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USDA: Unsafe For Human Consumption
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Has Burning Man Changed? | Decommodification

Getting Ready For Burning Man

  • Read survival guide.
  • Subscribe to (JRS) Jack Rabbit Speaks.
    (both at burningman.com)

SHOP EARLIER NOT LATER. Burning Man supplies become rarer closer to the event.

Many people sell burner supplies on craigslist, search for 'burning man' or 'playa'


Everything you bring will get covered with playa dust. Generally you shouldn't bring nice things to Burning Man.
  • (Not for PDA campmates!) WATER 1.5-2gal/day (2.5 gallon plastic water bottles are useful)
  • Hot/cold weather clothing
  • Garbage bags
  • Contact lens supplies, medicines, toiletries, etc..
  • Sunscreen
  • Lighting. i.e.: Headlamps (LED), flashlights, glowsticks, extra batteries
  • Day and night eye protection: Sunglasses, goggles, .. (In SF? Haight St/Aardvarks $10-15 goggles)
  • Dust mask (or even just a light scarf to wrap around your face for dust storms)
  • Food (see below)
  • Shelter (tent, or otherwise able to handle harsh winds/dust)
  • Strong tent stakes, or better yet, rebar, either bent in a 'candy cane' or with with caps/covers such as tennis balls, plastic bottles


  • Bicycle (this should be REQUIRED gear, the city is miles wide)
    See the Jack Rabbit Speaks for ways to get bicycles, though realize that you can actually buy new bikes at places like Toys'RUs for ~$75
    • Balloon tires, preferably a junker
    • Bike lights. Decorating your bike makes it easier to find.
    • Extra inner tubes!
    • BIKE LOCK. Do not use a bike at Burning Man without a lock.
    Definitely considering renting from one of the companies that lets you pickup and dropoff on playa, because:
    1. You don't have to clean or repair the bike
    2. You don't have to transport the bike - which is often a difficult thing, the Burner Bus charges something like $25-$50 to carry bicycles.
    Some options off-hand: http://hammerandcyclery.com https://playabikerepair.com
  • Camelbak or other water carrying device
  • Skin care (the playa is harsh!): Baby wipes + lotion + hand sanitizer + vinegar
  • Footwear (non-open, non-nice, *comfortable*, breathing). Some people have issues with playa on their feet, some go barefoot.
  • Knee pads - either for moop sweep, or build, or blowjobs, or all of the above


  • Camera (don't bring nice camera unless you're prepared for it to be worn)
  • First aid
  • Duct tape, gorilla tape, etc..
  • Rope (depending on your shelter/tent)
  • Ear plugs (depending on your sleep requirements)
  • Ziplock bags
  • "Costumes"
    What you would wear if you didn't have preconceived notions of what clothing looks like? (go to burningman.com for ideas)
    Night of burn: anything with coverage is actually nice for avoiding radiant heat
  • Folding camp chair $5/$10 at target
  • Recharge/Gatorade/Emergen-C
  • Wide-brimmed hat (for sun - and chin strap suggested for wind)
  • Cooking stove
  • Gifts trinkets, but not cheapo plastic crap or candy. Something personal or special.
  • Solar lights
  • Air mattress
  • Shade structure to put over tent, very nice for sun blockage,
    but make sure it can handle wind, definitely tie down to rebar
    Costco: ~$200, or: $120 ebay sells carport kit (joints)
    Or: easy to build/transport: "Monkey hut"
  • Sewing kit
  • Misting bottle
  • Stamps + postcards (there is an actual post office)
  • Fresh clothes for drive home
  • Massage oil
  • Paper towels
  • On drive in: fill up with gas when you exit freeway (last day station is Gerlach)
  • Women: Pee funnels, Divacup or Moon Cup (google if needed)
  • FRS/GRS Radio (these used to be regularly used but less so these days)


  • Loose glitter, anything else that sheds
  • Feathers, feather boas, etc.. (Burning Man has actually reduced the restriction on feathers, but only bring high-quality feathers that will not shed)
  • Glass containers
  • Unnecessary food packaging
  • Nuts with shells
  • Don't bring fruits or meats without a cooler and plans to buy ice (though I'm told tomatos survive outside a cooler)
  • Styrofoam coolers (they break apart)
  • Straw/hay

Food Suggestions

Taste is different on playa. Obviously personal opinion has a factor, but your own personal tastes will change up there. Fruit smoothies sound like they'd be great, but they end up not satisfying. But V-8s, which are nasty, horrible beverages, actually taste good up there. Taste buds change because of the elevation, dryness and basic pH. YMMV, but this is what my group and I have learned foodwise.

Keep in mind, the five food groups on playa are: Protein, Fat, Sugar, Salt, Spice

  • Nutter Butters & Lays BBQ chips highly recommended (so delicious on playa - four of the food groups!)
  • Containers of Egg Replacers or Egg Whites: easier to put in cooler then eggs
  • Soup is easy to clean
  • Rice is not (or get premade or cook in bag)
  • Tastee Bite or other prepackaged Indian food (VERY tasty, zero cleanup)
  • Bread will dry out unless you ziplock in 6-8 piece groups
  • Pancakes + fruit syrup (if you can find the 'aerosol can pancake mix' then it's amazing, little clean, and even dairy free!)
  • Canned fruits and veggies
  • Avoid foods that make you thirsty (soda, granola bars)
  • Coffee if you need it.
  • Instant dinners: mac 'n cheese, etc..
  • Jerky. Easy to carry, protein and salt
  • Nut mixes
  • Hydration: Electrolyte drinks, coconut water, vanilla/chocolate soy milk, red bull

GetDave.com - Dave's Domain hub. Disclaimer: Do not try this at home.
Do not try this at someone else's home.
Do not try this anywhere. It's too stupid.
Ultra Stunt Danger Academy, 2010

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