Don’t Want to Lose Your Camera on Playa?

Camera Van by Harrod Blank, 2001 (photo by Steve Schwartz)
Camera Van by Harrod Blank, 2001 (photo by Steve Schwartz)

Every year, plenty of lost cameras are handed into PlayaInfo, looking for their rightful owners.  And every year, we do our best to reunite them, through the efforts of our Lost and Found team, and by putting identifying pictures up on our website.  Ender writes in from Arizona, offering this brilliant idea to make sure that if your camera is lost, you’re sure to get it back.  Check it out:

“Write down your serial number, make and model for all important items (cameras, bicycles, etc) and have it in your manila folder (that would contain your health insurance information, health conditions/allergies, emergency contacts, serial numbers, etc.) in your vehicle.  Have pictures of your items too (for the thoroughly prepared).

Write your name, playa information (playa address & playa name with which you can be found in PlayaInfo) and default world mailing address/contact info (ie: email address or phone number) on a sheet of paper, in large font/marker. Kick down your camera’s megapixels to the smallest setting, and take the first picture on every clean memory card that you’re going to take to BM. This will become the first picture (depending on your camera setup) seen when someone checks out your found camera, to see who it belongs to – or when someone checks out that memory card they found laying on the playa.  Even better, snap a picture of yourself, with that information legibly visible next to your grinning face.

If your camera has internal memory, turn it on and do the same. Internal memory stays with your camera, even if your card is out playing somewhere.  You can also make a (usually much smaller) image and upload it to your card or camera if you’re technically sophisticated enough – in almost all cameras it will display the same size as a full-sized picture on the camera’s LCD screen.”

And to this, we’d like to add:

For cameras that take video, filling out your Personal Use Agreement for permission to shoot video in BRC has two advantages – not only will you get a tag for your camera and permission to shoot imagery and use it for sharing with friends and family, but if your camera is lost and turned in to Burning Man, we will do everything in our power to find your contact info by using the tag number to search for your PUA and reunite you with your camera. Yet another good reason to register! PUAs are available at the Greeters, Playa Info, and the Ranger Stations.  Or you can download a PDF of it.

First Timer? Start Here

Greetings from your friendly Burning Man Web Team …

We wanted to let you know that we’ve recently updated our First Timer’s Guide on the website, which is an ideal resource for getting newbies oriented as they undertake the thrilling process of heading to their first Burn. Remember your first time? Whether you’re a Burning Man first-timer yourself, or know one who could use a primer, head over there … it’s a great place to start.

Driving To Black Rock City

Photo by Timmmii, 2007; Empire, NV
When driving to Black Rock City, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Take Your Time – We know you’re excited to get to BRC. It is exciting, after all. But don’t try to rush things. You’ll get there. This means don’t try to pass slower vehicles on Hwy 447. This is a very dangerous single lane road to attempt to pass. This stretch of road is long, windy and hilly. You’ll be at the gate before you know it. Slow up.
  • Construction – If you’re coming from the west on I-80, be aware that there is some construction zones not too far from the Nevada border and traffic is winnowed down to one lane for several miles.
  • Slow It Down Through Small Towns – Once you get off I-80, you’ll be traveling through a number of small towns like Wadsworth, Nixon and Empire. Be very aware of your speed as you enter the city limits. We’re talking 25 mph. Seriously. Local police are sitting there just waiting for someone to zip through at 40 mph and will pull you over lickity split. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. (more…)

In Dust We Trust

Photo by Thessy, 2002


One word: dust.

Lots and lots and lots of playa dust, with frequent and numerous whiteouts.

While I can’t corroborate if these are the worst dust storms we’ve experienced in several years (though that’s what I’m hearing from veterans), believe it when you hear the rumors that this year is a dusty one.

Admittedly, I’ve only been OTP (On The Playa) since Thursday morning and both Thursday and Friday were relatively whiteout-free but I’m told it was pretty dusty earlier this week. And today, Saturday before the event, has been a doozy, with high winds, near-relentless dust and frequent whiteouts.

I can attest that despite my best intentions, my tent was saturated with playa dust earlier this afternoon when i left it. I shudder to think what i’ll be returning to.

So, my advice is to prepare yourself for the worst — get yourself plenty of bandanas, respirators or face masks to protect your mouth and nose, wraparound sunglasses and/or goggles to protect your eyes, and shore up your protective barriers around your campsite, especially if you’re camping in a tent — and hope for the best.

I know I can speak for most people already OTP that I really hope all your dust prep would be for naught and today is the last day of the whiteout conditions. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m wrong.

Playa dust – you can’t stop it, you can only hope and pray to contain it.

From Actiongrl: new Reno preparation pages!

AG here, inviting you to check out the newly updated Reno preparation pages this weekend so you can make your plans for your final approach into BRC. If you’ll pass through Reno, you’ll find TONS of new info from Reno area volunteers who have updated, added, and refined information on exactly where to go in Reno to get the stuff you need on the way through the event if you’re passing through.

Step on in to the Reno preparation pages and take a peek! Check out the geographic location links at the bottom of the page. Almost every page has new information you can use on your way through if Reno is on your itinerary. You can also browse by category according to what you’re looking for — including any special rates or packages for Burners at area hotels.

And then…get packin’!

Treehugger Contest Winner: Hexayurt!

(or, how to add two whole days to your BM experience)

Background for the below info: In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of Earth’s human will be living in urban areas. — from United Nations Population Fund report: State of the World

The construction industry currently consumes 40% of all materials and energy worldwide and is responsible for 30% of all global warming.
Wow. We knew that having a contest with Treehugger and CurrentTV to find the best open source solution to environmental issues would be interesting. But we had no idea we’d get something so….perfect.

Introducing Hexayurt. Designed by burners, for burners. Perfect for the playa, for disaster relief, for long term housing in the backcountry. It’s cheap–less than $200. It’s easy–you can build one within 15 minutes. It works–see the video to see for yourself.


Here’s the big picture, from “More than a billion people do not really have good housing. It not that they do not want a good place to live but they often simply cannot find one they can afford. They do not have access to modern building materials, and local materials are often really unsuited for building. Europeans used to thatch their roofs and now we mostly use tiles and shingles because we prefer the results. We are probably not alone in this preference.”

Here’s more, and why this idea should appeal to you:

Why is this a good idea?

Millions and millions of people do not have proper housing. Designing like you give a damn can help.

Oh, you meant why for the Playa?

That’s simple. Hexayurts really enhance the Burning Man experience. You get two or even three hours a day more sleep. You have a cool place to hide out mid-afternoon. You have a warm place to party at 4AM.

In short, it rocks.

That boiling early morning? You sleep right through it. At 9AM a tent is an uninhabitable solar cooker, a hexayurt is blissfully cool and dark. Sometime around 11AM, maybe you wake up, mist the hexayurt down to cool it off and doze for another fifteen minutes, then get up fresh and ready for another wonderful day. On the Playa this is life-changing because it means that at the end of the week, you’re still fresh and sharp and ready to have fun. Your gear is dust free, and you feel great.

This is like extending your Burn by two days every year.

And you did it yourself, without lugging an RV with air conditioning to the Playa. You built your own shelter with your own two hands. It’s creative and very participatory. By building a hexayurt you’re joining a community of engineers and creators who are helping to transform the planet.

Hexayurts aren’t just for the playa, they’re for the world.

So What’s The Deal On Arrival?

Arrival - Photo by Heather Gallagher (CameraGirl), 2005,

This is my big bad meanie post to help you remember shite you’re supposed to, like, obey.

Pardon me while i temporarily step out of character and get all macho on you. I mean, at least I’m not saying “I was young, I needed the work.”

For the vast majority of you reading this, there is no such thing as arriving early. It’s a fanciful fantasy, a vicious pre-playa rumor concocted by rumor mongrels that roam the low seas of the the outer playa, just because they can.

Burning Man begins at 12:01 a.m., Monday, August 27. No ifs, ands, buts — or even whens. Yessir and Yes’m, that’s when it starts. That one whole minute after the midnight hour on that one Monday.

So please don’t even bother the gate crew. They have enough crap to deal with. They’re extra-severely-outta-control busy.

I’m sure you can relate. In fact, I’m betting you’re freaking out a bit right now trying to figure out how the hell you’re going to fit all that stuff into your Yugo, the Ishtar of cars. And when you leaving? Righto, that busy!

If you arrive early, you’ll be turned away at the gate and promptly be sent back to Reno. Do you really want to head back on down the road to Reno?

Do you really, honestly, and like, for real, want to feel dejected too?


Bay Area Biostation Burning The Midnight Oil

Just passing along some tips, folks. Here’s one from a bay area biofuel station. They’ll be open late the weekend before Burning Man:


THat's do our Part for the Raddest
community gathering on the Planet...BioFUEL OASis will
be open until MIDNIGHT the days leading up to
departures for Black Rock City.   Plan Ahead to come
during our extended hours AND we are open for
appointments day and night if you  have over 50
gallons to fill.  Here are our special expanded
Burning Man hours for 2007:

Thursday August 23rd: OPEN UNTiL MidNiGHT!!!
Friday August 24th: OPEN UNTiL MidNIGHT!!!
Saturday August 25th: OPEN UNTiL MidNIGHT!!!

MORE THAN 50 GALLON FILL-UPs..Please call for an
 ...Taking appointments 10 a.m-4 p.m August
20th-August 29th!..
OR drop in from 8 p.m-Midnight Thursday the 23rd,
Friday the 24th, Saturday the 25th for big fill-ups.

Lots of Love,
The Biodevas