“Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind.” I have never been to this glorious event before and I am what Veteran ‘Burners’ call a Birgin. By the time you read this, I will be on my way to Burning Man and possibly on location. This is a roughly 633 mile – 13 hour drive from my front door step to the entrance of Burning Man.
I am riding down to Burning Man with a friend of mine, Ivy. She is one of those people that has always inspired me. She is deeply compassionate, smart, a wicked sense of humor, had the good sense to be nonsensical when it is most needed, she can inspire almost anyone to action and I have looked up to her for over a decade and I am really not sure that she knows that.
My Burning Man journey has been filled with a lot of hiccups. Normally people start preparing for Burning Man around March. In typical Kera fashion, I had to pull my stuff together very last minute. I gave myself less than a month to prepare. To buy all the things, make some of the things, gather a few of the things, and pack all of the things. My business has done really well in the last month to make this crazy journey possible. With some shout outs to my Aunt Jan, My grandma Millie and my dad for some birthday donations to the cause as well.
When I knew I was no longer going to The Burn with Kim, I got in touch with Ivy and asked if she could help me figure out how to get there. I knew she knew some people. I was half expecting to be tossed into a hippie bus with a bunch of other Burners and camping with an odd theme camp in the Boondocks, which I was okay with. Well, I cannot begin to express my excitement when I found that her and I would be riding together down to Burning Man and back.
The theme camp business, well… after trying and failing to get in with a bunch of them (because they were full) I happened to find a place to camp RIGHT in the middle, front row and center with a group called Sin City. I was lucky enough to be talking to one of my Etsy customers who said they were going to Burning Man. I advised I was too. She asked where I was camping and I told her I had no clue. She invited me to camp with her group and I was in touch with the camp director within the day. I then secured my spot. The camp director and my new friend that got me in have been super attentive. I even have a greeting group waiting for me when I arrive. I’m pretty stoked.
I am REALLY excited to be going. When I say excited, I mean I am like a kid the night before Christmas. I can’t sleep due to anticipation and excitement. These last few weeks I have been going through all the items one would need for Burning Man. Ivy, in mama-hen fashion, provided me a rather in-depth list of things that I need to bring. She calls this ‘The BIG SHOW packing list.’ I figure that I should share this, so you can get an idea of what all I am packing. I have provided this list below for your entertainment:
something to sleep in (tent, shade structure, etc)
something to sleep on (cot, foam pad, etc)
something to secure what you’re sleeping in (stakes, rebar, etc)
– if rebar, something to cover sharp edges (stuffed animals, tennis balls, barbie heads, etc)
hammer for stakes/rebar/etc
duct tape, duct tape, duct tape
lights for bike
lights for self
flashlight or other light for tent
hat or other shade for head
bathing items – towel, shower, baby wipes, etc
some way to collect and/or evaporate your shower water (I use a tupperware bin to stand in, and soak up the water with a towel when I’m done, which I then hang to dry out. Takes about an hour, and voila, no more water).
tool box or kit (think bike repair, tent pole repair, tent fabric repair, cot repair, etc)
cooler (if bringing perishables…small is better, especially if kept full of stuff, and stays better insulated if you put coats and/or sleeping bag over it during the heat of the day)
electrolyte replacement/salts (jerky, pickles V-8, gatorade powder, trail mix, etc)
goggles (swim goggles, chemistry goggles, vented motorcycle sunglasses)
bandana or dust mask (several)
chapstick or lip balm.chapstick or lip balm.
CHAPSTICK OR LIP BALM.
first aid kit/supplies (gauze-n-tape style bandages, ***burn cream/aloe vera***, Ace bandages, pills for muscle aches and headache (guaranteed to need), disinfectant, pepto)
mesh/fabric bag for drying out garbage (like orange peels, soup cans, etc. Hint: you can sprinkle playa dust in cans or trash to instantly dry and de-stink them)
bag for recycling, bag for trash
sewing kit/safety pins/spare buttons/etc
good shoes! (whatever that means to you)
hygeine items (toothbrush/soap/mouthwash etc. I highly recommend Bronner’s peppermint. Fights the effects of alkaline dust vs skin)
sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreensunscreen
lotion or oil
spray bottle for misting (cannot recommend this enough…a great way to use cooler melt-off water which cannot be drained onto the playa)
backpack or bag for carrying water/snacks
I have EVERYTHING on that list now. Susan was kind enough to supervise me yesterday as I handed her a list and employed her help in keeping me on task. All of my food is divided into individual ziplock bags into 7 gallon ziplock bags, which all fit into my cooler. My clothes are in an army duffle bag, I have two backpacks, a purse, a laundry bag with my bedding and a cooler. However, I am having the urge to tear apart my clothing bag and repack it. Ivy advised me “don’t pick the scab!” However, I am convinced now that I will not “die naked and starving on The Playa.”
I am leaving later tonight (as I write this). I LEAVE FOR BURNING MAN TODAY!!! Robyn is watching Riley in my absence, I miss him already, but I know he is in good hands. Even though he started pouting the minute I dropped him off. Dogs are too smart for their own good. I had to try not to sniffle as I left him behind. I love my dog so much.
To be honest, I am so excited and scatterbrained that I am having a hard time writing anything of substance. Readers and customers alike, thank you for bearing with me during my time of being neurotically excited! I am one of those people that is like an unsupervised 5 year old when I get to go on a trip, especially when it’s a road trip. Now combine that with a road trip to Burning Man with one of my favorite friends. Where I am going to be left unsupervised on the Playa, dropped in the lap of a lovely theme camp called Sin City. I hope they are ready for me!
This whole journey of me going to Burning Man started out as a pipe dream. However, it has magically come together brilliantly in the last month. I feel so blessed and excited to be going. I will update you with pictures when I get home. Hopefully, I remember to take some.
If you are looking to purchase a set of dread falls or a dread kit in my absence, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com . Or buy a gorgeous pre-made set on Etsy. from my Etsy Shop. I will get in touch with you upon my return.