Burning Man is a popular festival taking place for one-week every August in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Thousands of people gather annually to create Black Rock City, a place devoted to art, self-expression and the values of a strong community and self-reliance. It gets its unusual name from the traditional burning of a huge wooden effigy that is set on fire on Saturday night. Burning Man has grown significantly in size over the years, with about 66,000 thousand souls gathering together last year in northern Nevada.
After reading about Burning Man and watching YouTube videos, you’re thinking of participating this year. You’ve heard tales of how weirdly wonderful and even overwhelming the experience can be, so you want to be prepared. To have as much fun as possible and to survive your seven days at Burning Man, check out the following three tips:
1. Pack Survival Gear
Everyone who attends Burning Man is responsible for his or her own survival and comfort. And when you leave, you must leave no trace behind. To do this safely for seven days, you need to bring enough basic survival gear. This includes a well-stocked first aid kit, sunscreen, goggles to protect from dust storms, warm clothing, at least 1.5 gallons of water per day and shelf-stable food, such as high-protein choices like nuts, whole grain crackers and beef jerky. You also may want to bring a cooking stove to heat up any of your food.
In addition to basic survival gear, you need a tent and sleeping bag to sleep in, a shade structure to keep you safe from the broiling sun during the day, a wide brim hat and several tubes of lip balm.
2. Express Yourself
At Burning Man, oddballs are embraced. Those who feel like they were the misfits in school are welcomed with open arms. With this in mind, if you dream of dressing as your favorite superhero or a blood thirsty zombie, Burning Man not only gives you the chance, but encourages you to do this. If you need some inspiration, check out morphsuits.com for a wide variety of costumes.
You also can express yourself by bringing an instrument or participating in the Burning Man Arts. Through this program you can create an art installation or volunteer all year round.
3. Don’t Forget About Transportation
Burning Man is held on 5.5 square miles of desert. After a day or two of walking around, your feet are going to be tired and possibly blistered. Pack several pairs of comfortable shoes that cover your feet completely. The Guardian strongly advises against flip flops and suggests covering your feet completely with tennis shoes.
To give your feet a break, bring a cheap bike to ride around. A bike can help you explore the camp and visit the other sites. Decorate your bike so you know which one is yours, and invest in a bike lock so others don’t take it after they’ve had too many drinks.