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Some advice that isn’t in the various newbie guides on the Burningman.com site. Enjoy!

Here is how I keep a comfy, mostly dust-free tent. As you can see from the pics, I perhaps go a little overboard, but one can adapt the minimums from this.

2009: http://www.flickr.com/photos/strata/3897196515/
2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/strata/4990277527/

Bring a couple of big beach towels or a moving blanket to use on your tent floor. If you are sleeping on the floor, put a mylar ‘space blanket’/emergency blanket under the floor covering where you sleep. The playa is a huge heat sink at night (as is any camping ground) and will try to suck the heat out of your body. If your tent is under shade, as I hope it will be, then in the afternoon when you desperately want a nap, you will be insulated from the hot playa as well. Having a floor covering greatly cuts down on the dust!

Bring a clean-clothes duffel and a dirty clothes duffel. You’ll find that your ideas about what’s too dirty to wear change on the playa. You may half-empty your clean clothes duffel and live out of the allegedly ‘dirty’ clothes duffel the rest of the week. One of those collapsable round net laundry bin things is great for a dirty clothes bin, and has the advantage of conserving floor space.

Pack at least one box or milk crate, and then use it as a ‘nightstand’ for the things you will use every day– sunscreen, contact lens solution, moisturizer, babywipes, your glasses at night, condoms, whatever. Having one ‘zone’ of stuff that is off the floor of your tent really helps.

Packing in ziplocs is great, true, but you will find your manual dexterity is not great sometimes on the playa, where many people are always just a bit underslept, under-hydrated, and possibly hung over or slightly drunk. Fumbling through many similar objects to try to find this thing you desperately want RIGHT NOW is crazy-making. Pack different kinds of stuff in different kinds/colors of bags, and/or LABEL IN BIG LETTERS what’s in the bag. Your playa-self will thank the non-playa-self that is mocking you internally for doing it. Trust me on this one.

On that note, make a Save My A** Kit, or SMAK, that is unmistakeable and not easy to lose in the jumble of your tent. One of those clear storage containers that looks like a file box is great and packs easily. In it are things like a couple of juice boxes, a bottle of gatorade, something durable and easy to eat like a granola bar that can ‘boot you up’ to get Real Food. Put your car keys in it because you won’t remember where you put them cleverly in your tent after a week in the desert. Ditto with your cellphone. Add a day or a dose worth of your meds in a spare prescription bottle, your backup pair of eyeglasses, a spare dust mask, glucose tabs if you might need them, a spare bottle of artificial tears eye drops, a backup pack of your birth control pills, *whatever* your crucial ‘oh s**t I can’t FIND IT or I’m TOO ZONED to find it but I NEED IT NOW’ items are. You will crack this kit at least once during the burn, never fear. And thank yourself profusely for making it. Put a small bottle of PeptoBismol in it. Playa runs are pure evil.

Remember you will also be at altitude and that will not be helping you the first 24 – 36 hours unless you come from someplace also high. The playa is at 4000ish feet. If your travel plans allow it, get into Reno/Sparks the night before and stay somewhere cheap, like Motel 6 or one of the casino hotels. That way you can sleep one last night in a clean comfy dust-free place, take a last leisurely shower, and get your ice, fresh food, etc the next morning early (or that evening if you get in early enough). Most importantly, you’ll have spent 6 – 9 hours asleep at altitude, when your body can do the most adjusting with the least negative impact on yourself.

Have a superdeluxe time of it!

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(Oh *do* shut up!)

Posted to ePlaya recently, someone commented I mean, how can you have a “green” flame thrower? Use cow farts instead of propane? “green” death camps? “green” barbie mutilation?

Bwahaha! Green death camps!

“No harsh delousing chemicals or agrobiz-tainted processed food here at Green Starvation Death Camp– inmates are staked out in the sun using fair-trade-certified 100% organic hemp and urban-wild-crafted recycled rebar. We minimize our harmful greenhouse emissions by sun-drying inmates instead of incinerating them. Inmates who ‘retire’ during the rainy season are sustainably composted, and will be reborn as fresh seasonal vegetables in our guards-only organic garden.”

They can run ads!

“Tired of being oppressed in ways that don’t match your green values? Thinking that you don’t want to risk being a peak-oil burden in a high-security deathcamp, even though you long to Act Out? Have no fear, Green Starvation Death Camp is here!

We respect your committment to green values by offering a completely sustainable deathcamp environment. Starvation diet, including water fasting, conserves our natural resources and is compatible with all vegetarian and vegan sensibilities. Persecution is performed by consenting guards with a life history of sadistic fulfillment, and all guards have full health and pension benefits, even seasonal and part-time workers. Even our pepper spray is certified 100% organic, and is delivered by an inert, ozone-safe propellant!

Act up, and get staked out! Green Starvation Death Camp needs YOU!”

… now if only I’d thought of this BEFORE we sent in our camp application!!

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