Combining MizAnna and Shenanigans tips today into one Hydration reminder.
In 20 days you may be rolling through the gate. Hot, dusty, already exhausted, and dry as you’ve ever been. Best start hydrating early.
Here’s a tip for today, twigged by the portapotties at White Trash-
Be kind to your innards, lest they rebel. Make sure you’re drinking enough water to rehydrate after a rough night, and enough fibre to keep things, er, moving. Having to hit the john numerous times because you’ve got a touch of food poisoning is a singularly unpleasant experience; having to sit for protracted lengths because you’re bunged up, even more so. Whatever goes in must come out, might as well make it as comfortable as possible.
Survival Guide. noun.
A document that tells you how to keep yourself alive and happy on the playa, or at a well organised regional event.
Survival guides are a no-brainer really. As soon as events are large enough that you can’t reasonably sit everyone down and talk about potential issues over food, you have to start writing them down along with suggestions on how to deal with them.
The survival guide for Burning Man is especially important, the environment there will kill you if you are too careless. Probably the only more inhospitable environment for a burn is the Antarctica regional burn, and they are wise enough to do it indoors.
The thing about the survival guide is, the Vets all read it years ago, and for the most part never looked back. The essentials are all common sense once you’ve gone a few times. The virgins study up on it like their life depends on it. (or they should) But the guide changes. New things are learned. Guidelines become refined. Wood is the worst MOOP.
So often virgins no more about the Survival Guide than the vets, which is kind of embarrassing when you are designing some new costume and the virgin goes “tsk. Feathers?”
Forget your camp lead, your significant other, and that overly helpful sexy neighbour. A camelback is your best friend on the playa.
Another of those don’t leave camp without it items. A camelback, (or re-hydration pack) will do more to keep you alive and happy than any other item you bring. It’s basically a back pack rigged out with a water bladder and a hose for you to drink out of, but it extends your ability to wander around on the playa hugely. Bring it with you even on the shortest trip, you never know when the TARDIS art car is going to pull up and change your life, and you’ll want your water with you.
I refill mine when I arrive back in camp, just in case I need to run off.
Choose one with a wide mouth for easy filling and pouring ice cubes into. I also like a large volume of water, 3 litres or more, but I don’t mind hauling it. Put full bottles of pop in a backpack to see how you like the weight. More water means more freedom to explore the playa between refills, but not everyone wanders as much as I do, and if you don’t need it, why do the extra work.
Burning Tribe’s BM Packing list
There’s a lot of Burning man packing lists out there on the interwebs, and you’ll probably start your own, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. So find a comprehensive one and trim it down to meet your needs.
Burning tribe’s is extensive, and had decent links as well. Ignore the shots about RVs. I like RV’s and still respect you.
Wally Glenn’s Burning Man Driving Directions
How are you getting down to that thing in the desert? Driving? Wally Glenn spent thousands of miles over several years looking for the best way to get to Black Rock City. He starts in Seattle, but these directions should be useful to anyone who lives in Washington, British Columbia, or Alberta.This is also a great guide if you are car camping in the areas that are covered. I take route 4 and stay in Summer Lake Hot Springs. Don’t miss the turn towards Yakama .http://gwally.com/directions/cat_routes.php
See other GETTING THERE / DRIVING INFO:
Dust Goggles. noun.
Dust goggles are a basic, never leave camp without them, necessity. Seriously, never leave camp without them. It’s damn embarrassing to get stuck in a porta-potty because the wind came up strong while you were peeing, and now you can’t make it back to camp.
Dust goggles come in thousands of varieties, from built for the job, aviator, motorcycle, and tank goggles, to ornamental plastic quiddich goggles that’ll mostly do the job in a pinch.
What you want to avoid is something that fits too poorly to keep the dust out, put them on and look for large gaps around the nose and cheeks, feel for gaps around the brows and temples. Small gaps are manageable, large gaps will let the wind blow through and have you pressing your mask into your face all the time.
Also avoid anything that seals too well. If they don’t breathe a bit, they fog up and fill with condensation as you sweat. Swim goggles and masks are out for that reason.
What’s that leave? Anything with a snug but breathable seal. Ski masks are perfect, as are dirt bike goggles. Some folks use plain old workshop safety goggles, and there’s kitchen goggles for cutting onions that are cheep and perfect.
If you are only going with one pair of goggles, don’t go with a dark tint. When the dust is high the sun isn’t a problem, and tinted goggles will leave you blind at night.
Handy video tips!
Surviving a Burning Man Whiteout Dust Storm Like A Boss
It was better (X) year.
Another of the anti-principles it’s difficult not to indulge in. “It was better (X) year”, is a common way of expressing dissatisfaction with this year. There’s always more dust, more noise camps, more tourists, more frats, and it was always better (x) year; Where x is usually one of the first years the jaded vet arrived.
Fortunately jaded vets self mock almost as much as we complain and saying “It was better next year” has become the way to acknowledge our own lack of immediacy.
Ultimately we know that, while it always changes, Burning Man hasn’t really lost it’s boom, sparkle, and shine, It’s us that have lost our sense of awe and wonder. If we want it to be better, it’s up to us to make it better. Either by building it better, or by recapturing that sense of wonder.
An afterburn party, to ease your transition into the default world.
After a burn, especially that big one in the desert, making your way back into the world of enclosed spaces, flushing toilets, and people in line ups who don’t want to talk or share stories can be difficult.
A Decompression helps remind you that the burnerverse is not too far away, gives you a chance to share some stories, relieve some memories, and reinforce some of the connections that you made at the burn.
“Official” Decompressions must follow Burning Man principles and guidelines, and are often organised by the regional representative, but many places and groups throw decomps and afterburns that fill the same role.
See also: http://kitoconnell.com/2010/10/08/lexicon-decompression/#Decompression
That thing in the desert. noun. aka TTITD
Bill (standing next to time machine): “Hey Ted. Know what would be excellent? Let’s go to the first Burning Man!”
Ted: “Uhh… dude, what’s Burning Man?”
Bill: “It’s… That thing, you know… in the desert.”
Ted:”OHHH! That thing in the desert! That would be most excellent!”
Burning Man is hard to describe at the best of times. Depending on your perspective, it might be a festival of some music or art variety. It might be described as a party, or a rave, or even a social experiment. Describing it that way doesn’t come close to capturing it though, and other participants will argue against your position based on their perspective. No two people experience the same burn in the same way, and with over 60,000 participants, experiencing it in even a similar way could be difficult.
Free form, participant driven, constantly evolving events are not yet common enough that there is language to describe them, thus “That thing in the desert” is as accurate a description as you are going to get.
Uban Dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=TTITD
Deep Playa. noun:
“Way out in Deep Playa there’s a fantastic art piece that you HAVE to see. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because that would ruin the surprise. You’ll know it when you see it.”
The above statement is absolutely true, every year. It is also absolute fuckery.
Deep Playa is huge, huge enough to lose large and amazing art in.
If you extend the circle formed by the esplanade out to the temple, Deep Playa is all the desert from outside that circle, all the way to the trash fence. You will never fail to find amazing art out there, but you have to be prepared to cover some ground, and you won’t see it all.