In which I reply to a comment

One veteran burner’s advice I received was to only take costumes and not bother taking regular clothes, or at least take the absolute minimum of regular clothes you’ll need (for the elements, wearing outside BRC, etc.)

I disagree. Costumes are my THING, and I packed a plethora of both costumes and practical clothes last year. I hardly wore any of the costumes. And when I did, there wasn’t much of a point to it (ie, it was night, and I had a coat and warm things covering it up).

This year, I am first packing practical things to wear. One pair of shoes, one pair of walk to the toilet shoes, one spare pair of shoes (same as the first, cheap little shrug boots).

Last year I had….three? pairs of boots…flip-flops, sneakers and slippers for around camp…if not more.  Between the elements and the need for mobility, when I did dress up I found I kinda wish’d I hadn’t. I mean sure, Prom Princess Hitler and the belligerent unicorn were sort of fun, but trying to ride a bike in all that tomfoolery = not so much.

And I mean, if you’re not a “costume-y” person?

Anyways. As I was trying to sort and pack I realized flying does have the advantage of forcing me to not only not have to choose between ghost pirate panniers and evil Alice, I can’t pack either! No wearing five different outfits in one day (like I was noticed to do last year at Alchemy) for me!

And…I need to be OK with that. But that’s me. As a veteran burner (I guess) and BM second-timer, who is trying to deal with flying (and not being able to take…um…five boxes? like last year…) be safe and practical, first, then see what kind of room you have.

Amazing things happened without me even thinking to ask…so now I’ve thought of something to ask for: hopefully someone will be able to loan me an air mattress/bedding and a cooler. The cooler is a pain because it doesn’t hold THAT much, as far as clothes or such, and it would have to be securely taped up and closed, and then whatever’s in it, when I get to Reno, has to get out! And the space that bedding would take up = one whole piece of luggage that could be filled with fun stuff.

Flying to Burning Man is way too complicated – on a budget, anyways. Sure, if you can fly in when you want, rent a car, buy stuff once you get there, wellllllllllllllll fucking great for you.

I can’t, though. I’m already overbudget (anybody want to buy a bento box? vintage Strawberry Shortcake glassware? my virginity?) and worried about that in addition to all this packing and and and and and and and

…I’m really glad I have this weekend off. Tonight I’m going to my friend’s house, hoping he’ll have another bag for me. He’s a rad-ass kayaker, and also has a water bladder he’s going to loan me. I don’t know if my idea of the belt and cloak will work, we’ll find out this weekend. I’m off this weekend (YES.). Then I work for seven days straight before my next days off.

Ok. Let’s stop whining and see what needs to get done:


packing up

packing things all in one place I can carry and put on a plane

figuring out the cooler situation

what food should I try to fly with?

what food can I get at the mystery grocery store?

Should I spend time on the camp gifts I want to make that I might not have room for?

Is the cloak and belt a waste of time?

Should I stop all the crafting and instead spend hours in evening exercising, both to lose weight and “get hot” and acclimate towards the miles and miles of walking I’ll be doing?

Ack. I got interuppted by work and lost my train of thought several times.

Better post and pics of boobies next time, honest.


7 Responses to “In which I reply to a comment”

  1. Allison Says:

    If you can get a cooler for cheap or from a friend you should just pack it as a suitcase and bring it on the plane.

    Last year we flew down with one suitcase and one cooler each and it worked. One of the coolers was stuffed with clothes and the other had our tent and air matress in it. We used those suitcase straps people use to identify their luggage to keep the coolers shut.

    We did get a few questions going through customs but once they were satisfied that it was camping gear and not illegal produce in the coolers they let us through.

  2. J Says:

    And your one suitcase and one cooler had everything you needed for the week? I have a cooler, and the current plan is to pack it as a second suitcase.

    However, if somebody out there has a cooler to loan me, I could use an actual suitcase which would fit more stuff and be easier to travel with (as opposed to a cooler with a flippy-lid that’d have to be duct-taped down and un-taped for security and whathaveyou.

    Those straps are what I’d use, indeed. My friends have flown in with their stuff in Action Packers, and they used the straps as well.

  3. Christine Says:

    He was giving the advice under the assumption that I had gone to burner events and was into costumes, when in fact I’d never been to a burner event in my life. His advice for newbies is to just take regular clothes and not worry so much about the costumes. So I guess it just depends…

  4. J Says:

    Yeah, I was thinking, “She doesn’t really strike me as the dress-up sort…”

    There are costume camps there – come visit Sex Filth Avenue, my neighbor, and get gussied up!

    I honestly ended up wearing the same thing every day around camp (a wife beater and slip, it was SO hot), so I’m only taking two slips (as opposed to more) for in-between outfits to walk around in (be comfortable, and cool) and wear at night (be comfortable, and warm).

  5. Christine Says:

    Hell yeah! I bought some slips too at the thrift store and was wondering if I should bother to take them. Well guess that decision’s made then.

  6. Joshua Says:

    Fuck losing weight and fuck “getting hot.”

    With all due respect.

  7. N Says:

    “be safe and practical, first, then see what kind of room you have.”
    good for rule #1.
    It’s a camping trip… and everything is dirty whether you wore it yesterday, or put it on a half hour ago… so nobody knows!

    You are limited by your mode of transportation. Think of it as a sort of haiku. lighter, smaller, still packs a wallop.

    Cooler, I made a cooler once out of a cardboard box, some crumpled newspaper and a garbage bag. All you need is dead air space. Saw a video of a soldier who put a hot bottle of water in a wet sock and twirled it around like poi for a little while. et voila, cool(er) water. Don’t plan on items that require refrigeration. If you have a can of warm soda, ask if you can put it in someone’s cooler for a couple of minutes. Or get a bag of ice, and make a cooler! You’ll have garbage bags, make a moop cooler? If you double up the bags, you can use your dirty or not clothing as units of insulation. Not having things specific to only one type of use is a backpacker’s mantra. Look at some minimalist hiker adventure sites and see how little they carry. Not having all that stuff is not the same as being unprepared. Amaze people with your minimalism, and your multipurpose items. A handkerchief is a hat, a washcloth, a headband, a sling, a dust mask (that’s the train of thought.) Think of the Burn that takes place at the South Pole!

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