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Thriving, Surviving, and Packing for Burning Man

Fun fact: I’ve been going to Burning Man since 1997, bragging about it since 1998, and designing the Survival Guide since 2011. (Besides the guides, I’ve created calendars, this logo, and also this one.) The Survival Guide is mailed to attendees with their ticket; now that the 2019 tickets have gone out, I can finally share this year’s guide with you.

The challenge each year is to fit in a lot of crucial survival detail, that may not be the sexiest part of BRC, in a finite amount of space. It needs to be visually compelling so people will be compelled to read it, bonus if they keep it as a souvenir. (I’ve found past guides on eBay so I think it’s working.) This year’s theme is “Metamorphoses” and I had lots of fun creating chimera illustrations to accompany the text.

The Guide has a ton of great information about what to expect when you arrive and how to keep yourself in one piece and out of jail, but it only makes some basic recommendations what to bring. Since having what you want/need with you is a big part of being able to enjoy yourself in survival city –  I’m sharing some hard earned dust-knowledge for Packing All The Things. Here is the list I pass around to friends and newbie friends-of-friends. What did I miss?

LEAVING/DRIVING
Ticket
Burnermap (friend’s location)
Parking Pass
Early Arrival Pass
ID/driver’s license
Health insurance card
Auto insurance card
ATM/credit card
Cash
Clothes for ride home (sealed bag)
Phone charger, cords
Instructions for watching your child / pet
Email vacation message

BIKING
Bike
Bike lock
Bike lights
Bike tag
Spare tubes
Bike pump
Comfortable bike seat
Bike Basket
Cocktail Cup
Gifts

DRESSING
Underwear
Socks
Shoes
Flip flops (for camp)
Boots
Accessories
Insoles
PJs
Costumes

FREEZING
Sweaters/sweatshirts
Jackets/coats
Pants
Gloves
Scarves
Hats
Long johns
Warm Socks
Leg and arm warmers
Wigs

SWEATING
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Spray bottle
Hand held fan

COOKING
Bowls / plates
Knives / Forks / Spoons
Cups / Mugs
Paper towels
Dish Soap
Sponge
Dishtowel
Cook stove
Fuel
Cutting Board
Sharp knife
Pot/Pan
Can and bottle opener
Spray cooking oil
Spatula
Wooden Spoon
Frozen water bottles for cooler
Cooler
Tupperware
Ziplock bags
Lighter

EATING
Yogurt
Bacon
Hard boiled eggs
Bread
Crackers
Salty meat
Lox
Tuna
Cheeses
Greens/Veggies
Avos
Fruit (with thick peels last longer)
Instant noodles/soups/miso/ramen
Tasty Bites
Frozen homemade meals
Hummus/Dips
Dried Fruit
String cheese
Jerky
Bars
Cookies / brownies
Chips and salsa
Pretzels, salty crunchy things
Pickles
Olives
Cheesy poofs
Nuts
Sweets
Something indulgent
Your favorite thing
That thing your bestie likes

CAMPING
Tent
Pillows
Blanket/sleeping bag
Sheet
Thermarest/Mattress
Pee bottle
Safety pins
Battery-powered fan
Folding chairs
Folding table
Tent light
Eye Mask
Garbage Bags
Gasoline Container
Plastic Tub for Dishwashing
Rug
Tinfoil/foam insulation for RV windows
Music player/speakers/playlist
Cords/chargers

SURVIVING
Water Bottles/Camelback
Water (gallon per person per day)
Dust mask
Goggles
Earplugs
Bandana
Walkie-talkies
Carabiner
Watch
To-go cup or mug
Batteries, AA, AAA, _____
Headlamps (extra batteries)
Camera
Camera battery and charger
Camera memory card
Tripod
Pen and paper
Electrolyte chews
Energy Bars
Energy Drinks
Extension Cords
Powerstrip
Lip Balm (tons)
Mints/Gum
Spray Bottle
Belt with pockets
Adhesive Velcro
Xmas lights, camp decor
Rebar/something to cover ends
Sharpies
Stash
White board and markers so folks can leave you messages

HYGIENE
Soap
Shampoo / Conditioner
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Sunscreen – high SPF
Contacts and supplies
1-ply toilet paper
Towel
Wet wipes
Face wash
Face wipes
Floss
Brush / comb
Hairties
Face lotion w/ SPF
Body lotion
Moisturizer
Face mist
Body Oil
Nail clippers / file / polish
Pee funnel
Prescription Meds
Sleep Meds
Aspirin
Vinegar / witch hazel to de-playa
Razor & shaving cream
Deodorant
Makeup
False Eyelashes & eyelash glue
Clown nose & glue
Makeup remover & cotton swabs
Tweezers
Birth control, condoms
Lube
Sex toys
Tampons
Saline nasal spray (Ocean)
Bandaids
Blister Bandaids
Antibacterial ointment
Solar Shower
Nail brush (for peeling cuticles)
Neti Pot

FIXING
Work gloves
Mesh laundry bag
Multi-tool
Zip Ties
Hammer
Mallet
Duct Tape
Gorilla Tape
Scissors
Clamp Wrench (remove rebar, fixes bikes, etc.)

DRINKING
Booze
Juices (frozen, plastic bottles)
Coconut water
Gatorade
Electrolyte powder
Milk/soymilk
Tea
Coffee/coffee maker /sweetener/milk stuff

DON’T FORGET

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