by Casa de la Rumba (adapted from Pineapple Motel’s guide)
Hola Rumberos 💃! As you are about to realize, Burning Man is a magical place. Its art, music, serendipity, community, and generosity are all unparalleled. In our experience, showing up to the Burn prepared made a world of difference in being able to really enjoy the experience.
The intent of this guide is to provide a practical approach to prepping for the Playa, in order to make the most of your time there. Ultimately the goal is to arm you with as much information as possible, so when you arrive to Black Rock City, you can forget your worries and just play!
What to bring
- Burning Man ticket and car pass. DUH! But people do forget these. Make sure you have a plan to have them with you by the time you leave San Francisco, or pick them up at Will Call.
- Your belongings.
- A bike. Walking from side to side of Black Rock City takes probably more than an hour. A bicycle saves you time and multiplies the exploration range.
- Water: CDLR will provide you with drinking and cooking water. You just need to bring water for the shower if you want to.
- Lights for you and your bike
How to pack:
If you haven’t heard, the playa is dusty AF. And what is the playa, you may ask? It’s the alkali dust surface, hard as rock at places and softer, sandier at others. It will be the only surface you will set foot on when you arrive to Burning Man. It’s completely flat because Black Rock City used to be a lake (Lake Lahontan) tens of thousands of years ago! What remains is a beautiful, ancient lakebed that is, well, full of dust.
- Don’t bring anything too precious to the playa.
- Pack your things in plastic boxes like the one in the image bellow. A backpack or suitcase will get so dusty that will be hard to use elsewhere, the boxes will keep your stuff clean. Buy Costco ones (Greenmade brand): they are cheaper (~$10) and more resistant than the Amazon ones. Also they are very easy to pile up and transport. Costco (Greenmade) and Amazon doesn’t pile up (HDX brand) don’t pile up together so please get the Coscto (Greenmade) ones. Trust me, you will thank me later. Don’t forget to label the boxes with your name since there will be dozens of them around the camp.