General BRC Camping Info

How Do I Camp in Black Rock City?

Camping is the only way to live in Black Rock City. Your home is what you make of it — whether it’s a tent, a yurt, a customized van, or a RV or trailer you drive in. If you plan to bring an RV, check out our notes about it here. There’s space for everyone in BRC!

Before embarking on your journey, it’s important to read through the Survival section of Burning Man’s Survival Guide for a list of essential and recommended items to pack. The Playa Living section of our website offers BRC-specific information from weather conditions, communal kitchens, and gray/black water disposal to kids on playa, relationship survival, and more. You may also want to look up suggestions on the internet about the types of housing you can build for yourself. If you have any specific questions about camping at Black Rock City, you can contact the Camp Support Team at

Where do I set up a camp in Black Rock City?
Parking in Black Rock City
How can I participate in a registered/placed camp?
RVs at Burning Man
Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I set up a camp in Black Rock City?

Black Rock City is divided into several types of camping spaces: open camping, walk-in camping, or registered placed camping (offered by the Placement team). An annual City Plan is released each year that includes the locations of open camping and walk-in camping.

  • Open camping: Open camping is first-come, first served and is located throughout many blocks between H Street and K Street. You won’t know exactly where you’ll be camping until you find the space. When you see a spot, talk to the people around your desired plot and make sure there is enough room for you and negotiate the space with your new neighbors if needed — they might turn out to be great friends! Important things to keep in mind:
    • Space for reserved, placed camps is marked on the playa with blue survey flags — DO NOT start setting up until you’ve confirmed the area in question is not reserved or else you might have to relocate.. Please note, some of these plots are so large that they may appear unclaimed and available, when they actually are not.
    • Only take what you need and don’t be a jerk. There is enough space for everyone in BRC and if you find that space is tight, you might even find a more suitable space a block or two away. 
    • If you need assistance determining if an area is available for open camping after talking with your potential neighbors, talk to a Black Rock Ranger or swing by the Placement Office at 5:59 & Esplanade.
  • Walk-in camping: Walk-in camping is located outside the last street between 2:00 and 5:00 avenues. Vehicles cannot drive in walk-in camping – that’s why it’s called “walk-in.” What you lose in your vehicle you gain in wide-open pastures. Park your vehicles on the outside of the last street, and walk in to set up your camp on the open playa side of the banner flag fence.
    • You may also camp along the banner flag fence line with your vehicle about 200 feet out from each entrance (at the :15, :45, and :30 intersections). Lookout for the signs that designate the parking area vs. where you can camp.
  • Registered aka “placed” camps: There are ~1500 placed camps in Black Rock City and you can find out more information about how to form or join one in the next section.

Parking in Black Rock City

Unlike other events, there is no dedicated parking lot away from where people camp. Each camp is expected to accommodate parking for all campers’ vehicles including RVs, mutant vehicles, vans, and personal vehicles. The only exception to this is within walk-in camping as described above. Also note that driving of personal vehicles is not allowed in BRC; the only vehicles that can be driven are ones permitted by the Department of Mutant Vehicles.

(Photo by John Curley)

How can I participate in a registered/placed camp?

The main event is everywhere, it’s where people like you contribute interactive, creative, incredible experiences to share with everyone. Camps are organized groups of people doing just that. Camps are the heart of the community in Black Rock City, bringing their own unique offerings for others to enjoy. Your experiences are brought by people like you, not produced by vendors or production companies. That’s why people who go to Burning Man are referred to as participants and citizens of Black Rock City.

Participation is one of Burning Man’s 10 Principles, and everyone is encouraged to participate whether as placed camps or in open or walk-in camping.

Start your own registered camp
If you’d like to be considered for a reserved camping spot for your group at Burning Man, you’ll need to learn the placement process and submit the Placed Camp Questionnaire. The Placed Camp Questionnaire can be accessed through your Burner Profile, and all deadlines are updated annually there. There’s a lot of important information to read, gather, and understand before applying! Read all about the placement process including forms you’ll need to complete, the annual timeline, and criteria to be placed. You should also learn about all the tips and tricks how to organize a successful camp in our Camp Resource Guide. If you’d like to stay up to date on all things Placement, including deadline changes, subscribe to the Placement Newsletter here.

A quick note, if this is your first time coming to Burning Man we recommend being part of a returning camp for at least one year before starting a new camp (unless you’ve organized a camp at your local Regional or have other direct experience with Burning Man). Remember this isn’t like camping at a music festival, it’s being an active group contributing to the city. There’s a lot to learn and experience!

Join a registered camp
Coming with an established group allows you to learn from their experience. Burning Man is all about your participation, so being part of a registered camp gives you a direct way to participate and contribute to the city we co-create together. Here are a few ways to find a registered camp to join:

  1. Theme Camp Listings
    • Every year camps submit their information for our listings. Many camps include a website or email address. Here is the archive of previous theme camp listings and events.
  2. Go through the list! Search by your hometown, state, country or a way you want to contribute (such as painting, yoga, fire spinning, or any skill or talent you have). Or just scroll through alphabetically and marvel at everything camps contribute to Burning Man! Once you’ve found some awesome camps, reach out to the ones you want to join through their listed email address to see if they’re open to accepting new campers and expectations expected of them. Your Local Regional
    • Wherever you live, there is likely a Burning Man community in your area.Within that local community, there are likely local events and established camps who go to Burning Man in Nevada. Your local community likely has an email list and online group you can join.
    • Check out the Regionals Global Directory and attend a local meetup or Burning Man event! You’ll meet great people and likely meet camps who are traveling to Burning Man in Nevada this year.
  3. Spark
    • Have a skill to contribute? A talent to share? Check out Spark, Burning Man’s tool for online collaboration. Camps post listings of the kind of people they need, such as electricians, builders, DJs, etc. Maybe that’s you! Reply to their post and get connected.
  4. Social Media
    • There are many platforms and groups on social media where you can share that you’re looking for a camp to participate in. You can also search on your preferred social media platform, Burners are everywhere!
    • Create a Burner Profile and login with your profile to Burning Man Hive, Burning Man’s official online community. You can join groups created for campers seeking camps and camps seeking campers.
  5. Your Community
    • You may not know who in your community has been to Burning Man or knows people who go to Burning Man! Tell the people in your life and your social media friends that you’re planning to go. Ask if they know anyone who is part of a camp. Yay for making new friends!

RVs at Burning Man

Many people ask about how to find or bring an RV to Burning Man. There are many wonderful ways to camp at Burning Man — tents, living containers, RVs, and many more creative living solutions. The Burning Man organization does not provide or sell RVs to participants. You cannot buy an RV with your Burning Man ticket. We do not connect participants to RV companies.

If you’re joining an established camp, you’ll want to talk with them about how they handle RVs in their camp. Some camps don’t have or allow any RVs.

There is no way to pre-arrange for RV pumping at Burning Man if in open camping. Your only option is to try and flag down the few service trucks that patrol the city. We strongly suggest that you limit your usage of water for showers, cooking, etc. so that you do not need to be pumped while at the event. One of Burning Man’s 10 Principles is Radical Self-reliance, which is important to keep in mind!

If you encounter a company or are invited to join a camp that sells you a “Burning Man package” (all included ticket, transportation, RV, food, costumes, etc), please email to tell us more about this company or camp.

For more information about RVs in general, including generator etiquette and RV pumping procedures, please see this section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get advice on how to run a camp?
Here are some things we’ve prepared to help people run great camps on playa. We recommend starting here and turning to other experienced Burners to seek advice on spaces like the Burning Man Hive, our volunteer-run Camp Support Team, E-playa,  and the Theme Camp Organizers Facebook Group..

What is a Theme Camp?
Theme camps are organized groups who come together to provide services, entertainment, art, and other creative interactive experiences for everyone at Burning Man. This interactivity can be truly anything! It’s also the home where camp members sleep, eat, and take care of their needs while living in the desert. Theme camps began in 1995 and have become the way the majority of people camp and participate in Black Rock City. They are the interactive core of Burning Man. Theme camps are home to groups of anywhere from three to 400 people.Please visit the Camp Placement Criteria page for detailed information on how theme camps are selected for Placement.
What other types of camps are there?
There are several other types of camps in Black Rock City. There are art support camps that support registered art installations on the playa and mutant vehicle camps that support registered mutant vehicles. There are also Burning Man Departments, work support camps, and civic support camps. Please visit this page to learn more about the various camp types. Participants who are not part of a registered camp have areas where they can find open space to camp within open camping and walk-in camping.
What is Placement?
Placement is how camps receive a reserved camping spot at Burning Man. If your camp would like a reserved Black Rock City address, your camp will need to participate in the placement process. If your camp would like to arrive before the Gate opens to build or set up your camp in a reserved camping spot, you will need to participate in the placement process. Placement is optional and not guaranteed for theme camps. Applying for placement does not automatically gain you a reserved spot in BRC. Camps must meet criteria for their camp category to be eligible for placement. If camps are not selected for placement or do not want reserved placement, they are able to still set up camps in open camping or walk-in camping after the Gate opens. Learn more about these options here. The Placement Team are volunteers who facilitate the placement process, work directly with every camp, and make the map of Black Rock City. We get to know your camps, plan the city and meet you in person to place your camp on the playa.