First-Timer’s Guide to Burning Man 2016
You will always remember your first Burn.
First, being called a “virgin” by fellow burners, until you participate in the initiation from the Black Rock City welcoming committee (you’ll have to go to find out what that is ;). You’ll remember the people, the dust, the art, the hugs, the heat, the cold, the sensory overload. The first time watching the burning of the Man – a celebration that beats that of Independence Day and New Year’s combined. You will bond with people from around the world that will become friends, all 70,000 of them. And, you’ll leave knowing why people call Black Rock City “home.”
To fully prepare for Burning Man is impossible, especially as a virgin burner. Nothing you do or read will do the event or elements justice… but that’s all part of the fun. That being said, it’s important to prepare the best you can. The climate can be extreme in the remote desert of Nevada and you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun, so, here’s your guide for transforming from a virgin to veteran burner in no time.
What to Bring
Reno is the place to get your supplies as it is the closest city – food, clothes, gear, etc. Here is a list of things you might not have thought of…
- A bike is absolutely essential- you won’t be able to see everything because the city is massive, but a bike sure helps getting you from point A to B faster than your feet. Reno Bike Project will have you covered! Don’t forget to decorate!
- Bring more than enough water and drink it often.
- Clothes for when it’s very hot and very cold.
- Vinegar – it helps with “Playa foot” a chemical burn caused by the alkali dust in the desert (also – wear shoes/boots!).
- Lights on lights. Lights for your camp, lights for yourself. You want to be seen!
- Frozen jugs of water in your coolers – they’ll keep your coolers cold, and then drink the water as it melts.
- Pre-prepped meals to save you cooking time.
- One- ply toilet paper – the portos run out at night.
- Hand sanitizer to clean the dust off of your hands and to wash after the restroom.
- Dust will get on everything, but Ziplocks help with keeping things semi dust free.
What to Wear
- Junkee, Melting Pot, PolyEsther’s and more of Reno’s funky year-round shops will have all of your needs!
- Shoes not sandals (boots are better) – the Playa dust dries out your feet and this will protect them from cracking.
- Have goggles and a scarf with you at all times in the event of a sand storm which can come out of nowhere!
- Reusable water bottle.
- Wear EL wire at night – you want to be seen at night for safety, plus it looks awesome. Many Reno costume stores carry it. Glow sticks can fade, and you want to be bright so everyone can see you as you walk around. Don’t forget to wrap your bike in light as well!
- Headlamps are very handy – both to be seen and to see the Playa in front of your walk/bike.
Be Patient Getting There
Traffic can be challenging so be prepared to be patient when driving in.
Join a Camp
Your camp can make a major impact on your experience. Team up with friends and make plans beforehand to camp together. Count on no service, so pick a spot on the map to meet with your buds before you head out. If you don’t know anyone else who’s going it’s no problem – burners are some of the friendliest people on the planet. Upon arrival, ask people who fit your personality if you can camp in their area. Do group meals, see the art together… create a community. You’ll enjoy having the infrastructure of a camp.
Gifting is a huge part of the culture. It makes you feel good and it’s fun to see what people have made! Most burners will bring a gifting item to offer new friends – jewelry, food, art, photos, the list goes on. Get creative with your gifts, then get out and meet new people!
Leave No Trace
Can a city of 70,000 people exist for a week and leave no trace behind? It can, with your help. It is up to everyone in the city to remove all MOOP (Matter Out of Place) from Black Rock City. There are no garbage bins so everything you carry in must be carried out. Not one sequin, not one plastic cup, not a big puddle of water. It’s remarkable what humans can do when they are conscious of their environment. Burning Man makes an example of it.
Burning Man in Reno
If you’re not making it to Burning Man this year, or you don’t get enough, you can enjoy the Burning Man culture in Reno year-round. Did you know the below BELIEVE sculpture now calls downtown Reno home, and the balloon art car in this photo was inspired by an iconic Reno event – The Great Reno Balloon Race?
You can even follow this guide and take a road trip to the Black Rock Desert.
Watch this guide from fellow burners Court Scott and Kiersten (The Blond Abroad), the girls behind Girls Meet Globe:
A week beyond your wildest dreams awaits. Welcome home.
Source: VisitRenoTahoe.com Blog – https://www.visitrenotahoe.com/blog/