Burning Man Packing List
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This packing list has evolved over 20+ years. Feel free to make a copy, customize, and use it. I have two check-boxes: 1) When I locate and stage the item 2) When I pack it into the car/trailer. Format is printer friendly. There are useful links at the bottom on Tents, Coolers, Playa bikes, Shade, etc.
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Trip / Flight / Driving Stuff:LinkStaged
Packed
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Burning Man Ticket! (Do a physical check before you leave and place your tickets in the glove compartment or some plave you can find them easily. People have forgotten their tickets in the past)Tickets
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Maps / Driving DirectionsLinkStaged
Packed
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Auto Insurance info and roadside assistance numbers
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Extra keys (+ extra alarm clicker thingy - trade extra keys with a friend)
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Cell Phone (USB batteries packs and car charger)
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5 Gallon Gas Can - (long lonely stretches of road with no gas stations if you run out)
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Good Spare Tire (check air pressure)/ Tools and Jacks (do they all work?) and Fix-a-flat cans
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Cheap Walkie Talkies for car caravans (Need to use digitals to get them to work at BM - so you can find your own sub-channel).
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Power Supply/jump Starter/Air pump combo - can be used as a power supply (12V and 110AC depending on model) to charge camera batteries, provide light, etc.Power supplies
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Some emergency cash in case you are unable to use your credit/debit cards. Also all ice purchases on playa are cash only
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Camp/Sleep Stuff Tents LinkStaged
Packed
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The taller tents are harder to keep up in the wind – they need to be well secured with guy wire. Tents with large mesh windows are a bad idea because the dust will get inPlaya Tents
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RV, Camper Trailer or Cargo Van
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Warm Sleeping Bag! (and Extra Blankets?) and pillow(s) - temps drop ~40 degrees F at night
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Air Mattress (but place a layer of insulation between you and the mattress - memoryfoam matress toppers work really well) or Cot. You lose a lot of body heat through the ground without insulation.Air bed
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4" Memory foam mattress toppers work well
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Foam Ear plugs
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Tarp or old carpet (that goes under the tent)
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LED Lantern (battery operated for inside of tent)
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Propane tent heaters - I have a Coleman ProCat (only needed if you really cannot handle cold weather)Propane tent heaters
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Homer Bucket Swamp Cooler , solar/battery powered fans, or something similar to keep you cool in the morning.Evap cooler
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Lag Bolts (12"-18"), washers, and an Impact driver - by far the best way to anchor your tent
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30" rebar stakes! (use straight rebar and stick pool noodles over the part that sticks up. A more traditional option is to use rebar with tops "U'd" over for safety but those are really hard to pound into the ground) & small sledge hammer see Playa Tents
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Fluorescent surveyors tape/ribbon (to mark your tent ropes)
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Shade Structure (for the front or better over of your tent /rv - but buy something that can hold up in wind. (Easy-Ups = Easy down!). See Tent Shade and Insulation
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Camp chairs, Lawn Chairs, inflatable furniture, bean bags, hammocks, old couches,
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Folding table - amazingly useful - (for cooking, bar, etc)
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Old carpeting /ground cloth/fake grass - to keep dust down in your living area. Make sure to tape edges so they don't shred
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Duct tape, bungee cords, cable ties, work gloves (why ask why?)
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Rope (paracord/550 cord from Army Surplus stores)
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Cook Stove & Gas + BBQ lighters and waterproof matches
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Pots, pans, biodegradable dish soap, scrubby
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Small tub to wash and collect gray water
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Extension Cords and Power Strips (if you are taking a generator)
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Battery operated LED light strands can light up your bike, your Camelback, your hats, your tent (both inside and as a beacon)
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Battery operated radio (for Radio Electra, Radio Free Burningman, etc.)
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Extra batteries
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Bike(s), tire repair kit, tools, air pump, lock, spare tube (see Playa Bike page)Playa Bikes
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Bike lights - please make sure you point it down so as to not blind people. Wear lots of glow/blinky stuff to avoid being hit by an art car :-) And remember to decorate your bike!LED Wheel lights
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Solar LED garden light work well to mark your tent/shade - just make sure you test them and know that they will last all night. And remember to wipe the dust off the solar panel each morning so they'll collect power efficientlySolar garden lights
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Small generator or see Desert Power without generatorsDesert power
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Food & Drink StuffLinkStaged
Packed
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(ALWAYS try and end up with trash that can be burned in burn barrels - or trash that will compress well)
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Water! - bring at least a gallon per person per day (I drink more). Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics and will drain moisture from your body so you have to drink more water to compensate.See Diuretics
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Cups and Plates - paper = burnable vs. plastic/metal = reusable – but you have to wash and therefore have to deal with more greywater
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Gatorade or some other electrolyte replenishing drink
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Camelback or large water bottle with strap - see sample contents of a Burning Man Daily BagBM Day bag
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BYO Cups - many people offer free drinks but ask that you bring your own cup. QT/Circle K Gas station cups with lids work well. Bring a few because you are likely to lose at least one. Label it with your name
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Paper plates and cups for guests (they burn)
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Paper Drink Cartons
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Eating utensils (lexan or metal/lexan (durable) vs. plastic (cheap)
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Disposable wooden chopsticks make excellent utensils (and they burn!)
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Plan every meal - if you do so you won't end up hungry or with a bunch of left-over food
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Vacuum sealed pre-cooked deep frozen foods for re-heating and consumption.
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Snack bars, trail mix, dried fruit, ice cream (huh?), jerky, peanut butter
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Dehydrated foods, rice, and something like Tasty Bite packs (optionally with a can of shredded chicken) make a quick and tasty meal.
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Alcohol, as desired.
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ICE (Ice at Burning Man is $4.00 a bag or a 6 pack for $24 - updated Summer 2010) BUT there can be moderately long lines so plan ahead.
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Coolers - food packaging, Dry Ice, etc. I use multiple coolers - drinks cooler (opened frequently), food cooler (opened less often) tight seal (tape), Extreme Coolers - see Playa Cooler adviceCooler advice
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Toilet, Shower, and Personal StuffLinkStaged
Packed
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Spare toilet paper (buy the porta-potty safe stuff usually available in RV shops)
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Flip flops (for late night bathroom trips)
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Pee bottle :) - wide mouth so you can take care of business without a freezing walk to the porta potties at night. Perhaps do not use a lemonade bottle ;)
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Mini flashlight or headlamp LED (lasts longer and provides bright even light)
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Sun Shower Bag (the portable solar camping type)Shower bag
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Propane shower heaters (nice, but they use a lot of water)
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Shower water
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Gray water evap basin (mud issues - water on the playa just turns into mud that stays forever)Grey water
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Toiletries Bag - toothbrush / toothpaste / shaving stuff / Soap / Shampoo
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Towels (bring extra because they can get muddy)
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Lotion
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Sunblock + Aloe for post-burn
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Eye drops (and/or contact lens cleaner)
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Saline nasal spray (to flush out your sinuses)
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First Aid kit, Foot care (lotions, salts, mole-skin)
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White vinegar and a shallow tub to wash the alkali rich playa off your feet (50/50 dilution with water)
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Lip moisturizer (buy several with SPF protection)
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Wet Wipes - Baby wipes rock for late night cleanup, pre meals, or just to cool down during the day)
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Condoms, Tampons, Prescription meds, etc.
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Peri bottle - your private parts will thank you.Peri bottle
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Clothing and Costume StuffLinkStaged
Packed
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(No feather boas or things that will break off like big loose sequins - we have to pick up all those teeny little things)
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Keep a clean set of clothing in a ziploc bag for the ride home (consider stopping at a truck stop for a real shower on your way back)
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Hats (The more the merrier: decorative, protection from the sun, and at night for warmth)
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Sunglasses (a couple of pairs - in case one breaks)
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Goggles & Dust Masks - (don't leave home without 'em)
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Skirts, Sarongs, Utlilikilts
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Fishnets, hose, bodysuits (Trails)
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Comfortable (hiking) shoes
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Fabulous funky shoes (will get dusty/muddy, avoid stiletto heals)
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make-up (body paints, glitter gels) - think shower and playa cleanup
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Coats/cloaks - it can get really cold at night. Faux fur coats rock!
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Rain gear/Poncho (BM 2000 - Freezingman, BM 2014 - the deluge)
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Gloves (decorative and for warmth)
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