What I’ll Do Differently Next Year

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Burning Man 2011

Burning Man starts in 15 days.

I already have ideas for how I want to do it differently next time.

First, let’s review the decisions I made about this year, on my sophomore Burn.

  1. I was bringing my girlfriend (Nooo! they told me. Danger! they warned me).
  2. I was volunteering at least two days (Playa Naming Booth, set-up and Tuesday from 1230-330, stop by).
  3. I was renting a car to get there (Noooo! I heard, Big fines and cleaning fees! they warned me).
  4. I was building a Camp Danger Folding Hexayurt. And strapping it to the top of our rented SUV. As the event approaches, this is the decision that’s got me most worried, not the above.
  5. I was going to get a cohesive, high-quality costume, in theme, and wear it most of the week . . . well actually two costumes, including one for night. I was going to do the costuming thing RIGHT. Yeah. Right. (This isn’t going to happen).
  6. I was going to use a CamelBak instead of carrying around  a water bottle. (Thumbs up).
  7. I was going to have my OWN camp, rather than join a theme camp or buddy up with some vets.
  8. I was going to buy a more suitable and rideable bike, and trick it out with big wheels, bell, basket, lights and lamp. (Done).
It remains to be seen how well these decisions will work out. For many of them, though, I have a pretty good idea, and so I’m going to write my list of things I want to try, or do, next year (or the next couple years).
  1. Go ultra-lightfoot: rent a compact hybrid car, pack a tiny 1-man tent or bivy, a modest shade structure, no shower or evap, no costumes, and camp minimalist, literally in a slice between two bigger camps.
  2. Alternatively: build a bigger, better Hexayurt next year with 3″ Thermax instead of 1″, a full-size door, a swamp cooler or two, and rent a cargo van to transport it all in (maybe a sound system?)
  3. I’d love to volunteer and somehow get myself onto the City Building Crew (Department of Public Works?) And be the one pounding rebar and rolling out the trash fence. That just looks so glamorous. Also, clean-up after it’s over.
  4. I’d like to get some of those stilts. But only if they were part of a bigger costume. Maybe a top hat and tails — the longest tails ever?
  5. I’d like to bring an upright piano. (In the cargo van?) And give Piano Lessons.
  6. I’d love to buy a good Canon digital SLR and take some really high quality pictures. (Yeah, Michael Holden is pretty much my hero, I doubt I could ever match his skill, but I can try!)
  7. Costume idea: Samurai.
  8. Costume AND Theme camp idea: TRON. (TRON and Burning Man: match made in Heaven).
The thing I love about Burning Man (apart from the community, the freedom, the people, the blinky, the boom, the whoosh, the fire, the nudity, and the hassle of getting there, of course) is that it’s a totally blank canvas, and the creativity of others that I see really just inspires me to think outside the box and project my own creativity into the world, whether that be through costuming, bike deco, radical self-reliance in shelter, or other.
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