MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 3 Results

10-9 and Sleep Dep battle for a particularly good piece of MOOP: a buried stake.
Photo by Vertumnus. Click for full size.

Hello all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s an exciting time out here in the ruins of Black Rock City, where the Playa Restoration team is sweeping through the city grid at an unprecedented pace. They knocked out another 54 blocks in their third day on the field, making quick work of the inner blocks where you, I and most of our friends made our homes.

How did YOUR camp score on the MOOP Map? Read on to find out.

Hot spots: Wood splinters (above) and oil (below). Click for full size.

Stop Before You Start: MOOP Prevention Tactics

We all know we need to keep our MOOP under control in order to pass the annual BLM inspection, so Burning Man can keep happening in the Black Rock Desert. But actually controlling that MOOP is a unique challenge, and one we can only perfect through experience.

That’s where YOU come in, Black Rock City! Do you have special tricks for pesky MOOP like wood chips, gray water, burn barrel cinders? Please, share them in the comments. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • DO NOT BRING branches, hay bales, feathers, glitter, pistachios and other extra-MOOPy items. Not sure whether it’s MOOPy? Stomp on it, throw it, wave it around in the wind, subject it to a little abuse and see if it breaks into tiny little pieces.
  • Put a tarp under your firewood pile, and sweep around it daily.
  • If you’re doing construction on the playa, pick up some used billboard vinyl and stake it down throughout your construction area. Sweep it off daily, or after every major sawing spree.
  • Build a cinder-catcher for your burn barrel: Take a 4′ square of plywood and attach a lip around all the edges, at least a few inches high. When you place your barrel in the center, it’ll catch what falls out and help keep it from blowing away.
  • If you’re using carpet or fake grass, use a propane torch to melt the edges, so they’ll resist fraying.
  • Use mats or grates to keep your camp from walking in wet spots near your water jugs or showers. After the event’s over, break up any water spots with a rake or shovel — and if there’s hair and other MOOP embedded in the dirt, please, throw it away.

Thanks to the amazing nikOpeachZ, one of our MOOP Line Bosses, for these tips!

What else ya got, Black Rock City? Chime in below.

Day 3 Results

And here it is folks: The one and only MOOP Map.

Click to enlarge!
MOOP Map Legend

GREEN: GO! GO! GO! The Line Sweep moves quickly because it’s clean. Minimal time and effort spent in this location.
YELLOW: Caution! The Line Sweep moves at a stop-and-go pace. Moderate time and effort spent in this location.
RED: Full stop. The Line Sweepers are on their hands and knees. A ton of MOOP. Extensive time and effort in this location.

Lookin’ pretty good out there, folks. Today, the MOOP Line swept from 2:00 to 7:00 between Foxglove and Iris, and for the most part, they sailed through without a care.

Unfortunately, there were a few spots — especially those camps from 2:00 to 3:00 between F and G — that slowed our intrepid team down. Those yellow zones take a lot more time to clean up, but the MOOP Line powered through … until they reached 5:30, which happens to be a place many DPW call home for about six weeks of the year. Yes, that’s right, we left ourselves a yellow zone to clean up at our very own camp. But clean it up we did, with a shared resolve to Do Better Next Year.

Most of you out there know about Doing Better Next Year, and overall today was a big win for YOU, Black Rock City. Congratulations on keeping it clean, and here’s to all of us who keep finding new ways to stop MOOP and fight the Leave No Trace battle!

For now, this is The Hun, fighting on.

Photo by Vertumnus!

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a lifetime commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching as the Man burned on Monday. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

55 thoughts on “MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 3 Results

  • Thanks again The Hun. We do our best to instill a ‘never let it hit the ground’ culture in our camp at camp meetings and in pre-plaa missives, especially with first-time attendees, but also with returnees that did not get enculturated properly. They say you can’t teach and old dog new tricks, but you can still shove their nose in it if they poop (moop) in the wrong place. Self-policing and peer pressure does still have a place in BRC even for LNT, immediacy and radical inclusion.

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  • My hint to deal with grey water? Easy!
    My camping technique generates 0 grey water. It is a whole different world out there. A shower is sooo default.
    Spray bottle and wipe, and baby wipes keep me clean, and smelling like a baby.

    Hey Hun! Is the trash fence the last thing to come down out there? Is it down now?
    How much moop gets pinned against it?

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  • Go, go, go… you guys are rocking the cradle of desert love. I’d say it would be fair that I swing by and MOOP your return vehicles to keep the cycle going.

    Cheers and keep up the good work.

    Hope to see some of you at DECOM SF.

    Magic Kristian

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  • This is bullshit. Our camp is marked as red, but we had people around on monday who mooped for several hours (who picked up human hair for gods sake) with one camp mate who worked gate & stayed until tuesday and spent two MORE hours checking our land after she packed up. There’s no way.

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  • If you think you are getting a raw deal on the map, you might be able to make a better case if you have pictures of your site before the last person left. If you did not take photos this year, put it on the list for next year or designate someone to do that. Make your best showing so you are not put on the ‘naughty’ list.

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  • Any news on the success (or lack thereof) of the ‘Dirty Thirty” idea this year?

    From last year’s blog:

    “In future years, D.A. hopes that there’ll be 30 theme camp representatives — enough to form a new Line Sweeps team, which will MOOP its way through theme camp areas to solidify the connection between the experience and the leftover litter. That team will be called the “Dirty Thirty.” This year, our new experiment garnered five brave representatives: the “Fearless Five”.”

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  • This year I went through the dunes with my hands and spread them out to make sure there wasn’t any moop hiding in them. Next year I’m bringing a rake. Our moopiest place in camp was the kitchen. I had to pick up broken tortilla chips and other food bits on my hands and knees. Next year we will designate a couple people to do a kitchen floor sweep daily. I also bring a five gallon bucket with a tight lid for compost and we keep it near the coffee making to ensure grounds are safely locked away, right away. We are all green on this map, and that makes me so glad I spent those three hours mooping Monday.

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  • As a burgin this year, but one who has been trained since birth to not only leave no trace of my own, but to sweep every new area I arrive in and clean up traces left before I arrived, we did not leave MOOP per se, but we did scatter a drinking water container on Tuesday morning before we left, so we had the sealable container to carry out gray water. Thank you for the clue about raking through that spot. It bothered me, and I appreciate this new information.

    To those of you who stay and clean up after this event, I am grateful to you. One of these days, I hope to be on your crew…. at least for one year!

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  • PS: something I learned this year too…… on Monday, the 27th, a veteran burner gifted my camp with some things that had obviously been stored, at least since last burn…… as he handed them to us, the clear plastic packaging simply dissolved, in the wind……. I actually thought it may have been one of those burgin tests that I’ve read about, but I doubt it now…. however, it was pretty breezy that day, and I ran after the tinly bits, and we ended up with half a dozen of us crawling around on our knees, while others ran around stomping to catch the tiny, shiny, clear bits of dried out old packaging……… SIGH.

    Unpackage EVERYTHING.

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  • FIGJAM – You pretty much can’t use an incinerator barrel without some sort of method of raising it off the ground. Most of the ones we use out here have rebar legs to keep them at least a foot away from the surface.

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  • Hey G! The trash fence comes down a couple of weeks after the event ends, right before the start of Playa Restoration. Right now, there’s nothing out there but T-stakes and traffic cones so we can navigate the city site. The fence does collect quite a bit of trash, depending on how windy a season we have. People usually moop it during the week (it’s a great place to find money) and of course we moop it thoroughly before removing it.

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  • Eric – Yes, thanks for remembering! The Fearless Five were a huge success last year and the Dirty Thirty is still a plan for the future, but this year with the increased danger of failing inspection, Burning Man elected to hire 30 more crew members that would be guaranteed to show up and stay for the duration. Dirty Thirty’s still in the future.

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  • After spending nearly 4 hours in the medic cool-tent getting 4 packs of IV electrolytes for heat stroke and dehydration from mooping my brains out Sunday morning, I intend to bring along a couple OG wood-handled strainers with the super-fine metal mesh next year. Hand-picking miniscule slivers of crushed wood out of the playa crust ain’t fun, and there’s no way to make it easier without a strainer, methinks. Moop casts shadows that just don’t belong, I found. While walking around, that became my #1 default eye-catcher. Lots of moop is easy to spot – size, color, texture, shine, movement. Then there’s the insidious type like hair and organic material splinters, that tries to hide, and requires getting up-close and personal within 18″.

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  • Any way to find out specifically what the red spot is on our camp?
    Wood Chips?
    Oil?
    BURIED TREASURE!….?

    Overall a green Rating, BUT we want ALL GREEN… no red spots!

    Your loving friends from the NYrvana Village Moop Patrol. 2:45 and ESP

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  • two things from my experiences on cleaning up our camp’s site every year:

    1) we have seen people diligently clean their camps and leave, and then see people from other camps drive up and leave stuff in the previously-clean spot, thereby making the people who actually were placed and camped there look bad. not saying it’s a widespread practice of douchebaggery, but just saying… we’ve seen it.

    2) in case it helps others, i will share this: a few years ago i made up what we in our camp (the Reno Housewives) call the Super Mooper: i bought a standing dustpan from home depot (sort of like this: http://tinyurl.com/8dl9fcn) and cut out the back and and replaced it with a fine mesh screen. now, when we find a trouble spot with tiny bits of wood, hair, etc, you can just sweep at will into the dustpan, and then tip it up and lightly shake it to sift out all the moop. it really works well. we’ve lent it to neighbors to use, too, and everyone seems to love it. i’d love to see everyone making and using them!

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  • Thanks! Looks like we were green! YAY.

    When we were leaving, the next camp over left their grey water and (trash bag like) container. We wanted to help, but didn’t have enough space for that much water in our exit strategy. Any suggestion on what we could have done here?

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  • slam – Theme camps need to score well on the MOOP Map if they want good real estate. The placement team takes several factors into account when deciding which camps get to be on the Esplanade, and moopiness is one of them!

    Due due – Voila! http://blog.burningman.com/2011/10/tenprinciples/moop-map-live-day-7-moop-treasure/

    goner19 – hahaha ew.

    IllevilleLNT – that is GENIUS! Of course. I will pass that idea on for sure.

    Marcia – OMG don’t kill yourself, it’s just MOOP! Thanks for going above and beyond … and yes! Strainers are wonderful tools for big wood chips!

    Anjaneth – hoping to post more today!

    Josh and Cody – Thanks for asking! I will find out and post the answer here, so check back please.

    Thumper – congratulations on getting a green! That’s a tough situation, and a common one. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do, but you could always stand on a street corner, show a little leg (kidding) and ask passing vehicles if they have space. Too bad your neighbors couldn’t take it themselves, though.

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  • It’s very disheartening to see a red dot on our camp. I’m another who spent hours with a rake, and with my husband following behind, going over every inch of our camp. I was even picking up broccoli bits from where the camp behind us had dumped their grey water in our vacated spaces. Just so rude! I was afraid that their poor moop behavior would continue after we left early Monday, and apparently it did… in our camp area. Not cool.

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  • Hi the Hun. This is in response to your inquiry of where Huggy was camped. We were at 2:45 and G, the name of our camp was Perpetual Dome Builders. Do you detail the type of moop and where in camp it was located? We really want to understand what happened. We mooped camp about a dozen times both during and lots at the end. So, please let us know what you found and we’ll come up with a gameplan for how to make our moop sweeps more effective, if indeed our results are from our own moop–not moop dumped or blown in after we left. Thank you for the restoration work you and the entire team does.

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  • Attention Playa Camps that cook from scratch!

    Our camp does industrial cooking for over 100 campers- 3 meals every day.
    This year we put down first a layer of visquine and then interlocking rubber tile matting in our kitchen.

    Worked like a charm to keep the wretched onion peels, chocolate chips and other tiny moop from getting through to playa. Also safeguards against oil stains or other noxious liquid messes on playa base.

    A cheap solution that saves time, energy and furstration.

    Try it!

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  • Hi The Hun,

    My camp, the Space Gnomes, also has a big red spot surrounded by green on 3:00 and F…. we spent hours MOOPing, raking etc. and we too are wondering exactly what was found in that spot. We take LNT very seriously and we’re very disappointed to see our results especially after the full day of MOOPing we did on Monday.

    Thanks so much for posting that info for us, and thanks for all of the hard work you and the Playa Restoration do! We love you guys!

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  • Thank you all you moopers!
    The Hun I was wondering if it is possible for us to drop in and give a hand for a few hours? My gf and I have been to BM twice now and have three children who love everything BM we share with them and we were thinking how cool it would be if we could take them out to the playa for a little bit of mooping. We live in Reno and it is nothing for us to journey out this saturday if we could.

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  • I am the project manager of GonKiRin, and was the Pod Leader for Podzilla in Disorient. The chunk of Disorient right on the Esplanade, the one specifically colored red, was my responsibility. We were late getting off playa, but one of our group volunteered to spend an extra day on the site and said she’d grid and check it for MOOP. It obviously didn’t work, and I am completely humiliated and embarrassed. Please accept my apology for our fuckup; we love Burning Man and love the folks who stay behind to clean up the mess made by assholes like myself. I hope that the folks who found the mess my group made email me and let me know the nature of the garbage left behind. I want to know how badly and in what way we screwed the pooch. Sorry again. Please email me at ledartistusa here: ledartistusa (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

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  • I only just realised that the other link you put in the comments, was last year’s moop map, not this year’s updated one. I hope others are not as slow as me as it may make some think they have mooped badly when they haven’t and vice versa. I was all happy to see my camp was green, only to realise that was last year’s map. Our site this year hasn’t been done yet. Fingers crossed it is green as can be!

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  • Sorry, Hun, I wasn’t calling the work that is done out there bullshit. Bad choice of words. As Danielle said, we all mooped the camp several times during the week, and then especially as people left. There was only about 15 people in our camp (we ended up with a large spot for some reason) at 2:45 & G (Perpetual Dome Builders), and we aren’t a messy group by nature.

    Please accept my apologies for the harsh words, I was quite upset when I saw the map (as was the rest of our camp), since we did our best and was expecting green in our space. The face the WHOLE space is marked red is especially baffling to us.

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  • We were thrilled that our whole section was green! We were diligent as were our neighbors at making sure everything was picked up thrown away and carried home. I was quite disappointed to see how much trash and debris was on the road leading to gerlach. It makes all of us look bad. Its not difficult to wait till the trash station and help the local community out.. I do wonder if it would be feasible to have a local trash truck or two come through mid week and again end of week… maybe people wouldn’t be so lazy and would give the trash to the trash truck rather than trashing the community…
    Big thanks to all of you who stay behind to return the playa to its natural beauty.

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  • Danielle – Well, I looked into it and unfortunately because there were so many camps clustered together, I can’t give you a definitive answer of what was there. However, it looks like the damage throughout that block was pretty consistent. So I’ll give you the full list, and you can decide which things were probably yours. The list starts at 2:30 and goes toward 3 so you’re probably near the middle.

    broken glass, wood chips, trash
    glass and wood chips
    metal shavings and pieces, wood chips and shells
    burn scars (from where a burn barrel heated and oxidized the dirt)
    burn barrel remnants, charcoal etc.
    grey water spills
    wood chip “spill of dooooom”
    wood chips and general moop

    There will be more complete information available later, so talk to the Placement team in a few months if you need more detail.

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  • Sgnoflake – I’m sorry to hear you worked so hard and still had something go wrong! What a bummer!

    Like I told Danielle, I don’t have very exact reports just yet, so there are 3 things it could have been. You decide which one might be you:

    – burn barrel remnants
    – wood chips
    – oil stain

    Any of that ring a bell?

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  • Jeremy AKA CNC – How awesome of you to offer! We are officially finished, but you should DEFINITELY come visit next year. You can just show up, or you can fill out a volunteer questionnaire through the burning man website. Either way, make sure you check in at the office (on Main Street) when you arrive.

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  • joshua goldberg — awwwwww, thanks for checking in! And thank you for the beautiful work of art you made. Sometimes things happen, and that mea culpa means a lot :)

    I’ve passed your message on to D.A. and, though right now I don’t have the details on what was left, I know the Placement team will have it eventually. For now, sleep easy brother.

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  • Huggy – I hear you!! It can be incredibly frustrating. I wish I could give you better detail, but hopefully you dome builders can put your heads together and find out what went wrong. I really appreciate that you tried.

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  • Iced Mocha, beckyandboy – Yeah, the trash thing is pretty incredible isn’t it? I know quite a bit of that MOOP falls off people’s vehicles. We’re constantly working on it, and I’m sure there are ways both of you can get involved.

    More info:
    http://blog.burningman.com/2012/09/environment/ego-on-the-roads/
    http://blog.burningman.com/2012/07/environment/the-burners-guide-to-leaving-no-trace-extra-extra/
    http://blog.burningman.com/2012/07/environment/the-burners-guide-to-leaving-no-trace-junk-and-your-trunk/

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  • We were part of Black Rock Mafia at 3:00 and G, right next to Space Gnoes. We spent HOURS on Tuesday before we left scouring the playa on our hands and knees. We were the last ones left on our block. We still got a red spot. How can we get a detailed list of what we did wrong?

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  • Wrainy – I can give you two options of what was found right in that area, you will have to decide which of these things sounds like something you left behind!

    Option 1 – burn barrel remnants. Cinders, wood chips, rust etc.

    Option 2 – wood chips (from firewood, construction etc)

    Does that help?

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