Tales from the Playa #2- The Essential and Definitive Burning Man List… Including Cow Prodders and PeriscopesBy Zoe Brock
October 09, 2008
It’s Wednesday, August 20, 2008.
The Man burns in ten days.
In three hours one of your best friends will arrive from Australia. You have not seen him in two months.
In fourteen hours the person who your heart and mind and body desires most will arrive from Israel. You have not seen him in four months. He will be followed shortly thereafter by his father, who will arrive from North Carolina. You have never met him at all.
In three days you will all leave together, in convoy, for eight days in the searing, brutal and unpredictable Nevada desert, driving through the night to take part in an event so wild, so beautiful, so bizarre and so life-changing that your brain cannot yet begin to fathom the most basic aspects of it, let alone it’s myriad intricacies.
And you haven’t even packed.
Yes. You may vomit now.
Dano, your brother from another mother, arrives on Qantas flight whatever. Your excitement at seeing him is immense. Spastic jerking happy dances ensue at the airport. Once at home Dano carefully hands you the three precious containers of smuggled contraband you requested from the Motherland. You sniff the inky contents, dip a finger in the viscous tar, lick aforementioned sticky finger to ensure the purity of your prized black goo and, once assured, whisper with tremulous glee… “Ah. Vegemite. I love your work, son.”
Dano’s suitcase, when opened, looks like this….
It is an orgy of cuteness, a heaping of duty-free idiocy, a mess of koalas *.
* Made In China.
The fact that you have not yet packed or readied yourself at all is some bother to you. It is counter intuitive to your organized and somewhat busy nature. You like to be prepared. Fortunately, so does Dano, and thus you have both come up with The List.
Culled from websites and friends suggestions The List is a basic recipe for all of the ingredients you will need to keep you comfortable at Burning Man. It does not include foodstuffs (except for the most essential of all foodstuffs – something I assure you that you will crave if you don’t have it, even if you are vegan).
Without further ado… I give you….
ZOE AND DANO’S BURNING MAN LIST 2008
Essentials- DO NOT FORGET!!
BACON! (And none of that turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon, either. Bacon bacon only).
tent (unless you are a pussy and/or can afford an RV)
three-foot lengths of bent re-bar to hold tent in place (it’s a tad windy sometimes)
inflatable mattress and pump
camel pack (or a camel)
3 gallons of water per day
earplugs (no explanation necessary)
dust masks (again, no explanation necessary)
goggles and sunglasses x2
Ziploc bags (for everything, and I mean everything. If there were Ziploc bags with air holes you would want one for yourself, even though Ziploc bags with air holes would totally defeat their purpose.)
Basic stuff- TRY NOT TO FORGET!!!
airtight plastic containers for clothes etc
extra camera bits
bike repair kit
torch, personal and bike
shade structure (it’s bright and hot out there)
unscented baby wipes (in lieu of showering. You will need plenty)
paw paw ointment
first aid kit
Dano’s anti-inflammatory pills
Something in case you get a rash on your botty
pants w lots of pockets
full body fish net- crotchless, of course
anything that makes you feel beautiful, adventurous, free, comfortable, sexy, silly, regal, hard-core or just downright kinky.
The above portion of The List is fairly self-explanatory. The final section includes items that won’t necessarily aid in your comfort, but might certainly aid in your enjoyment.
roo stamp and ink
stubbie holders (beer can coolers)
roll of paper and crayons
texta (sharpie) on a string
And now you are ready. This is all you need and more. Feel free to take none of it and I’m sure you will be looked after. Remember that absolutely everything that you take in to Black Rock City must be taken out again. You can leave no trace. Remember that there is only one phone out there (not including the direct line to God) so chances are you will be out of contact with your Loved Ones for the duration of your stay. If this upsets you I suggest bringing your Loved Ones. If your Loved Ones are on the smallish side there is a camp called Kidsville where families congregate. Kidsville is Utopia for small humans.
Fall in love, find yourself, lose yourself, find yourself all over again just in time to lose your friends and make new ones. Confront your fears and insecurities. Give them away. Blow your mind and heart and soul wide open. Dance. Get dust in your eyes and nose and ears and bits. Discover Playa Boogers. Look after people, just as others look after you. Serve. Explore. Be stimulated. Be tested. Survive. Grow. This is Burningman. Before I experienced it I would roll my eyes at the people who claimed that it was indescribable. It IS indescribable. In the most wonderful way.
Perhaps you’ll know what I mean some day. I really hope you do.