First Timer - solo or camp option?

Theme camps and villages are the interactive core of Burning Man. This is the place to announce and discuss camp and village plans for Burning Man 2020.
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LisaLoves
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:34 pm
Burning Since: 2020
Location: Sydney Australia

First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by LisaLoves » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:43 pm

Hi, Im Lisa. Im 48 from Sydney Australia. I have been wanting to participate in Burning Man for the last 6-7 years!! So, 2020 is going to be the year I actually do this. I will be travelling to Nevada from Sydney and will be there solo. I will be embracing radical self reliance but obviously want to connect with like minded people. I am plant based, meditate, yoga, energy healer, make video content, graphic design and am pretty good at construction. I am happy, easy going, young at heart and like helping people. Should I look for a camp for my first time or go alone? Be nice please, genuine advice much appreciated. Thanks in advance x

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some seeing eye
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
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Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:16 pm

Welcome to ePlaya!

The event can be a transformative and creative experience.
It is a wilderness car camping experience familiar to OZ.
It is 4C to 48C in a day, so clothing layers. You will walk (footwear) an easy 10Km per day plus at least 20km bicycling.
The event costumed, though many just have camping clothes.
Shelter and shade prep is a challenge, food, water and a packing list - search "burning man packing list."
We did have a wild fire completely closing the exit road, OZ-like.

Your Burning Man regional is going to be more helpful than us. But we do have a lot of specialized on-playa knowledge. The regionals are good for prep and distance transport. They also know on-playa.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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lucky420
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Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by lucky420 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:52 am

Hola and hello...

We’re generally pretty nice around here unless you ask a really simple easy to find question to answer, then you might get some sarcasm but even that has pretty much left the building...

Politics don’t count, were easily divided and can get nasty (including myself).
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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some seeing eye
Posts: 3448
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:53 am

To your question -

If you join a camp, it is better to do it with friends you know in advance in real life, than with strangers. The event can be psychologically stressful and there can be setbacks or camp infrastructure breakdowns. So it is better to be with people you trust and who trust you.

Your packing list will tell you how much camp gear, food and supplies will fit in your travel mode. It's a walkabout.

If you start spending time with your regional in person, ours has 3 happy hours a week at the taverns, there are several dance events per month that have a large contingent of burners, we have an free art festival organized by burners, and in our good season, 2-3 camping festivals that are mostly burners. In a big city in OZ, you will find those opportunities to meet people who are burners through your Regional.

It is possible to shop for many camping items here, carry them in and out by the Burner x Bus, and dispose of them outbound. Again, your Regional burners can share experiences!

If you have the time, you can travel around the US on your trip.

There is a lot of reading to do on preparation at burningman.org, there are preparation YouTubes.

This site is better searched by google like: food site:eplaya.burningman.org. The regular search box in this page upper right doesn't work well.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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Canoe
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Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by Canoe » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:14 am

Watch out for the camps that sign up Virgins, take their money (and more than it would cost on your own), and then assign them duties, where they might get three hours off every second day, to go explore BRC. On your own, you do what you want when you want. Unless you want special meals, it's only a week, very little work required unless you (or a camp) make it up for you.

Another thing we're seeing, is a huge amount of BRC set as reserved space for assigned camps. Less and less for ad hoc camps and solos (there's always the "walk-in" camping area). Tons of "theme camps" setting up so they can get tickets and an assigned space, then they do something token on the playa to "justify" getting first crack at tickets and an assigned space.
4.669
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Canoe
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Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by Canoe » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:48 pm

There are a number of great threads on solo camping, pros & cons.
But the eplaya search sucks. Fails to "find" all sorts of threads one knows exist. (that really really needs fixing...)
You'll have to use google to find them... :roll:
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

Skuzzy61
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Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp/We got this!
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by Skuzzy61 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:25 pm

What you want or what you get out of it will all depend on the person you are to start with. Whether you chose a camp or going solo may or may not make any difference at all, again, depending on the person you are.

If you decide to go with a camp, chose wisely. DO NOT DEPEND on a camp to provide you with what you may need, no matter what they charge. If you need it, then you need to bring it.

I am part of a camp, and for me it works very well. Never felt like I missed out on anything and I have a lot of fun in the camp. That is just me though. What works for anyone here may not work for you.

Spend a lot of time reading this forum, and the Burning Man main site. The amount of information available is considerable. You can live, survive, or die on the Playa. How much homework you do will place in one of those categories before you ever get there. Doing your homework pays off in a big way.

Hope that helps, and welcome to ePlaya!
As the camp evolves.....
We got this! 2016/2019
We had it! 2020
We almost lost it! 2021
We have no idea where it is! 2022
Who the hell are we and why are we here? 2023

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Ratty
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Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by Ratty » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:33 pm

I camped solo for 7 years. It's great. Be your own boss. Three years ago we, (the friends I had made at the event), decided to go legit. We are still our own boss. The four of us. Don't be afraid to go it alone. Say 'yes' a lot. You won't die. You won't be any lonelier than if you joined a camp. Burning Man is what you make of it. Jump in with both feet. Take rides and take chances. Experience the generosity of the community. Contribute by helping others. Your first year is different than the rest. Embrace and enjoy it.
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Papa Bear
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Re: First Timer - solo or camp option?

Post by Papa Bear » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:30 pm

Skuzzy61 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 2:25 pm
If you decide to go with a camp, chose wisely. DO NOT DEPEND on a camp to provide you with what you may need, no matter what they charge. If you need it, then you need to bring it.

I am part of a camp, and for me it works very well. Never felt like I missed out on anything and I have a lot of fun in the camp. That is just me though. What works for anyone here may not work for you.
Well said. Lisa, you absolutely don't need to join a camp, nor should you count on one for the essentials. Even the best managed camp can encounter problems that would leave you high and dry. But that's not to say they're bad - I'm quite fond of mine. It's just different.

There are some groups for Australian burners on Facebook which might be useful to you; let me know if you need a direct link. "Burning Seed" is probably the closest official regional to Sydney, but unfortunately that doesn't happen until after the big burn.

If you've got any to spare, I definitely recommend taking some extra time to travel and explore before and after the burn. If nothing else, at least give yourself a couple of days after the burn before you have to get back on that plane.

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