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Burning Man

We're All Going to Die: How to Pack For the Most Intense Burning Man Yet

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Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:45 AM

click to enlarge JENA ARDELL
  • Jena Ardell
Illustrations by Jena Ardell

See also:

*Why I'll Never Go To Burning Man

*Genital Portrait Studio: The Five Silliest Burning Man Camp Names

Unlike some festivals, you can't just casually roll up to Burning Man with only a bottle of Jack and a spirit hoodie. Prepping for a week in the desert is only slightly less complicated than the space launch, and that's on a normal year.

THIS year, however, promises to be one of the harshest ever, with powerful windstorms and sustained sandstorm whiteouts predicted for the event, which begins Monday. Don't get us wrong; despite the haters, it's still going to be off the charts epic, but only if you come prepared. Just make sure you bring ample sunscreen, plenty of water (1.5 gallons per person per day minimum) and the following other surreal-sounding necessities. Consult the site's personal survival checklist for more.

Particle Mask: Yeah, about that dust. It's no fucking joke. Desert debris is going to be coming at you at 70 miles per hour. Presumably it's going to feel like getting your face sandpapered. Do your lungs a solid by wearing a basic particle mask. Go ahead and fancy it up with some glitter or something. Better yet, upgrade to a couture steampunk gas mask (easier to find than you'd think), or snag one of those terrifying bondage-type contraptions from the army navy surplus. A basic bandana will also work just fine.

Goggles: You're not going to want that dust in your eyes either. Bring a pair of sturdy goggles like you might wear snowboarding, motorcycling or aviating to keep your peepers from shriveling up like raisins.

click to enlarge JENA ARDELL
  • Jena Ardell
Beach Cruiser: Bikes are the primary mode of transportation at Burning Man, and imperative in order to effectively cruise the roughly two mile wide playa. Fat-tired beach cruisers or mountain bikes are best to navigate the sand and push through heavy dunes. Bring extra tubes in case of flats and a pack a lock as well. It would be a bummer to lose your ride just after wrapping it in two hundred dollars worth of string lights. Make sure your lock that has both your playa and "default world" contact info written on it.

Food and Drinks: This isn't like Coachella where you can make out with a hottie from Pacoima in the dance tent all day and then just casually mosey to the concession area and find falafels, fish tacos and pizza. Although grub is available at various camps, it's necessary to pack enough food and drink to sustain yourself and your crew for the duration of The Burn. That's a lot of kale and quinoa salad, so you best start cooking now.

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