Packing for Burning Man is not something you can rustle together a few days before you head into the desert. If you do? There’s bound to be things you forget and things you then don’t have time to source. You’re going to need to make Amazon orders and store pick ups alongside both Walmart and Costco outings for this one.
Burning Man is the real deal. Burning Man is the festival of all festivals and as the commandments state, this festival is all about radical self-reliance, i.e. you have to rely on yourself and no one else.
You can read the official 10 commandments of Burning Man here.
The only thing that you can purchase when you get to Black Rock City (the festival location) is ice.
Ice price at Burning Man 2017 (you will need cash): $4 per bag / block or $24 for 6 bags. (No deal. No deal there at all.)
I think that’s all you can buy anyway. I read somewhere that you can buy coffee too, but I never saw it.
That’s where I’ve got you!
I guess the mystery surrounding Burning Man was one of the things that attracted me to the ‘playa’ all this time. The mystery, the magic and the fact that until you go – you really don’t know what goes on in this famous playground.
Oh now I do, I really do.
Now that I’ve been to Burning Man I have a pretty good idea of what one might need and what one might want during the week.
(I’m breaking it down into sections so that you don’t get completely lost).
You are in the middle of the Nevada desert in the summer heat so days are hot (30-38 deg C this year) and nights are usually pretty cold. Friends that had attended last year (2016) emphasised to me the need to bring ALL THE FUR for the nights, but this year most evenings were super mild and I only wore a fur coat out twice.
This year the wind was also not so het up (hence the milder temperatures) and so we only had two little dust storms during our time at Burning Man.
I actually didn’t use my dust masks or goggles at all and guides I had read made me think I’d wear them 24/7. Saying that, they are a good idea to protect particularly your nose from dust build up. More on that later…
Basically, you have to be prepared for all potential weather here in the desert and it has the potential for anything.
Girls, you’ll pretty much be naked, or half naked at least. It’s simply about how far you’re comfortable to take it. As the week progresses and you settle into your new home, you’ll be wearing less and less. You’ll soon realise no one cares and that there always someone more naked than you. It’s HOT and we prioritise being comfortable in the desert.
(Basically daytime clothes with the addition of layers depending on the temperature)
You should never go out at night without lighting yourself and your bike up.
Dollskill, Amazon, Asos, Burnt Soul Clothing, Ebay, Goodwill (second hand stores located all over the US), Haight Street (If you make a pit stop or come from San Francisco, which most people do, head to Haight Street. It’s literally got everything you could possibly need for Burning Man in one single street.)
Food purchases depend on whether you have a generator for running a fridge, whether you have a freezer or whether you’re camping with cool boxes. We got mainly food that didn’t need to be cooked and took a few cool boxes that we topped up with ice (which we bought on the playa, see above).
Obviously possibilities are endless if you take a gas stove, generator, camper van or RV. Maybe next time!
Here’s what we bought (to feed two of us) from Costco on a no-cook basis:
Other great ideas for no onsite cooking:
If you’re camping / yurting you’ll need:
You can pick one up at Walmart for as little at 79$. I ordered one online and picked it up at Reno Walmart on my way through to Nevada.
This will change your entire life, I made BBF’s with anyone that had one. I wouldn’t go without one again.
Seriously. Create shade. Noone likes hangovers in the desert heat.
To check up on your awesome outfits, apply glitter and generally check you’re alive. Obviously.
To chill on in the day, to use while you eat or are pre-gaming.
To raise food / clothes / cooking equipment off of the floor.
… and of course your standard toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, ear buds, facial cleanser and moisturiser, shower gel, sun cream etc.
The fine white playa dust will get EVERYWHERE… up your nose, in your hair and everywhere on your body.
Just don’t go to Burning Man without the following:
What were your essentials!?
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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