Pop quiz: what makes for a solid playa conditions? Answer: A winter season full of precipitation, which compacts and solidifies the playa surface.
Whiteout Inside a Tent, photo by Joseph Pred, taken August 13, 2012.
Well, folks, due to one of the most anemic winters the west coast has seen since 1977, this promises to be one of the dustiest years ever in Black Rock City. If 2011 was your first year, YOU WERE BLESSED BY UNBELIEVABLY GOOD WEATHER AND PLAYA CONDITIONS. It was an anomaly at best, and it won’t be like that this year, no siree. Veteran Burners will tell you that dust is always an integral part of the experience, and it’s so very true … but as much as we revel in and love its alkaline awesomeness, it’s much less fun when you’re not prepared for it. Read more »
Useful information comes out of this. It’s also made of tasty marzipan.
The other week a high ranking member of BMIR’s staff got very drunk at my place.
“Caveat!” he said, “You know what you should do? You should write some Public Service Announcements for BMIR!”
He tried to take it back the next day, but it was too late. I work fast.
Since then I’ve heard that my PSAs will have to be screened for things like “Accuracy” and “Relevance” – so you might not hear them on the playa. So I thought I’d preview them here. You know – to be helpful. You can’t keep a public service down.
Today’s lesson: Leave No Trace!
Or Click Here
Enjoy! Learn more about leaving no trace here, and if there’s a topic you’d like me to produce a PSA for, drop me a line.
Caveat is the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca at Burning Man. His opinions are in no way statements of the Burning Man organization. Contact him at Caveat (at) Burningman.com
How important is it to NOT pass vehicles on Route 447 while driving to or from Black Rock City? Well, rather than our telling you, let’s ask Leslie, who has particular experience in this department: “I was struck head-on by a person passing and my car was left three feet shorter. I suffered unbelievable pain, spent time in a wheelchair and in physical rehabilitation as the result of his one bad choice to pass. Much of what was good in my life has been taken from me as a result.”
What’s the risk? She’ll tell ya: Read more »
Our man Dave X, who manages the Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) and all the awesome pyro stuff you see on playa (yay fireworks) wrote up a great post about taking care of the playa, and what you can do to help … a lot of stuff you are likely not aware of that makes a big difference. Take it to heart, and your planning process! Dave X says:
When I first came to the Black Rock Desert (in 1992) for Burning Man I was amazed at the place. ”NOTHING” in any direction: no plants, no rocks, no people and no rules. The place seemed indestructible and the perfect place for all kinds of jack-assery.
MOOP Map 2008, photo by Jay Longson
Well, over the years (as I returned over and over) I started to notice (when I got there early before anyone else) that I could find here and there old Burning Man trash: a piece of firework cardboard, some odd, burned gravel, or something shiny…
I also learned that a slow leak of RV juice or fuel made small spots on the Playa that can, like the tip of an iceberg, represent a huge area that is soaked just below the surface and that is hard to dig out. Read more »
Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.
Jenna Shenna Roberts wrote this scary cautionary tale about what can happen if you drive to or from Black Rock City when you’re overtired. Please take it to heart, and make sure your campmates do too … we want to see you again next year!
It has been over 10 months since my rollover accident on the return drive from the last Burn, and I am still working my way out of physical pain. I am not saying this to pander sympathy (although back rubs and hugs are always welcome, why thank you), I say this because the tickets were just mailed out for this years’ Burn, and I want everyone to go to and from the event more gracefully than I did last year.
Photo by the author (luckily).
I know many of you will soon pack hard, party hard, and drive tired. Recently, returning from Symbiosis, my friend Gray said that he thought of me and got a hotel in Reno rather than pushing it. He got nicely cleaned up and then ran into friends and ate and slept well for cheap. I am hoping that writing this will influence more of you to do the same.
I assure you that it’s an ideal alternative to being jolted awake from the gasp of your friend as a sudden jerk to the left becomes the ceiling smashing on the asphalt followed by every side of the metal box you’re in thundering after it as all of your oh so very well organized festival gear spews haplessly across the dusty desert highway while your freshly poignant ‘Now Is All You Have’ dashboard sticker gets splattered with your dear friends’ head wound blood. This run on sentence is brought to you by 5 seconds of nodding off. Read more »
Preparation: It doesn’t have to be like this. Photo by Steven Fritz.
As we hurtle headlong on the downslope towards Burning Man 2012 (woot!), here’s our round-up of some of the helpful tools available to smooth your preparation process:
Newsflash: Burning Man is soon. (Cue panic…go on, panic. I’ll wait. Ok? Are you back? Great, read on.) A quick spin through the internet will tell you that it takes approximately 21-30 days to create a new habit. Even if you procrastinate for a few days (oh, you), there’s still time to get in the groove of some useful habits before the gates of Black Rock City (metaphorically…no actual gates, but lots of Gate) swing open to embrace your soon-to-be-dusty butt.
For what things should I be developing a pattern of behavior, you might inquire? I’m glad you asked.
Image by Olga Degtjarewsky
Ride Your Bike
That aforementioned butt will thank you. Begin by riding down to your locally-owned bike shop and getting your trusty steed a tuneup. Make sure you have an extra tube for on playa, while you’re at it. Then, go ride your bike, a little bit every day! Roll down a street you’ve never explored, run some errands, obtain a baguette and pedal home with it sticking out of your bike basket. If you don’t get used to riding your bike now, your first few biking days on playa will be sore ones. There should be certain cuss words reserved specifically for the feeling of mounting your bike first thing in the morning after riding a lot the day before, if you’re unused to being in the saddle. I bet there’s a German word for it. Read more »
[This post was written by long-time Reno resident and Burner Nathan Aaron Heller, who works closely with Northern Nevada businesses on behalf of Burning Man.]
Gerlach’s new town sign, painted by Gary Mann.
On your way to and from Burning Man, whether you are traveling by auto, air or both, you will make your way through Black Rock City’s neighboring communities.
A store advertises its Burning Man-ready wares. Photo CC-BY Jennifer Morrow.
And while you’re there, most of you will spend money on supplies (of course, the seasoned among you know that doing so saves money and hassle). Did you know that your impact on local economies is HUGE? In fact, Burning Man estimates that in 2011 participants spent over $15 million in Northern Nevada, a region especially hard-hit by the ongoing recession. Many local businesses will tell you that Burning Man season is even bigger than Christmas. Pretty amazing, really.
The Burning Man experience has inspired many of us to take a serious look at our financial choices and relationships, including the effects of our economic decisions, directing our money towards resources and businesses that align with our values. By doing so, we invest in social capital. And because of Burning Man’s influence, many local businesses are giving additional attention to social capital and how it impacts the way they do business. Read more »