Packing List

Scenes from Mayor McCheese's playa bag.

Packing is one of the biggest parts of preparing for Burning Man. There are a lot of other great packing lists on the interwebs, and skimming through a few of them can provide some nice inspiration. There are also lots of little lifehack items that can make the playa a bit more comfortable or fun. But at the barest of minimum you should bring these things with you to camp with the Melons. 

For The Trip In:

  • Your Ticket (to get into Black Rock CIty)
  • Directions to Black Rock City and jumper cables (if you are driving)
  • Some water (to keep you hydrated)
  • A snack (to keep you pleasant) (be prepared for a worst case where you are sitting on the gate road for six+ hours!)

The Basics:

  • A large water bottle or a Camelbak-style backpack (to stay hydrated)
  • Goggles  (to protect your eyes in a dust storm)
  • Sunglasses (if your goggles won't suffice)
  • Extra eyeglasses (as a back-up, if you wear contacts) 
  • Dust mask or handkerchief (to protect your lungs in a dust storm)
  • Head lamp (to see at night)
  • Another light (to replace the head lamp you lost)
  • EL-wire/LEDs (to be seen at night)
  • Sturdy shoes (that you are okay seeing consumed by dust)
  • Warm jacket (to keep you warm at night)
  • Warm hat/socks (to keep you warm at night)
  • A cup (to drink out of when visiting bars)
  • Your ID (to show to bartenders)
  • A spoon (to eat with)
  • A resusable plate (to eat on)
  • A MOOP container (to put MOOP in)
  • An ashtray - like an Altoids tin with the label covered - if you smoke (to put your butts in)
  • Hand sanitizer (to sanitize your hands)
  • Wet wipes (to clean everything)
  • Condoms (to keep it safe)
  • A roll of one-ply toilet paper (to use if the portapotty is barren)
  • Toiletries in a zip lock bag (to pretty yourself)
  • A small first aid kit (to patch yourself) 
  • Personal medications (to keep you healthy since, surprisingly, there is no Black Rock Pharmacy) 
  • Sunscreen (to protect your skin)
  • Lip balm (to protect your lips)
  • Earplugs (to protect your ears)
  • A set of clothes in a zip lock bag (to change into during Exodus)
  • Pen and paper in a zip lock bag (to write down what you've learned)
  • Extra zip lock bags (to put things in while keeping the dust out)
  • A watch (to tell time with, if that's your thing)
  • Batteries (to keep your lights lit up - preferably rechargeable ones since our camp has green power!)
  • A tent (to sleep in)
  • A sleeping bag/cot (to sleep in)
  • A thermarest or other other padding (to sleep on)
  • A bicycle (to get around on)
  • A bike lock (to discourage borrowing)
  • A spray bottle (to keep you moist and to make friends with)
  • Gifts (to gift)
  • A camp chair (to sit on)

Food And Drinks:

  • Less breakfast and lunch foods than you think (but bring them)
  • Snacks with lots of protein (for energy)
  • Liquor (if that's your thing)
  • Mixers (for mixing)
  • Beer to share (the Melons have a communal drink cooler so if you plan on drinking one, bring one)

Things You Shouldn't Bring:

  • Rebar (we have more than enough ground stakes, we promise)
  • Cookware (unless it is something unique, camp has lots of cookware)
  • Plants (the desert will kill them)
  • Pets (the desert will kill them)
  • Feathers/sequins or things that will shed (while no longer verboten they are highly discouraged)
    • Related: watch out for potentially offensive cultural appropriation (that means you, guy in a headdress). 
  • Glow sticks (there are many much more environmentally-friendly ways to get lit!)
  • Glass (just decant things into plastic containers! NO GLASS IN CAMP!)
  • Water (we have more than enough water for you)
  • A watermelon (camp is on it!)

One Last Tip:

After, or towards the end, of the Burn sit down and make a list and/or take photos of what you brought/carried and used on the Playa. And in which box you put them. It will make it much easier next year when you pack again!