Burning Man Shopping/Packing Checklist
This is a more thorough version of the burning man survival guide checklist.
Note: Don't bring things that you aren't okay getting very dusty. Most of the dust washes out, but be aware.
Roughly ordered by how frequently you will use them.
Ideally, get some sort of water/hydration pak. This is a solid hydration backpack. This one is specifically recommended as it is a combined hydration pack and backpack in one. This way, you don't need a separate backpack, and can keep all your most used items together. Most hydration packs don't have much storage room. You don't want those. You do not want to have to carry two backpacks. Trust me! The other option is to use a regular backpack and carry 1-2 water bottles (the more the better -- many groups go out at night for 5+ hours without coming back to fill up water. You don't want to have to go back to camp to fill up -- it'll likely take 40+ minutes to go there and back).
Things to have in your backpack
We strongly suggest setting up this backpack before you leave. It is entirely possible that there will be a duststorm while you are waiting to get in at the gate in your car, and so you'll want to have your snacks, visor and dust mask, for example.
Suggestion: Keep some of your warm clothes in your backpack (perhaps just a jacket) in case you go out at night before returning to camp.
Things that you don't need unless your camp doesn't have any
Ice (depending on how much alcohol you personally plan to drink, and bring -- I'm not a big drinker)
Gas for the generator (if your camp has one) -- though consider bringing some extra gas to contribute
Likely not needed
Questions and Tips
Tips and tricks.
Do I need a costume?
It's not a requirement, and perhaps 50% of people do have costumes, and 50% don't. Or maybe 70% don't and 30% do, depending on the time of day. Totally up to you.
Having a great experience: Go with great people!
It's all about the camp! If you are going with a great camp, you will certainly have a great time. If you aren't, you can still have an awesome time, it will just require a bit more effort from you.
Pack your stuff so that it is ready to use as soon as you arrive, if possible.
Take note of the items you will use most frequently, and organize your things around this.
I didn't get a ticket
Ask friends and friends of friends as early as possible to keep an eye out for you.
Assume that you won't get one at the OMG sale.
Avoid paying >$400 on Stubhub.
If you can wait until the absolute last minute (days/a week before), many become available then. But obviously this makes planning difficult.
Where is my camp
Before you get to BM, make sure you memorize/write down the address of your camp.
Consider writing it on your hand before you arrive if you're not with others.
You will likely *not* have cell reception to retrieve it (or anything else, for that matter).
For each address, if you stand in the middle of that intersection, your camp could be on any of the four corners of the intersection.
Do I need a map?
You will be given one when you enter.
What is the toilet situation?
Tons of porta-potties all over burning man.
Not unusably gross, but expectedly not exactly delightfully smelling.
Sometimes they have toilet paper in them, though often they have run out.
Do I really need a utility bucket for burning man?
No, probably not.
What tent stakes do I need for burning man?
10 inch stakes like these are fine.
Any bike advice?
Only bring a bike that you are okay getting extremely dusty.
Suggestion: buy a shitty second hand bike, or get a rental.
Can I use an Ozark Trail tent at burning man?
Yes, but make sure you get a 4-season version or cover the open mesh to protect against dust.
Tips for watching the man burn?
Before watching the man burn, go to the bathroom! It's really difficult to get up and go find the bathroom.
What is a cheap tent for burning man?
For one person, either rent one (make sure you go really early to rent -- the stores in the Bay Area get empty fast), or buy one like this: LINK (it's relatively protected against the dust).
Do I need a tarp?
Only if it looks like it's going to rain the week of your burn, or if you want to use it as a shade structure.
What food should I bring?
Good snack foods include:
Good meals include:
Sharing widely is not needed.
Just think of the one or two people you know who might find this useful.