Hello fellow hoopers =)
Not only will it be my first time going to BM as a hooper but my first time going period. I'm incredibly excited, but I'm worried that I might be unprepared. From your guys' experiences, what's been some of the best things you've brought as far as camping, trade items, food, and just general survival? I read that keeping your hoops out of the sun is best, but are there any other hoop safety tips out there? I will be bringing a regular hoop and poi hoop. :]
Any advice welcome! I want to have a great experience. Thanks for reading!
Hello! Sorry this might get a little long, I get all excited about bm and just keep babbling on....and onnn.....
If you havent read everything you possibly can on www.burningman.com I would definitely start there. The Survival Guide and the First Timers Guide have tonssss of information on how to prepare and what to expect! Also, if you go on eplay, Burning Mans discussion board, you can find response to hundreds of questions that you might have and tons of advice from other burners.
That said, I camp in a tent every year and it didnt take me long to figure out that having some kind of shade structure to shade your tent is the best way to avoid waking up in a sauna. Even just a silver tarp angled to block the sun (like tied between to cars or to a poll) in the morning will help keep your tent cooler making it easier to sleep in a bit! Ive also seen people put a smaller tent inside a bigger tent, it seems to work pretty well. Rebar to stake you tent down, so you dont have to chase it across the playa... and heavy duty work gloves to help you get that rebar out at the end of the week!... Chapstick. Make sure that you bring lots of things the light up or glow so you dont get run over by bike or art cars at night, EL wire and anything led is good because they are reusable, glowsticks work but create trash and moop so just be careful you dont lose them. A small flashlight (i keep one hooked to my belt) so you dont have to try and use the portapots in the dark /: Some kind of heavy coat (crazy fur is popular) thrift shops are awesome for these as well as other playa wear, lots of ppl come not realizing how cold it gets at night and trust me it get coooold.
Favorite playa foods... spagettios or chef boyredee raviolis, instant mac and cheese, ramen, tuna in those sealed packages and packets of mayo (keep in your cooler) for yummy tunafish sandwiches, instant rice or mashed potatoes, canned diced chicken is good because you can add it to whatever, pretty much canned anything, pretzels, beef jerky, and of course...instant coffee. Oh and powdered Gatorade to spice up the massive amounts of water that you will be consuming all week. I took eggs last year and kept them in my cooler and that worked out well as long as you eat them in the first few days.
As far as trading, you dont trade things you gift things You can gift whatever you want but make it something meaningful or useful. Some of the best things I have been gifted were things like my first hoop/mini hoop lesson, frozen ice pops, waterbottle refill, alcoholic snow cones, I had a guy play me a song on a Ukulele once, a tiny vile of playa sand on a necklace, a delicious hamburger! I prefer these kinds of gifts over store bought trinkets and mardigras beads ect. I usually gift ice cold beer (: (also one of my favorites to receive) either my own homebrew or delicious microbrews that are not available on the west coast. I also always make a few burning man inspired pendants for a special few I meet every year. I think i might bring a few hoops to gift as well, cant let all that unused tubing go to waste!
Wooo that was alot.... I can really go on and on. I hope that helps a bit! If you have more questions I obviously love to talk about bm and would be sure to help ya out (:
Jessi is right, there is tons of great info on ePlaya, Tribe, and the Burning Man website. Although there is so much information that it may seem overwhelming at times, dont stress. Youll probably over pack and even if you forget something, almost always someone will magically have an exta. So do your best and dont stress :)
Tip: Open a word doc while you are reading through the pages or even on here, and make notes about things that seem like good ideas. Soon that list becomes longer and longer till you are ready to reorganize it, then it becomes a packing list. Im a little OCD and even have a spreadsheet I use to keep things easy to find and check off. But thats just how I work. :p
As far as food... Dont stray too far from what you are used to, only because your body is already going through changes in temperature, humidity, sleep patterns, possibly drug/alcohol use. Be good to your body. You may notice less of an appetite, but more cravings for salt and protien. A lot of people are huge on beef jerky, bacon, trail mix etc. Bring snacks you like that are portable, protien bars, etc. Keep some in your back pack. Tons of threads on ePLaya on food ideas. Really good ones for veggie/vegan/no cooler etc. Drinks: TONS of WATER! Grab some of those electrolite drink mixes if you like them, great to help you stay hydrated. I bring Boost Nutritional Drinks every year, waking up in the mornings and having cold liquid nourishment is amazing! Everyone always laughs until the try one and wish they brought 2 packs for themselves. The chocolate is super yummy :)
Super Must Haves: Sunscreen, WATER, Chapstick (with SPF), Dust Mask, Goggles, Comfortable shoes (whatever that means to you, TONS of walking), Jacket (it gets cold sometimes at night), Shade structure is really important, check out Monkey Huts for an easy one for cheap. we loved ours :)
Also: Check out your tent, do all the windows seal/zip? Or are they covered in a rain fly. Rain flies will NOT keep dust out. Make your bed before you leave each day (covering your pillows) and youll come home to clean sheets no matter what the weather.
BAsically, know yourself, know what you need, and bring it. Minimize packaging on food, personal items, gifts etc because you will have to take it all home with you. Might as well remove lables and use a sharpie if it saves you trash. My camp does a recycle bin for aluminum cans to take to recycle camp, a burn bucket for things like napkins, paper etc, and a trash bag to take things home.
Bring lady supplies!! Tampons, liners, fem wipes, and PLASTIC BAGGIES!!! Both years I had to deal with it and you cant put the used items in the porta potties so bring extra baggies to take it back to camp. If you dont need it someone else will.
Hope all that made sense, Im a little scattered today. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or just wanna chat Burning Man :)
Thanks for the replies guys!! I do have some more questions if you don't mind answering. I know I have a lot of reading do as far as survival guides and the what not. Here's some inquiries based on your personal experiences. Has bringing ice for coolers been successful or wasteful as they melt? Are there any places that make food there? Have you gone alone? I was really hoping to get at least one friend to go with me, but as time passes I feel I should get a ticket regardless of their answer. I don't think it would be dangerous since the environment is very friendly(?) but would there be anything else I should be concerned about?
ONE LAST question: What type of fuel did you find works best for fire hooping out there with all the environmental factors?
THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP. I TRULY APPRECIATE THE RESPONSES =D
Water coolers do last. We got ice every other day for ours and it kept up really well and none of our food was spoiled in anyway. I second the the vita drinks in the morning, We bought equate shakes vanilla and pounded one every morning. Best thing out there especially after a long night of partying. There's a lot of camps that offer food out there, Pancake Playhouse does pancakes every morning and black rock diner does grilled cheese at midnight to name a couple. I have always gone in groups to Burning Man, this will be my first year getting involved with a theme camp. If you don't want to do it alone there is a lot of camps still looking to fill spots and if you post on Eplaya you might even find some people in your area that you can camp with. Good luck! Burning man is def a good time and shouldn't be missed. Make it happen and get out there :)
Here's the link to all the info concerning the theme camps: http://www.burningman.com/themecamps/
They still only have last years posted on the site right now, but most of them come back every year. Around April is when they post the theme camps for the upcoming year and the placement on the map. You can read through the camps that are already posted and email the ones you are interested in or feel you connect with. You can also post on Eplaya that you are going by yourself and looking to possibly camp with others. Camps and people will get back to you and offer tons of advice on certain camps. Most camps do require some of your time out there for setting up, serving drink/or whatever they offer. I got lucky with Barbie Death Camp, other than duties to help pay for the shade structure, shower, and art car I don't have to set aside my time to do anything if I don't feel like it. Of course I will be involved in our activities but its nice to know that if I don't feel like it, I can skip out. So I guess my biggest question for you would be how involved do you wanna get? It's said that first timers shouldn't get involved since burning man can be overwhelming and you should go and spend your time feeling the place out. But my sister is going for her first time this year with us and she joined the theme camp and is even heading up one of our theme nights on the art car. So it's really about you and what you want.
We got ice every other day or so and it kept everything in our cooler nice and cold, go for the block ice as opposed to the cube it last longer...I think its $3 a block or something like that. Last year when all our ice melted and we did a quick cooler clean out I rinsed my playafied hair in the ice cold water.... amazingggg! Like someone already mentioned there are plenty of theme camps that serve food at different points through out the day but dont rely on them as your only food source (obviously), they are a nice change from the camping foods I normally eat all week tho!
I have never gone alone, I normally go with at least one other person. Everyone is very friendly just pal it up with all your neighbors and you will meet tons of new people. I would just be nervous since it is your first time I can see it being nerve racking being alone but if you come properly prepared it should be fine! You are also welcome to camp with us, I don't have a theme camp i just set up my tents where ever (usually on the outer streets) and do my thing. If you can not find anyone to go with and dont want to camp alone just hit me up! I have never fire hooped on the playa so im not sure, I just use tiki torch oil for my poi and besides burning dirty it worked fine.