Common sense seems to be lacking for new burners

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Sail Man
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Post by Sail Man » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:13 pm

Edana wrote:I wonder if part of the issue is that the well-prepared virgins don't stand out. They kind of just fade into the background / people assume they're NOT virgins because they aren't dumb.
That was the case for my first year. I researched, planned, created lists, played on eplaya endlessly, studied almost anally (moi???) :wink: and while at the burn was mistaken for a vet more then a few times. Why? Because I was prepared, and also, because I come from a tourist town and we used to make fun of the tourists so whenever I travel I like to blend in as a native. :lol:

I have a friend from work coming this year who was concerned about gifting. I told him, being prepared and not being a burden on your fellow burners would be a most awesome gift your first year. Ask me next week how he did LOL :lol:
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Post by EmilyD » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:44 pm

some seeing eye wrote:The playa accommodates all. It's just a generational-cultural thing. We are in transition from almighty knowledge to knowledge of connected friends. The middle is asking the random interwebs to provide. That is what you are seeing. Chill. No one will perish for lack of prep among 50,000 while learning.
While this is a lovely, generous attitude I don't feel like hanging out with anyone who doesn't take the self-reliance principle seriously. And after so many months of prep I sure don't want to take care of people like that. I am happy to share with those who also share but not those who mooch as a lifestyle.
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Post by arnic87 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:06 am

Hello there,

virgin here. trying to be prepared ;) me and my friends are preparing for the burn of 2011. we live in holland, so we're bringing a rental car. can anyone tell me what we need to look for in such a car, besides enough space for resources to last ourselves a week :?: we don't want to get stranded in the dust of course :!:

for all the people out there on the real playa, have a wonderfull time. and for everyone who'd whish they where there, hope to see you in 2011!!

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Post by TomServo » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:20 am

arnic87 wrote:Hello there,

virgin here. trying to be prepared ;) me and my friends are preparing for the burn of 2011. we live in holland, so we're bringing a rental car. can anyone tell me what we need to look for in such a car, besides enough space for resources to last ourselves a week :?: we don't want to get stranded in the dust of course :!:

for all the people out there on the real playa, have a wonderfull time. and for everyone who'd whish they where there, hope to see you in 2011!!
Assuming you read the required reading, an SUV or truck would be best. Disconnect the battery, the second you find your camp spot!! Dome lights will drain a battery.

I got a clog necklace from a holland burner.
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Post by Catwoman69y2k » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:07 am

I cant even consider myself a veteran but I do think that its pretty much a given that being underprepared is not an option at an event like this. Really, I do think the misconception of this being one big party (and/or orgy) is driving people to come here who basically think its like any other event. So the idea of actually needing to READ UP and RESEARCH something is foreign to them.

I know at least 2 people that are virgin burners this year. Im not sure the reasoning of why they decided to go finally but after hearing of the prioritization they had pre-burn, Im pretty sure they might get a rude awakening. One of the two is exhibiting playa princess tendancies despite that she has never stepped foot on the playa. That does not bode well to me as a good combo.

Sure, as virgins, they are not going to "get it". I dont think any of us "got it" all the first time we went. Each year is a different experience and I think that, if your mind is open, you will start getting it as long as you arent tied to expectation or constructive critisism. In fact, those 2 seem like life skills after the experiences I have had on playa. :)

So, I can only hope a majority of the people the OP and I have described do have that open mind. No other way I can see them a) surviving and b)having no reason to bitch about how bad of a time they had (despite that they may have brought it on themselves).

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Post by bx1 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:56 am

TomServo wrote:
arnic87 wrote:Hello there,

virgin here. trying to be prepared ;) me and my friends are preparing for the burn of 2011. we live in holland, so we're bringing a rental car. can anyone tell me what we need to look for in such a car, besides enough space for resources to last ourselves a week :?: we don't want to get stranded in the dust of course :!:

for all the people out there on the real playa, have a wonderfull time. and for everyone who'd whish they where there, hope to see you in 2011!!
Assuming you read the required reading, an SUV or truck would be best. Disconnect the battery, the second you find your camp spot!! Dome lights will drain a battery.

I got a clog necklace from a holland burner.

A really important thing a lot of people forget to do. Make sure you also check to see your spare is in good working order and you also have something like a bottle or two of fix-a-flat before you leave civilization. There is tons of other stuff you can do to prepare your car and you. Just read the survival guides and website information, and if you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

P.S. This thread was for those people that don't bother to even ask any questions, let alone do any research.
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Post by bx1 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:14 pm

Sail Man wrote:
Edana wrote:I wonder if part of the issue is that the well-prepared virgins don't stand out. They kind of just fade into the background / people assume they're NOT virgins because they aren't dumb.
That was the case for my first year. I researched, planned, created lists, played on eplaya endlessly, studied almost anally (moi???) :wink: and while at the burn was mistaken for a vet more then a few times. Why? Because I was prepared, and also, because I come from a tourist town and we used to make fun of the tourists so whenever I travel I like to blend in as a native. :lol:

I have a friend from work coming this year who was concerned about gifting. I told him, being prepared and not being a burden on your fellow burners would be a most awesome gift your first year. Ask me next week how he did LOL :lol:
I was the same way my first year. Of course the first year I went there weren't nearly as many resources available as there are now. I was lucky enough to have known several veterans who provided me with a wealth of information and who answered all of my questions. I would have to say I probably came over-prepared that year (but as some would say, you can never be too prepared so...). At any rate, I have numerous experiences with ill-prepared burners that would have not made it if not for myself or others.

One example is just last year when I looked off into the distant playa and saw something that didn't belong (we were at 10:00 and J where our camp over looked the vast lake bed, and we saw like a tiny black spec just under a mile out in the distance). It had been there for at least two hours when I decided to finally check it out with a friend (knew it wasn't an art project, actually thought it was some trash that got taken with the wind and I would pick it up). As we got closer, I realized it was a person passed out in the middle of the lake bed far from any people. I got closer to check this persons pulse and I could smell a very strong odor of alcohol. This guy was severely dehydrated and barely conscious. We carried him back to our camp and fed him electrolytes and water until he was coherent again. I'm telling you this guy could have easily been dead if he had been out there another hour.

This is the kind of thing that makes me start threads such as this... While Burning Man can be fun, if you think its just one giant party where you don't have to prepare and watch our for yourself while you're there (i.e. self reliance), you're in for a big surprise.
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Post by zippity » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:56 pm

This is my first burn and I'm a fantastic researcher..I've been going at it crazy and I actually got into an argument with my friend who hadn't did a damn thing as far as planning til I started bitchin...I like being prepared and I hate dealing with people who "love" camping but hate doing all the leg work. Another word for moochers..

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Post by Nitevenus » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:24 pm

Is it my imagination or does it seem that many people don't want to actually *read* any more? Not just read but comprehend. That comment doesn't just pertain to new burners..... With so much effort and information put into the website and on eplaya, some newbies should come away with something. Chalk it up to A.D.D?? Who knows. Kudos to you new ones who are getting it right.

My first year was overprepared and it came in helpful to those who weren't. Because of that it was what became my main items of gifting. The hats and cool snakes seem to sit idle. My extra fuel, first aid, tie downs and light up toys went quickly..

Some one here said the best gift that a newbie can give is being prepared. To that, I agree!!

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Post by Catwoman69y2k » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:08 pm

Nitevenus wrote:Is it my imagination or does it seem that many people don't want to actually *read* any more? Not just read but comprehend. That comment doesn't just pertain to new burners..... With so much effort and information put into the website and on eplaya, some newbies should come away with something. Chalk it up to A.D.D?? Who knows. Kudos to you new ones who are getting it right.

My first year was overprepared and it came in helpful to those who weren't. Because of that it was what became my main items of gifting. The hats and cool snakes seem to sit idle. My extra fuel, first aid, tie downs and light up toys went quickly..

Some one here said the best gift that a newbie can give is being prepared. To that, I agree!!
I would be tempted to agree with you. I think its less about ADD and more about the instant gratification that the "Internet Age" provides. Its very easy to get used to that I guess. Part of BM is about detachment from expectation, but I suppose that if you don't get that part somewhat before making your journey to the playa (this would esp. apply to those newbies who somehow decide to go to BM with a more last minute timeline), than that might be what prevents you from having the hindsight to read up on things like the prep guide.

Take this scenario:

My friend R is about my age too. She and her are great "stage sisters" when we perform, but her and I are like polar opposites to how we got brought up. In fact, her and I's prep is very different. Unemployed, I make a lot of plans well in advance, and research ways to make the show a success despite my very tight budget. Meanwhile, R prepares for the event as if "everything will always work out in the end." In fact, I was met with that logic during one of our shows where she decided to do a complete change of things at the last minute. I figured that with little prep for such a change, it is entirely possible that hings go wrong so I encouraged her to look into some alternate options should things go sideways.

They did go sideways and when it came down to helping her pull out Plan B, she told me that she did not have one. With only 2 hours before showtime she grew very depressed about things blowing up in her face and it took a friend to coax her to the stage that year. I was proud that we all pulled together and the show was still a smashing success, but I couldn't help but think if attachment to the "it all works out in the end" expectation was why she did not have a secondary plan when things went wrong.

***

I cant help but wonder if some of the Virgin Burners are influenced by the stories from peers about the year of their "de-virginization". From that, they get this idea in their heads that Virgin Burners are going to get a free pass if they are unprepared, solely because of how helpful the community is. So, these under prepared people are likely to shirk areas of prep because of that.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:59 pm

I'm sure that it's more about personality type, rather than some sort of idealization of innocence. I'd rather credit a lack of knowledge of how to prepare and plan than think that people are that stupid.
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Post by zippity » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:15 pm

[quote="Nitevenus"]Is it my imagination or does it seem that many people don't want to actually *read* any more? Not just read but comprehend. That comment doesn't just pertain to new burners..... With so much effort and information put into the website and on eplaya, some newbies should come away with something. Chalk it up to A.D.D?? Who knows. Kudos to you new ones who are getting it right.

My first year was overprepared and it came in helpful to those who weren't. Because of that it was what became my main items of gifting. The hats and cool snakes seem to sit idle. My extra fuel, first aid, tie downs and light up toys went quickly..

Some one here said the best gift that a newbie can give is being prepared. To that, I agree!![/quote]

I was actually diagnosed with ADHD a few years back lol...it works to my advantage though..when I'm feeling hyper, you know how long I can go lookin up BM info all over the web? It's insane! Maybe I intimidated my friend and brought up his lack of readiness. They say the truth hurts! ;D

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:02 pm

Damn kids.

Hey! Git the heck offa my lawn!

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Post by bx1 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:29 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:Damn kids.

Hey! Git the heck offa my lawn!
The moral of this thread is:

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Post by Buckaroo_Benzai » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:11 pm

Actually I found the opposite was true. This was my first burn and several things I brought (from recommended lists and forum posts) I didn't need. I was there for 8 days and only ended up using 15 gallons of water, some of which was for two showers (to be fair I also brought 8 cans of coconut water and some soy milk juice box type things). I brought 30 gallons. Didn't need a dust mask since my bandana was sufficient. Didn't need my cot (which I brought as a backup) since my air mattress never deflated, despite warnings seen here on the forum that air mattresses leak on the playa. I ate only about 1/3 the food I brought since whenever I was hungry food seemed to appear (thanks Dust City Diner etc) and I wasn't that hungry to begin with... etc etc etc.

What I didn't bring enough of were warm clothes for night time. I had no idea it would get down to the low 40s, so I wore the same pants more than I would have liked.

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Post by Catwoman69y2k » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:19 pm

Buckaroo_Benzai wrote:Actually I found the opposite was true. This was my first burn and several things I brought (from recommended lists and forum posts) I didn't need. ...
Yeah. I dont think anyone should follow the lists to the T. Everyone's mileage is going to vary due to dietary restrictions, eating/sleeping habits, etc.. As far as the water surplus, thats good. I would rather have too much than too little.

Either way, Im hoping you had a great first burn. :)

Kat

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Post by Buckaroo_Benzai » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:45 pm

[quote="Catwoman69y2k"]
Either way, Im hoping you had a great first burn. :)
[/quote]

I did, indeed. Despite everything I had heard prior, it blew my mind every day and every night. I spent the first couple days just taking it all in, then finally hit my groove on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. And deep playa? My favorite place from 4-7am.

One thing I'm definitely bringing next year is a small notebook and a pen so I can write down the contact info of everyone I connect with. It's probably second on my list now (after water).

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Post by RedHeaven » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:46 pm

[quote="Buckaroo_Benzai"][quote="Catwoman69y2k"]
Either way, Im hoping you had a great first burn. :)
[/quote]

I did, indeed. Despite everything I had heard prior, it blew my mind every day and every night. I spent the first couple days just taking it all in, then finally hit my groove on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. And deep playa? My favorite place from 4-7am.

One thing I'm definitely bringing next year is a small notebook and a pen so I can write down the contact info of everyone I connect with. It's probably second on my list now (after water).[/quote]

One year I made cool gifst like that, small notebooks with BMan decor on the front. Very Handy!

I had a couple Virgin friends that went out this year. I gifted one girlfriend my goggles (I need a new pair anyway) She hadnt even thought about getting a pair. Im curious to hear how much she used them.
Her and a few other virgin burner friends messaged me A WEEK Before burning man in a panic "What do I need?" First thing I ask them is if they read the website "No" So I say, "FIRST THINGS FIRST, Read the whole website and survival guide!" Im shocked they hadnt read it before. I was cracked out on this site before I took the plunge. Anyways.....Sigh....

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Is the virgin wrong?

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:20 am

The virgin is both wrong and not wrong. The truth is, if you come to the playa with not enough, you will absolutely be supplied with it. It's the way the community is. No vendors (except the Cafe, ice and the other 11 things officially for sale on playa) but nonetheless you will get it.

I do come with huge amounts of stuff and I'm looking each year to figure a way to reduce it. Not because I want to mooch, and not because I beg, but because things are always thrust at me, within my own camp, and by neighbour camps. I now start feeling stupid because every year I bring enough food for a week, and return with half of it.

The unprepared virgin is wrong at the same time because obviously this doesn't scale up. You can't have really large numbers of people doing it, or the generous ones who count giving away food and drinks and other stuff as their participation will not find it fun any more.

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Post by swamp monster » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:46 am

Another overly prepared newly minted non-virgen. I have SO MANY containers of water--we had friends fly in and so got to keep ALL the extra stuff. I'd rather be over-prepped than under, o/c. Some stuff I will keep till next year or throw in with our general camping supplies, food I do not have room to store I might give to food bank or random homeless encampment (like some of the water). However, I was happy to have plenty of drinks and snacks to offer to those who stopped by, and our streetside food gifting went over great.

Next time I would like to have a couple days of "better" food since I clearly had so much of it, we were packed for a month in a bomb shelter.

The funny thing is that the sparkle pony of the group eschewed our low rent eats and hitched herself up with this very nice fellow who cooked her gourmet meals all weekend. Self-reliance takes many forms.

And dry ice is the shit.

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Post by baconqurlyq » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:51 am

Hey, let's not paint all n00bs with the same brush. This was my first year, and I didn't use 50% of what I brought. I came overprepared, and in fact was able to help out a few people who had forgotten a thing or two. However, I was camping with a few experienced burners and I didn't want to freeload on them. I researched the shit out of this adventure and spent a lot of money getting everything I would need, and perhaps much more than that so I could help anyone who perhaps forgot something.

I did, on the other hand, freeload a bunch of cigarettes. I usually find them disgusting, but they were awesome on the playa. Then again, I also found Bud Lite freaking delicious, and I usually hate cheap beer. But DAMN cheap beer is so tasty when it's really hot and dry.
Popped the playa cherry!

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Post by swamp monster » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:05 am

bacon, speaking of researching the shit out of everything, frankly, that was a lot of fun. I always enjoy the prep for going somewhere new, it's part of the vacation for me. So, the reading up on what we might need, conditions, etc, and the group emails re logistics and obtaining this and that were all part of my BM experience.

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Post by Savannah » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:24 am

The funny thing is that the sparkle pony of the group eschewed our low rent eats and hitched herself up with this very nice fellow who cooked her gourmet meals all weekend. Self-reliance takes many forms.
That IS the truth. :lol:

I believe in a certain quasi-insane level of preparation, but 1) agreeableness, & 2) the tendency to project it in all directions = also helpful.

My weak spot this year was that I happen to hammer rebar like an old lady. 12 Coleman 9 inch stakes are old hat to me, but burying almost 18 inches inches of rebar 8 times for my new shade structure . . . well . . . I could've gotten the job done, but I'm @#$% slow (and also, I saw a really fabulous rebar injury at Medical before Gates even opened, & was still haunted by it). But because I'm not an ass, 2 of my kickass friends helped me hammer without my even asking, and gave me advice to boot. (Use a lighter sledgehammer, swing harder, & pray).

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Post by much2naughty2 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:01 pm

I planned for 10 years to come to the burn some day and finally made it this year then really screwed up. Forgot the base to our blender and screwed up oour drink plans. Damn,

As for the other stuff, water, food, etc, We gave water away to 15 year burners that accidentily dumped theirs. Luck for them they camped next to newbies that brought way to much water.

Also, thanks to Captiangoddamnit. Followed his advice and bought a new Honda EU3000is. It was a big hit, especially with our neighbors.

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Post by Edana » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:21 pm

Well, I think I must have done something right! I was asked a number of times how many times I had been to BM. None of the people believed me when I told them it was my first time.

But then again, I have been reading, learning, researching, planning, and preparing for about 10 yrs. All those yrs I couldn't go because I was pregnant or with a newborn etc paid off now that we finally made it.

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Post by Eric » Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:53 pm

Edana wrote:Well, I think I must have done something right! I was asked a number of times how many times I had been to BM. None of the people believed me when I told them it was my first time.
This is what we call a "stealth virgin".

I met quite a few this year- from a friend who researched his patootie off to get to the playa; to a group of 12 Brits camped with us who were pure genius ("whats the most offensive English thing we could do on the playa? Fox Hunt!") and my personal Burner-Boy who was incredible well prepared & ready for just about anything, even on a date walking through a white-out to look at art.

I didn't discover until I got back here that I had met even more- they blended in so well I thought for sure they were old hands.

However, I also saw so many idiots walking around in shorts & a t-shirt with no backpack and one plastic cup that I will almost guarantee you wasn't filled with water.

I just hope the unprepared either had a miserable time in the white-outs at the end of the week & don't return, or discovered what they need to do to survive and thrive & come back and surprise us all.
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Post by MistressSybs » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:52 pm

TomServo wrote:Common sense isn't always common.
seriously!!!
bx1 wrote:
bluesbob wrote:
Edana wrote:Hey! Not all of us virgins are so clueless!... :)
And not all veterans are paragons of wisdom.
Both very true. :)
Saw this in action more than once on the playa!
Opinions and Assholes, everybody's got one!

.:: starfuckers incorporated ::.

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Post by Sail Man » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:15 pm

bx1 wrote:One example is just last year when I looked off into the distant playa and saw something that didn't belong (we were at 10:00 and J where our camp over looked the vast lake bed, and we saw like a tiny black spec just under a mile out in the distance). It had been there for at least two hours when I decided to finally check it out with a friend (knew it wasn't an art project, actually thought it was some trash that got taken with the wind and I would pick it up). As we got closer, I realized it was a person passed out in the middle of the lake bed far from any people. I got closer to check this persons pulse and I could smell a very strong odor of alcohol. This guy was severely dehydrated and barely conscious. We carried him back to our camp and fed him electrolytes and water until he was coherent again. I'm telling you this guy could have easily been dead if he had been out there another hour.
The medic in me wants to give you an extra big hug next year for going above and beyond what was required of you. Kudo's!
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Post by silkkat813 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:48 am

Buckaroo_Benzai wrote:Actually I found the opposite was true. This was my first burn and several things I brought (from recommended lists and forum posts) I didn't need. I was there for 8 days and only ended up using 15 gallons of water, some of which was for two showers (to be fair I also brought 8 cans of coconut water and some soy milk juice box type things). I brought 30 gallons. Didn't need a dust mask since my bandana was sufficient. Didn't need my cot (which I brought as a backup) since my air mattress never deflated, despite warnings seen here on the forum that air mattresses leak on the playa. I ate only about 1/3 the food I brought since whenever I was hungry food seemed to appear (thanks Dust City Diner etc) and I wasn't that hungry to begin with... etc etc etc.

What I didn't bring enough of were warm clothes for night time. I had no idea it would get down to the low 40s, so I wore the same pants more than I would have liked.
You sound like the virgins I drove across the US! I told them it would get cold at night, but don't think they believed me. They had thin, fleece jackets for warmth. They brought tons of food and water and I warned them they had to get all of it off the playa afterwards. (I drove their stuff in while they hitched from Reno, but they were responsible for everything afterwards. Never saw them towards the end of the week so not sure how they did.)

We had a newbie show up at our camp. No tent. No sleeping bag. No food. No water. But our camp leader never says no to money so let the guy stay with us after paying camp fees. Lucky for Freeloader, our camp had a lot of overly prepared newbies with lots of extra water and extra food. I think the first night he slept with all of his clothes in our kitchen (a carport) but not sure what he did the rest of the week. He survived though. Then the ungrateful prick sat there the last day, watching 3 women pack up the whole camp down, and did not help AT ALL!

I agree that most lists suggest too much water. And while being over-prepared with water is better than under-prepared, I just wish everyone would TAKE out the water they brought in. There was over 30 gallons of water left behind at my camp and most of that went to watering the dust since I couldn't fit it all. Then I think of people in parts of the world with no clean water. What a waste! If you are not gonna drink all of your water, please take it back out with you or find someone to take it!
*taking the long way HOME*

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FireShaman
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:42 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Pillow Punch
Location: Denver, CO
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Post by FireShaman » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:55 pm

We had several people come up to our camp while we were cooking and ask for food because they had 'run out'. This was on thu or fri. We were right behind center camp at 6/D, so we had a fair amount of foot traffic walking by, but still....

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