Jaded Veteran’s Guide to What You Need: Wake Me Up Before I FOMO


Wake up in the morning feelin’ like…you just slept for one hour, consumed gods-know-what all night long, and FOMO is kicking you out of bed. Or even better, you’ve got a volunteer shift to show up for.

  1. Hydrate: I fill up my camp bottle* when I go to bed so it’s ready to chug when I wake up. This OXO bottle rules because you can scoop powder into it without looking like Scarface afterwards. And, ICE! oxo-strive-advance-bottle-0What powder? Vitalyte, of course. My first year I was miserably, physically thirsty until Thursday. I was drinking anything I could find – IRL I mostly drink water, coffee, and booze. Out there I was drinking Coke and other sodas (huge deal, I don’t drink them ever, never have in my life), flavored milks, ANYTHING I could get to try and stop being thirsty.

“Have you been taking electrolytes?”

…d’oh. This is a MUST. That first bottle of water of the day has a scoop, I take a scoop before bed, and whatever in-between. Vitalyte’s lemon is my favorite, but it’s hard to find these days.

Why Vitalyte and not one of the others? It’s only-what-you-need ingredients, invented by a chemist, mild flavor, instant dissolution (even in champagne), and the fact that it absorbs directly into your stomach lining.

If you’re going to mess with your keto diet during the burn, this is where to do it.

2. Morning Pills:

  • Ibuprofen for inflammation aches, preventative measures, and handing out to people who will now owe you a favor.
  • Naproxen Sodium for headaches, especially those induced by alcohol.
  • Probiotics for pooping.
  • Poop pills if you’re horribly clogged and have to do SOMETHING. Take two in the morning. Within 8 hours, relief. Trust me on this one. This is my miracle pill year-round (yay celiac’s). Can also take one before bed, to try and keep things flowing.

I used to take multi-vitamins, Emergen-C, B-12, etc. but I don’t take them in real life, so I don’t take them out there. If you plan on really…”partying,” then start your 5HTP prior to the event, it’s not a miracle day-after cure. It needs to build up. I really like this brand, and I’m almost positive their melatonin actually helps me get to sleep.

I have a pillbox like this one, organized by pain/sleep/energy/emergency. For bigger stuff like the probiotics me and Reggie Watts swear by, I just take the bottle and use it for whatever other vitamins/supplements. Can be a pain shaking it all out to get to what you need, but saves space/trash bottles.

If you need to travel with pills, these cookies are totes adorbz and super great gifts. 


Also, Plan B. 

Eyeballs: Ok, now that you’ve chugged some Vitalyte water, taken your meds, moisten them eyeballs. Perfect time to lay back down and question your life choices.

Theoretically, single-use is best; remains the most sterilized. Also great to have on you as you go about your day. PRO TIP: DON’T USE THEM IN A DUST STORM IN A PORTOJOHN. I’ll explain later. (I’m not going to explain later, just trust me.)

I’m vain so I like to do Visine for redness (also works if you have blooming pimples, to lessen the redness of your skin) then moisture stuff. Post-LASIK we tried EVERYthing, and this was our favorite.  I used to try the overnight stuff, it’s basically just vasoline.  If you’ve already got dry eyes IRL, you might want to try it. Everyone is different, of course, and there’s a lot of variables determining how your skin, nasal passages, nail beds, and eyes will react to the desert. Better safe than sorry applies no where more than it does at Burning Man.

3. Face: Everyone has a thing that just makes them feel better. For me, it’s washing my face. Water and soap. This routine probably isn’t for people with dry skin and/or who don’t have to worry about acne.

  1. My holy grail face soap
  2. Korean scrubbie
  3. towel to keep soapy water from hitting the dust, a must-have when I did contacts, to catch the saline
  4. towel to dry my face – If you haven’t used these “camp towels” before, it’s weird. Trick is you don’t use it like a normal towel, rubbing and buffing. You wipe yourself dry. Also useful for catching spills, but not as thick as the Sham Wow. Hang INSIDE your tent to dry or it will be useless!
  5. Face sunscreen – Yeah, it’s expensive. But crying in my tent because I have a big zit on the way costs more. For years I used Elta MD. I switched to Nia 24. I think it might make my skin look better…not quite as greasy as the Elta (which would be a downside, for some).
  6. Tattoo sunscreen – The tube I’ve got is almost gone. I’ll probably switch to a straight-up zinc stick, maybe?
  7. Rest of me sunscreen – Natural, poisonous, cream, spray, stick: I’ve tried them all (except expensive fancy ones, like Super Goop, which I’m dying to try!). This keeps being my favorite.  Neutrogena gets second place, too. Sunscreen is difficult for me because I don’t like lotion and feeling greasy. But hoo-boy, you think you burn easily…wait til you get to the desert. After the first grease-up of the day, keep a smaller size on you to touch up as needed. 
  8. Weleda Skin Food for any spots that still feel dry, after slathering on the lotions. I was using Nivea and whatever other thick creams I could find on sale. Then I found Skin Food on sale. Insanely worth the cost. Pat it under my eyes several times a day/night and apply as needed elsewhere.

Now that you’ve taken care of your flesh and bones, it’s time to eat!

And of course by eat, I mean drink coffee until you vibrate.

  1. Boil water – this Jetboil is all we take, no more stove.
  2. Add instant coffee – I am a coffee snob, die-hard French presser, but eff that noise out there
  3. Or instant Thai tea

Or add the Thai tea packet to your coffee! Works like creamer and sugar in one. Half/half is one of my cooler items, if you know a powdered/non-cooler creamer that’s GOOD (not Coffee Mate, not powdered milk), please let me know!

Y’all know I love my collapsible drinking vessels. Nalgenes are stupid. Camelbaks are stupid. One exception:



Why? Spill-proof. Keeps hot hot and cold cold without burning your hand or dripping condensation anywhere. Cork-lined handle is comfortable and fits a carabiner. Ooooooooooooh snap, now they have purple!!

Until recently I just wanted hot coffee in the morning, no matter how hot the air was. I don’t know. Just did. Thankfully a camp mate brought a bottle of Stok’s, and I learned how amazing iced coffee can be.  I can go through one bottle myself while I get ready.

Another awesome cold treat, any time of day, is espresso coconut water.

NOT THIS ONE. Though try them all, see which one you like best. Me, Coco Cafe is the best. Coming back to camp after riding around or volunteering all day, one of these cold out the cooler is just….just a real treat. They’re often on-sale at the grocery store, and I’d buy whenever they were and save them up.

Lastly, brush your teeth. MOOP-free with these toothpaste “nuts” and a box you can burn. Spitting into a water bottle/mason jar can get gross. Spit out onto these, and burn them.

Side note, I was super anti-Wisps, the disposable travel toothbrushes until a surprise vomit incident. The people I was visiting handed me one and it was the most amazing feeling in the worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrlduh. So, if you’re prone to vomit or away from your toothbrush, consider killing the planet a little more with these things. Give it a second to activate the toothpaste/soften the bristles.

So, to sum up my morning routine: hydrate, medicate, moisturize, clean and sunscreen, caffeinate.


Jaded Veteran’s Guide to What You Need to Survive Burning Man, and Maybe Even Have Some Fun: Personal Care

2 Responses to “Jaded Veteran’s Guide to What You Need: Wake Me Up Before I FOMO”

  1. Jaded Veteran’s Guide To Burning Man: Better Living Through Chemistry; Alcohol | I'm going to Burning Man. Says:

    […] Whatever shall I wear?!? « Jaded Veteran’s Guide to What You Need: So Fresh and So Clean […]

  2. Jaded Veteran’s Guide to Burning Man: Feed me, Seymour! | I'm going to Burning Man. Says:

    […] covered coffee in the post about how I start my days, and my coffee mug in the post about drinking at Burning Man. Here’s the food stuffs I count […]

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