How to Prepare for Burning Man: Black Rock City Survival Guide

How to Prepare for Burning Man: 15 Steps to Plan the Perfect Burn

Burning Man is an incredibly popular festival that takes place every year during the week before Labor Day. Most people arrive mid-week to partake in the massive naked desert party and stay through the weekend as “The Man” burns on Saturday and “The Temple” burns on Sunday. All of this takes place in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada – a dry lake bed that is miles from the closest town and, under normal circumstances, is completely uninhabitable.

Considering that 70,000 people attended Burning Man in 2019, you might think it is relatively easy to go. But the process for obtaining tickets is complex and involves an online queue. Hundreds of thousands of people sit in for hours in the hopes that they are randomly selected.

But what really makes Burning Man such a challenge to attend is the principle of “Radical Self Reliance”. You must bring anything and everything that you’ll need to survive in the dusty, desolate Black Rock Desert for a week. In fact, the only two things actually sold at Burning Man are coffee and ice.

Is it all worth it? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some people love Burning Man and attend every year. Other people arrive and immediately wish they had stayed at home with all the comforts of modern living. But, one thing is certain, if you are well prepared for Burning Man you are guaranteed to have a much more enjoyable time at the festival.

Read on to learn how to prepare for the epic Burning Man experience that awaits you in Black Rock City!

Don’t forget to check out our web story: How to Prepare for Burning Man!

How to Prepare for Burning Man in 15 Easy Steps

1. Get Your Burning Man Ticket

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Get Your Ticket

As previously mentioned, getting a ticket to Burning Man is no easy feat. Instructions for 2020 ticket sales are as follows:

  • You’ll need to create a “burner profile” on the Burning Man website before purchasing tickets. Registration for the “main ticket sale” is open from April 1, 2020 at 12:00pm PDT until April 3, 2020 at 12:00pm PDT.
  • The “main ticket” sale begins on April 8, 2020, at 12:00pm PT.
  • On April 8th, 2020 at noon, you’ll want to log into your burner profile and be placed in the online queue. Those who are allowed to buy tickets are selected at random.
  • There will be approximately 20,000 “main tickets” sold at $475 USD each and approximately 10,000 vehicle passes at $140 USD each.
  • Each person can purchase a maximum of 2 tickets and 1 vehicle pass.
  • You cannot use the same credit card on multiple orders.

You’ll get paper tickets sent to you by mail that you’ll be required to show when you enter the main Burning Man gates. DO NOT FORGET TO PACK YOUR TICKETS. You will be denied entry without the physical tickets and no, your online confirmation won’t work, nor will a photo of the tickets.

If you’re planning on driving to Burning Man make sure you purchase a vehicle pass! You will not be allowed to drive your vehicle into Black Rock City without one.

Why Do Burning Man Tickets Cost so Much?

$475 seems like a lot to pay for a ticket to go camping in the desert, but there is a ton of effort that goes into organizing this massive event every year. Even though it feels like you’re not getting a lot for your money the ticket sales pay for things like:

  • Special Recreation Permit from the Bureau of Land Management to use the Black Rock Desert (this costs ~$4 million each year)
  • Law enforcement and security for the event
  • Constructing The Man and The Temple
  • Artist grants for many of the other large art installations throughout the playa
  • Port-a-potties (there are ~1,700 port-a-potties at Burning Man that must be emptied and serviced multiple times throughout the event)

2. Read the Rules

Burning Man Preparation: Nowehere Omnibus Art Car

To prepare for your Burning Man adventure, make sure to familiarize yourself with the Terms and Conditions. That way you can ensure you don’t accidentally break any rules.

Even though you probably have visions of drug-addled hippies happily wandering the desert, you should be aware that all laws still apply at Burning Man. Plain-clothed policemen attend the event and if you’re caught with illegal drugs you’ll be fined and kicked out of Burning Man in the best-case scenario. And you may even wind up spending some time in jail.

Drinking and driving are both illegal and extremely dangerous at Burning Man. Plan on staying sober for the drive into Black Rock City, parking your vehicle, and leaving it parked until you leave.

Also, your vehicle will almost certainly be searched when you enter Black Rock City so save yourself a lot of hassle and don’t bring any prohibited items.

Prohibited Items at Burning Man

  • Firearms and other weapons
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Hand-held lasers
  • Animals and plants (no pets!)
  • Glitter or any other material that can easily be scattered by the wind
  • Scooters, ATVs, and motorcycles (unless you’re just riding it to your Burning Man campsite and leaving it there). You are not allowed to drive any gas-powered vehicle on the playa unless you have pre-registered it as a mutant vehicle.

3. Study the 10 Principals of Burning Man

How to Prepare for Burning Man: 10 Principles of Burning Man

It’s also quite important to read and understand the 10 Principles of Burning Man before your arrival. These 10 principles are what should guide your actions during your time in Black Rock City.

The 10 Principles of Burning Man

  • Radical Inclusion
  • Gifting
  • Decommodification
  • Radical Self-Reliance
  • Radical Self-Expression
  • Communal Effort
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Leaving No Trace
  • Participation
  • Immediacy

4. Decide How Long You Want to Attend Burning Man

How to Prepare for Burning Man: How Long to Go to Burning Man

How long do you think you can handle Burner life on the playa? Some people choose to go for the entire week, others just go for the weekend. You’ll want to determine the amount of time to spend at Burning Man to plan for your meals and your water. Also, you need to take the appropriate amount of time off of work. Your entrance ticket gives you access for the entire week.

We went for over a week, from Saturday to the following Monday. I personally found it to be WAY too long. If I ever go to Burning Man again, it will be for no more than four days. Nick, on the other hand, would happily stay in Black Rock City for the entire week.

If you choose to go to Burning Man for the entire week, make sure you’re emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared.

5. Request Time Off from Work

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Request Time Off of Work

How bad would it suck to forget to do this one? Best to be prepared for Burning Man by requesting time off as early as possible. Mark your calendar for Sunday, August 30, 2020, through Monday, September 7, 2020, and put in your vacation request right after you purchase your Burning Man tickets!

Also, don’t forget you’ll need an extra travel day (or two) to get to Burning Man and to get back home after you leave the festival. Traffic both entering and leaving Black Rock City can be horrendous so give yourself plenty of extra time to make the journey.

Most people also try to build in an extra day to recover and adjust back to normal life before returning to work.

6. Decide Whether to a Join Theme Camp

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Black Rock Lighthouse Service

There are hundreds of themed camps at Burning Man of all different sizes and specialties. Many theme camps have been established for years and many of the same people attend the Burn with the same camp each year.

One of the biggest factors that will determine if you have a good time at Burning Man is who you choose to attend the festival with. Deciding if you want to join a camp or not and which camp to join is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in preparing for Burning Man.

If you join a camp you’ll pay a fee directly to the camp (this is in addition to your Burning Man ticket) that will usually cover meals, shade structures, and other amenities that you will need during your stay.

Some of the more luxurious camps operate like all-inclusive resorts, charging members thousands of dollars and providing everything from comfy accommodations to 5-course meals prepared by a private chef. Other camps are just a rag-tag bunch of friends that combine efforts to build a central shade structure and share cooking responsibilities during the week.

Theme camps are generally expected to offer some “gift” to other Burners – it might be yoga classes, a unique cocktail concoction, a DJed dance party, made-to-order espresso, an interactive activity, a service – the list goes on and on. For instance, a camp made up of avid skydivers offers free plane rides to lucky Burners. Our favorite camp had a sink station on wheels with free toothbrushes so you could clean your dusty mouth. Many camps also build art installations at Burning Man for everyone to enjoy or bring elaborate art cars for cruising around the playa.

The best way to join a camp is to get a referral from friends. You can also browse camps on the Burning Man website and inquire electronically. The earlier you message them the better!

Burning Man Theme Camps – Advantages

The benefit of joining a theme camp is that they provide a lot of communal amenities that are difficult to prepare on your own, like large shade tents, comfortable places to lounge around camp, and hearty delicious meals.

Joining a theme camp is also a great way to make some fun new friends. And if you forget to pack something, you have a large community of kind souls to help you out. Plus, theme camps receive priority placement close to the center of Black Rock City so you’ll be closer to the center of the action and won’t have to bike or walk as far during Burning Man.

The final advantage of connecting with a theme camp is that they can tap into their network of members to help you get a Burning Man ticket if you’re unable to purchase one during the main ticket lottery. So if you’re dying to attend Burning Man but are short a ticket, a pricy theme camp might be your only option.

Burning Man Theme Camps – Disadvantages

The biggest downside of joining a camp is that it costs money. And since the tickets to attend Burning Man are already expensive, you can expect to drop a small fortune on this experience. That being said, you won’t have to do your own grocery shopping or purchase materials to build a shade structure so there are some money-saving advantages to offset the cost of your theme camp dues.

The second drawback of joining a camp is that most require you to work – both before the Burn and during. We were part of our camp’s “work crew” which involved several weekends spent setting up all of the shade structures ahead of time to ensure we had all of the right parts.

7. Figure Out How You’re Getting to Burning Man

Burning Man Preparation: How to Get to Burning Man

Burning Man is located in the Black Rock Desert (known as “Black Rock City”) in Nevada. It is often referred to as BRC or just “the playa”. The next step in your Burning Man preparations is figuring out how you’re going to get there.

The easiest way to get to Burning Man is to drive. Logistically, it is the easiest way to get yourself and all of your stuff to the festival but it generally takes the longest. And if you don’t live on the west coast of the USA it may not be feasible.

Gerlach is the closest town to the entrance of BRC and is a good place to fill up on gas, but there isn’t much else there in terms of supplies. If you need any last-minute items then make sure you stock up in Reno before venturing onto Black Rock City.

The closest major city is Reno if you plan to fly. From there, you can rent a car and drive to Black Rock City, or you can buy a ticket on the Burner Express Bus – it provides bus service between Reno and Black Rock City (and to San Francisco if you choose to fly into SFO).

There is also a small airport in Black Rock City itself for small private planes and Burner Express flights – more on that below.

Keep in mind that if you do choose to fly to Burning Man, it will probably be difficult to pack everything that you’ll need. We drove from Oregon and filled up an entire Ford Bronco with essentials and costumes – there is no way we could have gotten everything there in two checked bags!

Can You Fly into Black Rock City?

Shockingly it is possible to book flights from the Reno airport directly to Black Rock City Airport (Airport Code: BRC) using a service called the “Burner Express“. This might be the way to go if you’re short on time and don’t mind spending even more money to attend Burning Man. Keep in mind that on these small charter planes you’re only allowed to bring one small bag that weighs 25lbs or less.

As you’re very limited from a luggage standpoint the only way to feasibly make this work is either to join a Theme Camp that provides your meals and lodging or to have a friend who is driving to Burning Man bring your stuff. Or you could mail everything to Black Rock City (more on that later).

8. Decide Where You’re Going to Sleep at Burning Man

Burning Man Preparation: Black Rock City

An important step in planning and preparing for Burning Man is to determine what kind of lodging you’ll need. In general, there are three options for sleeping at Burning Man – a tent, a yurt, or a motorhome.

When we went to Burning Man we camped in a tent which meant that we spent a week sleeping in dust-covered sheets and it was not enjoyable. So unenjoyable in fact that I insisted we leave midweek to spend one night in a hotel (which was a 2-hour drive away).

We would highly recommend that you opt for a motorhome or a camper van so you are somewhat protected from the elements, but it all depends on your Burning Man budget.

Tent Camping at Burning Man

A tent is, of course, the easiest and most affordable accommodation choice at Burning Man. It is also the least comfortable. If you choose to stay in a tent you should expect everything you bring to be covered in dust at the end of your trip.

It’s best to choose a tent that has little to no mesh. The massive dust storms that are infamous on the playa will blow thousands of dust particles through your tent’s breathable walls. Most Burning Man veterans agree that Kodiak Canvas Tents are the best choice for tent camping in Black Rock City, but they are quite expensive.

You can also improve your tent camping experience by packing all of your belongings in plastic Tupperware containers and bringing an extra fitted sheet to cover your bed and bedding when you’re not in it.

Sleeping in a Yurt at Burning Man

Another extremely popular sleeping arrangement for Burning Man is a futuristic-looking yurt-style structure made from aluminum foil-coated insulation board and typically referred to as a “Hexayurt”.

There are numerous advantages to Hexayurts over tents at Burning Man – they are more dust-proof, tend to stay cooler thanks to their reflective coating, and they hold up better in the windstorms that you’re likely to encounter in Black Rock City.

The downside to a Hexayurt is that you probably don’t have much use for it the other 51 weeks of the year so it will just sit in your garage until next September when you head back to Burning Man.

You can easily find instructions online and build your own Hexayurt, or Reno Hexayurt will sell you a ready-made Hexayurt specifically designed for Burning Man. Shiftpods are a similar concept and are even more lightweight (but much more expensive).

Whether you choose a tent or yurt camping setup, make sure you stake it into the playa with 12-inch rebar. Regular tent stakes won’t be able to handle the wind storms at Black Rock City. You’ll probably return to your camp to find your tent missing or collapsed into a mangled pile of canvas.

Sleeping in a Motorhome at Burning Man

A motorhome is undeniably the most comfortable way to sleep at Burning Man, but it still has its own challenges. Start by reading Burning Man’s official RV guidelines.

You should expect that the inside will be covered in dust when you leave. It helps to cover the vents with tape and try to keep all of the doors and windows closed as much as possible.

Your black water and grey water will need to be disposed of properly and if you want your wastewater tanks emptied on the playa you’ll need to schedule it beforehand (even then sometimes it doesn’t happen). You’ll save yourself some trouble by using your motorhome’s electricity, shower, toilet, and kitchen very sparingly during Burning Man.

Some RV rental companies on the west coast refuse to rent to Burning Man participants and those rental companies that do charge a hefty cleaning fee and maintenance fee. Also, most RV rental units in the vicinity of Black Rock Desert are reserved close to a year ahead of time so if you want to rent a motorhome for Burning Man start planning well in advance!

9. Get a Bike

Preparing for Burning Man: Get a Bike

After your sleeping setup, your bicycle is one of the most important things at Burning Man. The festival is massive and walking around just isn’t practical. By Saturday there are over 70,000 people in Black Rock City making it temporarily the 6th largest city in the state of Nevada!

Like everything else at Burning Man, your bike will get covered in playa dust. The tiny particles will get in the oil on your bike chain and create a gummy mess. And the alkaline dust will slowly corrode any metal it touches. Don’t take a nice, expensive bike to Burning Man. Buy a cheap used bike on Craigslist or at your local thrift store.

Also, the wider the tire on your Burning Man bike, the better. The surface of the playa is hard-packed but you’ll occasionally encounter soft sandy sections as well. Narrow road bike tires dig right into the surface of the playa and are worthless. A cheap mountain bike is your best bet.

The playa is completely flat so gears won’t make a bit of difference – the fewer gears your bike has the better as more gears just mean more moving parts that might break during Burning Man.

Once you have purchased a bike you’ll want to think about styling it up. Radical self-expression is one of the principles of Burning Man and decorating your bike is one great way to express your individuality. It also makes your bike much easier to find when you park it somewhere. And it is less likely someone will mistake it for their own and wander off with it.

And speaking of people wandering off with your bike, buy a lightweight bike lock and always lock your bike at Burning Man. If someone gets confused and accidentally takes your bike instead of their own, there is little to no chance that you will ever see it again. Combination locks are way better than locks with keys – check out our favorite bike lock for Burning Man.

Lighting Your Burning Man Bike

While you trick out your Burning Man bike, you should also think about how you want to light it up at night. A lot of the festival happens after the sun goes down and it’s important that other Burners can see you while you’re biking around.

There is a lot of traffic on the playa at night – thousands of bikers as well as art cars and pedestrian traffic. Making sure you always have a light on your bike lowers the chances of you colliding with someone else in the dark.

LED bike wheel lights, EL Wire, and fairy lights are all popular ways to add some unique illumination to your bike at Burning Man. We personally prefer Luci Lights – they’re solar-powered so they will charge all day and then light up your bike on the playa all night. And you don’t have to worry about carrying extra batteries!

10. Plan Your Meals for Burning Man

Preparing for Burning Man: Plan Your Meals

If you choose not to join a camp, you’ll be on your own to plan and prepare your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for your entire trip.

You should also not plan to survive off the food “gifts” from other campers. Many theme camps gift food and snacks to the community, but it’s not enough to survive on for an entire week. And while no one will let you starve on the playa, showing up and asking for handouts from other campers will not make you popular at Burning Man.

You can make it easy on yourself by bringing a bunch of peanut butter sandwiches, but those will get old fast. Better to plan out easy-to-prepare meals for the week that don’t involve a lot of meat or dairy products as those can be difficult to keep cold.

Buy oatmeal or protein bars for breakfast, sandwich fixings, such as peanut butter or canned tuna for lunch, and curry pastes for dinner. It’s relatively easy to whip up a vegetable curry with curry paste, canned coconut milk, and an assortment of vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and canned beans hold up well at Burning Man). Noodles with canned pasta sauces are also easy to pack and prepare.

If you have meals that require cooking then you’ll need to make sure you have all of the proper kitchen gear – a stove, propane, a lighter, pots and pans, oil, a sharp knife, cutting board, a spatula or cooking spoon, salt/pepper/spices, plates, bowls, and silverware.

Remember to bring plenty of snacks to munch on throughout the day. Nuts, salami, apples, carrots, beef jerky, pretzels, and protein bars are great to have around.

Finally, think about beverages. You’ll need 1.5-2 gallons of water per person per day. Plus, you may want electrolyte-filled beverages to cure your hangover, energy drinks to keep you going, juices for mixers, and plenty of booze.

How to Make Coffee at Burning Man

Finally, if you are someone that needs coffee in the morning, you should absolutely not rely on the coffee they sell at Burning Man. While it’s a great cup of coffee, you’re probably not going to want to bike a half-mile across Black Rock City and stand in line for 20 minutes just to get a cup.

Your best bet for making fresh coffee at Burning Man is either a silicon pour-over coffee filter or a stainless steel French press (glass French presses break too easily). We just take instant coffee to Burning Man. If you bring 3-in-1 coffee packets that have creamer and sugar already included then you won’t have to try and keep milk cold on the playa.

11. Figure out a Shade Structure

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Shade Structure

As mentioned previously, Burning Man is set in the middle of a dry lakebed and it is absolutely scorching in the middle of the day. If you plan to stay in a motorhome then you can relax in your air conditioning when you’re not cruising around the playa on your bicycle. But if you’re tent camping, you’ll need some kind of shade structure because the inside of your tent will be 800 degrees.

One major mistake that Burning Man virgins make is bringing a big plastic tarp to use for their shade structure. These tarps have a tendency to take off like a kite down the playa in the first big wind storm you encounter.

You’ll be much better off with shade netting instead so that the wind can pass through freely. And don’t forget to pack some comfortable inflatable lounge furniture for lazy afternoon naps in the shade. And same as with tents, you’ll need to firmly anchor your shade structure to the playa – 12-inch rebar or lag screws are your best bet.

How to Anchor Things to the Playa

Tents and other structures need to be well-secured to the playa at Burning Man as Black Rock Desert experiences 75mph winds regularly. Tents and shade structures can easily be blown loose which is both dangerous for everyone at Burning Man and often causes significant damage to your tent or shade structure.

12-inch rebar is the most common low-cost way to anchor structures to the playa. There are two downsides to rebar – the first is that it is incredibly hard to get out of the ground when you’re ready to leave. And second is that the sharp ends sticking out of the playa are dangerous for people wandering by in the dark. It’s easy to stab your shin on an exposed bit of rebar.

You can mitigate these two downsides by using 16″ rebar and bending the top 1/4 of each bar of rebar into a “U” shape. This makes the rebar much easier to pull out of the ground and turns the sharp end toward the ground where it’s less dangerous to people walking by.

Another option is to bring brightly colored tennis balls with slits cut in them to slide over the exposed end of each piece of rebar. Your fellow Burners will really appreciate it.

An even better option is to use 12″ lag screws and bring an electric drill to screw them into the playa. Lag screws are much easier to get out of the ground and you can screw them into the point where they are flush with the playa so you don’t have to worry about anyone walking into one.

12. Plan for Dust Storms

Preparing for Burning Man: Goggles for Dust Storms

As mentioned previously, the playa experiences massive dust storms that will cover everything you own in a layer of alkaline powder. And this playa dust is almost impossible to shake off. The best way to keep your clothing and other supplies dust-free is to pack everything in large Tupperware containers. And make sure to keep them closed and sealed.

You’ll want to pack goggles and a bandana to cover your mouth in case you get caught in the middle of a dust storm. It’s best to never leave your campsite without your goggles at Burning Man as dust storms always seem to happen when you least expect them.

We also highly recommend bringing nasal spray because your nose will be filled with bloody boogers every morning from the alkaline dust on the playa.

Also, don’t be fooled into walking around barefoot at Burning Man. Even though the dusty playa feels great on your bare soles, you’ll almost certainly wind up with dry, cracked feet from the alkaline surface. Just wear shoes and you’ll be fine. Or if you choose to go barefoot bring vinegar to soak your feet in at the end of each day.

We would also recommend packing one complete outfit in a ziplock plastic bag for your trip home. Trust us, you’ll be so happy to have one outfit that isn’t filthy, especially if you have to get on a plane or bus immediately after.

13. Make a Packing List

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Packing List

Another important step in planning for Burning Man is to make a packing list of all the things you’ll need to survive the week. If you choose to pay extra to join a camp, they will likely provide shade, food, and other essentials which will lighten your load.

But if you are planning on going to Burning Man on your own you’ll need to make a detailed list of everything you’ll need for the week. This includes camping gear, shade structures, lighting, toiletries, food, cookware, utensils, lounge furniture, water, clothing, costumes, and more. Burning Man has a gifting culture so if you forget something you’ll likely find a kind soul to give you what you need, but best to be as prepared as possible.

If you’re camping you’ll need to list out all of your required camp gear including rebar to keep the tent tethered during a sandstorm, bedding essentials, and shade to keep you protected from the sun in the heat of the day. You’ll also need lighting for the evenings and a table and chairs for cooking and eating. Lounge furniture is nice to have but not required.

You’ll need 1.5-2 gallons of water per person per day for cooking, cleaning, and drinking (more if you’re bringing a solar shower).

You’ll want to plan out all of your meals for the week so you pack all of the food, spices, cooking oil, and pots and pans that you’ll need. Plus a stove, gas, and a lighter for cooking and plates and utensils for eating. Also, a container to collect your greywater and a cooler to keep your food cold. And don’t forget plenty of alcohol for the week!

Of course, you’ll need your styled-up bicycle for getting around Black Rock City. And costumes, boots, a jacket for chilly nights, toiletries, toilet paper, cash, and most importantly, your Burning Man ticket!

Whew, that’s a lot of stuff to remember! Check out our complete Burning Man packing list to ensure that you bring everything you’ll need for a week in the desert!

14. Test Your Gear

Burning Man Preparation: Goggles & Face Mask in a Burning Man Dust Storm

A common mistake that Burners make is failing to test their gear before heading to the playa. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve forgotten one of your poles as you’re pitching your tent with no store around for miles. Or finding a hole in your air mattress.

Be sure to assemble your tent and any other shade structures that you’ll be bringing ahead of time to confirm that all of the parts are accounted for and are in good condition.

You should probably prepare one of your meals ahead of time to make sure you pack all the cookware and utensils you need and that your camp stove works properly

Be sure to bring rebar, a mallet, gloves, and rope to secure everything to the playa. And bring extra duct tape and rope, just in case.

15. Doublecheck Everything

How to Prepare for Burning Man: Art Car at Sunset

Do you have your Burning Man tickets in hand? Plenty of water? Have you checked to make sure all of your gear is in good condition and that all parts are accounted for? Have you planned and prepared your meals? Do you have all of your costumes and a needle and thread in case of a wardrobe malfunction? Have you familiarized yourself with the rules and principles of Burning Man?

If you’ve double-checked everything on this list, you should be well prepared for an epic week at Burning Man!

Did we miss anything? How do you prepare for Burning Man? Let us know your best Burning Man preparation tips below.



  • Valerie Wheatley

    Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag.

    Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her!

    These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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6 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Burning Man: 15 Steps to Plan the Perfect Burn”

  1. Stating folks can come for “the weekend” or that you’ll come for no more than 4 days next time, makes you a “tourist”, which is highly frowned upon. For the “real” experience, you need to come for the ENTIRE week.

    1. Valerie Wheatley

      Thanks for your comment Big J! We actually want to encourage our readers to attend for as long, or short, as they feel comfortable. I’m pretty sure “frowning upon” anyone else’s experience at Burning Man is completely opposite from what is stated in the principles. I’m sure everyone will have a “real” experience no matter how long they stay.

      1. The Principles aren’t Laws, but guidelines that kind of developed on their own out of the event. One of the Principles is “Radical Inclusion: Anyone may be part of Burning Man”, true…. But “Communal Effort”, “Civic Responsibility” and “Participation” are three more of those 10 Principles. And putting real effort in those take much more time then “just a weekend”. On top of that come the Principles of “Radical Self Expression” and “Immediacy”. A lot of people live out their lives without ever finding or taking the time to look into those parts of their existence: these are really though things to do/ experience. IMHO You don’t get that kind of stuff done in “just a weekend”….

  2. Wondering what the real draw is…not just burning the wooden sculptures?
    meeting cool like minded 😎 but usually something has to flow the time at festivals….music? Spiritual experience? What?

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