Random Items Your Future Self Will Be Glad You Brought With You (Part 1 of 2)

Every year, I have at least a few moments of crisis or annoyance when I realize I failed to bring an item I really should have remembered to bring. So here are 5 random items my future self at Burning Man will be happy my current self remembers to bring. Tomorrow we’ll list 5 more items!

Sun Shower – These little babies will save your crusty, dried-out skin and they’re pretty cheap. Just fill it up with water, leave it out in the sun all day and around dusk, hang it up a bit of distance from your camp and get to washing that stinky body of yours. Don’t forget, you need to have some sort of system that will capture that grey water you’re creating. Don’t let that crap seep into the playa. For more on that, check this.

Lip Balm and Lip Sun-block – For some reason, I tend to develop fever blisters or cold sores on my lip if I spend too much time unexposed out in the unforgiving sun. Yeah, it totally sucks. And if you get cold sores or fever blisters occasionally, you’d be wise to heed my advice. Ii’ve found that it’s a good idea to always wear high SPF sunblock on my lips and keep the lips as moist as possible. I know some people who go so far as to slather their lips with petroleum jelly. I think that’s a little much but whatever works. There’s also medicine you can buy (Acyclovir) that will help but you’ll need a prescription for that. Talk to your friendly neighborhood doctor for more.
Photo by Tristan Savatier, 2006. http://www.playa-dust.com
Wide-Brimmed Hat – This is also part of my plan to avoid fever blisters (see above), as well as not letting my face and head get scorched by the sun. Whether you get a wide-brimmed hat for fashion or for utilitarian purposes doesn’t really matter — the important thing is that you have one, at least for the daylight hours. I’m not much of a hat person, so i opted for something a bit more simple, a floppy hat with a string around it so you’re not running across the playa when a big gust of wind swoops through.

Ear Plugs – You’d be amazed how much ear plugs can help when it’s time for you to sleep. I’m the type of person that tends to stay up most of the night while at Burning Man and attempts to sleep at least four hours during the day — six if you’re lucky! See, funny thing about Burning Man is that it never really gets completely quiet. There’s always something going on out in the distance, whether it’s a dance camp, fire, mutant vehicles roaring by, or whatever. You’re going to want some ear plugs to help you snuff out the extraneous sounds so you can get some decent sleep. You can find those foamy ear plugs at almost any pharmacy or grocery store.

Baby Wipes – OK, first off, don’t even think about tossing these babies into the porta potties. Not a good idea. But, that said, i find that baby wipes are an excellent way to keep your body moist, especially your hands, arms and face. They’re great when you wanna clean up a bit but don’t have time to grab a shower. And, in case you didn’t know, you’ll be amazed at the crazy bizarro boogers your nasal passages will conjure up, especially in your first couple of days on the playa, when your body is still adjusting to the harshness. Baby wipes are a godsend when your nose is feeling especially dry and gnarly.

Stay tuned for more for random items your future self will be glad you brought with you to Burning Man. In fact, your future self is already stoked you just read this.

About the author: timmmii

Tim was not born on a bayou, but he wishes he had, as that would be more romantic. Tim is a writer, editor, picky eater, lighter of some fluids, co-founder of Fireside Storytelling, wannabe statistician, avid bicyclist, host of the radio show Down The Well w/ Timmmii on RadioValencia.fm, fighter, loud, and Burning Man maven since 1999. Tim has other talents too but he prefers to leave you guessing.

5 Comments on “Random Items Your Future Self Will Be Glad You Brought With You (Part 1 of 2)

  • timmmii says:

    From Flo Danger: Saline Nasal Spray_ It feels good when your nose is all dry and crusty and it cleans out your nostrils. It is a definite Galmour DO.

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  • timmmii says:

    From Serial Carpens: Alright, being a solo dewd who just wants to get his wash on every now and then, I suppose I will bring either a small wading pool to stand in while I shower, or build a little 2×4 with plastic grey water collector, but honestly, I live in the desert now (Las Vegas) and when you dump a lil’ bit of water onto the ground, even clay, it just evaporates in a day and a half at most. This whole ‘leave no water on the ground’ ish is a bit much for me! I always take my trash, but don’t see why grey water is harmful to the playa. ‘But I’ll do my best’. -carpenns

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  • Smudge says:

    Your skin constantly excretes uric acid (the same thing in pee) and oils as well as dead skin cells and whatever oily suntan lotion you smeared on that often contains metals.
    All of these substances are reactive with the alkali playa soil and other than the harsh sun, have no factors that would hasten their decomposition on the playa.

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  • Hiza says:

    2 things I found out about last year that saved me – lemon juice and anti-chaff cream. Lemon juice and water foot baths, facial sprays, hydration, etc…helped to combat the alkali. The chaffing cream for the fabulously loved areas that rub in the heat – boys and girls.

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  • sue ingram says:

    We donated a couple of buckets of sample sunscreen from our laboratory to a young woman going to burning man so she could let people help themselves whenever they needed more sunscreen. Natural with organic ingredients, I am sure it helped a little with the no damage to the environment mantra as well as no damage to the humans too!

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