Beginner’s Guide To Burning Man

Burning man - Beginner's Guide To Burning Man

Transforming a desert into a thriving, living, artistic, community? Simple right, wrong. Planning for the magical event begins before the next burn is even over. With over 600,000 attendees, harsh, unpredictable climate changes, and a remote location miles away from the nearest town; this is something that you need to be prepared for mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.


If you are reading this you probably already know the challenges of getting tickets. This my friends can be the most challenging task of all. I like to think of this as the beginning of the whole wonderful  experience of Burning Man. If you want something bad enough you have to go after it, with that mentality you won't let anything stop you from obtaining that golden ticket.
Below are some important dates, you'll want to be prepared with a credit card that can purchase the total amount of tickets you plan on purchasing, they sell out if you can have multiple members of your group attempt to get tickets online, you'll increase your chances!


*please note these change each year so be sure to check out the official website here*

  • Mid January  – Pre-Registration
  • End Jan/ beginning of Feb -Pre Sales ($990 & $1,200)
  • Beginning of March– Group Sales ($425)
  • End of March -Individual Sales ($425)

If you miss out on ticket sales, don't feel defeated just yet. Join communities and ask around (I purchased my ticket through a friend of a friend). Plans change and people aren't able to attend, I'm sure with valiant effort you will be able to obtain a ticket. TICKETS ARE NOT TO BE RESOLD FOR PROFIT. If you are experiencing financial hardship, but still need to experience the burn click here.

Burning Man Principles

Joining a Camp

The whole premise of Burning Man is built on the foundation of community, this is why joining a camp is so valuable. Joining a community is possible online. Asking your friends, joining Facebook groups, and Reddit are all great place to reach out and connect. Local community groups are also available throughout the US, try to meet up and secure a camp ahead of time.

You are also able to go on your own via RV, yurt, or tent, like I mention previously, COMMUNITY, is a fundamental concept at Burning Man and joining a camp has many benefits: 1) The camp probably has more experience 2) Infrastructures (play ground, hammock, bar, kitchen, showers, SHADE) are all big bonuses that usually aren't an option if you go alone 3) Connecting and bonding with others 4) Creating friendships with people you might have never had the opportunity to meet in the outside world.

Burning Man

Getting There

Burning Man is located in Black Rock City, Nevada. Reno is the closest city to Black Rock City and the most popular for flying into Burning Man. There are charter buses from Reno and San Francisco, and there is also a small airport on The Playa for private planes, roughly ~$400USD one way.

If you’ve got friends that can bring your stuff in for you, skydiving in is also an option

Be prepared for traffic, lots of traffic, and lots of waiting. Getting in and out of Black Rock City can take anywhere from up to 12 hours (or longer). More information on getting to Burning Man here.

Of the three options I listed I would recommend a yurt,

these can be rented, they allow room to stand up, move around, protect you from the dust, can hold a queen size mattress, and you can even have a portable air conditioner inside! It gets deathly hot, so I could not even fathom going in a tent. I went in an RV my first year which is nice, however  requires a little more up keep and planning. *Dust still manages to get inside so make sure you seal your windows prior to arriving to the playa.

What to Bring

Self reliance and embracing the culture of gifting as no money is exchanged means that you are responsible for bringing everything you need into and out of Burning Man (leave no trace).



from water, toilet paper, cooking utensils, tape, matches, I mean everything!
Grasping how much food you actually need can be a bit tricky and depending on what type of accommodations you have will likely alter what type of cooking you will be doing (i.e stove top, grill, microwave, or nothing). The easier the better...think basic camping essentials and pre-packaged food. If you are with a camp that prepares meals it's an added plus! It's nearly impossible to keep any nonperishable food items cooled without an RV and/or generator. The less waste you create the better...remember you are responsible for taking all your waste out with you and it will quickly pile up! 
-peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
-cooked tuna packages
-protein bars
-beef jerky (high in protein)
-fresh fruit

 Water is crucial ( ~ 2 gallons per person/day)

What to Wear

My favorite section of ALL!

Burning Man is all about self expression and channeling your inner creativity!

No outlet or area is untouched or too much, you do you boo boo! I have included 5 staple items, plus a few fun items! Just remember have fun, be creative, and don't hold back!
1) Boots (a good sturdy pair that don't hurt your feet)
2) Googles (your eyes will thank you)
3) Dust mask/respirator (protect those precious lungs)
4) Heavy Coat (the playa is freezing at night)
5) Camel pack (hydration 101)
Fun Extras:
  • Parasol Umbrella…it's DEATHLY hot during the day, this and hand fans were my saviors! Hand Fans…take a lot, hand them out…girls and guys are so, so appreciative! Same with chap stick, you can NEVER have enough out there. Utility Belt… you want to make sure it has places to attach things, not just pockets…like a water bottle 🙂 You want this and a backpack, no a purse! You NEED GOOGLES AND DUSK MASK…I included a respirator mask too, which works more effectively at keeping the dust out and your lungs clean, but unless you want to spend a lot of money on a decorated one it's just not as stylish. Scarves work ok too.
  • Googles-you want a clear pair for night and can have tinted during the day.
  • Bike lights…all bikes look the same at night, this will help yours stand out and you need to be illuminated at night for safety too. It's also nice to have a drink holder and horn 🙂
  • Comfy seat overlay if you can…you will bike MILES my ass had bruises for a week after!


  • Drink more water than you think you need….till your pee is clear. Gross, but it’s so easy to get dehydrated!
  • NEVER leave without your goggles and dust mask. Dust storms are unpredictable and can happen at anytime and the last thing you want is to be is caught in one and unprepared…I learned this the hard way!
  • Watch the sunrise from deep playa.
  • Go off and explore by yourself... sit down, breath deep, and take it all in 🙂
  • Don’t be afraid, follow your heart, say yes, take chances, meet new people!
  • If you have time to check out a class or two do, that's one thing I regret spending too much time in The Playa and not exploring a mix of everything. Including other camps…go mingle everyone has such a unique presence and purpose on The Playa!
  • Bring a water bottle that can hook onto your belt.
  • Baby wipes are your new best friend.
  • Bring eye drops, TUMS, ibuprofen, cough drops, and Emergency to ward off sickness.
  • Heavy fur jacket for the night...look at your local thrift store!
  • Bring a pair of leggings or pants to go with your outfit at night, basically you'll need a cool outfit during the day and warm at night.
  • I sorted everything for my outfits out in zip-locks and it was sooo helpful because it kept the clothing clean and everything organized.
  • Ladies, if you can get your hair braided I would….super low maintenance!
More Ideas
Beginner's Guide to BM…my favorite Blogger!
2017 BM Survival Guide
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Travel Addict. Positive Vibe Junkie. Pushing the boundaries of an ordinary life since I came into this world. I believe that all good things are possible when you set your mind to it.
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