Friday, August 29, 2008

Braving Black Rock City

It's labor day weekend and how will you be saying goodbye to summer 2008? Well, there is this thing called Burning Man that we go to this time each year. It's this week long event out on a dry lake bed in Nevada which for that week is called Black Rock City. For those in the know, it is a phenomenon that is hard to describe and in fact, words can't do it justice. For a week, more then 50,000 people create their own city and live it up sans usual creature comforts like running water, electricity and money. You must be self sufficient, self reliant and properly prepared. Yeah, so how does the healthy voyager survive? I'll tell ya!

For any of you who are thinking of going or plan to go in the future, here is what you need to know to stay healthy and happy in this other wordly, harsh climate:
  • Bring an drink tons of water and electrolyte replacer beverages like gatorade
  • SPF it up because shade is hard to come by
  • Buy your food for the length of your stay just before you arrive. The closest big city is Reno so I always stock up there. Fresh fruit, luna bars, easy sandwich making materials like soy cheese, tofurky, peanut butter & jelly as well as trail mix are great food stuffs as once you are out there, cooking and preparing stuff can get in the way of your fun. Easy yet nutritious options are key to keeping nourished and full. Stay away from over processed foods like chips and junk food as it these foods leech the water out of your system and drag your body down. If you do have a generator and can plug in a toaster oven, mini pizzas made on english muffins or bagels are a nice treat ; )
  • Bring petty cash to buy ice (ice and coffee is the only thing money can buy in BRC). Ice will keep your food fresh and your makeup from melting (I learned the hard way my first year!)
  • Bring layers! It's hot as Hades during the day and cold as can be at night. Of course make sure you are looking snazzy (see above) but be smart. No one wants to get sick out there cause the drive out takes forever!
  • I'm sure I'm the minority here, but I make sure I get sleep. It is a non stop party but it is easy to achieve exhaustion from being an energizer bunny and constant exposure to the sun. I'm not saying I get a full 8 hours each night, but definitely budget your time wisely and take care of yourself as it will not be pretty on the drive home.
  • Baby wipes are essential in keeping "fresh" as are personal fans and misters. My boy and I carry a little lunch box everywhere out on the playa to ensure we always have a refreshing drink and a snack ; )
  • Zip lock bags are great to store any electronics, clean clothing and valuables. Keeping playa dust off of your belongings makes things much easier when you get back to the real world.
  • Bring fun and creative stuff to give, barter and/or contribute to your fellow burners.
  • Party smart!! Just cause there are no rules doesn't mean there aren't any consequences!!
If I don't see you out on the playa this weekend, maybe I'll see you at the burn next year!!!! Otherwise have a safe and healthy labor day!!!!

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