This is meant to be a fun, and informative article to help fellow burners out with a few preparations before the big haul. By no means is this an extensive list, however this is a helpful start for packing. If you have any additional comments that can add to the experience, please add them.
If you are a Playa Virgin… It is extremely HOT during daylight hours: and it gets COLD at night.
You want to wear as little as possible during the day and a big fur coat with boots at night
There ain’t nothin' out where we’re going – nothing lives out there except 40,000 insane people once a year. So, bring everything you need to live. They only sell ice, lemonade and coffee.
DUST gets everywhere!! Don’t bring anything that you don’t want permanently covered in playa dust
There is no such thing as over-the-top - the more, the bigger, the gaudier, the better! Go nuts and wear the craziest things you can conjure up in your mind. If it can be decorated, then decorate it!!!
If you think you’re too shy to wear something or do something there, wait 2 days and think again…you’ll stop giving a S***!
Toilet paper - the port-a-potties always run out
Lots of lotion or you go home with cracked feet and hands
Moisturizing eye drops
1.5 gallons of water per day per person minimum (this is just for showering, drinking, cooking, etc.)
Flash lights/headlamps/lanterns (for the campsite, your bike, etc.)
EL wire (check out ellumiglow.com – radest B Man illumination site ever!!!!): you can wear it on anything and it’s also great for pimping out your bike at night, It looks cool and saves you from getting run over by the Cheshire Cat art car out on the play at night.
Dust masks (disposable from Home Depot work) and goggles for dust storms. Some people have full-on gas masks.
Baby wipes – you can’t have too many
First aid kit
Rubbermaid/plastic containers: you can pack and keep everything from the dust in these. We have 2 that are the size of trunks
Bring your trade item –your money has no value on the playa (except to buy ice or a cup of coffee or lemonade) You can exchange your trade item for all sorts of stuff…cool blinky things, sexual favors, drugs, hugs, food or whatever your little heart desires. Some trade items I’ve seen:
Face or body pain art
Trash bags – anything you bring in, you have to haul back out
Bungee cords – good for all sorts of stuff
Folding beach chairs and tables
Car a/c adaptors to charge iPods, cameras, Aero Bed inflater or whatever
Rechargeable batteries and battery charger for all your light-up stuff
Cool stuff to decorate your playa camp
Tiki torches, lanterns, solar-powered garden lighting, etc.
Outdoor carpet or turf or even an old used rug is nice to keep the dust down at your site or in your yurt
Power source - generator
Liquid body soap
Shampoo, conditioner (or else you’ll have nappy hair) - I usually have dreads in about 2 days. Had to cut some hair out the first year.
Car port tent and tarps to extend out
We never eat as much as bring…you always end up taking food home or throwing it away so don’t over pack.
You mostly want healthy, easy food that gives you energy and doesn’t require a ton of prep
We usually have family-style dinners a couple nights and for the other’s we will fend for ourselves or be invited to other camps for dinner…
Folding card table or other cooking surface
Grill and camping stove or burner
Antibacterial surface cleaner
Dish washing bucket/tub
Lots of zip lock bags and disposable tupperware
Reusable plastic plates, cups bowls, and utensils (disposable ends up creating more trash to haul out)
Dry seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic salt, oregano anything you plan to cook with
Condiments – mayo, mustard, sirache, ketchup, etc.
Pam cooking spray
Sharp knife and cutting board
French coffee press or just bring canned iced coffees
Shade structure(s)/tents (also bring rebar and a hammer/mallet)
Huge bucket (you can drain cooler water into this in the mornings and dip your feet in to cool off)
Water sprayer bottles
Home Depot garden (for pesticide) mister tank with sprayer
A/C unit and generator
Big Orange extension cords
Umbrella for your bike during the day
Blow-up mattress, memory foam bed topper,etc.
Good blanket(s), sleeping bags for cold nights
Earplugs to block out the noise
Drape whatever you’re sleeping in with tarps or something so the light doesn’t come in in the morning…you will prob go to bed around 7 or 8 am and sleep through part of the day
I-pod and dock station
Old stereo and car sub
Face paint and make-up
Bindi stickers (for body and face)
ElectroLuminescent Wire, glowsticks, etc.
At night you’ll want a coat –big gaudy fake fur coats are the best
Good Will stuff
Old Halloween costumes
You MUST have a bike – just bring an old one and pimp your ride
Bike basket is nice to have