What to Bring to Burning Man Advice -- 09/06/2019

Burning Man 2019 just ended. Unfortunately, I wasn't there. I had the opportunity to go, but nothing seemed to go my way in terms of preparation and attending would have come at a high cost in multiple ways.

However, I did have the opportunity to help drive a Burning-Man-bound RV with two friends from Las Vegas to Reno. I spent the two days preceding Burning Man in Reno among tens of thousands of burners getting ready. That, at least, gave me somewhat of a contact high and not feeling totally left out this year. The topic of this newsletter will be to expand on advice I've already given from Burning Man 2018 with what I've learned from friends who went this year.

  • Lock your bike! I loaned a friend two bicycles and one of them got stolen. I don't know the story behind the theft, but it was a nice bicycle that had barely been ridden. The bicycle of another friend also got stolen.
  • If you have any choice in the matter, don't bring anything valuable. For example, given a choice between a nice bicycle and a junker, bring the junker. If you do bring anything valuable, write your name, camp location, and phone number on it. This is especially true of cell phones, in which case I would recommend writing the number of a phone of somebody else with you. The lost and found had numerous phones turned in last year with no identification.
  • If you can, go simple. Not only does one not need an RV, but I think it detracts from one of the purposes of Burning Man - Radical Self Reliance. RV's are very expensive during Burning Man week and usually necessitate the fuss and expense of getting them there and back. Still, for a large group of about six, an RV might make sense, dividing the cost. With anything weigh the pros and cons, and RV's have a lot of cons.
  • If you do get an RV, I don't think you need to get a separate generator for air conditioning. Consider just bringing a lot of extra gas and using the RV's own engine. Generators are very heavy, noisy, and what are you going to do with it after Burning Man?
  • I haven't tried it, but next year I'm seriously thinking of getting a Shift Pod . This is a type of tent that is very resistant to dust and heat. Shift Pod Burning Man Photo credit: How this $1,300 Tent Won Burning Man
  • Also worth considering is a Yurt rental. Again, I haven't tried it, but I think for many people would be a better option than an RV. Yurt Burning man Photo credit: Glamping Rentals
  • I heard the lines getting in and out were much better this year. Never much more than two hours either way. o enjoy the whole week. Don't arrive late and leave early as I did last year out of fear of huge lines.
  • Bring good food. A great way to make new friends at Burning Man is offer them anything delicious.

As for me, I am already mentally planning on making it in 2020. This time I'm not going to have a grand vision of going in style with several friends. I think it may just be me and one other friend roughing it in a Shift Pod.

For much more about Burning Man, please see the article I wrote after going last year: Burning Man - To Go or not to Go.