Camp Layouts

Camp and Village Layout Plans

The layout plan is a diagram that serves several key purposes:

  • It will help you design and build your camp
  • It will help the Placement team choose where and how to integrate your camp into a cohesive and harmonious neighborhood
  • It allows safety and logistical concerns to be reviewed early in the process, reducing the risk of having to make big last-minute changes on the playa

Please prepare your camp layout plan prior to starting your Placement Questionnaire and follow the guidelines listed on this page. Layout plans are submitted as file uploads into the questionnaire. The deadline for the Placement Questionnaire is explicitly stated on the BRC participation forms page. You can find more tips about camp layouts in the Camp Resource Guide.

Example Layouts

Take a look at these mock layouts:

Format

  • Accepted formats are Joint Photographic Group (.jpg), Portable Network Graphics (.png), or Portable Document Format (.pdf). 
  • Limit file size to approximately 1 MB. Most printer drivers will allow a document to be saved as a .pdf file. 
  • While we prefer digitally created layouts, you may photograph a drawing or sculpture of your layout with a digital camera, in order to create a .jpg file for submission.

When submitting your plan as a digital file, be sure the file name is your unique camp name. (NOT the generic “camp plan” or “layout plan”)

Creating a Layout

  • Include your camp name and contact info on your camp plan.
  • Layout plans must be an overhead/birds-eye view of your camp.
  • Include parcel dimensions in feet. Frontage (the parts of your camp that are intended for public interaction, including signs and other visual attractions) should be outlined, highlighted, or otherwise distinguished from “backstage” areas.
  • Use standard printer paper, 8.5 x 11-inch. Color is welcome, so long as the diagram is completely readable when printed in black and white — avoid dark, cluttered backgrounds. (We know they’re cool, but please do not use satellite photos of previous years.)
  • Call out significant features and each project within your camp area:
    • Where is the camp entrance?
    • Where is the main structure or area for the participant interactions?
    • Where are vehicles parked?
    • Where are generators?
    • If you need a fire lane (see requirements below), where is the path of travel for fire and emergency vehicles?
    • If you own a BRC storage container that needs to be delivered and placed, provide the PC# on your plan, indicate the exact placement of the container (with distances from camp perimeters), and indicate where the container doors should open.
    • If you are a village: Where are your access roads? What are the names of the camps within your village? Does your village have a main entrance and frontage? Do your camps in villages have their own frontages within the village or facing the street?
  • A photo or rendering of camp frontage view is requested, but not required.

Want a template to help create a to-scale of your camp? This Adobe Illustrator file can help you get started. You are not required to use this template, and we happily accept other layouts as they include what’s requested above (including hand drawn ones — make sure they’re legible!)

Fire and Service Access Lane Requirements

  • Camps 100’x100’ or smaller are not required to have a fire lane.
  • Camps/villages are required to have a 20’ fire/service access lane only if:
    • They have a depth greater than 125’ from any frontage on a street,
    • OR They are being serviced by an OSS Vendor for water delivery or pumpouts,
    • OR They are part of the PETROL Fuel Program and require servicing of a generator/fuel tank that is further than 20’ from the street or are within 20’ but have obstructed access.
  • Fire/service access lanes must not include any sharp turns or corners, trucks must be able to pass straight through to the street, and provide a clear and visible path. The lane should provide direct access to enter and exit your camp from a street that DO NOT require trucks to turn around or back out. This entrance should be maintained and not blocked by vehicles or bikes at any time. For more information: BRC Fuel Program.
  • Signage and caution tape can be used to designate the fire lane. Participants should keep in mind the fire exposure issue with hard-sided structures lined up side-by-side. We recommend that hard-sided structures have at least 5’ between them to mitigate fire hazards.

Layout Dos and Don’ts

Fire Lanes Only

Frontage and Parking


Service Access and Frontage

Don’t

Do

  • Don’t put your generator on your neighbors border.
  • Don’t put private portos and RVs with generators exhausting on your neighbors.
  • Don’t assume you can split your fire/access lane with your neighbor. Only camps with a depth greater than 125’ require a fire lane.
  • Don’t use an aerial photo of last year as this year’s layout submission. It’s hard to read, especially when printed in black & white.
  • Don’t isolate anything that needs to be serviced: RV’s, graywater tanks, etc. need clear access paths the width of a fire lane.
  • Don’t group your liquid fuels and liquefied propane gas storage together. 
  • Don’t place anything that is flammable next to your generator such as trash receptacles or fuel.
  • Do indicate large immovable objects or any kind of pyro / fire. This includes items that absolutely must be faced a certain direction, or that would prevent camp rotation.
  • Do clearly mark where interactivity will be & what will be private camp space. 
  • Do use feet as the standard unit of measurement. 
  • Do include your fire lane. 
  • Do include your fuel storage, your generator(s), and your fire extinguishers.
  • Do place your generator no more than 20’ away from your frontage street or fire/access lane with a straight and unobstructed access for the fuel hose to reach it from the road. 
  • Do protect your neighbors from the sound of your generator that is 20’ from an access road with an RV, container, or build a baffle box for it.
  • Do include which side you consider your frontage; if you are a village, be sure to include the frontages for the camps in your village.
  • Do show where neighbor camps would optimally be placed to facilitate resource sharing.
  • Do, if you are on the Esplanade or 10 & 2, create a diagram of how you are going to utilize the space across the Avenue/Esplanade including how you are planning to power / light up anything you are putting there.
  • Do include sufficient space for bike parking if the camp will be hosting events that will attract crowds; don’t leave it up to your guests to invent a place to park.
  • If you have an activity for ‘mature audiences only,’ DO clearly mark where that will be taking place.
  • Do include your Burning Man PC container with the number indicated. Include dimensions from the borders of the camp to the PC, also include where the door goes.

Fuel Safety Features for Camps

  • All camps and villages must be equipped with fire extinguishers in key locations (e.g., kitchens, near burn bins, fuel storage, and other hazards) located on a post, in full view, close enough but not right next to fire hazards, and indicated on the layout diagram.
  • Fuel containers must be stored in secondary containers (e.g., bins, kiddie pools) large enough to hold 110% of the largest container stored within it. Fuel containers (even little ones) should not be filled more than 80% of capacity to allow for heat expansion.
  • All camps storing or using combustible fuels must educate themselves about and comply with appropriate practices for storing and handling these materials. Not only is this essential for safety, but it is also required as part of our event permit stipulations with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Please refer to the FUEL AND HAZMAT STORAGE website for compliance information. 
  • Here’s a quick reference for required fuel storage distances.

Generator Placement

  • Best placement for generators is just off the street so that the fuel trucks don’t have to turn down access lanes to reach it. This can also help you save on space otherwise used for fire access lanes (unless you have fuel storage in camp — see above).
  • Generators located close to the street can still remain hidden behind a structure, such as a container, so long as the fuel truck hose can reach it from the street (20’ length with relatively straight access and no obstructions to the walking path)
  • Generators can also be placed along access roads so they are placed further within the block. Your access road must be 20’ wide and kept clear of obstruction.
    • If your access road dead ends and does not allow the fuel truck to pull all the way through and back out to the street, it will not be used. The fuel trucks will not back up out of your access roads, it’s dangerous.
  • Try to aggregate your generators where possible, the more stops the fuel trucks make the longer the routes (and the less likely to complete the route that day which can impact your delivery the following day). 
    • The BRC Fuel Program will only make two stops per group.
  • Keep in mind that when you have long cable runs, you will start seeing Line Loss (aka voltage drop) at 250’ cable length away from the generator. You will burn more fuel for less power output.
  • While the Fuel team would like to see LESS generators, we know that having one LARGE generator is not necessarily the answer as you have to size it for peak load and then it is way oversized for build and strike and will run inefficiently. 

Fire Extinguishers

  • Avoid using ABC extinguishers in kitchens (serious contaminants) – recommend damp towels as 1st use in a kitchen fire.
  • At least one hand-held portable extinguisher with a 40-B rating is required for any fuel storage area. 
  • Laminate a “HOW TO USE” tag on each extinguisher (PASS)

Looking for more tips?

  • Check out the Camp Resource Guide, a helpful guide prepared by other camp leaders, which has a whole section on Camp Layouts.

You’re always welcome to email placement@burningman.org with questions or if you come across problems submitting a layout plan. Remember to include your camp name in the subject line and [Camp Layout] to help our routing.