Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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amie_mole
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Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by amie_mole » Wed May 29, 2013 2:22 am

If your could go back and give your burning man virgin self ONE piece of advice before you popped your black rock city cherry what would it be.. GO!

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Sham
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Sham » Wed May 29, 2013 3:08 am

I would have gone with my gut instinct when I saw the howling wind and dust storm at the entrance, and turned back toward Reno and never looked back. That was 12 years ago, and I've been hooked ever since.

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Dr. Dust
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Dr. Dust » Wed May 29, 2013 3:22 am

Always be prepared to have respectful, yet firm and unwavering interactions with law enforcement officers - don't give in to intimidation and surrender your fourth amendment rights. Certainly not the most exciting/interesting piece of advice, but perhaps THE most important.

***EDIT: I see you're from Australia so I'll break down the legal aspect a bit further. In the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, we are told that

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Law enforcement agencies are widely believed to take advantage of Burning Man participants, as we collectively appear to be a easy targets. However, this doesn't have to be you.

After a courteous round of pleasantries, do not be afraid to inform the officer that you are not willing to answer any further questions, and then exercise your right to remain silent. This may sound complicated, but it's really just a matter of being friendly at first, and then shutting up at the right time. This timing will vary from officer to officer, of course.

However, once you stop talking remember that the officer may try to intimidate you into engaging in further conversation. They are legally allowed to lie to you as part of their intimidation strategy. Don't be fooled. At this point, use some of these prepared lines, repeatedly, if necessary:

"Officer, am I being detained or am I free to leave?"
"Officer, with all due respect, I will not answer any further questions."

Usually these two lines will get you out of even the toughest situations (at least in my limited experience). Just remember to say it with a smile, and with the same love and appreciation you would use when addressing your grandparents.

The easiest way to avoid all of the hassle is to simply not do anything illegal. However, as a Burning Man participant, be prepared to be approached by law enforcement, regardless of if you've broken the law or not.

::: dusty hugs :::

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tamarakay
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by tamarakay » Wed May 29, 2013 5:45 am

Remember it's a vacation.
When the only tool you got is a hammer, every problem looks like a hippie.

Mmmmmm I love the smell of Burning Man - Token

Getting overly dramatic about the ticket sale process is so 2012. - Maladroit


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TomServo
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by TomServo » Wed May 29, 2013 5:50 am

Don't bother bringing that kiddie pool.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Simon of the Playa
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed May 29, 2013 5:53 am

if you smoke cigarettes, bring an extra carton.


seriously....on saturday and sunday you will be a God or Goddess as you hand out surplus ciggies.
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AbundantChoice
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by AbundantChoice » Wed May 29, 2013 6:02 am

My biggest piece of advice to my virgin self would be

"Some of the best experiences you will have will be deeper into the city; don't limit yourself to just the Esplanade and Inner Playa"

My first year was with a huge theme camp on the Esplanade, so I spent the first 2/3 of my burn without ever really heading further back than B street or further out than the temple. But once I started wandering the back streets, I found some absolutely amazing smaller camps that had really fascinating stuff going on, or were super-friendly, or just full of legitimately interesting people. And not just bars, everything from a fake cave, to twisted croquet, to a camp that gave out grilled cheeses but only if you spoke in cat, to Ashram Galactica, to a camp that had comfy chairs lining the street and if you sat in them they would compliment you until you left, to the Dusty Swan, etc etc etc.

It's now those smaller, more "personal" experiences, I remember more than the huge art or mega-esplanade camp experiences.
All Black Holes Begin As Stars.

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VultureChow
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by VultureChow » Wed May 29, 2013 6:55 am

Get a good night's sleep before you make the final push to the city.

I probably lost 24 hours of solid burning just trying to recover from my idiotic idea not to spend the night in Reno and instead push on to the playa. Rolled into camp at 3am, possibly hallucinating. If you are flying in, or doing a really long drive, get a cheap hotel room or even just sleep in your vehicle for a few hours to recharge. You never get back that sleep you lost and it's better to lost that sleep surrounded by the fire, lights and music of the playa at 3am than in the inky blackness of 447.
Sic Semper Spectatores

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FIGJAM
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by FIGJAM » Wed May 29, 2013 7:28 am

^^^THIS^^^

Take a 2 or 3 hour nap before the "Last Push" to the playa!

An accident on 447 can hold up traffic for hours, then entry can take 2 to 8 hours or more if there's a white out. 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

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FIGJAM
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by FIGJAM » Wed May 29, 2013 7:31 am

Oh, and if you're going to have drama, have mellow drama! 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

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Elorrum
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Elorrum » Wed May 29, 2013 8:25 am

Once you start packing, all projects are finished.
"Ask again later." - Magic 8-Ball

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AntiM
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by AntiM » Wed May 29, 2013 8:32 am

Lip balm on a string. Punch a hole in the cap and knot a cotton string loop through it
Tie it to your bike or pack, or wear it around your neck, ' cause you probably won't have pockets.

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Dr. Pyro
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Dr. Pyro » Wed May 29, 2013 8:37 am

The one thing that the pictures or videos really does not convey is how loud the city is. No matter where you are, the whoomp-whoomp-whoomp of dubstep will jar even the most Rip Van Winkelesque out of their slumber. Bring ear plugs! You will not regret it.

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mudpuppy000
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by mudpuppy000 » Wed May 29, 2013 8:43 am

FIGJAM wrote:^^^THIS^^^

Take a 2 or 3 hour nap before the "Last Push" to the playa!

An accident on 447 can hold up traffic for hours, then entry can take 2 to 8 hours or more if there's a white out. 8)
Yeah, and don't try to drive to LA (or wherever you're going) nonstop after exodus. That was really stupid.

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Drawingablank
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Drawingablank » Wed May 29, 2013 10:20 am

Bring quality, well broken in shoes and boots.

Several pairs and at least one pair of slip ons.

By the end of the burn my feet hurt like hell. Having a change of shoes often allieviates some of that foot pain.

My hands are usually in rough shape by day 5 so tying laces is agony as well.

I've also had shoes that appeared to be in good condition disintegrate within hours on the playa, so I consider 2 pairs to be the absolute minimum and now I bring 3.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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unjonharley
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by unjonharley » Wed May 29, 2013 10:21 am

The wind is a sneaky thief . It will steel anything not nailed down..

Tie it down. tie it down. tie it down. Then tie it down again..

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TT120
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by TT120 » Wed May 29, 2013 10:51 am

Spend more time exploring the "burbs". There are so many fun groups out on the back streets.
Bring more chapstick and hand lotion. My hands were trashed after about 3 days. It's REALLY dry out there.
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley
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VultureChow
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by VultureChow » Wed May 29, 2013 10:58 am

TT120 wrote:Spend more time exploring the "burbs". There are so many fun groups out on the back streets.
Bring more chapstick and hand lotion. My hands were trashed after about 3 days. It's REALLY dry out there.
You want a moisturizer with some form of fat as the main ingredient, not glycerine or alcohol. I used Body Shop body butters last year and they were perfect.
Sic Semper Spectatores

voiceinthedarkness
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by voiceinthedarkness » Wed May 29, 2013 11:12 am

Read DrawingaBlank's crappy virgin guide. Twice.

Sweet talk Doc Pyro into posting his Newbie Primer. Read it thrice.

Maybe this year I'll actually take the advice.

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swampdog
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by swampdog » Wed May 29, 2013 12:21 pm

Don't worry, be happy. Don't just stick your toe in the water, take the plunge.

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dragonpilot
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by dragonpilot » Wed May 29, 2013 12:36 pm

Bring and use a neti pot!

Last year was the first of 8 years that I used one on the playa...and I'm here to tell ya that my nasal passages thanked me...twice a day and throughout the Burn. Usage provided relief beyond description!
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.

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robbidobbs
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by robbidobbs » Wed May 29, 2013 12:39 pm

Toilet use is one experience people coming into this out of this whirled place rarely are fully prepared for.
This is not a facility to just use and ignore, but a resource to respect beyond your normal practice.

One suggestion that I've never done but have seen put into practice to great relief is to put together a "biffy bag", Moon bag, shitter sack or whatever you want to call it.
It may include:
extra one ply tp w/o roll
ziploc baggies (sandwich size is best)
for the ladies: girl stuff even if you don't think you'll need it
paper lunch bags (they make good barf bags)
and if you must - cotton (not fiberglass) baby wipes. They go into the ziplocs/paper bags
a sharpie. no really. It's just small & useful and you're carrying a bag anyway.

If I were to go back to 1999 and tell myself one bit of advice it would be:
BRING A DAMN GOOD MATTRESS AND WARM BEDDING.
Cripes! It was cold that year!

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Chief Poopervisor of the Pottie Project
I'll be in my blanket fort until further notice.

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unjonharley
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by unjonharley » Wed May 29, 2013 12:41 pm

Start riding your bike or bike trainer now.. Build up to hours at a time..

Black Rock City is very large. No matter how much you see. You will not see i all.

Bring bike and a that is in good repair and bring a LOCK.. Bikes have a bad habit of wandering off when not tied to the hitching rail.

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BoyScoutGirl
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Wed May 29, 2013 1:32 pm

Stop spending hours lost in all those galleries of photos and videos of Burning Men past. Stop that right now.

You already know you want to go. You've read through the survival guide and have thoroughly prepared your gear. Your plans and reservations are made and are realistic, reflecting all the research you've done on the message boards and the BM website. It's fun to obsess in the months leading up to the burn, but realistically, you don't need to know all about every major piece of art that's going. You don't have to have the city layout memorized. Excessive preparation builds up expectations: reading all those blogs chips away at the city's ability to surprise and amaze.

I'm not saying there won't be amazing surprises - there will be - I'm just saying that it's possible to spend so much time mentally preparing yourself that you cheat yourself out of the wonder of experiencing BM for the first time. You only get one first time; reading sixty blogs about other people's first experiences diluted it for me. It reaffirmed my desire to participate and helped me prepare for all the little things - I had chapstick and blankets and all the things mentioned above aplenty - but I still feel like I lost something in trying to have the mindset of a grizzled veteran.

Be ready for wind and dust and heat and cold and noise, yes, but let the rest speak for itself as you experience it; Burning Man translates poorly through the pixels of an LCD monitor.




Oh, also: absolutely volunteer with the Lamplighters!
When he lights his streetlamp, it is as if he brought one more star to life, or one flower.
When he puts out his lamp, he sends the flower, or the star, to sleep.
That is a beautiful occupation.

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BBadger
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by BBadger » Wed May 29, 2013 3:45 pm

"You should've gone for the whole week."

Otherwise, I was pretty satisfied by how everything turned out. My minds was properly blow. I had no clue about what I would see. I had an awesome time. I participated in projects. The only thing that could've made it better was going the whole week instead of just Thursday to the end.

Oh I guess I'd also advise myself to buy some better lights. We had headlamps and stuff to not be complete darktards, but weren't all that well lit up.
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motskyroonmatick
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by motskyroonmatick » Wed May 29, 2013 6:38 pm

That tall dome tent isn't going to cut it. Think --must retain shape in hurricane and driving rain.
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Eric
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by Eric » Wed May 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Don't waste your time planning what you're going to do. It won't happen. Maybe figure out one "event" you want to see (a specific theme night at a bar, a (gasp) DJ, the human carcass wash) and make that it. Let everything else happen as it happens.
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by msj2u » Wed May 29, 2013 8:26 pm

Although having a crushed hip and not seeing the temple will never stop Me meeting the best people in the world. Also, I can drive 12 hours alone, even though I'm direction impaired. LOL

Can't wait to *go home*.
The older I get, the less patience I have for stupid.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by theCryptofishist » Wed May 29, 2013 9:01 pm

Buy Scott something to filter out the dust and make sure he uses it. Cause it would suck if he had an asthma attack after the event when he's sent you home and the truck died and he almost does the same and gets a helicopter ride to Reno and you don't even hear from him until the social worker calls him to get his parents' phone number.

Or maybe have a healthy truck. More than one way of skinning a cat.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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MikeGyver
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Re: Give your virgin self ONE piece of advice...

Post by MikeGyver » Wed May 29, 2013 10:26 pm

Don't speed after you get off the freeway, Even 5mph over they will give you a ticket. Trust me, I know :evil:
The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

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