....., I regained my hope in the future of our civilization."
-Lonnie Gene Smith
I bought my Bigfoot
3 years ago to bring to Burning Man, but due to my 7 year old's school schedule, have yet to bring it out there.
However, I have been out there 4 times since 2001 (twice in a tent and twice in an Apache Roamer Pop Up) and I LOVE it. I think the Bigfoot
would be such a nice step up-I can't wait to actually bring it there. Unfortunately, my child's school has planned it's annual campout for the week of Burning Man once again (they did that the past 2 years or I would have come), so now I am really hoping I can somehow influence them to choose another week in 2012 so I can make it out there again!
Some things you might want to consider before you bring your beloved Fiberglass Egg out to the Playa-there is a really fine dust (alkaline based like "baby powder") that seeps onto everything and isn't easy to get off your upholstry, so it is a good idea to fashion some sort of a washable seat cover for all the upholstry so it won't look permanently white and dusty for the rest of its life. Leave anything that you don't want ruined at home (go to the goodwill and get some rugs, pillows, bedding, outdoor chairs, etc. you can re-donate or put in your "only for Burning Man pile" afterwards). If you have an awning
, put it down every time you leave the trailer so it doesn't get ripped off in a 70 mph dust storm (which spring up unexpectedly all the time, usually while you are miles away). For the same reason, don't leave any/all of your windows
open when you aren't around, unless you enjoy sleeping in 2 or 3 inches of itchy dust. If it rains toward the end of the week, that alkaline dust turns into a cement like mud, so if you have to pull the trailer through it at all so it is thrown up onto your trailer, be sure to stop at the first carwash you see and rinse it off (especially the undercarriage) before it hardens. Also, the camping is on a big dry prehistoric lakebed, so depending on the weather it can have all kinds of conditions from hard as a rock to soft and sinking. Be sure to bring out some good leveling blocks (I like those orange "Lynx Levelers") because pieces of wood can sometimes not quite do the job of chocking your wheels or balancing you out. Bring gloves, because that dust can make your skin crack and burn. Always wear shoes-or better yet a comfortable pair of boots- and bring plenty of changes of socks, because your feet will do the same. Finally-vinegar is your friend-as an acidic substance it counteracts all of the nasty things the alkaline dust ruins, so be sure to have some on hand for cleanup when you get home (I bring it out there in a spritz bottle to wipe things down or rinse off my hands and feet as well). Your clothes will probably be full of that dust too-so bring some good garbage bags to put your dirty laundry in, and use vinegar in the washing machine when you do that particular load of laundry.
Once you are out there you aren't allowed to drive around, so bring a bike for everyone so you can navigate the 5-9 miles of city (from tip to tip). Once again, don't bring a bike you really love. Sometimes drunk people "borrow" bikes to get around, so a thrift store bike is a better idea than a nice one. I tend to bring a bike lock just to make it a little harder to go for a joy ride on my bike (I don't think there are any professional bike thieves--just lazy people who will move on if your bike isn't easy to ride to the next attraction.)
Remember-there is no water or trash service or food sold
out there, so be sure to read the "Survival Guide" at Burningman.com before you go and be prepared. Hopefully you have a nice big holding tank for water and will be much more comfortable than most of the participants (I have always had to haul my water out there in seveal big 6 gal jugs as the Apache's water tanks leaked-and dumping any water on the ground-even clean and accidently-is majorly against the rules!) Last time I went in 2007 you could fill up at a truck stop in Fernly, NV (about 20 mi. away) and dump your tanks there when leaving, but I recently read that Fernly may have closed all of it's stores and been erased off the map due to the main employer in the area shutting down.
OK-hope I didn't scare you. The have a joke out there "Welcome to Burning Man, Where Nature Makes a Serious Attempt to Kill You". If you think it's a dealbreaker to put up with excessive daytime heat (115deg), excessive cold evening temps. (around 40 deg), 70 mph winds that will trash an EZ up or tent in 4 min flat, dust on everything, no natural shade, slippery mud that dries into concrete, loud music 24/7, people who drive by in their flame throwing cars shooting flames 100 feet into the air at all hours of the night, I wouldn't go. If any of your co travelers, be it friends/partners/someone who expects you to take care of them is a whiny Drama Queen who will blame you for any inconveniences in their trip, don't bring them. One of my friends is one of the organizers, and when I asked her why they have it during the hottest/windiest/dustiest part of the summer, she said "We want to weed out the whiny Drama Queens so we can be left with self sufficient, positive people who roll with the punches and can be creative and helpful and philosophical even in extreme elements/circumstances". If you stick it out, you will not be disappointed with the high caliber of people you will meet out there !! (BTW, no cell phones or wireless devices work out there, so you will be forced to actually sit down and talk to real people. It's part of what makes it so wonderful though-no distractions and all about letting go of control-over schedules, communications, etc.)
Above all-have fun-and keep this thread going! I have friends I camp with (in Kidsville if I bring the Kid, at Dustfish or 11:11 if she opts to stay home with Daddy), but I would love to come visit you!