DIY Your Burn!

I learned to hold a hammer at Burning Man.

Hi folks, I’m The Hun and I’m excited to be blogging for you this year. Some of you already know me from past escapades, and some know me from my current blog, Love and Trash. And some of you are my new best friends.

Back in 2007 for the Green Man, Tom Price (among others) came up with a series of useful tips for Greening Your Burn: doing Burning Man in a more environmentally-responsible manner. Four years later, environmental pressures are still mounting. Financial pressures, too, for many of us.

So I’d like to revisit the Greening Your Burn series, but with a self-reliant twist. After all, Doing Things Yourself is generally more affordable and more eco-friendly than Buying Things From The Store. It’s also more fun, as long as you plan well, and you might actually pick up some new skills.

photo by Perfecto Insecto

I’ll be using this space to share ideas, inspiration and practical knowledge that’ll help you have the raddest Burning Man ever ever, but without having to spend thousands for your gear and accommodations.

Let’s call it DIY Your Burn.

Now, I know I’m not the only do-it-yourselfer around here. So I ask you: what are some of the things you do, great ideas you’ve seen, projects you can recommend? Please leave a comment with any and all suggestions. Let’s share the knowledge and DIY this burn.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

12 Comments on “DIY Your Burn!

  • FIGJAM says:

    I started a thread on eplaya under Q&A called “cooling your tent or van”.

    It’s about cooling your sleep space without the need for a generator.

    A comfy place to crash whenever the need arises is one of the most important parts of having the energy to enjoy the playa. IMHO

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  • Woot! I’m looking forward to reading your articles. I’m going to Burning Man for the first time so I look forward to everyone’s tips!

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  • tunnel says:

    Cool, great idea! Solar camping seems like an obvious topic of interest. I’m trying to incorporate some solar into my camp setup this year. Other DIY stuff I wanna do includes building my own playa furniture and a small electric vehicle for playa exploration. You can find plans for playa furniture and other fun DIY stuff at

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  • The Hun says:

    @FIGJAM, that’s perfect! I can’t wait to read your ideas. Thanks for sharing, and I couldn’t agree more.

    @Angela, welcome aboard! :)

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  • Robert J says:

    YES, check figjams posts on the homebuilt evaporative cooler. They are excellent.

    We are running our homebuilt cooler and other electrics off of two solar panels…making cool from heat. How much greener can we get? Let’s find out!

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  • Zhust (Jason Olshefsky) says:

    My interface from the default world to Burning Man has revolved around trying out new things. Each year I devise or build something new and bring it to see if it’s strong enough to last the week.

    This year, I’m in the process of designing a tadpole tricycle: a pedaled vehicle with one rear wheel and two front wheels for steering. The design is more complicated but stable (i.e. it doesn’t tend to tip over in turns) compared to a traditional trike. I want to make it rugged for my trip, but also able to be transformed into storage containers.

    The full plan is to take the train from my home in Rochester, NY to Winnemucca, NV then ride the trike the 100 miles from Winnemucca to Burning Man.


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  • The Hun says:

    @Robert, I love it. What size/wattage are your panels? Would really like to hear more about your setup and recommendations.

    @Zhust, YEAH DUDE. I’ve never heard of a trike with two wheels in the front! What’s the profile — low or high? Will you put dirt bike wheels on it or road wheels? Tell me more!

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  • Assasaurus - SlutGarden says:

    I am looking for collapsable bike rack ideas!

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  • Wraith says:

    Looking forward to reading this as well. Half of what draws me to the Burn is the challenge and creativity of creating a home in a barren and inhospitable place like the playa, and all the challenges that entails.

    Currently working on this year’s design, because I’ve decided I want a hammock and nothing will stop me from making it happen.

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  • Luvbugg says:

    We use solar panels for any power needs we have, but one of the was to cool your living space is to use milar cooling blankets, they are about $2 and they cut the heat down in your living space tremendously. We have glued them all over tarps, and we drap the tarps over vehicles, we have mylared our trailer this year, mylared the roof of a big tent structure. It cuts the day heat down 10-15 degrees. For our water drinking needs and ice needs, we freeze water in plastic milk jugs, use those for our ice needs but as they defrost we have COLD drinking water.
    We do a lot of other simple things like that…..

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  • Zubeyir says:

    I just wanted to point out that a geodesic dome should never be built from the bottom up, as shown in the photo, but rather from the top down. There are many reasons for top down assembly but to be brief and to the point. Building from the bottom up is time consuming, requires more people, can damage the struts, and can be downright dangerous for those fingers and hands.
    Top down forever!

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  • madre says:

    Hey FIGJAM – what is the power source for your swamp cooler? I’m not clear on that. Thanks for your good work!

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