" of playa.
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Post by accordionMan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:47 pm

[I think this has something to do with the length of the rebar. You simply could not pour enough water to soak 18" of playa.

That could be the case. I've used this technique for my 12" stakes.
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Post by BitterDan » Mon Mar 24, 2008 5:03 pm

Probably, this year I am using the auger-style stakes that I can just twist out of the playa. My tent will be under a secured structure anyway so wind isn't as much of an issue as it was in 07'.
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Post by yellowdog » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:06 pm

One of the unexpected issues we found was not eating enough to stay happy and well energized. There's just so much to do, that we would eventually crash and then realize we hadn't eaten in 20 hours.
So last year, we pre-made meals: ( beef and potato stew, pad thai, black eyed peas, spaghetti and sauce, shrimp etouffee, etc.) vacuum sealed them in serving sizes, and froze them. Then, when someone reminded us to eat, all we had to do was boil water to heat up a meal. No thinking, no prep, no cut fingers, no cooler fouling, no water waste (you can use the same boil water over and over), no clean up except one bowl and one spoon-and you can skip the bowl if you want. Even stumbling in at 7AM, I can boil water and throw in a pouch. Kind of like MRE's, if MRE's were home made and tasty.
We did make one big, elaborate freshly prepared meal for one night to share with friends, too, but the vac-bag meals were lifesavers.

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Post by robbidobbs » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:14 pm

Bring twice as much beer as you think you'll possibly need.
Ditto with cigarettes, even if you don't smoke, they're great to give away.
Double ditto on lighters.
Duct tape the "butt" of a lighter to a large safety pin. Now it can be hung from your laminate and you'll never lose it. I've used the same one for 3 years.
Bring beer and clean socks for DPW.
Hawaiian Tropic lotion is the bomb for sunburns, smells good, works good and soothes the crunchy feeling exceptionally well.
Carry 2.5 yards of unbleached muslin or at least a 60"x60 square of it for sun protection/dirt-mask/clothing. Best desert accessory I've ever used.
Bring multiple different flavors of tasty-beverage rehydration powder in the handy individual size to carry in your fanny-pack.
Carry a ziploc baggie wherever you go. You never know what icky-ness may befall you.
I'll be in my blanket fort until further notice.

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