My essential items:
- nasal spray. i'm so glad my friend Jackie warned me about playa boogers in advance! The saline nasal spray really helped my very dry nose last year.
- sippy cup! Great for hitting up all the wonderfuly generous bars on the playa without wasting a cup. You can also dance/pee/whatever while drinking! This year I am going to use a balloon as a little condom to keep playa out of my sippy cup and camelback spouts when not in use. See Camelback below =>
Items I wish I had had:
- listerine. there was a lot of strep throat and other fun infections going around camp last year. didn't help that we were all making out with each other! i think some listerine gargling action would have helped keep that more under control. all i had last year was tea tree oil, which is ok by me, but most people can't handle the taste.
- eye mask. again, something to help me get some more sleep after the sun rises.
- magnetic tent fans! I'm all about trying to get my tent a bit cooler this year so I can try and get some more sleep in the morning before abandoning ship and crashing in a hamock in the dome. These should help a lot, and I'll also use their big magnets to help secure the solar blanket I'm using as a dust shield on the vents on my tent.
- extra large zip-lock bags. now available in XL and XXL!! great of packing stuff up that you're just gonna keep unpacked at the playa or use for setup, no need for more bulky plastic containers.
Camelbacking in style
One other suggestion I have is to really trick your camelback out with everything you need for a day's adventure on the playa. I got a bike style 2.0 L one (Rogue model?) that is great. Lightweight, not hot, carries enough water for several hours. It is important to get a camelback with some pockets. Then fill it up with all the little essentials such as: suncreen on a stick, chap stick, eye drops, condoms, lube, energy bar, hand sanitizer, etc. I also used some caribeaners to attach my goggles, dust mask, and sippy cup to my pack. That way when I'd just fill up my pack with water and hop on my bike and didn't always have to run back to camp cos I forgot something :)