Far from the maddening crowd

I’m looking for alternatives to standing around the man watching him burn on Saturday night at Burning Man this year.

It’s always fun to be there but this year, post Gilroy shooting, I’m very wary of crowds.

I feel uniquely vulnerable in a crowd, especially when there’s no shelter apart from art cars and the like.

But there’s seriously so many people and bikes around, it’s not like the art cars could go anywhere to escape.

If I had to run, where would I go?

It’s all flat desert.

I posted to my Village my intention to hang back from the crowd.

Or at the very least find out what the options are, even if I decide to still watch the burn from its perimeter.

And wouldn’t you know it, they came up with a whole bunch of alternative locations to watch the man burn.

Find a comfy space on some tall playa art.

Sit on top a geodesic dome.

Watch from the Esplanade.

I love my Village.

And I’m sorry too that I don’t seem to have the mental fortitude to withstand watching the man burn from the sidelines.

I’ve been thinking it might be wise to talk to a professional about what I’m experiencing.

I might have a touch of PTSD.

One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a different kind of burn for me this year because I feel so vulnerable post Garlic Festival shooting.

My friends are kind enough and understanding enough to be patient with me as I recover from the stress of knowing I was at the same festival as an active shooter and missed him by a narrow window of time.

In a way, Burning Man is the perfect place to go to heal from the trauma.

Packing for Burning Man

I have barely started packing for Burning Man.

This is unusual in that I typically am packed and playa-ready MONTHS ahead of time.

Not so this trip.

Although, under the encouragement of Tejas, I did put on all the new shoes I bought JUST TO BE SURE THEY FIT.

It’s a good thing Tejas reminded me to test out my shoes because TWO PAIRS did not fit.

The pink quinceañera sneakers and the black orthopedic flip flops did not fit.

So I’m tossing them and replacing them with different shoes, which I will not only test to make sure they fit, but also wear around a little bit at home to make sure they’re comfortable.

These are the lessons you learn after a few failures on playa.

I’ve also tested my costumes to make sure they fit.

Nothing worse than getting to the playa only to discover that the jean shorts you selected to wear with three different outfits is too tight to button.

True story.

My gift to the playa this year is a recycled gift.

I have leftovers of my custom engraved, Burning Man credit-card size bottle opener which I will be giving away to my campmates.

We work in a bar camp, so a bottle opener is an appropriate gift to give (and I had leftovers from 2017).

I can’t believe it’s just a little over a week away until I leave for the playa!

I’m so not ready!

The time she bought a PINK dress

Well, I finally pulled myself out of the fog I’ve been in since the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting enough to actually start packing for Burning Man.

As typical of me, I’m starting with my outfits.

In previous years, I’ve brought as many as TWO DOZEN outfits to Burning Man.

This year, it’s a dozen.

For 9 days in the desert, that ain’t bad.

The good news is the outfits only take up TWO travel bins and are already pre-sorted and pre-organized into individual Ziploc bags so each bag equals one outfit, complete with jewelry and accessories.

The bad news is that it’s taking more time than I anticipated to find everything and organize it into bags.

I’ve got three weeks left to complete my packing though, so I’m in good shape.

I decided to get a pseudo quinceañera dress for my collection.

Something fluffy and transparent, but not too bulky:

And. . .

. . . it’s PINK!

In case you haven’t noticed, I NEVER wear pink.

So this signifies a big change for me and believe it or not, I’m looking forward to pairing the dress with some pink sneakers (I don’t do heels on the playa anymore) and a tiara set:

It’s definitely not the most festive of quincañera dresses, but it’s pretty floofy without having any glitter, beading, or sequins on it – and that’s EXACTLY what I’m looking for in a MOOP-free quinceañera dress.

Sequins and pearls and beads, oh my!

There’s a quinceañera party for the village (it’s turning 15 years old) and I need to come up with a quinceañera outfit for a quinceañera happy hour party.

Ironically enough, I have a grape-colored quinceañera dress in my costume bins.

I wore it to a wedding at unSCruz that was inspired by the movie Labyrinth.

I paired it with delicate silver wings, hair jewels, and a delicate silver choker..

It seemed like the perfect dress at the time – big, floofy, and very very bejeweled.

Which brings me to the problem I’m running into:

Bejeweled dresses are at high risk for mooping.

So I can’t wear my current quinceañera dress on the playa.

I need something else.

Also?

Quinceañera dresses are notorious for taking up tons of space in storage, so I’m not thrilled that I’ll be packing a dress that takes up TONS OF SPACE in my travel bins.

And quite frankly, quinceañera dresses are not the most flattering type of dress for my body type.

Take a nice curvy body and throw a shit ton of fabric at it and you get a cupcake.

In that order, those are my quinceañera dress concerns:  MOOP, space, and flattering cut.

I do happen to have a white dress (for White Wednesday) that I might be able to repurpose into some sort of quinceañera-like dress, though it won’t be as fluffy or fancy.

To make up for it, I’m thinking I’ll wear a crown or a tiara – both common practices at quinceañera parties – and call it a costume.

I’m not thrilled that it’s white.

White seems awfully bridal and when you add a tiara, the results are very. . . ahem, nuptial.

Also?

I’m worried about the crown losing it’s jewels on the playa.

More MOOP!

This is what I struggle with – trying to make a non-MOOPY costume out of an inherently MOOPY activity.

 

Burning Man Essentials: Women’s Fashion

I’ve been holding off on writing this post because of the TREMENDOUS undertaking that it is.

How to describe the fashion of women at Burning Man?

I classify the fashion loosely into five styles:

  1. Dystopian
  2. Hippie
  3. Rave
  4. Steampunk
  5. Tribal/Ethnic

First of all, let me preface this by saying YOU CAN WEAR ANYTHING YOU WANT AT BURNING MAN.

Channel your inner freak and GO WILD!

These are simply some ideas, organized into a blog post that might help inspiration to strike.

DYSTOPIAN

In a word? BLACK.  But not necessarily.  Think mesh, cargo pants, zippers, chains, holsters, thigh bags, combat boots, streamlined goggles, and sleeveless hoodies.  Contains affiliate links.

HIPPIE

This one really doesn’t require an explanation.  Think macrame, crochet, colorful skirts, tie dye, dread locks, flower power, bell bottoms, and fringe.  Contains affiliate links.

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RAVE

Think holographic, kaleidoscopic color, bodysuits and glimmer, see-through, neon and GLOW!  Contains affiliate links.

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STEAMPUNK

Think neo-Victorian, steam-powered aesthetic, black and brown, lace and leather, and top hats with accoutrements.  Contains affiliate links.

TRIBAL/ETHNIC

Think bright colors, Indian-inspired patterned leggings, chestplates, chunky necklaces, and lots and lots of unique statement jewelry.  Contains affiliate links.

Ultimately, Burning Man style is what you make of it. There are no rules and there are no limitations. So have fun and let you inner child out to play!

A special cause which is near and dear to my heart is plus size fashion on the playa.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all you curvy and thick ladies out there.  Check it out, if you’re so inclined.  100+ pins!


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Burning Man Essentials: Men’s Fashion

I’ve been holding off on writing this post because of the TREMENDOUS undertaking that it is.

How to describe the fashion of men at Burning Man?

I classify the fashion loosely into five styles:

  1. Dystopian
  2. Hippie
  3. Rave
  4. Steampunk
  5. Tribal/Ethnic

First of all, let me preface this by saying YOU CAN WEAR ANYTHING YOU WANT AT BURNING MAN.

Channel your inner freak and GO WILD!

These are simply some ideas, organized into a blog post that might help inspiration to strike.

DYSTOPIAN

In a word? BLACK.  But not necessarily.  Think mesh, cargo pants, zippers, chains, holsters, thigh bags, combat boots, streamlined goggles, and sleeveless hoodies.  Contains affiliate links.

HIPPIE

This one really doesn’t require an explanation.  Think macrame, crochet, colorful pants, tie dye, dread locks, flower power, bell bottoms, and fringe.  Contains affiliate links.

RAVE

Think holographic, kaleidoscopic color, bodysuits and glimmer, see-through, neon and GLOW!  Contains affiliate links.

STEAMPUNK

Think neo-Victorian, steam-powered aesthetic, black and brown, lace and leather, and top hats with accoutrements.  Contains affiliate links.

TRIBAL/ETHNIC

Think bright colors, Indian-inspired patterned leggings, chestplates, chunky necklaces, and lots and lots of unique statement jewelry.  Contains affiliate links.

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Burning Man Essentials: Footwear

The first rule of the playa is DON’T BRING ANYTHING TO THE PLAYA THAT YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

Don’t buy designer clothes.

Don’t wear designer jewelry.

Playa dust gets everywhere and it DESTROYS things.

The only notable exception to this is YOUR SHOES.

Wear good shoes. Your feet will thank you after a day of walking and biking and a night of dancing.

Don’t wear flip flops.

Your feet will be destroyed.

Or at least if you do wear flip flops, wear them a limited amount of time and treat your feet with lemon juice or vinegar after (acid to counteract the alkalinity of the playa).

I personally like boots. They protect my feet from the dust and they look stylish.

My current pair of boots is a men’s size 7 Trashville by Demonia boot.

It’s perfect for the burn.

Here are some shoes you can peruse to find a style that you like and want to wear on the playa:

Contains affiliate links.

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Burning Man Essentials: Hygiene

 

Chapstick with SPF – to protect your lips.

 

Baby wipes, a must have. Coconut oil for everything.
Sunblock or die! First aid kit. Just in case.

 

Pee standing up in the nasty portos.
Only 1-ply TP in the portos. Vinegar to counteract the alkalinity of the playa.

 

In case you get burned. . .
Hand sanitizer when washing is a challenge. Blackout mask. Ahh, blessed sleep! Earplugs. A must, especially near sound camps.

 

Hangover Guardian, just in case.

 

To relive dry eyes. To get out playa boogers. Gross but true.
You’re gonna want a shower or two.

 

Tissues for playa nose. Condoms for play.
Lube. Also for play. Antiperspirant. No one likes a stinker.

 

Also for hangovers. Just in case.
Massage oil, if you get lucky!

 

Spray bottles, for vinegar, water, etc. Essential oils for well being.
Microfiber towel. Atomizers for essential oils + vodka. Body lotion to treat dry skin.

Contains affiliate links.

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Burning Man Essentials: Food and Water

Here is an idea of some of the food and supplies you may want to bring with you to Burning Man. Some require a cooler, others require no refrigeration. How simple or how complex your food is is totally up to you. I tend to eat good food on the playa just because I don’t have much of an appetite so eating something really delicious motivates me to keep eating and not skip meals, which is so crucial when consuming a steady stream of alcohol. Not that I do that (wink).

Another list I want to share is Dazzle’s 2012 Packing List (LINK) which is categorized so you can read about whatever topics interest you – kitchen supplies, food, ice, etc.

Bacon.  Best thing on the playa.  Burners love our bacon! To keep your electrolytes balanced.  Just add water.
For those of you choosing a simple meal plan. Delicious and nutritious on the playa.
Almond butter.  Mmmmmm! Trail mix.  Delicious AND portable.
Beef jerky.  Gotta keep a steady influx of salt in your diet. Pickles AND pickle juice!  Yum!
Hard boiled eggs. Very portable and no MOOP because it’s already peeled. Salty nuts.  Delish!
Chili.  Another easy food choice.  Eat straight from the can. Dual hydration chamber.  One for water, one for electrolytes.
Aquatainer for water.  This one is the collapsible kind. Coconut water.  Full of electrolytes and delicious!
Dried apricots.  Yummy! Instant coffee.  You WILL need this.
Mountain House instant meals.  So easy!  And packed full of the salt your body needs. Kind bars.  Portable and tasty!
My stove.  Collapsible and durable.  Has survived several trips to the playa. Single burner stove.  For when you don’t plan to cook much.

Contains affiliate links.

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