what to expect?

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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Postby NotANugget » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:55 pm


I am bringing my 16 year old son this year. He has been reading everytthing and I just took him to the Reno screening of "How To Survive the Apocalypse".

He loved it all and gets the concept of be open to everything and expect nothing. There are a couple of DVDs out there also that you might look into - I liked Dust Devils and Beyond Black Rock City.
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You realise your a part of the machine
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What to expect?

Postby scruffyboy » Tue May 03, 2011 4:48 pm

By all means read and heed the survival guide... WE ARE NOT KIDDING ONE DAMN BIT ABOUT WHAT CONDITIONS MAY BE LIKE!

Here's some things you may not see on the guide;

1) Leave your expectations at home, You'll be very limited or greatly disappointed

2) Come with an open mind, willing hands and an open heart.

3) Prepare to be totally blown away at every turn. Sensory overload is the rule rather than the exception.

4) Take care of yourself and your camp mates. Drink water!

5) Moderation is the key in all things Burning Man, too much of anything is not a good thing.

6) If you bring it to the Playa TAKE IT BACK OUT WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE! Burning Man is a Leave No Trace Event.

7) SLOW DOWN! Enjoy what's in front of you. You're never going to see everything that's going on at Burning Man anyway so don't even try to. Just chill in the moment.

8) Make time for yourself, get away from camp mates/partner/whatever and go exploring on your own. But be sure to check in, let people know when you plan on coming back.

9) Do your fair share around camp. Don't get so distracted you forget to do your chores.

10) If you "just can't take it anymore" sleep on it, give it 24 hours before you decide to split.

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Postby Dr Helix » Tue May 03, 2011 6:57 pm

I can't say this enough. Make sure you see the petting zoo.
"Love, Rockets and write when you get work"

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Postby Dr Helix » Tue May 03, 2011 6:58 pm

And the fly casting pond. A must do!
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Postby darcitananda » Tue May 10, 2011 10:48 am

Expectations are a funny thing.

I expected it to be dusty, but I didn't expect that I would actually kind of like the texture of the dust.

I expected it to be a lot hotter and drink a lot more water. We didn't even use half our water, and the dry heat of the desert actually feels quite cool compared to the kind of dehydration and heat-induced misery I've had tromping through the Amazon in 100 degrees plus 100% humidity.

I always bring too much food. One's appetite kind of diminishes out there, so much other stuff to do. I guess drug-users, depending on what they're on, might have even less appetite.

In terms of the emotional stuff, I wasn't expecting a life-transforming event per se. The funny thing that happened for me, was learning to love my bicycle again. I quickly found that it was just extremely enjoyable to hop on my bike and zoom to the portapotties instead of hoofing it 15 minutes, and I loved biking all over the playa. When I got home, I fixed up my bike for street use and started running all my local errands that way. So every time I hop on my bike, I'm reminded of portapotties. ;) No really, it's great.

Maybe this year I'm going to expect something more transformational and see what happens. I do agree that some expectations are self-fulfilling, while others may bring on an opposite effect.

I'm totally giddy with anticipation already, and that's half the fun too.

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Postby gyre » Tue May 10, 2011 11:13 am

I agree about humidity, but as to thirst, there are much drier years sometimes and I never seem to get enough water those years.
Sometimes I feel that way when I am very active, on otherwise moderately dry years.
Having a dust leaky tent seems to exacerbate the dryness too.

But the playa is never as bad as the non-amazon rain forests I have been in.
The worst year only matched my home for heat, due to the humidity issue.
Usually it's a great relief to get there.

I hope the amazon is worth it.
Last time I was in a climate like that, it lost it's charm quickly.

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Postby Mojojita » Tue May 10, 2011 11:40 am

Regarding bringing the 16 year old son.......I think it is a good idea to have a talk with him about alcohol because of the danger - not to him - but to any of the many, many free bars out there that will be severely punished if caught serving him alcohol. You can provide alcohol for him in your camp, but let him know we need his help to keep things running without problems at the bars. Although they should card him, it's sometimes hard to accomplish out there. Keep in mind that he will easily be able to acquire alcohol if he wants it.

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Postby Roger Dodger » Fri May 27, 2011 7:44 am


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Postby Playa+Tom » Sat May 28, 2011 9:52 am

It's too bad this is your first year, last year was so much better.

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Postby OatmealMama » Sun May 29, 2011 12:02 am

Expect to become obsessed and count down the days until the 2012 Burn!

You're gonna see (and hear) some crazy ass shit, how can you prepare for that? How do you prepare to hear a man/boy yelling over a loud goddamn speaker - "F#CK" a ga-zillion times starting at the god-awful hour of 8am when you're JUST winding down from the previous nights festivities?! How do you prepare to watch a young lady involved in a domestic altercation with -- a dragonfly? Or almost see a man get killed by an art car?

Expect to see a lot of naked men. A LOT more naked men than women.

Expect to cry at unexpected times.

Expect to be sad/depressed/missing the playa for your first few weeks or months after the burn.

Expect to not eat very much. Fatten up before you go.

Expect it to take FOREVER to leave and actually get to the gates.

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Postby Alienhair » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:05 am


this is going to be my first time as well, going alone unless i find a camp willing to take me in. This thread is very helpful! gives me more excitement every time i think i cooled down from the excitement! very addictive!!!

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Postby Bob » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:40 am

Expect to Sharpie your camp location on your skin somewhere you can read it, just in case.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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