omphaloskeptic (cthulhia) wrote in burning_man,

My BRG checklist on after arrival survival

This is the pre-edited version of what is currently planned for the Gazette Gate Edition, which is the one they hand you when you arrive.

The final copy is their (or the various authors') copyright, but I am sure all agree it's more important to spread the word. Please do not print hardcopy (you'll get a copy when you reach the playa anyway) and do not post on any public lists or boards or webpages.

This is primarily suggestions about how to make the most of the event after you've arrived and can no longer plan. It may still help with pre-event planning.



After Arrival Survival Tips: Making the most of what you brought.
compiled by Cthulhia

Welcome to Burning Man. All that advice about What to Bring is hindsight. You need to make do with what you Did remember to bring. If you are missing vital items, get to know your neighbors. We're all in the wilderness together.

If you have tips to add, bring them to the Gazette office in center camp.


Moisturize, Moisurize, Moisturize. Even when you don't need sunscreen. Massages, especially footrubs, with lotion are not a luxury on the playa, but a necessity. Share and enjoy.

Wash the dust off your feet before moisturizing.

The playa is alkaline. Combat playa dust by wiping your feet with vinegar or lemon juice before moisturizing.

If you know you tend towards dry feet, keep them covered, in shoes that require socks, as often as possible. Still wash them and moisturize them at least once a day.

Elevating coolers helps keep them cold. -- Heloise

If you have enough coolers in your camp, designate one for perishable items; meat, dairy, chocolate, anything that melts, and use the rest for more high traffic items, fruits, snacks and drinks. Open the coldest cooler as infrequently as possible. Everything stowed in a cooler should be sealed, or placed safely above the ice.

Avoid leftovers, feed your neighbors. -- Black Rock Rangers

Use drained cooler water to soak hot feet. If everything was properly sealed, the water won't be too gross.

If your hair is quickly turning to straw and you covet someone else's spray-in hair conditioner, offer to brush their hair in exchange. This is a great way to meet people with nice hair.

Avoid psychodrama. Always ask for permission. Even the calmest folks have mood swings in the desert.

A car can function as 2 decent tent stakes. A bus, RV or van can be 2 corners of a simple shade structure.

Use all that shade under your vehicle to stow items that don't really need a cooler, but are better when cooled. Cans and bottles won't blow away and are fairly easy to dust.

Light items, including empty waterjugs, blow away. Always keep them secure. Anything not heat sensitive can be kept in the vehicle nearest to the kitchen area. Designate a particular car-door and corner of that car for kitchen stuff.

If you brought a van with removable seats, you have instant extra seating heavy enough to weigh down corners of the shade structure. Wrapping them in any extra cloth will help keep the seats from getting too dusty. The now empty back of the van area is a great, dry, dust-free place to hang out during a storm.

Plan now who will take on which clean-up duties in your camp. Delegating decisions can get more difficult as the week progresses. If you begin aware of your clean-up responsibilities, you can proactively pick up messes before they accumulate.

Clean and secure your camp every time you leave it. You never know when a storm will hit. Yes, even if you planned to just go to the porta-potties. Expect to be waylaid by cool new people and projects.

Never leave anything on a shared cooler/table that can't be thrown off by someone else when they need to get into the cooler. Put everything away when you're done using it. Camps get messy quickly. The harsh environment will make you more sensitive to it.

Cleaning and organizing common areas, which may include your vehicle, should be done as often as necessary.

Full waterjugs in the corners of your tent make it harder to blow away.

Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before dealing with contacts. -- Grizzly

Bring a set of clothes for the "ride home" and keep them in a plastic
ziplock all week. Change once you get off or are ready to leave the playa.
-- Dr. Nik

Keep dust-sensitive items in a car, not a tent.

Drink More Water, Move slow, Eat high protein.
-- Dr. Nik

NIGHTIME: Lightsticks on guy lines helps keep bikers safe.
-- Dr. Nik

If you won't otherwise be visible at night, drop a glowstick into your waterbottle. This is also a good solution if you lose the plastic "clasp" to your glow-jewelry.

One universal law for me is "bring fiber" cause you can get get mighty sludgy from all the protein and dehydration and refined carbs. -- Jackie of Supersnail
(A good on-site source of fiber is all the fresh produce people brought. Eat it!)

If you put dry ice in your food cooler, it will make all your fruit and cherry tomatoes carbonated. Carbonated grapes are kinda fun, though. -- molly monster

My greatest playa discovery - when you are working on any building project - decorating your theme camp or anything using the hands - WEAR LATEX GLOVES, as in surgical gloves. They don't impede your dexterity and at the end of your day, you take them off and your hands are clean and moist, instead of horribly cracked and dry.
-- LadyBee

Put a hunk of ice in your hat or the shimmering sadistic sun will lower the curtains on your world faster than a beer goes tepid on the scorching playa.
-- from "Exploded Scrotum: A Magazine Devoted Exclusively to Mountain-Biking Injuries"

When did you brush your teeth last?
-- from "Exploded Scrotum: A Magazine Devoted Exclusively to Mountain-Biking Injuries"

One thing most experienced desert campers know is that it helps to match any quantity of water consumed with a quantity of salt. Otherwise, the body has a tendency to rid itself of excess moisture, that you might actually need.

If gatorade tastes good, keep drinking. -- Pennsic maxim

Dissolve a spoonful of salt into your first glass of juice in the morning. If it tastes good, keep drinking.

You could forget water, you could forget a tent, you could forget clothing, you could forget sunscreen, but if you don't have lip balm, you'll die! -- Jackie of Supersnail

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