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

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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LostinReno
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Post by LostinReno » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:24 pm

Token wrote: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.
Bahahahaha! Me and a friend were just having this conversation the other night. It's the weirdest thing! And for a girl, its even more gross! :D

I wished I brought an effective dust mask,

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danibel
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Post by danibel » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:43 pm

I brought WAY too much food. I ended up taking 90% of what I brought home and throwing it away (tsk tsk waste waste). The pee jar seems like a good idea too. I didn't have one and it would have been nice. Also - I am going to keep my hair braided (french) and wrapped. A hot oil treatment before and a trim and hot oil after the burn is in the plans for this year. Even though I washed and conditioned a few times my hair was like straw when I got home. It took two weeks to get it somewhat back to normal. And yes I know this is more than one thing, sorry ;)

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Clar-i-ty
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Post by Clar-i-ty » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:14 pm

Don't forget COLD HARD CASH for ice, coffee at Center Camp etc. My first year we had to take the shuttle back to Gerlach to get cash and smokes. Classic newbie mistake.
GET OUT OF MY TRUCK HIPPIE!

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mudpuppy000
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Post by mudpuppy000 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:31 pm

The the first thing I looked for when I got back to civilization was hand lotion. My hands were JACKED up.

MissNev
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Post by MissNev » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:16 pm

Warm clothing for night, including a heavy coat.

A bucket for washing my feet before bed. A heavy coat of good lotion and cotton socks are also a must.

I concur about the pickles! The best thing on the playa!

A way to shade my tent. Last year, after 12 years out there, I think I've finally got it right!

A vessel for carrying water (camel back, canteen, gallon jug). Bring more water when you are out and about than you think you'll need. It's very easy to get side tracked while out wondering and hours can pass without you realizing it.

Also, a smaller vessel with a lid (like a cup or bottle) to carry with you into other bars in case you want a drink (alcoholic or non).

Lip balm!!

Ok, those are a few of mine!
Proprietor and Mixologist for The Liver's End

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:21 pm

Lip balm on a string! You can wear it, tie it to your bike or pack. Just poke a hole in the lid, stick in the string and knot it. Otherwise it languishes in your pack, or worse, your camp. Worst place for lip balm? Forgotten in the car.

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This Woman
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Post by This Woman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:21 pm

...take off your other pants.
The Liver's End ~ Where the locals go.

MissNev
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Post by MissNev » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:23 pm

haha! Yes This Woman! Dress in layers!!
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some seeing eye
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Post by some seeing eye » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:59 pm

Preparation lists and costumes. Support the food comments, I lose my appetite, think of food for sharing. The gifting thing should be skipped the first year until you really understand it.

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CLARKcon
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Re: What I Wish I Had Known....or ...Paid Attention

Post by CLARKcon » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:22 pm

VeganChoirGirl wrote:4. I wish I had a bigger variety of clothing/costumes to wear... :)
Second that notion :D ! The friend went with told me to bring some fun clothes. Packed a huge duffel with bluejeans & what I thought were wild T-Shirts (graphic images or funny sayings)...I never touched that bag once during the week, just enjoyed being in my bikini briefs the whole time cause' of the heat :lol: ha!

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kman
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Post by kman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:32 pm

Eric wrote: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.
Interesting... I wore docs the last two years I went, and they came out no worse for it. (once a thorough cleaning was done, of course)

Comfortable shoes are a must, however.

Shoes that are easy to take on and off are good as well, in case you visit (or live) somewhere where there is a no-shoes policy. As much fun as monster stompy boots are, unlacing 2 feet of lace every time you go in and out sucks.

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falk
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Post by falk » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:34 pm

Foot care. Wear good shoes. Fresh socks twice a day. Slather your feet in cocoa butter before putting your socks on.

I tried to get by with just sandals my first year. In three days, my feet were cracked and bleeding. Doing the Playa Shuffle is no way to go through life, son.

MoonSplash
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Post by MoonSplash » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:14 pm

Cover my hair during windstorms. On Saturday in 08 during a 7 hour windstorm, I didn't realize practically an inch of dust accumulated in my thick hair

Better goggles - I used cheapo ones with holes in the sides and I was miserable.

Less clothes - I actually ended up wearing a purple giraffe print nylon short nightie most of the time. Easy to wash, very breathable and light. Everything else during the day made me so HOT.

Soda - I was craving an ice cold diet pepsi. I went thru a six pack pretty quickly. Another hit - large peeled cocktail shrimp outta the cooler. Mmm.

Book a hotel in Reno way in advance. I got mine in Jan for $29 - I checked again for the same date / same hotel and the price was up to $245!

Gave up on an air mattress - took forever to blow it up manually and it leaked. This year we are sticking to thick foam mattresses.

Will think of more later....

haolegolucky
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Post by haolegolucky » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:29 pm

Don't bother with an air mattress. It'll deflate and you will end up throwing it away. Too much waste.

Use a PEE JUG so you don't have to walk back to the JOTS at night.

Don't drink until dawn, cause your next day WILL suck.

Try something new everyday.

Accept that you will NEVER see everything and that is ok.

MoonSplash
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Post by MoonSplash » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:02 pm

Oh, and my first burn - we were SO unprepared to deal with gray water! We had a little tub that we put six inches of vinegary foot wash in and it would never evaporate. we ended up dragging lots of the gray water back with us in emptied out water jugs. this year we are going to use burlap and old towels to wick up more of the water and hang up to dry to get rid of more of that nasty stuff.

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imperatrixi
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Great Topic Almond

Post by imperatrixi » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:24 am

This is my favourite place so far on Eplaya, it's going to be my first burn too and I love all these stories.

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Elorrum
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Post by Elorrum » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:19 pm

I wish I'd known (didn't really think of it actually) really how pervasive the dust was. How dust gets into a tent through the mesh. You can cover the mesh (many threads on this) or cover your gear inside the tent, especially your bedding, and deal with a dusty tent. I put my sleeping gear in a big garbage bag and tip my cot on it's side when I get up. It all gets dusty anyway, but anything you leave out will get a layer of dust super fast. I keep things in ziplocs and put the bags in totes and zipped up bags.

I didn't realize how much I was burdened by things. Some things I used a lot, some things not at all. Searching through a bag of flashlights and then only relying on one most of the time was a good lesson. Simplify.

I wish I'd known how little food preparation I would be willing to do. A can of soup is a marvelous thing.

I didn't bring nasal spray my first year... all that dust gets me pretty congested, not in an allergy way, but just in a dry nasal passages way.

Pee jugs, never went there. I don't want to deal with that material. I'm used to walking to the facilities whenever I camp.

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EmilyD
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Re: Great Topic Almond

Post by EmilyD » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:52 pm

imperatrixi wrote:This is my favourite place so far on Eplaya, it's going to be my first burn too and I love all these stories.
I agree, it's fascinating to read but also has useful tips. AntiM that is the best explanation of the lip balm on-a-string I've read. Now I get it! Thanks.
You don't have to be skinny, naked and under 30 to be a Hottie!

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Sham
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Post by Sham » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:09 pm

Air mattresses do deflate due to the lack of moisture on the stem. They are also very uneven when you sleep on them. If you roll around, your butt hits the ground etc. I found that a self inflating sleeping pad works great. The 20 inch one is too narrow, the 25 inch wide is perfect. Self inflates and the last part can be blow up manually. Doesn't sag when sleeping and packs very tight for travel. Anyone want to buy a used air mattress? :roll:
Image

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Hoolie
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Post by Hoolie » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:31 pm

I wish I had known to pack warm clothes. In can get downright cold there at night, and sometimes even during the day, like it was the first year I went.

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Zhust
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Post by Zhust » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:07 am

You don't need to plan for everything. Start with the absolute bare minimum:
  • * water
    * food (think simple, non-perishable, reduced trash)
    * shelter (windproof -- a basic pop-up camping tent anchored with rebar on 4 corners is excellent; a sleeping bag and pad for under it)
    * clothing (one 35-degree-weather outfit, optionally one 100-degree-weather outfit or just go naked)
    * a dust mask
    * your ticket. Put it in an obvious place (not a "special place") and put it on your list 9 times.
Get that all squared away and start playing with fun stuff like costumes and lights.

I wanted to mention that evaporation ponds generally don't work -- I made a post about it. Plan to carry out everything you carry in. Except for poop and pee.
May your deeds return to you tenfold,
---Zhust, Curiosityist

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shroom
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Post by shroom » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:55 am

I like your simple list! sounds like mine, lol.

I will bring some towels to evaporate the water, sounds like this makes sense.
"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire."~~Fred Shero

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Joshatdot
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Post by Joshatdot » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:03 pm

personal roll of TP & sanitizer, chap stick

sandfly
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Post by sandfly » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:41 pm

That it is essential to have some way to block all the mesh vents in the tent. A rainfly keeps out rain, but just seems to help capture the dust.

igor47
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speaking of pickles...

Post by igor47 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:42 am

Token wrote:Pickles!
you gotta be more specific. you mean just ordinary pickles? or pickled carrots? beets? eggs? radishes? green beans?

Image

stop by the warp zone Token, we'll hook you up. if you've ever played super mario bros you can't miss us.

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This Woman
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Post by This Woman » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:22 am

Yes please! All fo the above :P
The Liver's End ~ Where the locals go.

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mudpuppy000
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Post by mudpuppy000 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:44 am

Mmmm!

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googbox
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Post by googbox » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:02 am

Last year was my virgin year and I learned a lot, I'm sure I'll learn even more this year. here are my biggest lessons:

Bring more than just water and beer. Yes, water is very important, but in the middle of the day I found myself also wanting something with flavor and sometimes bubbles. I drank a lot of my campmate's juice squeezes, caprisuns, sodas, etc. I wound up giving away all but one can of beer that I brought.

Whenever you leave camp, make sure you have everything you might need for the next 12 hours, even if you *think* you're just leaving camp for a few minutes to get ice. Last year I left at 9am to get ice w/ $10, my bike, a 16 oz bottle of H20 and my then boyfriend. We decided his camp needed ice too, so we went to the other side of the playa and got him ice and refilled our water, then we got sidetracked visitin all sorts of fun camps on "his" side of town, then we came back to his camp to get more water, wound up "laying down" in his trailer, falling asleep, and waking up in the dark. We had to get back to "my" side of the playa and stupidly didn't have my bike light. I think we rigged up some flashlight contraptions, but it was scary, and dumb.

Those really really sparkly, cool 4 inch heel disco ball boots you got so excited to find online and paid way too much money for are no good on the playa. I looked all bad ass in my tutu and sparkly boots, made it from my van to my campmate's trailer, and wound up changing into tennis shoes and pj pants before going out that night. Now my costumes are just as much about comfort as form. That really sparkly funky scarf- i can use it as a skirt, a top, or to protect my hair or face from dust storms.

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This Woman
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Post by This Woman » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:11 am

Whenever you leave camp, make sure you have everything you might need for the next 12 hours, even if you *think* you're just leaving camp for a few minutes to get ice.
ding ding ding! FTW
The Liver's End ~ Where the locals go.

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VeganChoirGirl
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Post by VeganChoirGirl » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:45 am

googbox wrote:
Whenever you leave camp, make sure you have everything you might need for the next 12 hours, even if you *think* you're just leaving camp for a few minutes to get ice.
Absolutely!! You never know what's going to sidetrack you. Don't get caught with your pants down...unless of course that's the look you're going for.
googbox wrote:
Those really really sparkly, cool 4 inch heel disco ball boots you got so excited to find online and paid way too much money for are no good on the playa. I looked all bad ass in my tutu and sparkly boots, made it from my van to my campmate's trailer, and wound up changing into tennis shoes and pj pants before going out that night.
This could not be more true. If you have something on that you think might get uncomfortable as the night wears on, bring a back up something else in your bag, in your basket, in your MV, whatever. Then you'll be prepared if you feel like changing.
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!

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