Golden Rules to Surviving Your First Burning Man in 2022
Burning Man is an event focusing on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance conducted yearly in the western United States! The name of the event originates from its final ceremony: the symbolic burning of a giant wooden figure, referred to as the Man, that happens on the penultimate night of Burning Man.
Qualities of ideal food items:
- Don’t rot at high temperature
- Can be stored for a longer period of time
- Easy to prepare
- No-prep foods that don’t require heating or water like trail mix, cereal, etc.
- Have lots of calories — there might be days where you only get one real meal.
So, what are the basic items that you would need? Well, you would need:
- Dried black beans (avoid canned ones for less trash)
- Dried lentils
- Soy milk, Granola
- Pasta sauce
- Date rolls
- Dried fruit
- Rice- sunflower seeds
- Nutritional yeast
- Cooking oils
- Nori (for sushi)
- Falafel mix
- Peanut butter
- Curry powder
- Mustard seed
- Bay leaves
- Dried red chilies/peppers
- A few jars of Indian chutneys
- Pancake mix
- Soy sauce
- Rice and balsamic vinegar
- Salt n pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Nutritional yeast
- Cooking oils
- Sesame oil
- Maple syrup
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES·
- Bell peppers
- Bananas (unripe)*
- Watermelons (unripe)
- Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes*
*Starred items will last particularly well.
WHAT TO COOK:
A variety of options are available for breakfast:
- Serve fruits (sliced bananas, oranges, grapefruit, apples) with tea or chai or Granola or soy milk
- Oatmeal with almonds, raisins, and bananas
- Pancakes (strictly vegan). Pancakes can be made even more appetizing by adding Cook sliced bananas with them.
- Fruit (apples, pears and a bit of citrus) compote is a delicious choice if one gets bored of cereals. Bananas can also be added.
- Left-over plain boiled rice can be used in breakfast following the simple recipe. Add water or soya milk, honey or maple syrup, fruits (apples and bananas) and cook it up for 5 minutes.
LUNCH AND DINNER:
- Dahl (lentils) and rice with apple chutney:
- Pasta and sauce:
1. HOW TO COOK:
- Plan a meeting
- Make decisions related to food
- Be strategic about food and water
- It’s better to keep serving two meals a day, and snacks at teatime and keep the calendar on a clipboard with the suggested meals and recipes.
- An easy way to calculate how much each person should pay is to charge each person $10 for food per day. This should also cover water and supplies.
- A huge cooler
- Pots, pans, cooking spoons, strainer, cutting board
- A couple of sharp kitchen knives
- Cleaning supplies for dishes, sponges, paper towels
- A pack of large ziplock bags
- A washtub for doing dishes
- Bowls, plates, forks, and knives
- A large pack of the heftiest garbage bags you can find.
- Mugs and cups
- A kettle
2. WHERE TO STAY:
Few options are available at burning man
- Join a registered camp
- Camp in open or walk-in camping areas of burning man
- Start your own registered camp
You can also sleep on or around random art on the Playa, but it is recommended to get your sleep in the city. You will be closer to the camps that serve food and drink, and you will be more protected from the sun, cold and dust. If you do end up sleeping in random places, bring a small pillow, a blanket or warm coat, and earplugs. According to the Burning Man website, you are not really allowed to show up at the gate without all your own supplies, including your bed.
If you find yourself without a camp for any reason here are the five best places where you can take a nap:
- Center Camp
- Skinny Kitty Teahouse
- Hammock Hangout
- Ashram Galactica
- Heebeegeebee Healers
- Community Connection
Why you need power:
Technically, Burning Man is an event out in the middle of the desert, so there is no utility power. There are no permanent electrical outlets or electrical services that I know about. It is like camping out in the middle of a remote desert area. However, some people bring luxury RVs that have generators or set up elaborate tents with portable generators. So you may see some electricity or lit-up tents/structures / lit-up artwork powered up by generators.
Where to find generators for Burning Man:
You cannot find any generator available there because it is a camp in an open environment basically so you have to bring your own generator or an RV if you want.
Exchanging energy with other items (food, water, etc.)
One can exchange energy with food items or water if you are short of it and other needs it. You just need to be lucky for that.
One can even get items as gifts if someone likes your talent or is generous enough to share their items.
4. PACKING LIST:
- Make sure you have your tickets
- Printed out google directions to Black Rock City (BRC)
- There will be long stretches where you are out of cell service area, so don’t rely on directions from your phone.
- A spare car key
- In case one of them is lost on the Playa.
- A hide-a-key
- So that you can leave the spare and people from your group can get into the car if needed while everyone is out running around.
- Car charger for your phone
- Make sure your tires are in good shape and you have a spare.
- Either bring a small gas can or be very sure to fill it up often.
Gas stations are scarce along the 90-mile stretch from Fernley to BRC.
A good set of ratchet tie-downs.
Better than bungees!
Things to help you pimp out your car and make it more comfortable
The Black Rock Desert is not designed to sustain human life. It is hot, flat, windy, dusty, devoid of vegetation and water, and very inhospitable. The more of the following things you can bring out, the more comfortable you and your group are going to be.
- A shade structure
- An RV — this is a big one.
- Extra-long tent stakes
- A warm sleeping bag
- Sleeping pads.
- A tarp
- Folding card table(s)
- Folding chairs, camping chairs, etc.
- Lanterns, tiki torches, or other sources of ‘space light’
- Camping stove and extra gas
- Christmas lights or strands of LED lights to give your camp a nice glow.
- A large tub for cleaning your feet: After running around in sandals all day it’s SO nice to clean your feet off and put some clean socks on before going out at night.
- E-wire or battery- / solar-powered Christmas lights: Use them to decorate your tent, bike, self, etc.
- Fire extinguisher
- This is a small backpack that can be rolled up and stuffed in your pocket, but also be unrolled and used to carry dozens of cold beers around the Playa.
- A camelback hydration system
- Extension cords and power strips
- Duct tape, zip ties, and bungee cords
- A small sledgehammer to put in your extra-long tent stakes
- Hand-held vacuum.
- A rake
- One-ply toilet paper
- Basic Dopp kit
- Lip balm
- Lotion, or aloe vera post-sun burn stuff
- Eye drops
- Solar shower
- Smokes and gum
- Multiple bottles of hand sanitizer
- Saline nasal spray
- Spray bottle
- Bring comfortable clothes and avoid stylish and branded ones
- Layers and Warm clothes because the weather is unpredictable and sometimes gets cold at night and other times hot.
- Regular shoes and sandals
- Bandanna (big enough to tie around your neck)
- Portable sewing kit
Don’t forget to bring your own durable drink container. Be sure to decorate your cup so it’s unique to you.
The following water calculation worked best for a typical camp: one 2.5-gallon container of water per person per day, used for cooking, cleaning, and washing
If you’ve got a small group, ask each person to bring the water they require and ask that everyone donate one gallon to the kitchen for each day.
If you have a large group, arrange to pick up water from one of the filtered water companies in Reno (you’ll have to leave a small deposit on the bottles). Always try to bring more water than you think you’ll need, and recycle as much water as possible.
It is uncomfortable and unnatural to drink as much water as you need to be drinking in BRC. Try to keep yourself hydrated at burning man.