One thing you wish you had known for your first burn...

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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almond
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One thing you wish you had known for your first burn...

Post by almond » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:41 pm

Greetings Everybody!
As a soon-to-be-first-time resident of Black Rock City, I'm trying to prepare myself as best as I can for my week long adventure in the desert. Which leads me to one simple question; what's one thing you wish you had known when you went to Burning Man for the first time? Perhaps you forgot a hearty food item or a tool that would've been especially useful.. or maybe something that made it exceedingly difficult to maintain your camp? Anything will do! I'm hoping to hear some good stories haha.. Thanks guys :)

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dr.placebo
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Post by dr.placebo » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:11 am

Well, I could say that I wish that I had known how extreme the conditions could be. And that's kinda true, although I was never driven away.

However, the most important thing I wish I had known was how much I was going to love the playa and the event and especially the burners. I would have started sooner.

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Orchid
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Post by Orchid » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:36 am

I wish I had known how important lighting up my bike and myself at night was! I knew that I would need a flashlight, but for some reason I couldn't quite wrap my brain around the fact that I needed to be lit up like a christmas tree. Fortunately, I had a veteran friend who put lights on my bike while I was sleeping the night before we left, so I avoided being a darkwad.

Do not be a darkwad!

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mudpuppy000
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Post by mudpuppy000 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:11 am

Cheapo shade structures will be destroyed. :D Use something that's been proven out there.

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Dr. Pyro
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Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:57 am

I wish I had known just how noisy of a place BRC is 24/7. From the whoomp whoomp whoomp of the idiotic techno to loud explosions from fireworks or whatever. Bring earplugs!!! You will not regret it.

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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:11 am

Brought ear plugs, never used them. And i was camped at 2:00 and C
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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:16 am

That leave no trace begins in camp with never leaving anything loose or out of place. Put it all away before you run off.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:55 am

That my partner was so obsessed with the event that he'd face death to go every year...
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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:05 am

AntiM wrote:That leave no trace begins in camp with never leaving anything loose or out of place. Put it all away before you run off.
LNT has no start and no end.


It is the Alpha and Omega.

Don't throw yer cigg butts out the window on yer way.
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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:19 am

My first year I wish I had brought some suntan lotion.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Savannah
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Post by Savannah » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:36 am

One thing I wish I'd known? Shoot. There's so many things I wish I'd known. But--summed up from other threads--these are my top 9. (Why 9? Because The Man wont let me have 10!)

1. A cocktail party with neighbors is arguably the best way to endure a 7-hour windstorm.

2. Leave camp during the day, because a greater variety of stuff seems to happen then, while night is a bit more uniform.

3. How to build an evaporation pond.

4. Light sleepers who need 6-7 hours/night & sleep in a tent should bed down at 2am.

5. Silicone earplugs rule.

6. A tent you can stand in and a cot to sleep on can make every difference to your comfort, physically and psychologically.

7. Parasols are wonderful.

8. Keep your hair covered more often.

9. Travel alarms are awesome for short evening naps, greeting sunrises, or getting to volunteer shifts/events reasonably on time.

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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:40 am

Pickles!

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almond
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Post by almond » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:43 am

fantastic. thanks for the replies! and by all means keep em coming

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almond
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Post by almond » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:44 am

[quote="Token"]Pickles![/quote]

what about pickles mr. token??

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Post by Jackass » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:46 am

I wished I'd have known that motorized go-peds were not worth two shits on the playa, way too ez to wipe out and worthless at night when you can't see the powder drifts. Bring a bike, fatter the tires the better! :wink:

Oh yeah and bacon and grilled cheese are just about all you need to survive, foodwise.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Post by misfit » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:49 am

be prepared for rain......
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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:52 am

I wish I woulda known that BM actually DOES suck.

I figured it was people being silly and such...nope
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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:58 am

almond wrote:
Token wrote:Pickles!
what about pickles mr. token??
Wish I had brought a case of them the first year. Someone in camp had a jar of Vlasic Snackums and it lasted 33.7 seconds. Ended up craving pickles the rest o that burn.

Same thing with smoked oysters, but that was my second year.

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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:02 am

I second the pickles, but for more devious reasons.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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This Woman
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Post by This Woman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:10 am

LoL Jackass - I agree! Save the shitting for when you get home. Actually that does remind me of a pointer...Fiber! Find a source you can live with and bring it in abundance.

I also second and third the earplugs and pickles. I don't actually bring earplugs because I can sleep through anything. But even if you can get around the techno thumping, fireworks and parties, can you sleep through my snoring? Doubtful.

Pickles are just awesome desert food, and pickletinis are the drink of choice to anyone who needs a wet whistle fast. Washes the playa dust off your tonsils.
The Liver's End ~ Where the locals go.

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:13 am

Pvc does not work well for large scale shade. It does work very well to make a (quonset) Monkey Hut out of though.

It is very windy frequently. Plan your camp lay out to take that in to account and only use very sturdy or low wind profile things for shade.
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phil
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Post by phil » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:14 am

Lots of good answers here, but you'll find out on your own to your personal amazement. Louise and I have a list of things you should bring:
http://www.cieux.com/bm/things.html
and take a look at our table of contents for other information:
http://www.cieux.com/bm/bmtoc.html#perennialGuides

My suggestion is to show up, be there, come again next year, repeat.

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VeganChoirGirl
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What I Wish I Had Known....or ...Paid Attention

Post by VeganChoirGirl » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:18 am

1. I wish I had picked goggles based on function rather than form.

2. I wish I had known just HOW volital the playa makes relationships, mine ended in the car on the way...his choice, not mine.

3. Being vegan for five years does NOT make me immune to playa cravings. In fact...hours after hitting playa for the first time I was eating anchovies in olive oil with soft, stinky cheese. Best thing I ever tasted. Haven't been vegan since. Most interesting part, after five years of no meat...my digestive system didn't even get upset!! So now...this veganchoirgirl...will shout for bacon just like everyone else!

4. I wish I had a bigger variety of clothing/costumes to wear.

5. I wish I hadn't packed so much FOOD! I hardly ate anything, and everything I brought...I didn't want.

6. I wish I had left camp more often. I was SO overwhelmed by EVERYTHING that I could hardly leave camp. I ended up sleeping away the majority of my burn, and I STILL had the most amazing time I ever could have imagined.

7. I wish I had known about cooling vests! I can't effectiely regulate my body tempeture, a cooling vest would have helped SO much. Just as an eskimo costume would have helped at Apogaea last month.

8. I wish I had found a performance space to sing. I was too intimidated, and I think I missed out.

I am leaving off nine because Sav already took nine.... :)
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!

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almond
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Post by almond » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:25 am

[quote="Token"]

Wish I had brought a case of them the first year. Someone in camp had a jar of Vlasic Snackums and it lasted 33.7 seconds. Ended up craving pickles the rest o that burn.

Same thing with smoked oysters, but that was my second year.[/quote]

Ah i see! Haha, i thought you somehow knew that my name on the coachella msg boards is mister pickles... either way, pickles are now an essential item on my grocery list :D

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This Woman
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Post by This Woman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:28 am

Motsky just brought back great memories of a horrible catastrophe of pvc ruins. It was the first year of our bar, and we were marvelously inept. We thought to build our shade with pvc and tarps (ok you burners stop laughing now, you’re going to choke on your coffee).

Just as we were pulling the tarps over the pvc, 70mph winds gracefully swept them a block down the street and turned our dome into the skeletal remains of some creature lost to time.

Those winds stuck around for the entire event. What did we do? Well we opened the bar anyway, in the dust and wind with the pvc all around us. As people were struggling to find shelter, we made them a drink in the open. It was fantastic!

The point is, the mistakes are an integral part of the process. Enjoy them, they are gifts from the playa.
The Liver's End ~ Where the locals go.

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:35 am

Comfortable shoes. Multiple pairs. I usually bring at least a pair of converse & some shoes bought specifically for the playa from thrift stores.

My first year I brought a well worn pair of Doc Martins as my only shoes, not taking into account the fact that the playa would dry them out. They were so uncomfortable by the end of the week I was actually slashing vents into the top with a knife to be able to wear them.
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shiznicks1
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Post by shiznicks1 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:25 am

I wish I knew to bring a comfy seat for my bike. And also it was all so overwhelming I never really looked through the catalog of events for something specific, I just wandered for the week which was great, but this year I might actually seek something out.
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ZenoBoy
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Post by ZenoBoy » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:29 am

PEE BUCKET!!!!

It wasn't until my 4th Burn that I discovered this glorious gem. Get a large bottle with a handle. I used a huge Gatorade bottle with those hinging handles. There is nothing worse then having to get up at 430A, bladder bursting and walk my ass through the cold to the porta potties.

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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:36 am

I wish I had know that the two foot backsplash from a freshly cleaned JOTS is dead center accurate.

Now I know to make a TP sling at ~ one foot depth before the morning glory.

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Post by slvrnmph » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:16 pm

Lots of band aids and stuff for blisters. You will most likely walk more than ever.
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