I’ve been to Burning Man 3 occasions: right here's what you must know if it’s your first time in 2022

I’ve been to Burning Man thrice (2017, ‘18 and ‘19) and every go to has featured among the most magical, stunning, mind-blowing and concurrently difficult experiences of my life. There actually is not any place like “the playa” (what attendees name the dried-out lakebed the place the occasion takes place).

First began in 1986 with 10 folks burning an eight-foot wood man on San Francisco’s Baker Seaside, Burning Man is now a large artwork and music occasion attended by some 80,000 folks yearly in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert round Labor Day (August 28 to September 5 this time round). “Burning Man was once cool,” is one thing folks have mentioned for many years, however I’m right here to let you know it’s nonetheless unquestionably cool.

However Burning Man isn’t an occasion you simply spontaneously resolve to go to at least one weekend after which journey to the subsequent. You’ll want a ticket, which you in all probability ought to have by now for 2022 because it sells out nearly immediately yearly, and sufficient provides to outlive the week. All this prices some huge cash — the $575 + taxes and charges ticket is only the start once you consider getting there, lodging and different provides. However coming from somebody who’s been and will definitely go once more, Burning is 100% value it. 

Listed below are some tricks to get you ready for Burning Man 2022. 

An artwork construction on the Playa of the Burning Man Pageant © Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The San Francisco Chronicle / Getty

1. Don’t anticipate to be glamping

Flying into Burning Man and staying in a elaborate RV with gourmand meals isn’t solely frowned upon, the group has lately banned pre-paid RV or trailer deliveries and has beforehand booted some “plug and play” camps that present every thing for a usually-high payment. So anticipate to tough it not less than a bit. 

Whether or not which means staying in an RV or in a tent is as much as you. I’ve achieved each. An RV is certainly extra comfy, however they’re costly and leases get booked up shortly. If you happen to’re going to sleep in a tent, be sure you have deep stakes as they do blow away in mud storms.

2. It’s a gifting tradition

I can’t rely the variety of occasions individuals who haven’t been to Burning Man have instructed me (incorrectly) that it’s a bartering society. You gained’t be required to flash somebody for a beer or give a sticker to see Diplo DJing on an art car.

Burning Man works on the premise that everybody is a participant — no artist or creator is on a special stage than anybody else. Some take part by creating artwork, delivering oven-baked pizza at 3am (I’ve seen it), providing airplane rides or spraying you with lavender water. 

If you happen to’re going to take part by giving presents to others, don’t create pointless waste that’ll instantly go within the trash.

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A firey performance at The Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada
A firey efficiency at The Burning Man Pageant within the Black Rock Desert of Nevada © Carlos Avila Gonzalez / San Francisco Chronicle / Getty

3. Be part of a camp

A good way to take part is by becoming a member of a camp. There are camps for just about something and every thing. As an example, my camp, Electrical Cheese Land, does cheese occasions like Swiss raclette with yodeling within the background. Others maintain stay concert events, give free showers or pour limitless booze in Western-style bars (deliver a reusable cup with a lid for those who want to partake). In a day you may go from getting a portrait of your genitals to taking part in in a hockey match to grabbing poutine at midnight — something goes!

Whereas it’s attainable to go rogue and arrange your tent behind town limits, becoming a member of a camp will give you group proper off the bat (everybody who has been to Burning Man loves seeing it once more by means of a first-timer’s eyes). It’ll additionally show you how to get tickets sooner or later since camps in good standing (which means they stored their space clear and contributed to the occasion) are allotted direct group-sale passes the next 12 months. 

4. The playa gives (every thing however water)

One factor that individuals nearly by no means reward is water — you might be anticipated to deliver your personal. “Radical Self-reliance” is likely one of the most vital of Burning Man’s 10 Principles, so pack 1.5 gallons of consuming water per day (extra for those who plan to bathe). At all times take a bottle or hydration pack with you everytime you go away camp. Electrolyte drinks like coconut water or Gatorade powder blended in a jug of water also can show you how to keep hydrated. Because the outdated Burning Man saying goes: “piss clear.”

5. You should have mud in curious locations

Sand within the Black Rock Desert isn’t the identical as you’ll discover on the seashore. It’s alkaline mud that sticks to something and will get into each crack and crevice. The one technique to get it off is with fierce scrubbing or vinegar, and showers are few and much between throughout your week at Burning Man. 

So care for your pores and skin. Good chapstick and sunscreen with excessive SPF are musts, and a few deliver eyedrops for his or her eyes (particularly those that put on contact lenses) and important oils or salve to treatment a dry nostril and cuticles. 

Goggles and face masks or bandanas additionally assist shield you throughout inevitable mud storms and at all times put on closed-toe boots or sneakers — naked toes can result in painful playa foot rashes.

6. You want a motorbike

Burning Man is manner larger than most individuals assume — it’d seemingly take you hours to stroll out of your camp to the outer limits “deep playa,” particularly if you wish to climb on or work together with all of the jaw-dropping paintings.

Hire or deliver a motorbike (ideally one with thicker tires) and take it out with you. Additionally, use a mix lock as folks do steal bikes.

Flames shooting from a mutant vehicle at Burning Man
Flames capturing from a mutant automobile at Burning Man © lukas bischoff / Alamy

7. Mild up your life

The playa at night time looks like a online game on the moon — tens of hundreds of individuals biking round, mutant vehicles spewing fireplace and music blasting from each path. Don’t be a “darkwad,” Burning Man converse for folks with out lights, so deliver a number of LED lights and EL wire and put them throughout your outfits, bag and bike. 

8. Categorical your self

You could be whoever you need at Burning Man, so deliver garments that you simply really feel specific your finest self. This may very well be a neon wig, sparkly captain’s coat or sorcerer’s hat — once more, something goes at Burning Man. Simply make sure you deliver numerous outfits, together with hotter garments for cooler nights — fuzzy onesies are excellent since you may slip them off when the solar comes up. Keep away from glitter, unfastened sequins and feathers as they are going to fall off, creating MOOP (matter misplaced) referring to rubbish on the playa.

Have to refresh your wardrobe whereas on the playa? Camps like Kostume Kult reward outfits.

9. Glide

As you enter the occasion, you can be handed a booklet with occasions taking place all through the week — every thing from salsa lessons to free ice cream to seminars about polyamory and BDSM. It’s tempting to need to plan out your week, however you must also go away loads of time for spontaneity. Exploring (particularly by yourself!) is when the magic occurs and can make for the perfect reminiscences.

10. Catch a dawn set

You’ll by no means do or see every thing at Burning Man regardless of how laborious you strive, however you must positively see a dawn set not less than as soon as. I as soon as spent the night time dancing on the playa and watched a man sing a rousing rendition of “Hallelujah” on prime of a yellow submarine whereas the solar got here up, and it might need been the perfect second of my life. 

On mornings I need to see the dawn, I wish to have a late nap after dinner when it’s cooler and set my alarm to get up round 11 pm. 

11. Give your telephone a relaxation

There’s no cell reception or Web on the playa, so don’t anticipate to replace your loved ones daily or test the information. Benefit from the break from the “default” world.

Talking of your telephone, don’t take photos of every thing. The mud will diminish the standard, and a few folks don’t need their picture shared on-line. If you happen to do take images of particular folks, ask permission first.

Riding into the desert sunset at Burning Man
Driving into the desert sundown at Burning Man © 4FR / Getty Pictures

12. Don’t smoke weed in public and go straightforward on the booze

Whereas hashish is authorized in Nevada, it’s prohibited at Burning Man for the reason that occasion takes place on federal land. There are undercover cops dressed as partiers who can kick you out.

And maybe don’t deliver bottles upon bottles of booze for your self. If you happen to plan to drink, there are many camps distributing free alcohol. Apart from, for those who drink an excessive amount of, you threat getting dehydrated.

13. Plan for a meltdown

Even for those who keep sober, the warmth, mud and fixed socializing shall be taxing in your physique and thoughts, often leading to a meltdown round Tuesday or Wednesday for those who keep the entire week. I’ve seen many a tear and shed my fair proportion, so when these difficult emotions inevitably come up, hydrate and take some quiet time at your camp (or in a chiller one if yours is blasting music).

In case your meltdown occurs whereas on medicine or psychedelics, the Zendo Project gives a comforting surroundings with professionals who know the right way to help you in letting it cross.

14. Go away a reminiscence within the temple

On the final night time, silence sweeps over the playa when the giant Temple is burned down, marking the tip of the occasion. The Temple is solemn and spiritual for lots of people, no matter their faith or religion, and visiting it earlier than it burns down is a particular facet of the occasion.

If in case you have somebody or one thing to commemorate, deliver a photograph or write a be aware and go away it on the Temple partitions.

Don’t toss your beer cans or meals wrappers within the mud anticipating somebody to select them up. You can be judged. Burning Man is a privilege and won’t proceed if the playa can’t be stored the way in which it’s earlier than the occasion takes place yearly, so deliver out every thing you herald and eliminate it correctly. Right here’s a list of places to throw our trash after the occasion.

For extra specifics on what to do and produce, learn Burning Man’s official Survival Guide.

Probably the most spectacular pageant you’ve got by no means heard of