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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

So, you’re heading to the Playa this year and are eagerly anticipating the coolest, biggest, hottest festival of the year in Black Rock City. Burning Man is unlike any other festival, so make sure you’re prepared for the heat, the camping and the dust storms.

Surviving your first Burning Man really comes down to how well you pack your kit for the week. Don’t skimp on the essentials, even if you’re strapped by luggage restrictions on your flights to Reno. You’ll be happy you didn’t once the festival starts rolling.

Essentials to pack for Burning Man


Camelbaks – You’ve travelled thousands of miles to enjoy a festival in the middle of a desert. Make sure you’re hydrated all the time. A Camelbak is the easiest system to have with you at all times, since it’s hands-free you won’t be bothered by carrying a bottle around with you all the time. You should be drinking a 4-5 litres of water a day.

Spray bottle with water and lemon – The desert heat and dust won’t do your skin any favours. The sand at Black Rock is alkaline so the lemon in the water acts as an acidic. Spray yourself often for natural, portable air conditioning. Plus, it’ll make you smell just lovely! Share the love with other Burners!

Plastic bags – If it does happen to rain during the festival, wrap plastic bags around your shoes. The mud doesn’t stick to the plastic and you’ll keep your shoes clean and dry.

Pack a torch – Plus, extra batteries. There’s little to no light pollution out in the desert so you don’t want to risk bring run over by a cyclist on your way back to your camp.

Goggles, dust masks – For tackling the dust storms, make sure you’ve got two pairs of good goggles in your kit and some dust masks. The dusk is as fine as talcum powder, so it really can get everywhere! Your mask should be fitted with a “particulate-matter” filter.

Good coffee – There’s nothing like a cup of good coffee in the morning and you’ll be the most popular stop on the block if you bring some good grinds.

Baby wipes – Showers are a bit of a waste of time here, since you’ll be dusty again in five minutes. The best way to go is with baby wipes to keep the layers of dust on your skin to a minimum. If you have long hair, get some cornrows before you arrive, or else you’ll be battling with dread locks at the end of it all.

Last but most importantly,

Bring an open mind.

It’s easy to have a lot of preconceived ideas about what Burning Man is, what it’ll be like and how your week will go but the best advice is to pack your bags as best as you can and then just go and experience it all. You’ll have highs and you’ll have lows but it’s all part of it. Participate in workshops and activities, that’s a good place to start if it’s your first time.


For the love of Facebook, right? Have you ever been to Burning Man? What tips would you give first-timers?

Imgs: angeldye, dcmatt / Flickr cc.

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