Get Ready for Burning Man: The Ultimate Guide

Get Ready for Burning Man: The Ultimate Guide

Burning Man… one of the most sought-after events for those looking to step into a ‘decommodified’ space that values and enhances who you are, not what you have. Referred to as a temporary city, this intense immersion into art, love, music and spirituality, awakens your soul and gives you the opportunity to become the creativity you seek. Aside from this blog, do your research on ways you can participate in Burning Man, as community participation is a major focal point of this epic gathering.

Wandering or biking around the 7-square mile desert grounds will take you through art workshops, fire performances, freshly made food, and maybe even a ball pit inside a pink school bus. The creativity exuded from this event is guaranteed to change your life forever. That being said, there is a lot to prepare before you embark on this week-long journey to the desert.

Arrival Transportation

If you’re flying into Reno, there will be a greeters table set up to help you organize ride shares and will have information on shuttles to take you back to Reno after the event. On Burning Man’s website, you are also able to request a ride form or offer a ride to others, both of which can significantly reduce traffic. As there are roughly 65,000 attendees, there are only so many vehicles that can be pumped down a hundred mile two-lane road to the playa. Once you’ve reached the entrance to the little town of Gerlach from the I-80, this will be your last chance to get gas or supplies before the desert – stock up!

Tune into BMIR (Burning Man Information Radio) for your last miles into the long line awaiting your entrance into Black Rock City, it’s fun to listen to and is sure to keep your excitement up as you wait upwards of 6 hours to get to your site. Once you’ve touched the terrain of what feels like another planet, you’re at the end – and the beginning – of your journey to Burning Man.


Burning Style

So you’ve decided to become a Burner.. it can be a bit overwhelming to suit up for the event given the weather conditions, iconic burning man style, and your comfort for 7 days in the desert. This is your chance to express yourself through art and fashion, however, there are a few rules to keep in mind as this is a ‘leave no trace’ event. Given that rule, accessories or clothing that could fall of your body is a no-go starting with glitter, gems, or feathers. Anything that you are SURE won’t break off into the natural environment is free-range, so get set for the best week of your life!

Forget everything you knew about fashion, you’re heading into another planet filled with tribesmen, time travelers, fairy punks and radical self-expression – go big. The best outfits are an entire entity, not a collection of random things.

 First things first, you’ll need a warm jacket. Believe it or not, the desert gets pretty cold at night and we suggest packing something large, warm, and furry to throw over your barely covered body from the daytime. Fur is very common at Burning Man. During the day the temperatures consistently rise above 100 degrees and with an elevation of 4,000 ft sunburn and heat exhaustion are common. A unique headpiece, hood, or hat is another necessity and provides another accessory to make your look you. You’ll want to invest in anything that billows when the wind blows, linens are common for pants, shawls, tops, or dresses. The less clothing, the better. 

Boots and shoes should be kept into serious outfit consideration, you’ll be walking or biking miles each day so maybe you’re thinking… should I bring my tennis shoes? No. Leave the dad sneaks at home and pack a badass hellman pair of biker boots, leather studded sneaks, platforms, and plenty of socks.

Last but definitely not least, as this is a BRIEF explanation of outfit must-haves, are goggles or a scarf or mask. They are absolutely mandatory due to the dust storms that are sure to come about during your time at the playa. Play with this idea, you could come in anything from swim goggles to a full-on gas mask, we’ve seen it all. 

Culture Prep

You’re there to breathe art. You’re there to immerse yourself in an experience. You’re there to connect, to yourself and others around you. If you’re headed into your first Burning Man, it takes the phrase, ‘information overload’ to a whole new level. It’s normal to be overwhelmed as the various sounds, colors, and extreme temperatures trickle in but throw yourself into this new culture. There are hundreds of ways to get involved, from teaching yoga classes to stick and poke tattoos. You and your fellow participants create the city, the interaction, the art, the performances and overall experience. Participation is the heart of Burning Man.

The gift economy at Burning Man is something that has never been done before at any other event. This just shows you the kind of people who love to attend. You will find no vending on the grounds, but remember how I mentioned there would be fresh food? Everywhere site you go to there’s going to be somebody giving you something, whether it be a fresh towel, breakfast sandwiches, condoms, or live performances. Bring something creative to share with members of the crowd, you won’t want to miss out. Everything is free; everyone is welcome; just be a contributor.

We could go on and on about what to expect at Burning Man but the truth is, the experience is deeply personal. There is an unending list of things to do in the 'city' that will push the boundaries of what you thought could be possible. Drink it in.