Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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1durphul
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Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by 1durphul » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:44 pm

Want some good advice? You've come to the right thread for the small random tips from veterans that don't deserve an entire thread to themself.

Buy a Keffiyeh, they're great for dust protection day and night, hot or cold. Amazon has them for about $20-$30: https://www.amazon.com/Hirbawi-Premium- ... B0185XWGIW

You will want a minimum of 42"x42", that one is 47"x47" (the more the better in my opinion.)

After you receive it, watch a video tutorial to learn how to properly tie it, practice a few times since you won't have the video on the playa:

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by gaminwench » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:54 pm

Put a mini maglite on a long lanyard, wear it as part of your regular nighttime gear.
Great for portos and emergency bodylight
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Skuzzy61 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:01 pm

gaminwench wrote:Put a mini maglite on a long lanyard, wear it as part of your regular nighttime gear.
Great for portos and emergency bodylight
We were going to do that, but instead i opted for an LED bicycle light, which comes off the bicycle easily and is very bright. Also has a clip for attaching to a carbiner, or will fit in one of our many pockets.

It is also USB rechargeable and I will carry a couple of USB power bricks with us. Could be a bad call, but we shall see....well,..I hope we shall see,...that is the point,...ain't it? :)

I got a mess of these: *link to balaclava* for protection of my face and head. The UV protection is outstanding and the wicking is exemplary. Gave it s a couple of test drives in 100F+ heat around here and came away really impressed. What do you think?
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by 1durphul » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:08 pm

Wear socks at all times unless you are inside your dust free tent or showering.

A veteran burner gave me this tip my first year, and I've followed it faithfully and my feet have thanked me.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by 1durphul » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:13 pm

Skuzzy61 wrote: I got a mess of these: *link to balaclava* for protection of my face and head. The UV protection is outstanding and the wicking is exemplary. Gave it s a couple of test drives in 100F+ heat around here and came away really impressed. What do you think?
I'm personally a fan of the versatility of the Keffiyeh since it can be worn so many ways, from a turban like cap to a full ninja like face cover, to just the bandit mouth/nose/neck cover. The only problem is remembering how to tie them into the different forms and practicing it enough so you'll remember out on the playa, something that your Balaclava makes easy.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Just_Joe » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:16 pm

1durphul wrote:Wear socks at all times unless you are inside your dust free tent or showering.

A veteran burner gave me this tip my first year, and I've followed it faithfully and my feet have thanked me.
When I'm working or building, I'm in sandals or Crocs. My feet curse me year round.
gaminwench wrote:Put a mini maglite on a long lanyard, wear it as part of your regular nighttime gear.
Great for portos and emergency bodylight
I started doing this a few years ago. Prolly the greatest thing since sliced bread. It gets hung up next to my bed and is there the next evening when I need it.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Skuzzy61 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:17 pm

This particular Balaclava is convertible to a few different shapes (at least 4). Certainly not as versatile as your wrap, but a decent alternative, I think. Easier for me to deal with as I am all thumbs when it comes to this stuff.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Eric » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:35 pm

I've been using a keffiyeh as my primary dust mask for years. They're fantastic, and I can put mine on in well under a minute (after the first day out there), and can convert it from just head-covering to dust mask in about 2 seconds (literal 2 seconds, not figurative).

A couple of huge caveats though: make sure they're 100% cotton!! A lot of the ones online are a blend. They suck. To fit properly you need to figure out the length of your outstretched arms - if you fold a keffiyeh in half diagonally, the long side needs to be as long as your outstretched arms or longer, otherwise it won't fit right.

I pick them up at thrift stores throughout the year and never pay more than $15 (for a really good color), most of mine cost less than $10. You're going to want a new one every day or two, I usually have at least 7 of them.

The video below is my go-to to refresh my memory on how to fold it.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Ratty » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:41 pm

Make a 'potty bag' and hang it in your camp. Anything with a strap long enough to go around your neck. (old purse, small messenger bag etc...) TP, feminine products, zip lock bags, flashlight attached on the outside. Wipes and ziplocks if you so desire. A zip tie incase you run across a unit that is fouled with solid waste. Not just urine or all of em would be locked. Personal container of hand sanitizer if you believe in the stuff.

It makes going so much easier.

What Eric said about his head covering
You're going to want a new one every day or two,
. So true. Things get nasty, smelly, dirty out there. I use a new face mask every day till I run out. Then its long sleeve t-shirts or whatever.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Chowski » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:49 pm

Pace yourself. Get some sleep. Go to sleep at 10 PM one night and sleep until dawn. Take care of your body so you don't burn out too early.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Eric » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:55 pm

I also have contrarian advise, especially for newbies: take off your fucking shoes & socks and, at least once, run barefoot in the dust!! It's like talcum powder, and it feels wonderful (especially in the cool of the morning), and you're never going to know how your body reacts if you're too afraid to play in the dust. That said, do not do this if you have any open cuts on your feet - the playa is a desiccant, and it can turn a wound into a painful nightmare.

I rarely wear socks until evening, and just have loose slippers on - my feet are fine. I never use lemon, or vinegar, or lotion on them. I haven't ever had a problem, because not everyone's skin is the same. That said, the cuticles on my fingers get massively fucked every year, no matter what I do to them (including the lemon & lotion). Take the horror stories into account - they're true for probably the majority of people. However, you might be one of the lucky ones who gets to be One With The Dust.

Note: never do this in the dark, or near a porta-potty. People are fucking nasty with what they'll "leave" on the playa...
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by 1durphul » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:13 pm

Regarding sexy time: silicone based lube will not dry and become tacky like water based lube does. On the playa water based lube goes from slick to sticky in seconds.

Oh, and as an added bonus tip, silicone based lube will come off easily with any body wash that contains menthol.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by mudpuppy000 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:45 pm

I've never really had problems with my feet either, even when I was wearing crappy slip on shoes with no socks all week. I have had horrible playa hand/nails though. Wear gloves whenever you're doing any setup because that little scratch around your finger nails is going to hurt like hell after a couple of days. Bring lotion!

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Drawingablank » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:02 pm

I too have no problem with playa foot and I attribute that to not wearing stuff that makes my feet sweat. The dust doesn't become really caustic unless it is wet - think about it your body gets covered in dust but the only places it causes trouble are areas that get wet like sweaty feet and hands.

Most years I do suffer horribly from playa paw and I attribute that to constantly sticking my hands in the cooler. There is no practical way to really keep the dust off your hands or out of the cooler, although I can usually minimize my suffering by snagging beers with the same 2 finger tips all week.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by BBadger » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:03 pm

- Magnesium: magnesium supplements can help relax your muscles (reduces cramps, stiffness), and in some cases can help make you more regular at the toilet. I always bring some. Magnesium-taurate or magnesium-glycinate or magneisum-citrate are good varieties. Magnesium oxide also works but doesn't absorb very well; it will soften your shit, so don't take too much.

- When taking photos: during the day when photographing subjects, like people, use your camera's flash to illuminate your subjects against the background. At night, turn off the flash and turn down the exposure level to -2 or so to capture "what your eyes see" and reduce the amount of blur due to motion.

- Leather gloves: leather work gloves are more comfortable and grip better if you turn them inside-out.

- Stuff around camp: keep a bag or box in your common area for stuffing non-garbage MOOP that might get lost. For example, a bottle of sunblock, or some sunglasses, or paper towels, or keys, or anything else that would be missed or might get misplaced. Proactively put stuff in there, and tell people to check it if they are missing anything.

- Foggy goggles: to reduce fogging in goggles, rub bar soap on the interior of your goggles and then rub it into the surface so that it is clear again.

- Hats: Incorporate a hat into your night-time costume to keep significantly warmer. Having something on your neck to act like a scarf will also help.

- Sandals, no socks: I'm going to echo Eric's advice above: try going barefoot and/or wear sandals with no socks. Just keep your feet dry. I was really reluctant to wear sandals instead of boots, but it ended up that I was able to wear sandals without any playa foot or other problems. I wore sandals with protected toes. After the day was over and I was going to bed I would wash and lotion up my feet and they seemed to react just fine.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by C.f.M. » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:39 pm

Chowski wrote:Pace yourself. Get some sleep. Go to sleep at 10 PM one night and sleep until dawn. Take care of your body so you don't burn out too early.
This is one of the top tips I give my friends: take a day off. Pick a day and hang out at camp, put your feet up, let the burn come to you. Hang out with your neighbors. Stay in the shade. Take 20 minutes to be alone in your tent and tidy up.

Another piece of opposite advice, that friends gave me my first year: have a yes day and/or night. Whenever someone asks you something, say yes. Obviously don't eat food you can't or take drugs you're not comfortable, but make "yes" your guide. I have had some wonderful times I would've never done, if it hadn't been yes day. Like walk on glass!

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Chowski » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:46 am

Go out during the day.

I know some Burners who sleep all day in their RVs, only to emerge for nighttime. Personally, yet another thwomp-thwomp EDM dance party is an experience you can get at Music Festivals. If chasing famous djs is what you're into, you can do that much cheaper in a place that is much more comfortable than Burning Man.

At least one day, get up, get dressed and go see the city while the sun is shining. Many theme camps only offer their interactivity during daylight hours, and that's when I feel like I really get to meet people.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by cranberries » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:20 am

Eric wrote:I I rarely wear socks until evening, and just have loose slippers on - my feet are fine. I never use lemon, or vinegar, or lotion on them. I haven't ever had a problem, because not everyone's skin is the same. That said, the cuticles on my fingers get massively fucked every year, no matter what I do to them (including the lemon & lotion). Take the horror stories into account - they're true for probably the majority of people. However, you might be one of the lucky ones who gets to be One With The Dust.
I run a lot and do a lot of other exercisey stuff that's hard on my feet and they seem to be susceptible to blisters generally, socks/sandals/shoes notwithstanding. I'm also that person whose shoes will find one spot on my foot to rub raw regardless of how broken in they are if I don't wear socks, so last year I wore socks constantly but put Sport Shield (silicone-based anti-chafing product) on my feet every day. No blisters.

If you do get wounded, even if it's something minor like a bad blister, go see the medical people, during the day preferably because it's probably not as busy. They're nice, happy to help, and have access to supplies you might not have thought to bring (moleskin, those cool wet sticky gel pad things, stronger antibiotic cream). If it's slow there it's another opportunity to chat with people who have a different perspective on the Burn.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Token » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:14 pm

"Good Advice for Virgin Burners" threads are really not about you Virginal Burners.

Its all about us jaded veterans trying to feel relevant again.

OK, now someone please say something profound.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by BBadger » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:28 pm

^-- That.

Ignore the veterans who feel they need to "guide" you.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:30 pm

BBadger wrote:
- Leather gloves: leather work gloves are more comfortable and grip better if you turn them inside-out.
Holy shit. That's a game-changer right there. I don't like wearing gloves but I do enough hauling, schlepping, hammering, knot-tying, and basic rigging that I need to. This is such simple advice but I can see it making me much less reluctant.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by C.f.M. » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:41 pm

Token wrote:"Good Advice for Virgin Burners" threads are really not about you Virginal Burners.

Its all about us jaded veterans trying to feel relevant again.

OK, now someone please say something profound.
The best tip for us is to spend a day with a n00b. They get real excited about dumb shit you don't even notice.

Are you coming this year?

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Ratty » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:07 pm

Here is some advice that you won't take. My husband was a runner for over 30 years. He had his share of injuries and blisters. (Mainly on vacations.) If you get a blister put waterproof tape directly over it. YES. On the blister. Of course you wash and disinfect it first. Don't remove the tape. It will come off on it's own in a couple of days with footbaths and sweat. I warned you. You don't want to take this advice. It goes against everything you've been told. This is what serious runners do. They don't add extra padding where the shoes are already too tight. The skin grows back quickly and after just a few hours you won't feel it or think about it.

This is where your childhood training chimes in and worries about infections and gangrene. Shut that off. Runner's toes are wrapped in this shit. I took a chunk out of my heel 2 days ago coming down the brick stairs barefoot. A CHUNK. Now it's like it never happened.

You can believe me or put a sock on it.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Token » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:13 pm

C.f.M. wrote:
The best tip for us is to spend a day with a n00b. They get real excited about dumb shit you don't even notice.

Are you coming this year?
Nah, my BM days are over. Have a ranch now, livestock and all that responsible stuff. No way to go anywhere for more than a day or few.

Besides, the crazy ticket thing and general BORG apathy, just doesn't motivate me to do cool things anymore, like build stuff out there.

Much better to build crazy things on my land and actually use it year round.

I might visit some day, who knows.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by BBadger » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:30 pm

Ratty wrote:Here is some advice that you won't take. My husband was a runner for over 30 years. He had his share of injuries and blisters. (Mainly on vacations.) If you get a blister put waterproof tape directly over it. YES. On the blister. Of course you wash and disinfect it first. Don't remove the tape. It will come off on it's own in a couple of days with footbaths and sweat. I warned you. You don't want to take this advice. It goes against everything you've been told. This is what serious runners do. They don't add extra padding where the shoes are already too tight. The skin grows back quickly and after just a few hours you won't feel it or think about it.
Huh... I just looked this up and it seems to make sense. Other than keeping dirt out and preventing rubbing, it prevents stretching of the skin which can rupture the blister and cause even more pain/damage.

I wasn't sure what waterproof tape you were suggesting, but the running website I visited suggested Leukotape P.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Ratty » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:03 pm

I use Johnson & Johnson waterproof tape. Cheap and my personal favorite. I'll use just about anything if I don't have this handy. It all comes out in the wash. You can tape in advance if you feel a blister coming on so it might be smart to have it handy.
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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by BeeWeeDee » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:35 pm

Have fun.
The next morning you will wake up pretty much your old self except that a very unusual 16 hours will have been added to your store of life experience.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by 1durphul » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:24 pm

Gel capsules, for example Advil Liqui-gels will melt into a giant ball. You are much better off bringing the solid red pressed pills.

bad (I can't believe I actually found a photo of them melted together!):
Image




better:
Image

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by maladroit » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:23 pm

I wear two sets of socks; normal ones and then inside those some ultra thin polyester liner socks. I coat everything carefully with foot powder every morning.

I wish someone had told me this my first year, because I had terrible blisters on my feet, even between my toes. They took weeks to heal. It was agony to walk to the portapotties and the only way to go have a good time was to drink until I couldn't feel the blisters.

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Re: Good Advice for Virgin Burners

Post by Drawingablank » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:52 pm

Say yes to everything that you aren't allergic to.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
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