If you’re heading to Burning Man for the first time, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. You’re about to attend the party of a lifetime in a remote desert, unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Ease your worries with this list of what to bring to Burning Man so you can have a safe, fun, and fulfilling time!
A Large Water Bottle
A “large water bottle” is an understatement. You need to have something along the lines of a Camelbak, because the hot temperatures and sun of the Playa make it easy to get dehydrated. You should be drinking roughly a gallon—yes, a gallon—of water every single day. And, unfortunately, alcohol does not count!
Plenty Of Lights
Lights are a common part of the celebration on the Playa for more reasons than one. Not only are they festive, but there is no natural lighting in this remote desert. At times, whatever you have on your person may be your only way to see. Flashlights are good, but hands-free headlamps or bicycle lights are even better.
Dust storms on the Playa strike suddenly and without warning. Some people find them frightening, while others find them exhilarating. However, they’re only safe if you have adequate dust protection. This includes protection for both your eyes and your face so you can safely breathe. Invest in a pair of dust goggles and either a dust mask or bandanna to keep your nose and mouth clean.
Wet Wipes And Basic First Aid
Don’t bank on finding a shower on the Playa. You might, but it’s more likely you won’t. Wet wipes are the best way to keep yourself free of the worst of the dust. A basic first aid kit, which should include items such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, aloe vera for sunburn, aspirin, and antacids, is also a great thing to bring to Burning Man.
A Tent Or RV
You can choose to stay in either a tent or an RV at Burning Man. If you’re staying in a tent, you’ll need to bring a tarp to put underneath it, as well as sturdy tent pegs (the wild winds that come with the dust storms can blow tents away).
A Sleeping Bag
If you’re planning on camping, a sleeping bag is imperative for staying comfortable at night. While the weather is extremely hot during the day, note that temperatures in the desert can plummet at night. Getting a high-quality sleeping bag will help you sleep well through the night on the Playa.
You may think you know heat and sun, but you’ve probably never experienced anything like the temperatures at Burning Man. When you’re outside for days on end, you’ll be exposed to extreme UV rays, so it’s vital to protect yourself. You should wear sunglasses and a hat at all times. It’s also important to seek shade whenever you can, and be sure you continue to drink as much water as possible to battle dehydration. And, of course, bring multiple bottles of sunscreen to prevent harsh sunburn.
Food And Basic Utensils
While you can find food at Burning Man, you can’t always rely on when or where you can get it. Ultimately, you’re better off bringing your own food. You should also pack a bowl, plate, fork, spoon, and cup—travel ones if you prefer. It’s also a good idea to prepare meals in advance and bring a cooler. Snacks are also handy, especially ready-to-eat foods like fruit, nuts, and granola bars.
There are no trash cans on the Playa. Burning Man is one of the largest “leave no trace” events in the world, so whatever you produce, you carry with you. That means collecting all your own trash and removing it—essentially, you want to leave the Playa exactly as you found it. The best way to do this is to bring your own garbage bags. Keep the Playa clean by carrying your waste with you!
If this is your first time attending Burning Man, you might be surprised to learn how big the Playa actually is. You’ll soon discover that biking is by far the most popular way to get around because of its size. You can also catch rides with passing trucks, but walking isn’t really an option. You can get everywhere you need to be on the Playa, without expending as much energy as walking, by bringing your own bicycle. Of course, don’t forget to pack a bike lock as well!
Join In At The Playa
If you want to join a theme camp to help others during Burning Man, sign up to join Pathogen Trackers at this year’s event.