You have decided to go to Burning Man. What an excellent choice! So, How does one prepare for a festival that includes a nearly endless supply of sun, wind and dust? For all your basic do’s and don’ts to get you through the week be sure to read the Burning Man Survival guide. We here at AYNiB have also compiled some additional tips to help you not only survive, but also thrive at one of the most diverse and environmentally challenging festivals that the four of us have been privy to attending.
1. ‘The playa provides’ – This is a solid rule and mantra to live by, but truthfully the playa provides to those who provide for themselves. This is no ordinary festival with a plethora of food and beverage vendors. Yes, there are food camps and an unreal amount of booze but you should not count on them solely for your needs.
2. Staying hydrated – This is course one of the most important factors out in the desert. We have found hydro/camel packs are the ideal way to carry water. You are less likely to leave them behind as moop (matter out of place) and can be filled with larger quantities of liquid. They also double as a space to put extra TP, snacks, your camera etc. We have also mastered the double hydro pack method. Utilizing one for water and the other one with Gin and Juice (or another less hydrating liquid of your choice). This can help you keep your hydration and fun in balance. If your feeling dehydrated, coconut water is packed full of electrolytes and is a tasty way to get hydrated.
3. Eating well – It is not hard if you prepare correctly and will lead to a much more enjoyable festival experience. If you’re traveling with a large group, try splitting up the meals amongst your campmates. This makes less work for everyone, there will be less food waste and who knows, you might get to try something yummy you wouldn’t normally make. Making extras is a great way to meet your neighbors. A good rule is that dairy is not your friend in the heat, unless of course you enjoy the smell of sour milk for your remaining days out in the desert.
4. Staying cool – The desert is hot, but it is entirely possible to stay cool if you are smart about it. We have learned quite a few things out in the desert through trial and error. This might sound silly but don’t put your shelter up when it is windy and high noon, even if it is sweltering. This can lead to broken shelters and flared tempers. We also prefer desert scarves over dust masks. We have found time and time again masks do not work well in the desert. A good old fashioned shemagh (desert scarf) works best and can be dunked in ice cold water for extra relief. There is a reason those who live in hot desert climates use scarves – it is because they work. Remember, we revolve around the sun, not the other way around. Just because you were in the shade when you fell asleep does not mean you will be when you wake up.
5. Keeping an open mind and a positive attitude – A crucial tip to your sanity and those around you. We are not saying that you have to be open to everything. Most people are not okay with waking up and seeing their naked neighbors sweaty balls being crushed against the fibres of their freshly bought hammock. If something is not to your liking, communicate like a human being using your words like an adult. This can lead to less drama and hurt feelings in the future. This also goes both ways – if you are naked, tired and covered in a sweat – think before you lounge on someone else’s stuff. Remember the golden rule “Treat others like you would like to be treated because if you don’t its a long walk back home”
6. Take care of yourself, your friends and those around you: This is the most important rule. This is not the same as babysitting. Unless the person is a minor you can’t tell them what to do, but if one of your friends is playing themselves too hard or needs some positive energy then as their friend provide the help as needed.
These tips can easily translate to any festival and are good rules of thumb to follow. Do you have a tip for festivals that you think should be on here? Let us know in the comments sections below. Cheers and happy festival going!