Burning Man Survival Guide

Burning Man Survival Guide

The Playa Store saves you time by delivering all the essential items you need for Burning Man, in a few clicks. Skip the research and prepping, just buy and go at theplayastore.com.


Your first trip to Burning Man can be a radical sensory overload. The unforgiving desert environment, around-the-clock activities, and drastic departure from everyday life make this no ordinary camping trip.

To have an amazing experience in Black Rock City rather than an overly dusty demise, prospective Burners need to get seriously prepared. This survival guide covers the essential tips, gear, and mindset you need to thrive in the temporary metropolis.

Hydrate or Dehydrate

The playa's hot days, dry air, physical exertion from walking/biking, and alcoholic beverages consumed can all lead to quick dehydration. Pack water, water, and more water - at least 1.5 gallons per person per day minimum. Electrolyte mixes and hydration packs are also wise investments. Dehydration can turn a fun burn into a medical emergency rapidly.

Protect Your Playa Body

That scorching sun reflects intensely off the alkaline flats, so bringing serious sunscreen and sun protective clothing like thin, long sleeves/pants is essential. When those whiteout dust storms kick up, you'll need goggles, masks or bandanas to cover up. Burning Man is also very physically demanding, so break in any new footwear beforehand.

Bring All the Shelter

Unlike music festivals with starter camps and tent rentals, Burners must haul in their entire temporary shelter, from tents and shade structures to rope, stakes, and tools. Yurts, RVs, carports, and accessory items like lights and carpets help make your space more comfortable and dust-free. Don't skimp on this key piece of radical self-reliance.

Satisfy Your Playa Palate

With no commercial eateries, you'll need to pack enough non-perishable foods and beverages for your entire stay. Opt for quality calories and nutrition over junk snacks. Prep meals and snacks that provide energy without too much waste. A camp stove, cooler, utensils, garbage bags and other cooking/cleaning accessories are also crucial.

Stay Charged and Connected

While Burning Man is about unplugging, you'll still want some power sources for lights, electronics, and bike accessories. Generators, solar panels, extra batteries or a power pack can be essential gear. Deploying shade and dust coverings helps prevent electronics from getting destroyed on the playa. Two-way radios also keep camps coordinated.

Radical Attire and Accessories

Part of the Burning Man experience is assembling creative, expressive outfits and costumes. Bring goggles, wacky hats, faux furs, funky accessories and garish garments from home. Add blinky lights, fun makeup, and other flair to turn looks into portable sculptures. Do remember to prioritize protective gear before funky fashion though.

Embrace the Transition

Burning Man is a steep cultural learning curve. Spend time reviewing the 10 Principles like Radical Self-Reliance before entering this unique society. Going with veteran Burners and asking tons of questions helps navigate the transition. Also be sure to check Burning Man's updated guidelines on what to bring and not bring to Black Rock City each year.

Preparing properly and monitoring your resources are key parts of radical self-reliance that will elevate your first Burn. With the right provisions and mindset for the playa's challenges, you're ready to dive into an unbelievably creative and provocative experience!


The Playa Store saves you time by delivering all the essential items you need for Burning Man, in a few clicks. Skip the research and prepping, just buy and go at theplayastore.com.

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