BEND OVER AND TAKE IT - Zoe's Guide to Burning Man
Hello VIRGINS! Bet it’s been a long time since someone wrote that to you huh!
This is Zoe, your trusty camp Dictator, here to guide you through what you may need at Burning Man Summer camp.
Well, let's start here. You will do it wrong, and it doesn't matter. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for what will happen. But if you stay organized, and you follow these rules, maybe, just maybe you’ll survive to see the rosy fingers of dawn once more.
So we’re going to start with the most problematic part for most of the tight young virgin holes that are getting ready to head into the burn...that’s you guys again, i know its been awhile since people said this to you…
I’m going to start with a concept here before we get into the nitty gritty of the actual items:
Burning Man Fashion - do not stress about this too much
My guess is you will end up wearing the same outfit for three days straight until the juices from your party holes combines with the magical dust (which is technically the same thing as battery acid) and it starts to literally disintegrate whatever outfit you decided in a fit of panic was the right one to wear when you were high as a lonely helium balloon that a sad kid let slip through his grubby little fingers and now it's wandering aimlessly about the sky, getting higher and higher until until it bursts or kills birds or whatever it is balloons do when they escape into the sky.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU WEAR FASHION WISE.
LET ME BE CRYSTAL CLEAR - comfort and ability to adapt to extreme weather changes is the name of the game.
Ladies, leave your stupid platform shoes at HOME. No matter how hot you look, you'll be surrounded by mountain cheeked alien women with eyes so large you think it was possible they are actually half human half lemur with breasts so well shaped and bouncy that they literally disprove most of Newton's laws of gravity...dressed in Mad Max strips of "fabric" (my mother calls them "tatters") that bravely try to cover up the cervix and nipples of the cacophony of supermodels that descend from their thrones on Mount Olympus to frolic among the mere mortals. Don’t try to compete with them. They’re not real. They can be some of the Burn’s greatest art.
Never fear, they aren’t having fun anyway. Most likely they are staying in some Russian oil dudes camp as basically hired help. Their feet are killing them and they are always looking for their lipgloss.
So, my point is being hot is great, but there will always be someone hotter and with a cooler outfit, so focus on your sparkly personality, and just let it go
Burning man is not a fashion show. (I mean it totally is, but i don't want new people obsessing).
That being said, I expect ALL OF YOU TO SHOW is UP LOOKING AMAZING.
But comfortable and relaxed. Please try to figure out what you're going to wear and put each outfit into its own plastic bag and label it so you can just grab it and go.
OK. SO LETS BEGIN.
These are the CORE ITEMS YOU NEED NO QUESTIONS ASKED DO NOT LEAVE THESE AT HOME OR I WILL PUT YOU IN BURNING MAN JAIL AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE IT'S just a holding place before they take you to Reno state jail...which is NOT ON BRAND FOR YOU. You are some soft as fuck city dwelling hipster creative type with only apple products and strong feelings about the kind of milk that goes in your coffee. You do not want to see what meth face is. FOLLOW THE RULES.
This should have a hood, be oversized and be made of fake fur or real fur if you're a terrible person totally fine.
EL WIRE LIGHTS AND LIGHT ACCESSORIES
Which should be sewn or secured in your jacket and maybe hat before burning man. I don't want any of your virgin assholes turning into BM roadkill. LIGHT THE FUCK UP. You better turn into the Christmas tree I always wanted but never got. TWINKLE TWINKLE BITCH
CAMEL BACK OR LARGE NALGENE
I cannot stress this enough, as long as you drink water, you'll be fine there. You can take all the drugs in the world, but that place will dry your ass out faster than a man getting you tickets to a Dave Matthews show.
Just get ski goggles they are great there. OR have very large oversized sunglasses that are a shield shape. I would attach sunglasses holders to them you will lose them, they will fall off, just do it. Do you like your retinas? Cool. GET GOOD EYE PROTECTION.
SCARVES & DUST MASKS
To go over your mouth or face mask if you use them. I rarely can be bothered to wear the things, but if you must get a good 3m painters mask and then you'll wrap half your face in a scarf to bike because shit gets cray. You do not need those dystopian double super loser masks. Get something easy small that blocks fumes. Portable and light, is the name of the game.
Ordered from Walmart assembled. I like beach cruisers, some people like to have breaks and gears, whatever you fancy, YOUR BIKE IS YOUR LIFE. Put a Tile on that shit. Some well meaning hippie that gets confused about what time is, will steal it by accident. LOCK IT UP. EVERY FUCKING TIME. Locks keep honest burners, FROM STEALING YOUR BIKE.
Chose carefully. Get the more expensive model. Do not be cheap about this. Get the good shit. You may want to get another seat for your bike. You're riding A LOT.
Baskets are very very good to have on your bike. You also need to light that shit up. They sell things that go in the spokes that make cool designs, but bring things to light up that shit with you and a light for the front to project out when you're riding at night.
BRING A BIKE LOCK FROM HOME people always forget to and Walmart is always sold out and then you will be fucked in your duck dummy vaj, cuz THIEVES.
Walkie Talkies are amazing, if you’re smart enough to all get on the right channel. You’re probably not. Fuck the walkies.
Cover anything you love in tiles. tape one to your phone, tape one to your body. Put them on your keys. EVERYTHING GETS LOST THERE.
GET UP IN THE GYM AND START WORKING ON YOUR FITNESS
Start working out NOW Go to spin class. get your cardio up. This is an Iron man baby, show up ready to ride. Smokers, chill on the chain smoking you need your lungs in good shape. Your body is going to war with elements it was never supposed to live in. If you’re reading this, you’re most likely part HEEB and have inbred fiddler on the roof blood that doesn't clot and you most likely have things like asthma or allergies to peanuts. Bring first aid stuff. We will go over this later.
STOP PARTYING NOW
Do not touch booze or drugs from today until the 24th and then it's a fucking free for all. Rest. Rest. Rest. Start drinking 3x the normal water you usually do. Stay away from charismatic friends with a penchant for late night dinners with a bottle of wine each and then a number to call to keep the party going. Burning man IS THE GREATEST PARTY OF ALL TIME. Don't waste your time on the basic shit. Just say no to the Ho.
A playa gift is something small you give to people you meet that you like. Can be anything. This year I'm giving out 150 American flag bandanas from willie nelson’s last tour with his face on them. Don’t be cheap. Bring something to share. It’s kindergarten bitch, and it’s FUN. Do not get cheap stuff at Walmart and add more garbage, make them priceless please, or try to be more organized next year.
The desert has four to six separate temperatures every day. You will be warm sweating then happy and then freezing and you can never really get adjusted. Layer. Day time is bathing suits, rompers, light, I would stay away from black because from 12 - 4 pm is molten lava hot. Then some years it's so cold I’m surprised penguins aren’t guarding eggs next to me, and some years it's so warm you don't need anything and I’m like FUCK WHY DID I BRING ALL THOSE WARM THINGS I HAD MORE ROOM FOR LIGHT UP SWORDS. You never know. Whatever you don’t bring you will need, that’s the fun game playa plays with you. SO BRING IT ALL.
Whatever you wear, they better be broken in and they better be good for dancing. Get FANCY HIKER SOCKS. Or just padded cushioned ones cuz you're doing 20 x the amount of physical movement and your feet need to be treated like a tiny Nepalese child that has picked the same prayer beads as Buddha. In case you don’t understand what that means because you need to READ BOOKS MORE, it means: THAT SHIT IS SACRED YO. You fuck you feet. You fucked. Simple as that.
COVER YOUR SHIT
Even though it's hot, you do not want to leave your skin exposed, Get flowing light fabric cover ups to protect your skin. Every year I leave looking like a baby pig on a spit roast. Sunblock is good, but it won't save you. COVER IT UP.
I would bring a camera and leave your phone at the RV. You will lose your phone, and probably you'll get it back, but really try to disconnect. There used to be Zero signal, and it was amazing phones work off and on but not really, but it's enough that people become obsessed with finding friends or whatever just put that shit away. FUCK THE PHONES THEY RUIN BURNING MAN, (and everything).
BRING HALF THE AMOUNT OF STUFF YOU PUT IN YOUR SUITCASE
Go through your suitcase and you better be wearing every single thing you're bringing. Be thoughtful. Be organized. Pack in cubes, keep things together. The more organized you can be when you get to Playa the better because the moment you get there everything is so hard. Check the batteries you need for things. See if there's special tools you need to build some of the stuff you're bringing. Just do everything ahead of time, take the packaging off stuff, do not bring garbage in with you.
Get a bunch of different sized plastic bags Ziplock bags or for those more earth conscious reusable ones whatever and put everything of value electronics what have you in bags and have all your clean clothes in SEALED bags or they will get dust all over them. Nothing is safe from the dust.
Do not bring your entire medicine cabinet.
Sunblock. Get the reef safe shit and get the stuff without the cancer toxins. there's only like three of them. Spray is the only way.
SLEEPING PILLS. Get all the Ambien you can possibly find or Melatonin (but really when you need to be knocked out turn to mother's little helper) Sleeping at burning man is literally impossible even when you're sober. It's loud, it's weird, you're surrounded by people looking for their nipple pasty it's a nightmare.
Get amazing ear plugs, - it's loud loud loud loud loud
Throat things - you will lose your voice.
Chapstick with sun protection SUPER IMPORTANT. I duct tape mine to a lanyard with a retractable coil on it and have it on me at all times.
Every night you need at some point to take your feet out wipe them down completely and cover them in lotion. There is a dreaded thing called “Playa foot” I am not joking and it’s even less pleasant than it sounds. The dust can do terrible things to your skin if you don’t just wipe down and take care.
There are many full service hospitals at burning man and planes that can take people out at an instant so don’t worry you should be fine. But look both ways, there may be a large converse shoe full of clowns going 20 MPH about to squish you at any time. I ran over someone once at night in my golf cart cuz they weren’t lit up, they were fine, and in the court of burning man law, THAT IS THEIR FAULT. LIGHT UP.
Baby wipes. Do not buy the industrial size. Get normal size, you don’t need that many. Your dirty ass will use like 30 max while you’re there. You CANNOT put these in the portaloos you need to pack these out with you, bring a ziplock for these.
In some weird places 3g works, mostly for Verizon phones. But FUCK THE PHONES. Put an away message and just be there. Work will always be there.
Bring at least 250 in 20’s. Just in case. You need it to pay for RV waste dumping, water refills, and no one in Gerlach takes credit cards.
Its very difficult to fuck at the burn. So don't even worry about it. But dudes if you're trying to go to bone town and you've got issues with manhood on drugs...you're in trouble. Just focus on yourself.
Ladies. Apple cider vinegar is your Vaginas friend. Bring it.
If you're bleeding - you're fucked. It sucks. Good luck. I could give you options here but any way you spin the dreidel it’s gonna land on the one where your brother gets all your chocolate gold.
Take it SLOW. Less is more here. Get your bearings. Learn the maps. Get the system. Find your nearest hospital. Understand your section, make visual cues like the Dragon with a dildo horn is facing the man which means my camp is two blocks to the left. You'll get it when you're there. Bring enough drugs that you'll never run out and the possibility that your friends will steal them all.
Side note, if I had one wish it would be that Burning Man would be coke free. I know that won't happen but let me give you some advice. You want to be on drugs that make your heart and mind as open as humanly possible. You also don't want to be taking drugs you have to take constantly because there are VERY REAL POLICE THERE trying to catch you. Pot smokers and power snorters get picked up all the time. DO NOT DO DRUGS OUT IN THE OPEN. You used to be able to do that, not anymore. Be careful, look around, don't be a jackass. Not even your mother will leave burning man to get you out of jail. TRUST ME.
Also it’s not a good idea to snort stuff at burning man. Your poor nose is so fragile there, with the constant dust. If you’re going to do powders, the best move would be to dissolve it in water and put it in a clean Nasal Saline Sprayer. Still effective but more gentle on your snoz.
Coke or no coke, bring the best NOSE SPRAY you can find. You will be blowing dinosaur fossils out of your nose with or without drugs. Take care of your party holes. They are your friend, and when you ignore them, they ruin your party.
ALSO. DO NOT think that burning man is ONLY for people who like drugs. If you’re sober or recovering, there are many many meetings in Playa you can attend and sober spaces. If you just get high on light naturally GOOD FOR YOU. I mean that. Lucky. You don’t need to worry you’re going to have the BEST TIME.
Get to know this word. This is a big deal at burning man. Do not leave garbage or cigarette butts anywhere. People will tar and feather you. If you're a smoker design a little box to keep your ashes and butts. Do not wear small feathers that will fall out. Leave no trace is a real thing…I mean at least on Playa once people leave it's like the worst environmental disaster of all time and totally hypocritical. If you want a burning man gold star you will donate your extra gear and food at the gate to the tear down volunteers. Really try not to just be some first world dick head who puts all their “leave no trace” stuff at the local dump. Be thoughtful, clean up after yourself for fucks sake, you’re probably 33.
It turns out glitter is really bad not just for fish and the world but for your lungs. OH YEAH, and also it’s MOOPY AS FUCK. I know we’re all glitter addicts at heart, but FUCK THE GLITTER
Do not bring all this crazy food with you. You'll be fine. People always always always over buy and over pack. Don't do that. It's wasteful and stupid. Get some back up protein bars and some trail mix and shut the fuck up about food. I'm sure you could lose some weight anyway. Most people in this world get one meal a day. I don't want to hear people bitching about food stuff. Deal. If you want meals, buy prepared meals you can microwave. Eggs. Bacon. Cereal. YOU WILL NOT BE COOKING. I bring an IV full of charisma and I just feed off that for a week. Listen to Kate Moss. She’s smart.
Beer is not water. Also, some camps want you to have an actual ID with you to get booze. Some will accept a paper copy taped to your cup. I never bring anything cuz duh I lose everything there so I mostly stick to water. Side note, I recently discovered that Patron makes an espresso tequila THAT IS AMAZING. Just bring a couple bottles of that, you’ll be fine.
If you’re smart. You will not fall into the Robot heart, Mayan Warrior, after party night time music scene swirling whirlpool of death. These camps are great and fun and whatever, but it’s just a circle jerk of super loaded rich kids and there is very little connection and the REAL magic of burning man is going off on adventures, exploring the art, getting involved with the daytime workshops and local comedy that is EVERYWHERE. Try to be up during the day. Get rest at night.
Here is a good schedule:
Try to get on a sleep cycle if you can. You don’t need to sleep more than 4 hours. But you will be so happy if you do.
First day and half/2 days: you have no chance of sleeping. Not a chance. You’ll be so buzzed on all levels and all your synapses will be firing at once.
The right time to sleep are the following
1:30- 5 pm. Hottest time of day
3 am - 5 am. Coldest darkest most druggy music part of day
BE AWAKE DURING SUNRISE AND SUNSET.
They are amazing. They are magic. Do not miss this.
The whole place comes alive when the sun pokes its head out of the mountains and when she finally goes back to bed.
DO NOT FUCK UP AND RAVE TO THE GRAVE.
You will regret it and miss the ABSOLUTE MAGIC OF THE MORNING.
ODDS AND ENDS
I always bring a notebook to write down addresses and events and a pen that's attached.
I always make business cards to give out, make them funny. Burning man is the best place in the world to manifest the people you need to build your dreams. If you have a project or business you're launching spend some time imagining that you run into the perfect person who will help you do the thing you need. If you want to find a psychedelic love partner, THIS IS LITERALLY 3d Apocalypse now tinder. There is no better place to fall in love. Clean out your emotional baggage. (Stop talking to that ex that sucks your dick perfectly but BOY DOES SHE GET mad, and jealous easily) Get rid of old relationship stuff in your house. Open your whole body up to the chance you could meet people, friends or cosmic love you're looking for. IT WILL HAPPEN.
You need a cup, and make it fun. Decorate it, bedazzle it whatever it needs to have a way to clip onto a carabiner so you can attach it to stuff. All bars need you to have a cup.
Leave all your expensive stuff at home. I mean this.Watches jewelry, laptops if you can, it's just easier.
People in RV’s bring your own pillows and sheets and a towel (a camping one that absorbs water well) theirs suck.
THERE ARE FAKE TICKETS AND SCAMMERS!!! Please please please for the love of god check the burning man website voided section of tickets if you are buying from a non burning man affiliated source. Scammers are a recent and very vicious new thing to deal with. Make SURE the number at the bottom of your ticket is not listed on the voided ticket section because they WILL NOT LET YOU IN.
Forget about them. Don’t make plans. They don’t work. Try to get peoples camp coordinates ahead of time and print/write in on a burning man map you can keep in your pocket. Joee is making one for you as you speak. AREN’T YOU LUCKY?
You can cycle around where maybe your friends may be living, but don’t focus on it. You have the whole year to see them, go MEET NEW PEOPLE. Plus, your best friend will ditch you in two seconds at the burn. It is what it is. You don’t need them, you’ll find them when you really need them.
It is a fool's errand to try to seek out friends. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE is following some other idiot on their mission to find a friend. This “friend” is probably lost in a Life sized TREX curled up thick as thieves with some new love interest wondering how it’s possible to fall in love so quickly, only to lose them while in a dust storm while biking 1 hour later and then they’ll spend the next three days searching from after party after party trying to glimpse their love mirage again. It’s very sad. It’ll happen to you, it’s happened to me, it’s fine.
Listen. You’re going to be lost. SO SO SO SO LOST. Aren’t you lucky? You paid all this money to come all this way to this controlled shit show so enjoy being lost. Go with the flow. If someone asks you if you want to do something, do it. Get the guide and USE IT. There are amazing classes and lectures and activities every day. This is real life pervert summer camp. GET INVOLVED. Jump on trampolines, swing on swings, paint cow skulls, learn about bondage, get weird, stay curious, don’t take your bad moods out on others.
RADICAL SELF RELIANCE.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Do some venturing on your own. It can feel scary to be on your own, but it’s really important. This is a place for you to grow, learn and discover things about who you REALLY are. You will get out of burning man what you put into it. How much you share, collaborate, participate, will be rewarded. There is a karma to the burn, it can be VERY harsh or incredibly rewarding, choose your own adventure.
WHO IS LARRY?
Larry Harvey is the man, the myth, the legend that made all of this possible. He died last year, leaving behind him a global community of devoted Burning Man participants inspired by his vision to build a more creative, cooperative, and generous world. He was seventy years old. Get to know burning man’s roots. Read articles about how it was founded and why. Respect the dedication and genius that is going to allow you, some clueless, lowly caterpillar to blossom into the Blue Morpho butterfly you were always meant to be.
Read the Cacophony Society and just get fucking involved. There is far more at play in terms of societal revolution than you know. Burning man IS NOT JUST A DRUG FEST OF PARTY ADDICTS - it is a symphony of artists, creators and rebels who are here to say no to the prison that culture and religion and capitalization has tried to erect around us all. PAY YOUR FUCKING RESPECTS TO LARRY.
There is a lost and found inside Center camp (the place you can buy coffee and ice) and they are the most organized place I have ever seen. If you lose something, give it a day, and venture over to them, one it’s fun, and two they probably have your things. I’ve had 3 phones returned to me. Once a guy lost his jet pack. HIS FUCKING JET PACK. They had it.
I leave you with my four principles that I tell every virgin:
Safety Last - Fun First
Fire is hot
The man burns in…..FUCK THAT…..THE MAN IS ALWAYS BURNING IN YOUR HEART.
PS: Decompression instructions coming soon - SO YOU’RE BACK IN THE DEFAULT WORLD - HOLY SHIT FUCK NOW WHAT.