deBOCCEry Survival Guide – Burning Man 2009
SHELTER: Your vehicle and your tent are your best friends. They will hold all of your stuff and give you comfort in the storms. Make sure you pack so you can reach all of your essentials. Organization is key going there and then while you are home in Black Rock City. After you set up your tent (in a whiteout of course) you will want your ‘extra’ stuff easily accessible in your vehicle.
TENT: This will be your oasis in the desert. You should be able to comfortably stand up in it. Change you clothes in it. But most importantly get away from the little green man in it. You zippers should all work.
BED: This should not just be a sleeping bag on the floor. You are old now. You will need padding of some sort between you and the concrete hard playa surface. You will want an arctic grade sleeping bag and a few extra blankets. Yes it can be that cold. Plus you are sun burnt and either coming down off something or drunk out of your mind. You will be cold and if you accidentally pee yourself you will have extra blankets to swap out.
PILLOW: See you are old now.
OPTIONAL ESSENTIALS TO MAKE YOUR TENT BETTER
LIGHT OF SOME SORT: Yes we will have a full moon this year, but again you will probably be altered and need to find the zipper out of your oasis.
CARPET: This is for the inside of your tent. Whiteouts create a lot of dust. This will either settle on the bottom of the tent where you will create dust devils every time you move or it will settle nicely in your shag. Options, life is all about them. A cheap Oriental Rug from goodwill will make you go from Eddie Bauer to Austin Powers.
CHAIR: or stool or something that you can easily sit in to take off or put on your shoes. See you are old and you are altered.
BIN: Pack your tent or bedding in it to the playa, but then utilize that nice empty bin to hold all the shit that you will be looking for. No we don’t know where your yellow lighter is. Or your flashlight, or that trinket from Temple of Atonement or that Hippie Girl’s camp address (ps she was not that hot in the light of day anyway). It’s your shit, keep it together. A bin may help.
CLOTHING BIN: Again trust us on this one. A big plastic bin with a lid is the place to store your clothes. Suitcases turn into a giant box of dust after 1 hour. It will also double as a side table next to your bed. Shagalicious. We will get to what goes in that bin in a second.
TOILETRIES BIN: A bin with a lid keeps the dust off your toothbrush, eye drops, aspirin, lotion, razors, etc. BTW you should bring 1 ply toilet paper. (RV/Port a Loo safe) A roll should be strapped to your bike at all times. You will need it. The port o’ loos will run out. It will be the middle of the night, and you will need it desperately. Trying to have the trippin’ dude in the Honey Bucket next to you hand you some will be more work than just carrying your own. Plus people will love you if you share.
CLOTHING: For all temperatures. Yes 101 degrees and yes 40 degrees. Wind (lots of it), possible rain, possible all at the same time. Hat. Thermal Undies. Gloves. Work gloves. At least two different pair of shoes. Mandals. Boots. Socks. You must change these once a day. Bring lots of them. You do not want playa foot. Seriously. All the rest you know. You have been dressing yourself for a while now. Bandannas. Sunglasses. Cold weather hat. Sarongs are delicious. Chicks dig guys in skirts…at least in BRC.
COSTUMES: See optional and you’re old now.
BIKE: Gotsa’ have one. Cheaper is better. Wide tires are a must. No 10-speeds. It will be ruined most likely if not accidentally stolen. A lock is awesome. But not as awesome as a basket on the front. Lights a must. Horn a must. Now decorate it. Make sure you can find it in a pile of 400 outside of a rave..while altered. Don’t forget to add the roll of toilet paper as a decoration. Can it hold a water bottle? It should.
ELECTRONCS: Will need heavy duty ziploc bags. The playa dust will eat your stuff. If you are not using it and want to again, keep it in a bag.
TOOLS: Vice grips (for the rebar we will tying your tent too. Leathermen. Flashlights. Head Lamp. Work gloves.
EAR PLUGS (don’t forget these…we are been placed close to several loud rave camps. Lucky us.)
BATTERIES FOR ALL YOUR STUFF
CIGARETTES. Bring 10 times as much as you would normally smoke. Everyone will be bumming off you. You will lose some. People will be begging for some by the end of the week. We ran out once….it wasn’t funny. Now is not the time to quit smoking or plan for it on the playa. We will only share as much as we would if we were all sharing a cell in prison. Get it. You will have to trade something of value for my last pack of smokes. Like your vehicle. Playa mouth is the only thing that tastes worse than smokers mouth. Rolling you own looks cool as shit while in a coffee house but on the playa you will watch more blow away from your lap than you ever inhale.
WHAT NOT TO BRING
Anything with feathers on it. Or sequins. Not because of taste but because the are outlawed there. Nuts with shells. Outlawed. Water melon, not because its outlawed but because of the amount of trash they make…and the seeds. Extra packaging. 2 ply toilet paper. Glass beer bottles. Glass soda bottles.
FOOD: We are providing some meals so to speak. But feel free to bring you own personal munchies bin. We will have a lot of food but sharing always happens in BRC and we will be feeding tiny starving raver chicks that you bring home and other e-tards that only brought pills and ramen to the desert for a week. Also you may not want to knock on the RV at 4am when you need some foods the most. Alcohol. Baileys, Vodka, Whiskey, Dealers choice. We will bring a bit of it. But sharing will happen and you don’t want to have to horde you hooch until the Big Burn. Beer. We will bring a couple of cases of PBR but it would be great if you could bring more. We wont be drinking it per say but we do have an interactive art piece for camp that requires handing out PBRs. You will love it. Soda we wont be bringing any so bring what you want. Water. Bring as much as you can safely get in your rig will all the other stuff. We will go through it. We will have to fill the RV by hand so we can all shower daily. You will drink about a gallon a day. Or you will die. Suitcases are the best because they flatten really good for the drive home. If you think this is all very excessive, it is. BRC is all about excessive hedonism and you will be part of it. This is not some snotty survival boot camp where you eat squirrel and are happy for it. This place is all about feeding the body, feeding the mind, and feeding the soul. Or getting high and eating ramen. Choices…a city of choices.
A few more things about picking up your essentials on the way to the playa. The closer you get to Gerlach the less likely you have finding what you need. One of the two stores that has supplies within 60 miles was reported to have almost zero supplies this year and wont be stocking up. Reno if you come that way or any other major hub should be your last minute items.
When you get to Gerlach fill up your tank. Yes you will have to wait in line and you may only need a quarter of a tank but do it. Hit the playa with as close to full as you can. I know you are so close now and you have well over a half of tank. Stop and do it anyway. Depending on your arrival and departure times from the playa it is possible to fly through the gate with only a 20-30 minute wait or a 8 -10 hour grid lock of a parking lot. You will be inching for hours and if a whiteout kicks up and they stop traffic you could be delayed anywhere from 10 mins or like our neighbors a few years back 12 hours. You will need your gas. People run out every year..a lot of them. Maybe that extra gas in your tank could help a new friend.