Boobs, sweat, Burning Man

August 15, 2016

A dear readers asks: “Gonna get personal here. Did you ever go topless at Burning Man? Did you have problems from boob sweat + playa?”

I couldn’t recall any sort of issue, so I asked friends. Overwhelming consensus is that since it’s so dry out there, boob sweat isn’t an issue. Here in the South, most of the year we’re getting hugged by a REALLY sweaty person who won’t let go. You can sit still under the shade with a fan, and you’re still gonna be wet from the  humidity.

Second overwhelming response is to use deodorant, to prevent sweating and chafing under the breasts, in the groin area, etc.  Pretty much the same ingredients as Monistat and other anti-chafing products, just without the targeted marketing and pink tax.

I’m basically a Pstyle missionary.  I keep one on me, one in my tent next to the peejug. I consider it a “must-have” for Burning Man, other burns, gross music venues with no toilet seats, outfits that I don’t want to remove completely so I can pee, etc.

She asks, “What do you do with pstyle while it’s in your bag? Put it in a ziplock? Does it get gross?”

The belt I made has a zipper pocket just for the Pstyle. Many women keep it in a ziplock bag with wet wipes. I don’t, just shake after use, it dries instantly, the end. It’s never gotten gross – when I’m menstruating the blood might need to get wiped off, doesn’t always shake right off like urine, but that’s about it. Doesn’t smell, doesn’t make the fabric of the pockets it’s in smell. The most likely thing to end up smelling is your peejug.

I have overflowed the Pstyle when I didn’t have it placed correctly and/or wasn’t paying attention. Practice in the shower, over your toilet at home, off your back deck, until you figure out where it needs to go against your body and how you need to stand. I have also definitely overflowed my peejug, so keep it empty. I’ve also  knocked it over, so keep the lid screwed on at all times!!

I recommend this water bottle for a peejug:


The paper handle is very nice for the emptying trips. I also like to paint it, cover it with duct tape, etc. so it’s not like, totally obvious you’re carrying around a bunch of pee.



Space bags STILL SUCK.

August 10, 2016

I’ve posted enough about trying them out. The ones you vacuum can shrink stuff, into a brick that may make packing more difficult. But then once you’re there, who’s got a vaccum? My friends are trying it anyways, claiming their air mattress pump will work.

Checkout line impulse, Swiss Gear ones. More expensive, “name brand,” maybe they’ll be useful this time. 

Misc. clothes (ie not total outfits that can go in their own ziploc bag):

On the left, a plastic zipper bag that probably sheets came in. Right, the empty space bag. Transferred – the sliding closer clip came off before I’d even opened it (per usual). I filled it with the clothes, smushed it below the fill line, went to roll, POP! Well, too much stuff. Halved it, made it nice and flat. Started to roll, POP! Took everything out but a skirt and bikini top, made sure to squeeze excess air out before rolling, started rolling, POP!

They’re just thicker ziploc bags with a useless plastic sliding tab. How did you get it to work? What do you use to compress stuff for packing? I’d use a compression bag but the plastic keeps stuff clean, and the see-through means less rummaging, which also means keeping it cleaner…


August 9, 2016
I’m not finding any info on what can’t be mailed to BRC PO…which seems odd. Not even a “don’t Prime us, assholes!” update, in these years of Amazon. 
One year my campmate had fresh chocolate covered strawberries delivered.
Mail is a beautiful thing, just the smallest postcard is special. Everything I ever got is hanging on the wall or in my burn box. If you want to surprise someone the format is:
name: doom
camp name and address: Stag Camp 815&D
anything else potentially helpful: (in the monkey hut with Ghini)*
Black Rock City NV 89412-0149 (this is the same for everyone)
*delivering mail is AWESOME, I recommend everybody do it. No official sign up, just swing by the PO around Center Camp, tell them where you’re headed, and they’ll give you what they have along that area.
Descriptors can help because shit gets packed in there, several times I was at the right camp and right address but nobody knew the person on the envelope.

This is some meta 80s nostalgia right here. (a draft I just found from 5 years ago)

August 8, 2016

It was the sixth grade. My parents promised to pay half, if I earned the money for a Nintendo. A what? A Nintendo. I was the first kid on my block in Manhattan, Kansas, to have one. Though I eventually went on to do other things, like going back to not being popular and reading ten books at a time, for a while my little brother and I spent every hour immersed in 8-bit, beepbeepbloopbloopbeep wonderment.

Legend of Zelda, a precursor to “RPGs” and the style of gaming that seems to be the most popular now (WoW) was my favourite. I had the big ol’ map ripped from Nintendo Power and my finger ever-hovering on the pause button to figure out where the heck am I?? Where am I going? Unlike Punch-Out, Mario, Duck Hunt – and especially anything to do with the powerpad – LoZ appealed to my intellect, my curiousity and my love of story-telling.

Just like John Hughes movies (remember that book I recommended?. Well, they appealed to my love of 80s fashion (the day after I saw Breakfast Club I tried my best to dress exactly like Ally Sheedy had) and music, hot popular boys who ended up with hearts of gold and like most kids who love them, having the “dweeb” as the star. So, please to accept

The Legend of Zelda (1987) Trailer

(The latter half, just a montage, is better.)

A post-script, I watched Valley Girl for the nth time last night and will be trying to use this quote as much as possible:

“That technorock you guys listen to is GUTLESS!”

image from 365 Days of Cage, a pretty funny site

It’s a little long for a mantra, but the next time you find yourself surrounded by 20,000 morons covered in fur and glitter with shitty taste and music,

August 8, 2016

“It contributes greatly towards a man’s moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.”

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Slaughterhouse Five

Tickets & Booty

August 8, 2016

“Packing looks like it’s going well…”

August 8, 2016

Now to decide what goes and what stays (condensing my usual burn gear into a flyable size)



The Holy GRAIL!?

August 8, 2016


Bring Your Own Cup!!!

Not just for bars and booze, you could find yourself being offered a fresh fruit smoothie, some homemade ice cream, curry or any number of things you will want a vessel for.

A lot of people just use a water bottle. I try to keep things minimal. Carabiner cups have been my go-to burn cup most all these years. Until now, having stumbled upon the Hydaway. 

Whoa.Packs up small AND doesn’t spill? No more getting a fresh drink only to hop on my bike and spill it everywhere?! Nah, it can’t be that great…can it?

It’s heavier than I thought, but a decent size.


I got the 21 oz, vs the 12 oz, thinking it’d be good to also keep on hand for water (can’t get enough of the stuff out there). Plus, the 12 oz is just the 21’s upper half. Here’s the 21, not pulled out all the way, aka the 12 oz


vs the full size 21 oz


It’s weird, for sure. It’s also surprisingly difficult to pull out all the way. Works best with the lid off, so you can grab down into the bottle while you pull on the tab thingy on the bottom. Also ended up not really saving any more space than my cup


BUT it’s spill-proof. I filled it with water and shook it around. Will still use my Platypus on the plane, weighs less, takes up more room, but excited to see how this works out for misc. usage on the playa.

Starting the final packing

August 8, 2016

Oh, to drive to Burning Man one year and have all my usual burn hear…I’ve reduced to what I think I might need in the desert. I’m going to try using this box (instead of ziploc bags), maybe it’ll be a bit more organized. Take up more space packing though?


I started with just “tent stuff:”

bungee cords



hanging basket

work gloves

shamwow – I use this in the tent for when I’m taking contacts in/out, to catch the saline.

solar lanterns – I’ve been beyond pleased with these.

But it was pretty empty so now it’s got more burn-only necessities (as opposed to what needs to be with me for the traveling):

4 goggles




another shamwow

spare ID

tent pee funnel

In all my burn gear I have a “playa only” set of stuff I hadn’t been through in a couple of years. I have four goggles!


The DeWalts are the best, the seal is rubber (not foam) and the wide lens gives great visibility. Unfortunately, after just one year, they are scratched to HELL.


Playa also ruined the glasses I took – and I only wear them around camp. Playa dust will fuck your shit up.

I hang the goggles from my belt with a carabiner. It’s cumbersome. The collapsible are cool for saving space, but have much more limited visibility.

I have a very special place in my heart for these because: in 2011 I flew into San Diego to drive down with a friend (the original DOOM). It was…that year. In addition to it being…that year, I misplaced my wallet on the drive down. I was physically, mentally and emotionally  non-existent and now I didn’t have any money or ID. Luckily they don’t check ID, when you already have your ticket. We stopped in Gerlach for some reason and I was killing time looking at the tables, while my friend did whatever we’d stopped for. The fella running this particular table was from…Wisconsin? He was there solely to sit at that table and sell goggles all week. He was doing his sales pitch when I said “I have no money, but I hope you sell out!”


“Well here, take these.” I cried and thanked him and they’ve been my favorite (albeit rarely worn) goggles since.

The white pair are snowboarding goggles I’ve never taken, but RHINESTONES.

The third pair are pretty OK, but they don’t sit *quite* right/form a seal across the eyes.

What’s your favorite pair? That doesn’t cost $300…

Name it. Claim it.

August 8, 2016

As you’re packing, be sure to write your name and location on/in EVERYTHING. Back of your headlamp. Bottom of your water bottle. On your backpack. I’ve had my 3 favoritest hats EVER outright stolen, when I set them down with my coat inside a bar. Won’t help that. But if you do lose something (I’ve lost my pee funnel, even), having a name and camp location will increase the odds of it being returned. If they don’t feel like finding you they might turn it into Playa Info , which keeps a running list of found items.