what should i bring on my virgin trip to burning man?

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what should i bring on my virgin trip to burning man?

Post by midnighteye » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:08 pm

i found out about the burning man project on a trans pacific flight last week, and since i am gonna be in the states around that time, i would really like to go. however, the more i look into it, the more i realize that this is no happy camping in the desert or the 40th anniversary of the summer of love. this is serious jack under extreme living condition.

let's say i will be going, i will drive over there from san francisco with a trunk loaded with water and a folding bike, plus food and things to wear. i would like to bring over some toilet paper too, although i am not sure how my waste management will go. this is one of my biggest obstacle as far as i can see. peeing or whatever in the wild just isn't my cup of tea, but using a transportable toilet is almost just as bad.

in addition, my understanding is that car must be parked far away from the camp site, which means i cannot sleep in my car. does it mean that i would need to bring a tent or is there a community shading area where i can sleep in a sleeping bag? of course, after a couple of days without showering in the desert, i might prefer not to sleep in a sleeping bag at all. am i basically out of luck with cleaning myself? how do veteran participants overcome this? kinda hard for me to imagine that everyone can go a week without showering.

i guess my questions are the following:
1)what should i bring in terms of basic survival needs
2)how do i manage my waste
3)how do i clean myself

i am sure the questions look very stupid and immature to veteran burners, but everyone gotta start somewhere, please be gentle and kind. thank you very much. any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Post by Dork » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:14 pm

Welcome! You seem to be missing a lot about the way things are set up. There are portapotties which are usually well stocked with TP. You can drive right up to where you camp and sleep in your car if you like, but it will get quite hot as soon as the sun comes up. Most people sleep in tents under a shade structure.

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Post by phil » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:58 pm

As Dork says, read the BM survival guide. There are plenty of portapotties, but do bring some single-ply toilet paper just in case there's a shortage of paper. You can park your car where you camp and sleep in it. You'll want shade, too, but others may have some to share. No bath unless you bring it, but you'll be fine. Some may have a shower to let you use, but the issue is using their water - plan on not bathing, but you'll be fine without it. If people have water to share, you'll be able to shower.

Take a look at our first timer's guide:
and see if that helps.

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Post by Toolmaker » Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:46 am

Camping in extreme conditions. Treat it like that and come prepared properly with the ability to handle the environment and take care of yourself and leave no trace at the end and you will be OK. If you havent camped for a week Burningman might be too much for ya. It is a little late IMO to plan something like BM unless you have camped alot. Read everything on the BM site and phils pages are great too!
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Post by AntiM » Sat Aug 04, 2007 7:04 am

The portos are cleaned once or twice a day, really, they're not half bad.

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Post by gyre » Sat Aug 04, 2007 5:50 pm

I used some portapotties at a regional that someone had run christmas lights through.
Kinda nice.
Would make them easier to find in the dark too.
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Post by Davoid » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:12 pm

You'll find that the need to shower is a bit less compelling out there. Even with a shower rig, I only showered once last year, and the rest of the time I cleaned off/up with large baby wipes (or rather camper's wipes, available where camping stuff is sold.) These wipes did not go into the port-a-potties, mind you, but into my trash bag, which returned with me.

You could sleep in your car, but that will get old fast. If you're talking truck with space to actually lay down in, that's better, but you will want some shade. There are an abundance of places to visit which are nice and shady (and may even give you a kick-ass hot meal), but in the end, it's good to have at least a modestly comfy home base. Mother nature has been known to make things less than comfy out there, of course, but the challenge is part of the reason for going. Good luck.

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Post by EB » Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:34 pm

Good luck, dude

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