Burning Man – preparation, experience, tips and ideas

Burning Man Equipment List

Following is the list of equipment I take with me to Burning Man so I can be 100% self-sufficient. That being said, I generally find I have too much food and in 2016 too much water. In 2017 we experienced a much hotter event – 104 degrees F – and I went through all my water and had to refill from a friend that brought a 50 gallon potable water survival cell in the back of his truck.

  • #1 – Burning Man Ticket. I store this in a specific location in my house and it is the first thing I place in my car before leaving for Burning Man!
  • Printed copy of Early Entry Pass (if applicable)
  • Car sticker mounted on the lower left corner of the windshield
  • Cash for ice at Burning Man
  • ID
  • Medical insurance card
  • Credit card for travel to/from Black Rock City
  • Car insurance and registration

Camping equipment

  • Tent
  • Ground cloth
  • Storage bins for clean and dirty clothes inside tent (keeps dust out of clothes)
  • Pee bottle in case I have to go and don’t want to trek to the outhouse
  • Inflatable bed or inflatable pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheet to put over sleeping bag and bed to keep dust off
  • Pillow
  • Ear plugs for sleeping – foam or gel
  • Tent organizer – hanging pockets or camp cord to organize stuff inside the tent – flashlight, car keys, sunburn goo, chapstick, etc.
  • Knife
  • Towel for resting under when it is hot
  • Bucket for soaking feet
  • Vinegar for soaking feet or hands
  • Reading materials – Kindle with charger, iPad with charger, etc
  • Ice chest for food and water – place on storage bins so it does not leak cold into the hot Playa!

Eating equipment

  • Pot for heating water or larger meals with camp-mates
  • Frying pan
  • Grill for stove
  • Soap
  • Cleaning bin for washing dishes
  • Paper plates or non-breakable dishes (preferred)
  • Cups – no glass
  • Burning Man mug for coffee/tea in the morning with The Captain
  • Utensils
  • Cooking implements
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Lighter
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
  • Coconut water tetrapacks for hydration


I create a menu for the entire trip – driving to BRC, at Burning Man, driving home from BRC. Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.


  • Water – I bring a 2.5 gallon water container from the grocery store for each day I am at Burning Man. I use the water for meal prep, cleaning, drinking and showering. In the summer heat I try to drink at least a gallon of water a day, augmented with tea, coconut water and gatorade. I check the color of my urine – if it is dark then I am not drinking enough. If I am getting headaches, I am not drinking enough. Plus this gives me extra to share if other people did not bring enough or run out.
  • Frozen water bottles – get a case of water at Costco or the grocery store and freeze before leaving. Generates more trash to take home than the 2.5 gallon containers but having ice water is pretty amazing.
  • Camelback while out on the Playa – particularly during setup and teardown
  • Metal water bottles – they taste better than plastic and don’t melt in the sun.


  • Pump
  • Patch kit
  • Bike shoes
  • Gloves
  • Lights for frame, wheels, handlebars – EL wire, etc
  • Batteries for lights – AA and/or AAA.
  • Lock (crucial) – I use one with a combo so I don’t worry about losing a key
  • Compass for riding during whiteouts so you get back to camp instead of heading to Deep Playa (it happens)
  • Bike rack for car
  • Basket for bicycle
  • Day pack with hand cleaner, water, TP, glasses, goggles, hat, sunburn goo, chapstick, sun coverup
  • Chain cleaner
  • Chain wax (not oil)
  • Rags


  • Sun hat
  • Warm hat
  • Bike gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • Kilt
  • TuTu
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shirts
  • Costume(s)
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm pants
  • Umbrella (sun protection when waiting in line)
  • Music/phone/camera charger
  • Djembe
  • Electric clothing


  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Meds
  • First aid kit
  • Sunburn goo
  • Towels – microfiber dries fast
  • Baby wipes
  • TP in ziplock
  • Shower shoes
  • Trash bag for taking everything home


  • Camera – recently used to ensure everything is working
  • Enclosure to keep from getting ruined in the dust
  • Memory cards – 64GB or larger so you minimize swapping on Playa – recently used so you know they are working
  • Battery charger for camera – plug into car, plug into solar panel, etc.
  • Lens cleaner
  • Lens blower/brush
  • Notepads for getting names of people in photos


  • Solar panel sized to your needs (see separate article)
  • Generator and fuel (go solar if at all possible to avoid stink, spilled fuel and noise)
  • Sound enclosure for Generator (go solar if at all possible)
  • Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries
  • Storage battery – connected to solar panel for recharging
  • Inverter to connect to 12V storage battery so you can charge your camera, phone, AA, AAA, etc.


  • Headlamp and batteries
  • Lantern – inside tent or in common area at camp
  • EL wire for helping others light their bikes or clothing

Daily gear

  • Day pack/Camelback
  • Headlamp
  • Dust mask
  • Dust goggles
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses
  • Kleenex
  • Eye wash
  • Hand sanitizer


Related Images:

This entry was posted in Burning Man, Camping, Music, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.