1. Bring functional clothes and leave the brand names at home. You’ll notice a lot of people aren’t wearing clothes that have the brand stitched right across the front. Better to rock random stuff you find at thrift stores.
2. You want to bring layers. It will get both very hot and very cold.
3. Warm jacket or hoodie.
4. A couple pairs of shoes – and at least one pair that you’re ready to toss after Burning Man. They will be dead.
6. Hats – bring a few.
7. Sunglasses – the brand-less, gas station kind are best and buy a few pairs because those are made in China and won’t all survive the week.
1. Before you go thrift store shopping for awesome, silly and sexy costumes, buy some LED lights, a few packs of glow sticks – or glow-anything.
If not for aesthetics, you need to be well lit-up when walking and riding your bike around the playa at night. You certainly don’t want to get hit by an art car or someone else not paying attention on his bike.
2. The sky is really the limit for costumes at Burning Man. You can’t go too big. If you rock something completely outrageous that you’d never wear to a Halloween party there will always be people that are more outrageous, remarkable, naked. Be yourself and have fun.
THOUGHTS ON PARTICIPATION
One common misconception of Burning Man is that it’s a “barter economy”. It’s not. It’s actually a ‘gift economy’. If you make someone a taco or a cocktail, they might give you a hug but they’re not going to give you their hat. And you might be surprised how liberating it is to not touch money for an entire week of your life.
This system only works because almost everyone who comes to Burning Man, brings something – a good or service that provides value for total strangers. What your group’s contribution will be is one of the toughest decisions to make as you’re planning your trip to BRC.
Don’t think that you’ll always be carrying something around and giving it out…just make a meaningful contribution at some point. I find that people always appreciate good food and quality booze so if you throw a little cocktail party right on your street and invite everyone who walks by to have some drinks and dinner, you will make lots of new friends and your contribution will be a success.
SOME GENERAL ADVICE
1. Plan out each individual meal as though you are going camping. If you don’t, you’re likely to either run out of food or buy way too much and have to toss it at the end.
2. Ziplocks — buy the biggest ziplocks you can find and bag up your stuff. For example, it’s always nice to have a completely clean pair of clothes to drive home in. You’ll also need them for any cameras/ipods/electronics, and for cooler food.
3. Plan out and remember where in your car or around your camp you’ve stored things. It’s easy to pack a car or RV full of stuff and get to camp only to realize that you have no idea where things are being kept and have to go digging.
4. Pound water constantly. It is uncomfortable and unnatural to drink as much water as you need to be drinking in BRC. To keep myself and all of my friends hydrated at Burning Man, I use a ‘game’ that I use while climbing high altitude mountains.
At least 3 times each day I gather up all the people standing around my camp and we have a water-chugging contest. If you are hydrated you will be happy.
5. There are no dumpsters at Burning Man. You pack out everything you take in, including trash (and dirty water!), so always try to plan ahead and either choose things that can be cleaned and reused, or things that can be burned.
6. Separate trash (burnable, non burnable and recycling) from the very beginning.
7. Shyza sanitiza. You are eating and drinking and using porto-potties that a lot of other people are using. Keep the hands clean at all times.
8. Make no mistake: Burning Man is the biggest, bad-est party you’ve ever been to in your entire life, so get stoked! You are going to have a blast!
Check out all of Matador’s coverage of Burning Man.
What did we miss? If you have advice what to bring to BRC, please leave a comment!