Burning Man 2010 is just around the corner and we want to make it easy for burners to get last minute supplies before venturing off to the Black Rock Desert. NOTE that this list is not all-inclusive and will not contain everything you need out on the playa, just a few things we carry at the store that will make your stay in Black Rock City more comfortable.
Burning Man is a lot of things to a lot of people, but first and foremost it is desert survival. Water is the single most important thing you can bring out on the playa. The rule of thumb is 1.5 gallons per person per day. Bring more if you are using a solar shower, mist sprayers or anything else that uses additional water. For in-camp water storage, check out 5 Gallon Foldable Water Carriers, 10 Liter MSR Dromedary Bag or the 6 Liter Platypus Water Tank. All of these water carriers can be folded up to save space on the way back. For hydration out on the playa, we carry a variety of hydration backpacks, hydration reservoirs and water bottles. Last year I took the 40 oz. Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle with a sling through the top, and it was plenty of water for long escapades. For electrolyte-enhanced water add Elete, Cytomax Recovery or Nuun drink mixes.
Bikes are an indispensable mode of transportation on the playa. You will be able to see and do more on a bicycle than you will traveling on foot and hopping on art cars or mutant vehicles. Need to carry some cargo? Check out our selection of bike bags and bike baskets. For nighttime riding, bike lights are a must. At the very least you will need a front light and blinky rear light, like the Planet Bike Beamer 1 Front and Rear Light Set. I also recommend some SpokeLites for some extra flair.
The sun’s rays are very powerful in the high desert, and the reflection off the light-colored alkali ground amplifies the sun’s effects. Protect your skin with Sol Sunguard Altitude SPF 40 or Alpine SPF 25 sunscreen for non-greasy, sweatproof sun protection. Lip Balm is also one of the best things to have with you after a couple days in the desert. Sunglasses are a good idea as well, but will not protect your eyes against dust storms. Snow goggles, work well for keeping dust out of your eyes. A big hat like the Kavu Chillba Fisherman’s Hat is another great way to keep the sun off your face.
Your camping list will vary quite a bit depending on whether you are camping in an RV or in a tent. I will just point out a few things that will be useful in any camp in Black Rock City. Visit our camping page for tents and other camping gear. For starters, no camp should be without a first aid kit. A fairly basic one should suffice, since there are emergency medical services available. Nite Ize Knotbone Adjustable Bungee is tremendously useful for tying things around camp down or to secure a shade structure. If you have cameras or other small electronics that might need to be re-charged throughout the week, check out Solio Universal Solar Charger and grab a Seal Line dry bag to protect them from dust.
Personal Playa Gear
There are a few things one should never leave camp without. Water for one. Another thing to bring along is a cup to use at any of the hundreds of free bars in Black Rock City (come find me serving up cocktails at the Barfly Bar around 3:30 and Florence). I recommend one with a handle that can be attached either by a lanyard or a carabiner. If you smoke, a windproof lighter is essential, as is a container for ashes and butts. I also highly recommend carrying around a headlamp, even in the middle of the day just in case you don’t make it back to camp before dark. Bring along a compass as well, since BRC is very difficult to navigate after Saturday night when the man has burned and all the street signs have been taken down.
Todd, our resident tech geek, is headed to Burning Man 2010, his second Burning Man festival to date, in just over a week. He penned this special Burning Man checklist for us in lieu of his regular monthly Tech Talk blog series.
Todd Shimkus manages the technical web operations for Tahoe Mountain Sports, including tahoemountainsports.com and our web presence on other online marketplaces. When not behind the computer, Todd enjoys rock climbing, hiking and snowboarding.