Any one going to Burning Man?

I feel like my brain needs a kickstart for weirdness. I’ve been meaning to go to Burning Man for ages, and from what I can tell, it’s right up my alley. I think I’ll probably finally go this year.

Today, I just bought a second set of Yakima Racks with (count them) 4 sets of bike racks from Craigslist. This was a crucial step in my preparation as now I can transport a bicycle (or 4). I think I’ll try to convince my sister to give me the rooftop Yakima storage deelybob that’s been sitting in her garage for years, so that I can transport even more crap.

I’m thinking I’ll resurrect the Schwinn Racer from my rusty “pile o’bikes” with the Bendix kick back two speed coaster brake. Sufficiently weird, but not so rare that I would be seriously bummed if it got stolen (I’ve got a much more pristine Racer in the garage).

I cooked up a batch of “Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce” and will throw it into a gallon Ziplock baggie and freeze it. I’ll probably go down to Costco and buy the humongous ice chest.

Any other Dopers gonna be out there? Any advice or tales?

I’m going. Already have the tickets and am working on my costume. A friend of many, many, many years standing plus a friend of only many, many years standing will be joining me there.
Let me know if you see me there, I’ll be dressed as sort of a Cousin It in beads.

I would like to attend a Burning Man festival some day…

As I have not yet, or have made any plans to be able to do so, I make everyday a “burning man” project.

It works for me… I am the goto guy at work (I work retail). I get the insane, blowing their tops, nut job customers… I just “phase” into “their world” and usually calm them down, and get the sale. On the other hand, if we can’t supply their needs, I tell them where (if possible) they can find what they want. Then again, I work for a UNIQUE retail environment… (Princess Auto)

Freeform. Talent rules. HUGE employee Profit sharing. Insight- is NOT a threat… it cause for promotion. At my last “Empoyee Review”… they asked me “We would like you to consider managment… I thanked them and said… It would limit me.” The gave me a HUGE raise, and said… “OK… you got 6 months to play… tell us what you think then…” (this was mant in a good way… they cultivate genius, and use the results for growth)

I grinned and said… I don’t want to manage… I want to help create…

they added on another 50 cents/hour

I love my job.

Back to “Burning Man” Princess Auto doesn’t realise it, but they are “Burning Man” in corporate form…
I love my Job - ever hear THAT at Burning Man?

I went to Burning Man in 2001 but haven’t been back since.

I highly recommend you read the survival guide on the Burning Man website before you go. It has a lot of important things that you really need to know about.

Burning man is a very harsh, almost alien environment. It can be windy, rainy, muddy, but will be most likely very hot and dry and alkali-dusty during the day, and may be cooler at night - and windy (bring goggles and/or handkerchief to keep dust from getting in your nose/mouth/eyes). It’s kind of like being on the moon. Don’t bring anything you aren’t prepared to take back out (including all garbage) unless you plan to give it away to other people. Burning Man is a gift economy, meaning people give you things, you give people things - not so much bartering as pay-it-forward. And gifts don’t have to be tangible - you can give someone a hug, advice, a dance. The only things for actual money sale at Burning Man are coffee drinks in center camp and ice - at least, that was the case when I was there.

My experience has been that you get out of Burning Man what you put in - most people volunteer in some respect, and if you go just expecting to do a lot of drugs and have a lot of sex with strange people and dance all night, that’s what you’ll experience. If you go to interact with people and artwork, that’s what you’ll experience. I tried to be completely open-minded and had a fantastic time, but not everyone does - as I said before, the environment is really harsh and isn’t for everyone. I’ll never understand why people bring dogs or very small children; it just seems cruel to me.

Having a bike is pretty important if you want to get from one place to another, but don’t bring a bike that you mind getting full of dust and grime or that you’d mind if someone (mistakenly) took. In fact, don’t bring anything valuable at all, because it will likely just get ruined by all the dust. Bring an open mind and creativity, bring something you can give back to the community. Also, one-ply toilet paper (they’re pretty strict about what can go in the porta potties). I do recommend bringing baby wipes, because dust gets EVERYWHERE and unless you’re camping with a big, organized theme camp you aren’t likely to have access to any sort of a shower.

In terms of food, I would bring things that don’t take a lot of effort to prepare. The heat you will probably experience just saps your energy. I brought things like Tasty Bites and Luna Bars - and having premade, frozen pasta sauce is a good idea as long as you’re up for making pasta to go with it. After a few days you will probably crave fresh fruit/veggies - you might want to bring some baby carrots, snap peas, grapes - things that can survive several days in a big cooler as long as you replace the ice and don’t require any preparation.

Pretty much anything goes, as long as you aren’t hurting/offending anyone else. And for your first time, you might want to hook up with a group of people who are camping together (if possible); it helps to share resources. There are regional Burning Man lists and groups who could get you hooked up with people from your area if you’re interested. I think as long as you read up on the Burning Man website ahead of time, and as long as you’re prepared for just about anything, you’ll have a great time. Say hi to the people running Dance Dance Immolation (if you see it) - they’re friends of mine.

I know folks that go every year. Talking to them over the years, I’ve picked up some random bits of advice.

Expect to pack out everything you packed in, including the trash. Every attempt is made to leave the place as clean afterwards as it was before. The after-event clean up crews won’t look kindly on garbage left behind.

There is literally nothing for sales close by. Don’t plan on getting ice/water/batteries/gas at the closest town, on your drive in. The towns nearby are small, lots of people attend Burning Man, and everything gets sold out.

Figure you will get at least some of your sleep during the day, and bring whatever it takes to be able to do that. Blindfolds, ear plugs, whatever.

Don’t let the extravaganza overwhelm you. The people I know have a friend that bought a firetruck to use at Burning Man. I’ve heard of thousands and thousands of dollars being put into projects. That’s their version of fun. Go, enjoy, have fun, and don’t worry that you have to compete with them.

I’m dying to go, but haven’t yet.

I went in 2000 then again in 03’ I loved it! I second what another doper said about bringing ALL of your provisions. There are areas where people sell common goods but thos go very quickly. I’d also recommend you bring some sort of locked contraption for your valuables. Unfortunately the first year we went we had several things stolen…my companion at the time pray painted a sign and put it on top of our truck something to the effect of [ to the heartless bastard who stole our XYZ - may you feel a thousand curses and rot in your own pudding] or something like that.

So either have someone posted at your area to be there at all times, or lock your stuff. There is alos A LOT OF DRUGS being taken. I’m sure you are aware of that. People are not of their own mind in most places at the Burning…but in all it is so fun, and a definite experience!

Just as a side note, the Wiki article on Burning Man is currently home to some pretty funny vandalism. :stuck_out_tongue:

Bring Sunglasses.

The alkali dust chaps your skin quick if you don’t neutralize the alkali with an acid. Pour some vinegar, or what I prefer is lemon/lime water. Remember the dust gets everywhere and in everything.

Bring all your victuals. This part is serious, and LOTS, I mean LOTS of water. Camelbacks are ideal ways to carry your stuff and your water.

Work hard the first few days. There is always help setting up, and you will make friends that way, and get invited to cool parties.

Black Rock City is a Gift Economy. The more you give the more you receive.

Don’t try too hard to plan things, go with the flow, let the whimsy take you where it will. You’ll have a much better time that way. Don’t be afraid to part ways with someone you’ve met that you like, you’ll run into them again or you won’t, and it won’t matter.

It gets in the high 90s during the day, and low 40s at night, so be prepared for both types of weather. I can handle temperature extremes pretty well, but a lot of people I know can’t deal that well.

Stay hydrated, bring sunscreen and wash the alkali dust off of your skin from time to time.

Oh yeah, Alkali dust makes amazing dish soap. It’s abrasive and it kills cells. Rinse whatever you wash with your acid water solution, and you’ll take off the few things the alkali doesn’t kill with the acid, as well as washing the alkali off. Don’t bother packing in some kind of dish soap solution. It’ll just be a waste of your time. There is Purel at every outhouse, but bring your own anyway, you’ll be glad you did.