Hello. First timer from the UK here.

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wandererbkb
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Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:48 pm

Hello. I will be coming to burning Man this year for the first time. I will be traveling alone and coming from Scotland. I first heard of burning Man a few years ago, on the internet I think. I became very interested in the event reading a lot of websites (like this one) and watching the various videos there are on YouTube. I got the idea in my head that if I was so interested I should go. Last year I actually got the time off I needed but I didn't have the nerve to try and get a ticket. This year is different, I got a ticket!

I have everything booked that I need to book, now I am gathering all the stuff I need, or at least what I think I'll need.

I'll be staying at the Grand Sierra for two nights before I take the BxB to Black Rock City on Saturday 24th. I decided a while back it would be a good idea to go a day early, whether this is a good idea or not I don't know.

My first plan is to camp in HOVerlandia. Logistically this is the simplest option, I think dragging my bags around will be tedious over any significant distance. I want to stay in a more quiet part of the city, not near the big sound camps. If anyone is aware of other options for quieter camping (I will be in a tent) please do let me know. I'm aware (as much as I can be) nowhere will qualify as 'quiet'.

My main task right now is exploring how feasible it is for me to construct a portable swamp cooler that I can fit in my bags. I am interested in seeing if it actually works in my tent. The main issue I face is the limited space I have to bring everything I want/need.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who is going solo from the UK this year or has done so in the past, perhaps there is something that would be useful to know that I have not thought of or read about. In fact I would be interested to hear from anyone that wished to say hello!

wanderer

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Elorrum
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Elorrum » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:05 pm

Hi and welcome!
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Elderberry
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Elderberry » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:57 pm

Hey there, welcome to ePlaya.
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Ratty
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Ratty » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:47 pm

Wandererbkb, Hi. I admire you coming from so far. You'll be in Reno for 2 nights. I wouldn't bother with a swamp cooler. I would buy a tarp and sling it over your little tent. If you have a couple of poles, 10 inch nails and some rope you can make it work. Look up how to pitch a tent on the beach. That may give you some ideas. Set up in hoverlandia. If you don't like it, solicit some help and move. There is plenty of shade to rest in. Center Camp, other peoples camps, next to large objects. And YES. It's a great idea to come early. You'll love being there before the city fills up.
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Popeye
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Popeye » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:42 am

Hoverlandia is fine. You will make friends and next year can camp with them. Hushville is quieter but further away. Looks like you will or at least should be bringing what you absolutely have to on the plane and buying the rest in
Reno. You won't be able to realistically take a swamp cooler on the bus. Battery is to heavy and has acid in it plus the bulk of the bucket, duct etc. makes it to big. Not to mention trying to build the thing in a hotel without adequate tools. As Ratty suggested take a small (Iuse a 4 man) tent and some shade. try to leave at lease 4" and 12" would be better between the tarp and the tent. Cut a vent in the top of the tarp or whatever you are using for shade to let the hot air rise out. Cover ALL the mesh in the tent to keep the dust out. What are you going to eat? How will you cook? Some will just bring trail mix and junk food but I can promise you that you will crash before Thursday if you do. Coming from England you will probably want to use a butane stove. They are ok but if it gets cold (and it can) will stop working. Use propane. A single burner propane stove and some goodwill cookware will be all you need. Probably the most important thing is to bring electrolytes. Bring at least two kinds because your body may reject one of them- what is delicous and wonderful at home can turn out to be the most putrid, nauseating shit once you get on playa. Drink more than you think you need. Bring at least 7 pairs of socks. Buy water from Burner Express. It is really nice to have clean underwear but you can get along just fine with one change of clothing. I'm trying to remember where the Grand Sierra is but if you use Barbie Death Camps Sands deal (search for it) you will save some money and be in walking distance of the Keystone shopping center. Buy your food and booze there. You will have to take a cab to wal mart for a sleeping bag and maybe a tent. Also a tank of propane and stove as well as a cooler. Do not buy a styrofoam POS it will fall apart and you will be hated for all the moop. As soon as you check in go shopping- you will forget stuff and have to go back. I've had decent luck with wal mart bikes but if you get one check the tire pressure. One year they where aired up to over 100 pounds. I'm sure I missed some stuff but it's bed time Goodnight.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

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Token
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Token » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:46 am

Hehehe, Scotland ... where the hottest day on record is 32C - 92F set in 2003.

92F is considered a pleasant, on the cool-side, day on the Playa.

May I suggest a wet bandana around the neck at all times.

You will have fun!

wandererbkb
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:12 pm

Hello everyone! Thank you for your responses. Ratty and Popeye, you have made some very interesting points that I have been giving a lot of thought to for a while now.

I did consider putting a tarp, or aluminet over my tent but I was unsure if I can get any height over the tent which I think means it would be ineffective. I could drape it over the top and secure it but I don't know if that will achieve anything. Also I don't know if I have enough room for a tarp and extra poles. I shall look into this more perhaps I can work it out. My tent is quite heavy for just one person but I need one that resists the wind.

For food I was planning on having those camping meals where you just add hot water and it rehydrates them. Mountain House make them and I know you can buy those from Walmart. Also I will likely get noodles as well. Along with some snacks. Basically boiling water is the extent of the 'cooking' I want to do. I will be buying everything I don't bring with me from Walmart as it is next to the Grand Sierra and will be easy to get to.

To boil water I already have a solid fuel camping stove, it burns hexamine (or equivalent) tablets. This is not as good as using gas, however I don't know what I would do with empty, or partially empty gas cylinders when it comes time to go home. If I use solid fuel I can burn any excess I have left over and the packaging it comes in I can just bring home with me. I don't think you can put gas in your luggage. That is my reasoning for using the fuel tablets, which I can also buy in Walmart. I got 15 gallons of water from the BxB and I will be bringing electrolyte tablets.

For a bike I have rented one from Hammer and Cyclery. Assuming some calamity doesn't befall my bike and I get the deposit back it works out as only slightly more expensive than buying a bike from Walmart and bringing it on the BxB. And I don't have to worry about what I do with the bike afterwards I can just return it where I pick it up. I thought this would be the option that made the most sense for me.

Token you are correct we are not known for our heatwaves, although we claim to be having one right now, it was 27C yesterday. Mostly it's the humidity that we get. The heat is a concern but I'll just have to put up with it!

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Popeye
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Popeye » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:39 am

I'll comment in line below:
wandererbkb wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:12 pm
Hello everyone! Thank you for your responses. Ratty and Popeye, you have made some very interesting points that I have been giving a lot of thought to for a while now.

I did consider putting a tarp, or aluminet over my tent but I was unsure if I can get any height over the tent which I think means it would be ineffective. I could drape it over the top and secure it but I don't know if that will achieve anything. Also I don't know if I have enough room for a tarp and extra poles. I shall look into this more perhaps I can work it out. My tent is quite heavy for just one person but I need one that resists the wind.
No height over the tent won't make it INeffective, just much less effective. You won't need poles if you throw a couple of pool noodles over the tent and aluminet over that. If you use a tarp cut a vent hole at the peak to let hot air rise out. I put a 6" embroidery hoop over the rainfly and cut out the center. You say your tent is heavy. Check the price of buying one here with no VAT and shipping the one you have by air. I think you will be surprised.

For food I was planning on having those camping meals where you just add hot water and it rehydrates them. Mountain House make them and I know you can buy those from Walmart. Also I will likely get noodles as well. Along with some snacks. Basically boiling water is the extent of the 'cooking' I want to do. I will be buying everything I don't bring with me from Walmart as it is next to the Grand Sierra and will be easy to get to.

To boil water I already have a solid fuel camping stove, it burns hexamine (or equivalent) tablets. This is not as good as using gas, however I don't know what I would do with empty, or partially empty gas cylinders when it comes time to go home. If I use solid fuel I can burn any excess I have left over and the packaging it comes in I can just bring home with me. I don't think you can put gas in your luggage. That is my reasoning for using the fuel tablets, which I can also buy in Walmart. I got 15 gallons of water from the BxB and I will be bringing electrolyte tablets.
You won't be able to bring hexamine on the plane. But check with your airline to make sure I am right.

For a bike I have rented one from Hammer and Cyclery. Assuming some calamity doesn't befall my bike and I get the deposit back it works out as only slightly more expensive than buying a bike from Walmart and bringing it on the BxB. And I don't have to worry about what I do with the bike afterwards I can just return it where I pick it up. I thought this would be the option that made the most sense for me.
Good move.

Token you are correct we are not known for our heatwaves, although we claim to be having one right now, it was 27C yesterday. Mostly it's the humidity that we get. The heat is a concern but I'll just have to put up with it!
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

wandererbkb
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:12 am

Space in bags permitting I will definitely bring a tarp or something to put over the tent. I think that extra shade is going to be important. I just need to find the right size.

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Token
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Token » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:03 pm

Survival 101 on minimal luggage...

1. Get a small 1-person 4-season Expedition backpacking tent. It’s the low to the ground tent with fully zippered windows and no big mesh, just big enough for a sleeping bag. Spend the extra money on this. Everything else is cheap. All you will do with this is store your stuff in it and pass out. Tent should not weigh more than 3 pounds US.

2. The same places that sell that tent also sell collapsible poles you can use to prop up a tarp. Get 4 of those.

3. Get a heavy duty silver tarp to build an A-frame type structure above your tent. Get one that is double the size of your tent in all dimensions. If your tent is 7’ long, get a 16 x 16 foot tarp. Tarp must be 100% opaque or else you are wasting time and effort. Forget aluminet for tents. Tarps pack rather flat and small so good space to value ratio.

4. Get a good 16 Oz claw hammer, 12” carpenter nails ( also sold as gutter spikes, all big box stores carry them, ask ), and a whole lot of parachord rope - thin and strong. Learn to tie knots.

Make friends, find a helper or two. Return favor later.

Build your tent.

Place those poles one in front of the tent, one in back. Distance between poles = size of the tarp.

Lay tarp on tent

Hook pole into grommet at tarp mid point. Have two helpers prop them up and tension the tarp. You get rope, tie things down 45 degree angle with carpenter spikes and a truckers knot so you can re-tighten as needed.

Take both lower sides of the A-frame, tighten with friends on opposite sides ... nail in the spikes through the grommets.

There you go. Easy and you made friends.

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Token
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Token » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:10 pm

Btw, if I were to add one luxury item to this basic setup ...


... it would be an ultra-light backpacking chair.

A chair is really important.

Also assuming you will have a good sleeping bag. It gets mighty cold out there at night.

wandererbkb
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:27 am

Sorry for the delay in replying here. I am waiting on my tarp to arrive, when I have it I can post a pic of how it fits over the tent. I have no room for extra poles for the tarp however so that will complicate matters. I do have a camping chair, it packs down really small I like it.

How hard is the ground, is a hammer essential for getting the pegs in the ground? I have 9 inch steel tent pegs. I am running out of space in my bags fast, I am trying to be as efficient as possible.

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ChicoTerri
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by ChicoTerri » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:06 pm

Welcome!
I wouldn't worry about a hammer. It should be easy to borrow one from a neighbor. They will understand when you tell them you've flown in. Enjoy!
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Hope-a-Lope
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by Hope-a-Lope » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:28 pm

Welcome! Sounds like you're preparing as much as you can, and frankly, not much can truly prepare you but it'll be an experience unlike anything you've done. Congrats on having the huevos to come alone, that's what kept me away for far too long. Drink water! :D

wandererbkb
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:16 am

I actually got a hammer already, although it may be a bit big for my needs. As soon as I figure out how to post a picture I'll post one of my rather sad looking tarp.

wandererbkb
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Re: Hello. First timer from the UK here.

Post by wandererbkb » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:35 am

Here is my setup, it looks a bit of a shambles but seems stable enough. I hope attaching both the tarp and tent guy lines to the same pegs doesn't lead to disaster. I have since cut a hole at the top to let the heat out, it's not in the pictures.
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