I highly recommend that you use this Google Sheet version of my
because you can make a copy for yourself, customize, and then check it once when you "stage" the item, and check it off when you "pack" it into your vehicle. Or print and check off with a pencil
Below is the HTML version. Old skool
Trip / Flight / Driving Stuff:
- Burning Man Ticket! (Do a physical check before you leave and place your tickets in the glove compartment or some plave you can find them easily. People have forgotten their tickets in the past)
- Maps / Driving Directions
- Auto Insurance info and roadside assistance numbers
- Extra keys (+ extra alarm clicker thingy - trade extra keys with a friend)
- Cell Phone (charged batteries and car charger)
- 5 Gallon Gas Can - (long lonely stretches of road with no gas stations if you run out)
- Good Spare Tire (check air pressure)/ Tools and Jacks (do they all work?) and Fix-a-flat cans
- Cheap Walkie Talkies for car caravans (Need to use digitals to get them to work at BM - so you can find your own sub-channel).
- Power Supply/jump Starter/Air pump combo - can be used as a power supply (12V and 110AC depending on model) to charge camera batteries, provide light, etc.
- Tents (The taller tents are harder to keep up in the wind – they need to be well secured with guy wire. Tents with large mesh windows are a bad idea because the dust will get in
- RV, Camper Trailer or Cargo Van (if you are a wuss ;-)
- Warm Sleeping Bag! (and Extra Blankets?) and pillow(s)
- Air Mattress (but place a layer of insulation between you and the mattress - memoryfoam matress toppers work really well) or Cot. You lose a lot of body heat through the ground without insulation.
- 4" Memory foam mattress toppers work well
- Foam Ear plugs
- Tarp or old carpet (that goes under the tent)
- LED Lantern (battery operated for inside of tent)
- Propane tent heaters - I have a Coleman ProCat (only needed if you really cannot handle cold weather)
- More useful is a Homer Bucket Swamp Cooler , solar/battery powered fans, or something similar to keep you cool in the morning.
Lag Bolts (12"-18"), washers, and an Impact driver - by far the best way to anchor your tent
- 30" rebar stakes! (I use straight rebar and stick pool noodles over the part that sticks up. A more traditional option is to use rebar with tops "U'd" over for safety but those are really hard to pound into the ground) & small sledge hammer see Playa Tents
- Fluorescent surveyors tape/ribbon (to mark your tent ropes)
- Shade Structure (for the front or better over of your tent /rv - but buy something that can hold up in wind. (Easy-Ups = Easy down!). See Tent Shade and Insulation
- Camp chairs, Lawn Chairs, inflatable furniture, bean bags, hammocks, old couches,
- Folding table - amazingly useful - (for cooking, bar, etc)
- Old carpeting /ground cloth/fake grass - to keep dust down in your living area
- Duct tape, bungee cords, cable ties, work gloves (why ask why?)
- Rope (paracord/550 cord from Army Surplus stores)
- Cook Stove & Gas + BBQ lighters and waterproof matches
- Pots, pans, biodegradable dish soap, scrubby
- Small tub to wash and collect gray water
- Extension Cords and Power Strips (if you are taking a generator)
- Battery operated LED light strands can light up your bike, your Camelback, your hats, your tent (both inside and as a beacon)
- Battery operated radio (for Radio Electra, Radio Free Burningman, etc.)
- Extra batteries
- Bike(s), tire repair kit, tools, air pump, lock, spare tube (see Playa Bike page)
- Bike lights - please make sure you point it down so as to not blind people. Wear lots of glow/blinky stuff to avoid being hit by an art car :-) And remember to decorate your bike!
- Solar LED garden light work well to mark your tent/shade - just make sure you test them and know that they will last all night. And remember to wipe the dust off the solar panel each morning so they'll collect power efficiently
- Small generator or see Desert Power without generators
Food & Drink Stuff
(ALWAYS try and end up with trash that can be burned in burn barrels - or trash that will compress well)
- Water! - bring at least a gallon per person per day (I drink more). Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and will drain moisture from your body so you have to drink more water to compensate.
- Cups and Plates - paper = burnable vs. plastic/metal = reusable – but you have to wash and therefore have to deal with more greywater
- Gatorade or some other electrolyte replenishing drink
- Camelback or large water bottle with strap - see sample contents of a Burning Man Daily Bag
- BYO Cups - many people offer free drinks but ask that you bring your own cup. QT/Circle K Gas station cups with lids work well. Bring a few because you are likely to lose at least one. Label it with your name
- Paper plates and cups for guests (they burn)
- Paper Drink Cartons
- Eating utensils (lexan or metal/lexan (durable) vs. plastic (cheap)
- Disposable wooden chopsticks make excellent utensils (and they burn!)
- Plan every meal - if you do so you won't end up hungry or with a bunch of left-over food
- Vacuum sealed pre-cooked deep frozen foods for re-heating and consumption.
- Snapware is waterproof and re-usable. I use it instead of ziplocks/vacuum sealed food.
- Snack bars, trail mix, dried fruit, jerky, peanut butter
- Dehydrated foods, rice, and something like Tasty Bite packs (optionally with a can of shredded chicken) make a quick and tasty meal.
- Alcohol, as desired.
- Recreational marijuana may be legal in NV, but BM is on BLM/Federal land land, so pot is illegal at BM.
- ICE (Ice at Burning Man is $4.00 a bag or a 6 pack for $24 - updated Summer 2019) BUT there can be moderately long lines so plan ahead.
- Coolers - food packaging, Dry Ice, etc. I use multiple coolers - drinks cooler (opened frequently), food cooler (opened less often) tight seal (tape), Extreme Coolers - see Playa Cooler advice
Toilet, Shower, and Personal Stuff
Clothing and Costume Stuff
- Spare toilet paper (buy the porta-potty safe stuff usually available in RV shops)
- Flip flops (for late night bathroom trips)
- Pee bottle :)
- Mini flashlight or headlamp LED (lasts longer and provides bright even light)
- Sun Shower Bag (the portable solar camping type)
- Propane shower heaters (nice, but they use a lot of water)
- Shower water
- Gray water evap basin (mud issues - water on the playa just turns into mud that stays forever)
- Toiletries Bag - toothbrush / toothpaste / shaving stuff / Soap / Shampoo
- Towels (bring extra because they can get muddy)
- Sunblock + Aloe for post-burn
- Eye drops (and/or contact lens cleaner)
- Saline nasal spray (to flush out your sinuses)
- First Aid kit, Foot care (lotions, salts, mole-skin)
- White vinegar and a shallow tub to wash the alkali rich playa off your feet (50/50 dilution with water)
- Lip moisturizer (buy several with SPF protection)
- Wet Wipes - Baby wipes rock for late night cleanup, pre meals, or just to cool down during the day)
- Condoms, Tampons, Prescription meds, etc.
(No feather boas or things that will break off like big loose sequins - we have to pick up all those teeny little things)
- Keep a clean set of clothing in a ziploc bag for the ride home (consider stopping at a truck stop for a real shower on your way back)
- Hats (The more the merrier: decorative, protection from the sun, and at night for warmth)
- Sunglasses (a couple of pairs - in case one breaks)
- Goggles & Dust Masks - (don't leave home without 'em)
- Skirts, Sarongs, Utlilikilts
- Fishnets, hose, bodysuits (Trails)
- Comfortable (hiking) shoes
- funky shoes (will get dusty/muddy, avoid stiletto heals)
- make-up (body paints, glitter gels) - think shower and playa cleanup
- Coats/cloaks - it can get really cold at night. Faux fur coats rock!
- Rain gear/Poncho (BM 2000 - Freezingman, BM 2014 - the deluge)
- Gloves (decorative and for warmth)
- LED light sticks, battery operated LED Xmas lights, etc to wear and to mark your tent/shade
- Blinky Flashers (battery operated to wear at night)
- El-wire lined clothing
- Battery operated LED light strands can light up your bike wheels, your hats, your Camelback, your tent (both inside and as a beacon)
(Choose based on your sensitivity to dust. Costs vary greatly)
Entertainment & Misc Stuff
- Cut up old t-shirts (or bulk fabric) and bring about 20 masks. Use and toss in your laundy bag. Wet them if in a dust storm
- Neck gaiters are what I use. I have about 20 of them in different colors. Again, use once and toss in the laundry
- Purpose built face masks - like this one work well and look great, but are pricey.
- Heavy duty dust masks with interchangeable filters - see Respirators
- Cameras (dust issues - good cameras can be protected by encasing them in a large Ziploc bags with the lens poking through a hole - and use gaffer's tape to seal the bag around the hole for the lens).
- Cameras with lenses that slide in and out do not do well in the dust.
- Write your name, playa location, and email/mobile phone and take a photo - leave that image on your camera as your first photo)
- If using your phone as your camera, consider writing the above info on a label on the back of your phone.
- Film - keep it cool and dry (<-- I cannot bring myself to take this off the list. It reminds me how long I've been going)
- Musical Instruments. guitars, flutes, baby grand.... (caution - dust and possibly moisture issues if we have rain), Drums (the more the better. Any thing percussion / bells / chimes)
- Gifts (please do not barter - try giving for the pleasure of gifting)
- Art - Sculptures, Totems, Flags, Banners (anything that won't MOOP)
- Sifting screen, shade cloth to sift through ashes for nails and other MOOP
- Big "hefty" garbage bags
- Empty coolers can be used for stinky wet trash (remember to close the drain hole). Clean out with bleach when you return to the matrix
Other Helpful Pages:
Version 8.1 - updated June, 2020
Copyright None - But drop me a note if you find this to be helpful of have suggestions
Email: ruvi (at) azburners (dot) org
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