Securing Your Structure

The Black Rock Desert is a place of extreme weather. While conditions are generally pleasant, you can expect severe wind, lightning, rain, hail, and dust storms at any time during the year, usually with very little warning.

45875pre_wm_c34af6584468de9The biggest challenge to any structure, from a small camping tent to an 80-foot-high wooden man, is the force of the wind. Anything you bring out there should be securely attached to the ground for just this reason. Larger structures run the risk of tipping over and crushing someone, and smaller ones like camping tents may be blown miles down the playa, never to be seen again. Keep in mind that 75-mph winds are a common occurrence. In wind like this it is difficult to even stand up on your own two feet. Do everything you can to plan for it accordingly.

Also keep in mind that anything lying around your camp that is not secured down, like garbage, plastic bottles, paper, art or anything else, will get blown downwind when you least expect it. It is your responsibility to take back everything that you bring in, from the largest structure to the smallest bottle cap or cigarette butt. Keeping everything secured means you won’t have to spend hours or days searching for it later.

Tent Stakes

A large number of people camp in their tents at Burning Man. If you are going to be setting up a tent, have a look at the stakes that came with it. These are usually small and made of lightweight aluminum or plastic, designed for backpacking, trading off strength for weight. Since you probably won’t be carrying the load on your back, go out and buy a few of those foot-long plastic or metal stakes they sell for larger tents. Also, for the same price, you can use rebar stakes, a much better idea, described below.

If you are going to be using the small stakes that came with the tent, at least be sure to keep something large and heavy in your tent when you’re not there, like a loaded ice chest. You don’t want to be searching for your tent 20 miles downwind.

Rebar Stakes

If you’re going to be setting up anything larger than a regular camping tent, like a parachute structure, you’re going to need a better way of securing your structure to the ground. Those big plastic stakes will be almost useless for anything bigger than a pup tent.

A popular and very practical way to stake your structure is to use rebar, which is normally used as reinforcement for poured concrete construction. It is strong, cheap, and resists pulling out from the ground better than anything you can buy at a camping store. It is usually sold in 20′ lengths, with a number representing its diameter in eighths of an inch. The most common and useful size is #4 (which means 4/8″or half an inch in diameter).

If you already have easy access to a metal chop saw or bandsaw, (or if you feel like a good workout,a hacksaw) you can save a couple of bucks by going to a construction supply warehouse or scrap metal yard and buy the rebar in full 20 foot sections. They will usually cut it in half for you for free so you can get it in your car.

For those of you without a means of cutting metal, there is a much simpler way: Go to your local friendly Home Club Enormart Depot, and buy it pre-cut in 3 foot lengths, for about a buck apiece (same price as tent stakes). A semi-friendly man or woman will even load them into you car for you. You could have saved a couple of bucks the other way, but this is much easier for most.

At this point you have an excellent stake, but also a real hazard, as the end sticking out of the ground is surprisingly sharp and dangerous to naked and unaware feet. A large amount of injuries at Burning Man are due to just this reason. So instead of putting holes in people’s feet, you’re better off capping the end somehow to keep people from stepping on it. A cheap way to do this is to use old 1 or 2 liter plastic soda bottles stuck upside down over the end, but you can also pick up mushroom-shaped plastic caps, made specifically for this purpose at construction supply houses. But neither of these options is particularly attractive.

There is a better way!

Professor Flubber’s Patented Kandy-Kane Rebar Method!

It’s easier than you think!

This is an excellent way of making sure no one impales themselves, and if you’re using guidelines for your structure, this will guarantee that the rope won’t slip off the end of the rebar. It also makes it much easier to pull your stakes out when you leave. You just use an extra stake as a handy hook and yank the other stakes out of the ground.

What you need is your three-foot lengths of rebar, and two long pieces of steel pipe to slip over the end, 4 feet long at least, the longer the better. Place one pipe on the ground and brace the far end against your house or anything else vertical and solid. Slip your rebar stake into the pipe so that about 4-6 inches are sticking out of the end. Take the other pipe and put this over the short end of the rebar that’s sticking out, and crank the thing over until you have made a candy-caneout of your stake. This doesn’t take any more time than searching for litre plastic soda bottles, and is a stronger, safer, and much easier way of doing things.

Whatever you do, remember to bring a small sledgehammer to pound the rebar in to the ground. A regular claw hammer might not do it. And there are no handy rocks on the Black Rock Desert to pound things in with.

Rope

If you’re planning anything tall and vertical and are using guy lines to keep it from tipping over, you might be shocked at the price of decent ropes or cable when you go to the hardware store. 80 cents a foot doesn’t sound like much but if you need 200 feet, it adds up.

A good option for larger structures is used climbing rope – it is unbelievably strong and has a small amount of stretch to it, which helps a tiny bit in sudden wind gusts. Purchased new, it is very expensive. But regular climbers often ditch their used ropes after a short time for safety reasons, and if you call some climbing gyms or put up a notice at a mountaineering store, you may be able to get a cheap or free deal on a 150′ coil. The common sizes are in the 9-11mm range, all are plenty strong for securing most structures, and they hold knots very well. When you cut the rope to the length you want, take a lighter and melt the end down a bit, this will keep it from unraveling.

If you get your rope from a hardware store, try to avoid that slick stiff yellow stuff, which is by far the cheapest and fairly strong for most purposes, but doesn’t hold knots worth a damn.

Elevated Platforms

Any structure designed as an elevated viewing area should be considered carefully. How many people can it hold and how will you police it? Railings are required to be well designed and built; how will you accomplish that? If someone climbs up onto it, how do they exit without causing a traffic jam? Since you cannot dig holes in the playa you will have to use cable to secure your structure. Do you know what gauge cable is best for your needs? If you have not fully considered all aspects of your plan from a structural engineering perspective, you have more research to do.

For more Burning Man Shade Structure resources please visit:

Generators

Thinking of bringing a generator to Burning Man?

Black Rock City is a noisy place. Music, laughter, questionable performance art, chanting, shouting, singing and drumming are all part of the experience. Yet, while the drone of raves in the night is something we can all adapt to, the relentless brrrrraaaaaaaaappp of a noisy generator is quite another. Just as bad, the exhaust — bet you never thought about that! — can be like sleeping inside a garage with a car running to your neighbors.

You should first consider environmentally friendly energy solutions, but if you do choose to bring and share a generator, please be considerate of others by following these guidelines:

  • Bring the quietest generator you can afford, and the smallest that will meet your actual needs. Larger generators are more difficult to transport, use more fuel and create more pollution.
  • Don’t run your generator late at night or early in the morning.
  • Place the generator as far from other camps as possible.
  • Cover your generator with a sound shield or baffle. Do NOT bury it to shield the noise. No matter how well it is filled afterwards, the hole leaves a tremendous gouge in the playa.
  • Make sure people can’t trip over any power cords.

Kids at Burning Man


So, you’ve decided to bring the kids to Burning Man? Great! It’s not an easy decision, but it may prove to be one of the best field trips you could ever take them on. With a little thought and care, the experience can be more fun for you, your kids, and everyone around you. If you’ve taken your kids camping, you’re already halfway there. Many of these ideas apply to different age ranges, of course, so make your judgments based on your kids’ ages and abilities.

The Black Rock Explorers is a program for Burner kids based on the 10 Principles. Camps and services host educational field trips, events and volunteer opportunities for kids. Explorers earn patches, tokens or pins for things learned, survival skills achieved, good deeds and volunteering. Visit their website and Facebook page.

Anybody under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian aged 21 or older in Black Rock City. Children 12 and under will be admitted for free, but (as of 2015) must have a Kid’s Ticket, which helps us to better understand the composition and diversity of BRC’s citizens. Children ages 13 and older require full-price tickets. Be prepared to show proof of age.

As for survival tips, everything in the Burning Man Survival Guide applies double to kids. Water, food, shade, sunblock, comfortable clothes, and knowing their (and your) limits are all important to being able to enjoy the experience. Read the Guide and trust its suggestions. However, there are a few extra precautions to take with kids. Adults love the lack of structure at Burning Man, but most kids need some structure and security to be comfortable with their surroundings.

To that end, we’ve created a downloadable Family Survival Guide (PDF), which provides helpful information about how to survive and thrive with kids at Burning Man.

Playa Living


Day-to-day life on the playa is tricky, but it’s beautiful. It breaks the routines of civilization and makes us re-learn fundamental skills. Here are some basic guides to the many aspects of playa living.

Camps and Placement

Burning Man is not a festival, it’s an event and a city in the desert. At most festivals you’ll find friends camping together in their cars and tents in what looks like a giant parking lot behind where the main festival activities take place. It’s very different at Burning Man!

Camps are the heart of community in Black Rock City. The majority of people who go to Burning Man are part of planned, registered camps. Open Camping and Walk-In Camping also exists for any individual or group to find a spot for themselves without pre-registering. 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.

For more tips and guides about how to plan at camp, please review the Camp Resource Guide, join or start a thread through E-Playa, or turn to the Camp Support Team by emailing campsupport@burningman.org.

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 E-playa, the Burning Man Hive Theme Camp Organizers Group, and our volunteer-run Camp Support Team.

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. There are also Villages, which are groups of two or more interactive Theme Camps combined together. Please visit the Camp Placement Criteria page for detailed information on how theme camps and villages 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 Department Approved Service 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.
How do I camp at Burning Man? How do I find a camp to join?
Glad you asked! We have a whole section of information about how to join a camp, where you can camp, and about camping options (such as RVs, yurts, tents, etc.) just for you.
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 but not guaranteed for theme camps and villages. 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.
How can my camp get placed?
If you’d like to receive a reserved camping spot for your camp or village at Burning Man, you’ll need to learn the placement process and submit the Camp Placement Questionnaire before the deadline. The Camp Placement Questionnaire can be accessed through your Burner Profile, and all deadlines are updated annually there. There’s a lot of important information! Read all about the placement process here.

Weather

Weather on the playa is often violent and unpredictable. Dust storms, high winds, freezing temperatures, rain, we get it all out there. It’s impossible to be overly prepared when it comes to the elements.

Here’s more weather information than you want to know, whether you need it or not!

Black Rock City Guide

Burning Man takes place in Black Rock City, a full-fledged, thriving temporary metropolis. Like any other city, it has essential infrastructure and community services — including city planning, emergency, safety and sanitary infrastructure — to keep it functioning.

These are primarily volunteer-created and run services, and provide just enough structure to support the survival of this civic organism — the rest is up to YOU.

Art and Performance

The people who make up Black Rock City are not simply “attendees,” but rather active participants in every sense of the word: they create the city, the interaction, the art, the performance and ultimately the experience that is Burning Man. Your participation is a gift given to the larger community for everyone’s benefit.

Participation is at the very core of Burning Man — it’s one of our 10 Principles — and the only limits (other than basic public safety) are the bounds of your imagination.

2014 Art Theme: Caravansary

2014 Art Theme
Theme and text by Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum with acknowledgments to David Normal, illustration by DA of Black Rock (aka Dominic Tinio), model/photo: Stardust Magick

“The Silk Road was the world’s first information superhighway.”

— Jeff Greenwald

For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.

2014 Art Theme: Italian Court
Illustration by David Normal

“Much travel is needed before the raw man is ripened.”

— Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

This year we will create a caravansary that occupies the crossroads of a dreamland: a bazaar of the bizarre wherein treasures of every sort, from every land and age, flow in and out to be flaunted, lost, exploited and discovered. This is not a tourist destination, but a home for travelers who come here bearing gifts. Amid the twisting and the turnings of its souk, participants will come upon an inexhaustible array of teeming goods and unexpected services. Anyone may pose as ‘merchant’ here, and anyone may play a ‘customer’, but nothing in this strange emporium shall have a purchase price — no quid, no pro, no quo — no trade at all will be allowed in this ambiguous arcade. According to a rule of desert hospitality, the only thing of value in this ‘marketplace’ will be one’s interaction with a fellow human being.

2014 Man Pavilion
Design by Larry Harvey and Don Clarke, illustration by Andrew Johnstone and Jim Pire

“Have the nature of a dervish: then wear a stylish cap.”
— Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

Our desert inn will also be a scene of luxury and cultivated ease. An apron of fine carpets will spread out beneath the shade of portals that surround a courtyard. Here travel-wearied pilgrims may relax, inventing pastimes as they watch the whirling world go by. Workers of great wonders will be welcome here; fakirs, dancers, sadhus, seers and potentates will throng through this performance space, like figures that adorn the fabric of a silk brocade. Finger cymbals, chimes, and music of acoustic instruments will fill the air. By night, bathed in the lambent glow of lanterns gently swaying overhead, fire spinners will perform around the Burning Man. This year’s Man will rise directly from the desert floor and tower many stories high. Its massive torso will evoke a tiered pagoda; its ornate head will be a lamp that welcomes people home.

2014 Art Theme: Thinking Sultan
Illustration by David Normal

“Our history will be spread abroad by caravans.”
— The Thousand and One Nights

Like the ancient Silk Route, Burning Man’s communities are also spread worldwide. They form a network stretching all the way from Italy to South Korea, from Lithuania to Brazil. In 2014, we will invite these groups to help create a real-life caravansary that represents their varied cultures. As always, any work of art by anyone, regardless of our theme, is also welcome at the Burning Man event. If you are planning to do fire art or wish to install a work of art on the open playa, please see our Art Guidelines for more information. To apply for a grant to fund the creation of artwork for Burning Man 2014, please see our art grant guidelines.

“If you have no troubles, then why not buy a goat?”
— Proverb of the Caravan of Dreams

Preparation Resources

Getting ready for Burning Man is half the fun. Planning a camp, creating art projects, and getting funky gear together is a blast, as we all know. The more logistical side of preparing for the event can be just as creative, but there’s a lot of information to familiarize yourself with first.

Burning Man is an exercise in Radical Self-reliance. A little forethought and planning goes a long way!

Performance Opportunities

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…”
— 
William Shakespeare

Each and everyone of us is a player performing on the playa. Burning Man casts all of us at every moment in a heady series of unstaged productions. As one walks or bikes the streets of Black Rock City and out on the open playa, people will be found shining with their talent, every moment of the day and night.

Where’s the Main Stage?

At one point in our history Burning Man did have a Main Stage, but it created a division between audience and performer. In short, large stages promote spectating — and we are all about participation. Black Rock City is the stage: things are happening all over the place 24 hours a day, and we are all participants in this grand performance.

As there is no Main Stage at Burning Man, find your audience on a smaller, more intimate scale. Maybe you have something special in mind, a talent or a skill to contribute? You may be a juggler or a musician or a fire dancer, or perhaps a costume or theatrical designer. At Burning Man, you’ll find your audience!

Are you an artist looking for a stage? Check out Spark, where you can connect with the Burning Man community and post a listing about what you do, and what you’re looking for to make your creative dream a reality.

Theme Camps

Your theme camp should create an ambiance, a visual presence, in some way provide a communal space or provide activity. It may be the anchor for a larger event taking place. The best camps succeed by simplicity. Concepts that are too big, like scholarly attempts to debunk complex social theory or Titanic-length storytelling arcs, will die from disinterest. For more information visit Theme Camps. Please note that new and improved sound restriction will apply.

Center Camp

There will not be a Main Stage in Center Camp, although there will be music, spoken-word, and other performances at the Center Camp Café. For more information, see the Performance page.

Fire Conclave

Fire performers are like the celestial fireflies of the playa, and Black Rock City is a perfect environment to play with fire. Official Burning Man fire celebrations and fire dancing all week long lead up to Saturday night when the Fire Conclave creates the Ring of Light before the Man is released in pyrotechnic delight. We welcome fire performers from all over the world — for more information on how to get involved visit Fire Conclave.

Lamplighters

Every day of the event, as the sun sets, the Lamplighters set out to light the streets of Black Rock City. They request the participation of drummers, musicians, and performers of all types to accompany their processions through the city. The walk takes about an hour, is done every evening, and is made infinitely more ceremonious and special with performers joining along, all are welcome. For more information visit The Lamplighters or email lamplighters@burningman.com.

Drummers

The Drummers Collective exists as a clearinghouse and contact point for drummers who wish to contribute their art to Burning Man by providing music for performances on the playa and at Burning Man events year round. One example is the Ambient Drummers, which assembles ~200 drummers for a powerful drum rhythm to accompany the Fire Conclave as they dance before the Man is burned on Saturday night.

Black Rock City 2022

Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.

We are excited to build Black Rock City with you in 2022! When we’re together again in the Black Rock Desert, it will have been three years — time that many of us have spent imagining what we can all bring to BRC 2022 to really make a difference. Learn about our theme for the year, Burning Man 2022: Waking Dreams. Be sure to check out the 2022 art installations, and learn about this year’s dynamic new camp placement process. Returning to Black Rock City in 2022 will be an endeavor that involves each and every one of us. If you’re new to Black Rock City, please see our most recent Survival Guide. Looking for a way to volunteer and plug in? Fill out our Volunteer Questionnaire

Subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks and the Burning Man Journal to stay in the know about all things BRC-planning and more including ticketing information, efforts to make BRC 2022 and beyond more sustainable, diverse and inclusive, and how we intend to keep our community safe as we gather together in the summer of 2022. 

And if you want to track every day, hour, minute, and second until the Man burns… we’ve got you covered.

See you in the dust!


Burning Man is not a festival! It’s a city wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens, who are active participants in the experience.

Greening Your Burn

Table of Contents

Leave No Trace

Practicing a Leave No Trace Ethic is simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there, so that others – human and animal – can enjoy the land the rest of the year.

Tips and Hints

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
For each item that you’re bringing to the playa, think through how you’re going to dispose of it. Have your camp tear-down well planned and practiced. Plan to send trash off the playa with campmates as they leave the event.

2. Reduce Packaging
Bringing less in means having less to haul out. Leave unnecessary packaging at home. Food often comes in layers of plastic and cardboard, but also cast a critical eye toward the toys and camping gear you’re bringing. Unpacking them before arriving on the playa spares you the hassle of bringing back styrofoam packing and shrinkwrap. Choose aluminum cans over bottles, and reusable containers over either of those. Read more in our Trash and Recycling section.

3. Rethink Your Food Portions
Prepare food in sensible quantities your group can finish at a single sitting — leftovers quickly become a liability. Coordinate with your campmates as far as what you’re bringing to minimize waste. If you’ve found yourself with a giant pot of chili and not enough campmates, invite neighbors over to finish it off. It beats creating a wet, heavy bag of trash that has to be packed into someone’s trunk.

4. Don’t Rush Packing and Departure
Don’t stress to hurry home. Long-term exposure to the playa will fatigue your body and impair decision-making. Also, when under pressure, we are all likely to make rushed decisions, miss details and leave things behind. If half of your campmates will have left already by Sunday, the folks left behind are going to have a lot more work to do. If someone has to catch a plane, make sure to start packing up even earlier than you think you have to, so that you aren’t tempted to leave before fully clearing your site.

5. MOOP Sweeps
As you’re packing your camp, have campmates walk repeatedly around your site picking up anything and everything that’s not part of the playa. Doing this periodically, through the week, will make it easier.

6. Do Not Use the Playa as Your Toilet
It’s unacceptable, unsanitary, and just plain gross the morning after.

7. Take Your Bikes Home
Do not leave behind your old bikes behind for us. We still have to dispose of them if you don’t, and it’s an expensive and time-consuming effort.

8. Be Aware of Very Small Items
No Trace really does mean no trace. Be conscious of spare nails or smaller trash particles that may be dismissed as too small for trash including: hair, matches, cigarette butts, feathers, zip ties. Remember food waste such as peanut shells, orange peels and egg shells are also trash. While you’re walking around the playa, make an effort to pocket all trash, including cigarette butts, and then empty your pockets into a trash bag later. After you pick up your trash to carry home, do a last-minute check of your site for cigarette butts, gum wrappers, etc. because many of those will be hidden under tarps, tents and vehicles.

9. Do Not Pour Leftover Gas on the Playa
This is toxic! You wouldn’t do this in your backyard, so don’t do it in ours.

10. Minimize Fire Impacts
Deserts like Black Rock are susceptible to burn scars which last a long time and are not easily cleared. Avoid creating a burn scar by not burning directly on the ground. Use a raised fire pit, or use fire shields to protect playa surface. Keep in mind that most non-natural materials (rugs, polyester, plastic, treated wood) are toxic when burned.

11. Minimize Playa Scars
Never ditch or build trenches around your tent because they can start soil erosion and create lasting scars. Make an effort to restore holes dug for tent stakes and anchors.

12. Do Not Take Artifacts
Artifacts should be turned into the Lost and Found in Center Camp with an EXACT location of where it was discovered. Many historical and archeological sites are found throughout Bureau of Land Management areas. Federal law prohibits disturbing historical and archeological sites or removing any objects from them.

13. Respect Wildlife
Do not harass wildlife. Remember, Burning Man is not a place for dogs or other pets. If you bring a pet to the playa outside of the Burning Man event, make certain to remove their waste just as you would your own.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to take my trash all the way home? Not at all! There are several trash dumps and recycling facilities in the Reno area who will process your trash, cheaply and easily. Check their schedules and rates ahead of time, and put printed information in your car or truck before you leave home.

2. Where shouldn’t I leave my trash? It’s unfair to make someone else clean up after your party! Please do not dump your trash along the highways where locals or highway cleanup crews will have to deal with it. Do not leave trash at local businesses or road side rest stops – they have to pay for trash disposal and shouldn’t have to accommodate yours. This includes restaurant dumpsters, hotels, gas stations, or anywhere else that is private property. Do not leave your bags of trash on the playa either; the volunteers who stay to break down the city have more than enough to do already.

3. Why not just throw stuff into the Potties? If it wasn’t in your body, don’t put it in the potty. Items that aren’t human waste or single-ply toilet paper have a nasty tendency to clog up the machines that are used to clean the potties. When that happens, someone who’s actually working while we’re playing has to get in there and fish it out. Aside from being a lousy thing to make another person do, it means potties out of commission and not being cleaned for that much longer. And none of us want that!

4. Can I cook on a campfire? Campfires are not allowed at Burning Man, and that’s good because they erode the land. In fragile environments such as deserts, fire leaves scars for many years and depletes wood supplies. Modern backpacking stoves are economical and lightweight and provide fast, clean cooking. You can get camp stoves here.

5. Can I burn my trash? You can burn selected items at pre-approved burn platforms. These areas are indicated on your playa map. A lot of things that might seem safe to burn can actually be toxic – they release really nasty chemicals that might or might not be visible, but which will definitely do harm to you and others. Check the burn page in the environment for more detailed guidelines.

Resource Links
Want more ideas for your clean-up plan? Interested in the ethics and principles behind Leave No Trace? Check out these great links:

 

Next Page: Greening Your Camp

 

Leaving No Trace

Leaving No Trace is arguably Burning Man’s most important Principle. If we don’t uphold that one, no more Black Rock City. But Leaving No Trace is not just about the playa; it’s our ethic about the whole planet. Burners are environmentalists. It’s just our nature.

This section contains detailed guidelines and tips about how to leave no trace on the playa.

Last Year’s MOOP Map

Each year, the Playa Restoration Team makes a map of the Matter Out of Place (MOOP) left in Black Rock City after the event. (Read more about the 2018 MOOP map or learn about the DA’s Black Rock 2020 MOOPathon in the Burning Man Journal.)

 

Moop Map Legend

GREEN: Low Impact to No Impact Trace. The MOOP line moves at a normal walking pace, picking up very little.

YELLOW: Moderate Impact Trace. The line must slow down in order to pick up all the MOOP here.

RED: High Impact Trace. The line must stop to clean up hotspots or very moopy areas.

Lovelock

You may be parched, famished, and you might be sick of driving. Salt Lake City lies about 500 miles to the east; and Black Rock City is another 150 miles to the west. Yes, you’re almost there, but you still got a ways to go.

Set on the western edge of “Cowboy Country,” Lovelock is your only pit stop on I-80 for another 60 miles before you hit Fernley, so you may want to fill up on some gas, maybe grab a bed, a shower and some food, and even load up on many of the supplies to be found here at the local enterprises who enjoy our company and know our needs.

Why Stop in Lovelock

Well, the few reasons to stop are obvious — you need gas, food, some Lock Love, or one last shower before hitting Burning Man.

But another, really good reason is that Lovelock is the seat of Pershing County — the same county where Burning Man takes place — and therefore the town is an important and close neighbor to Black Rock City. If you have some time, stop in Lovelock, visit the sights there or nearby, and enjoy some of the local restaurants. Show them some love. Lovelock is by-and-large a somewhat conservative agricultural, mining, and services community  of 2400 people — but they are increasingly coming to love us and our arts and culture. So please remember that we are all Black Rock City diplomats and be respectful of and kind to our close neighbors.

And of special note to Lovelock’s and Burning Man’s growing relationship, major solar arrays have been installed at the Lovelock Elementary and High School, and at the Pershing County General Hospital by Black Rock Solar!

Navigating Lovelock

There are three exits for Lovelock on Interstate 80 two in each direction of travel. Westbound exit 107 then exit 106, eastbound exit 105 then exit 106. Cornell Ave parallels I-80 and exits 107 and 105 can be reached from Cornell. Exit 106 allows access to Main Street which intersects with Cornell at the only stoplight in Lovelock. In either direction exit 106 would be the “last chance” exit. Note: I-80 actually is North (eastbound) and South (westbound) through town.

In terms of bearings, CPunch is on the east side of town. Golden Gate Truck Stop and the Safeway are at or near the town’s center. Most of the businesses in the town can be found along the main stretch through town, which is Cornell Avenue; on Dartmouth and Broadway Streets, parallel to Cornell on either side; and on Main Street, which straddles all three of these streets and forms the town center.

Worth Checking Out

Lovelock’s historic round courthouse (400 Main Street) is said to be the only one of its kind in the nation still functioning as a courthouse, built in 1920-21 by Frederic Joseph DeLongchamps.

There is also a really kind of cool activity to be found here for people in marriage or other partnerships:  You can “Lock your Love” in the park next to the courthouse. A nice ritual for those so inclined, you just bring/buy a lock and “Lock Your Love” onto a fence designated for such purposes. It’s free beyond the price you pay for the lock and the infinite value of your love.

You also might want to check out the Marzen House Pershing County Museum — formerly the showplace and home of a wealthy rancher, now restored and chock full of nifty artifacts from Lovelock’s early days.

And, finally, where did the name come from?! Lovelock is named for George Lovelock, a Welsh immigrant who, in 1867, donated eighty-five acres for a town site and right-of-way for the transcontinental railroad and railway depot. And love stories have gathered there ever since…

For further information on Lovelock and the environs, here are some helpful links:

Pershing County website
Lovelock/Pershing County Chamber of Commerce
Nevada Rock Art
Nevada’s Cowboy Country

Explorations in the Area

Tufa rock formations are a sight to behold. These intricately textured shapes of towers, ledges, pillars and archways were geologically formed by algae in nearby prehistoric Lake Lahontan in the same way that blue-algae forms coral reefs. From downtown Lovelock drive north on Central Ave. Turn left on to Pitt Rd. and travel two and a half miles to an unmarked gravel road and then turn right. Drive slightly over a mile until you see the Tufa formations.

Lovelock Indian Cave, aka Bat Cave or Sunset Guano Cave is a limestone cavern, created by the waters of prehistoric Lake Lahontan. Home to indigenous peoples as far back as 2000 B.C., the oldest dated duck decoys in North America (1,250 to 1,980 years ago) were discovered here. It’s 160 feet wide by 40 feet deep. From Main St. in Lovelock go south on Amherst Ave., which turns into S.R. 397. Continue south until 397 dead ends into Derby Rd. Turn left and go east on Derby Rd. Eventually the road will turn right and go south. Shortly thereafter turn right on East Rd. Continue until this road dead ends at the cave.

A great place to stay is Rye Patch State Recreation Area: camping, picnic areas, hiking and water sports. Located 22 miles east of Lovelock off I-80, (775) 538-7321. Also in Rye Patch is the Gold Diggers’ Saloon. Burner friendly, the Saloon sports a very good selection of beers and a photo gallery on the wall. 2210 Rye Patch reservoir Road, Exit 129, 22 miles east of Lovelock, (775) 538-7000.

Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder Memorial: Feast your eyes on another fine roadside example of radical self-expression replete with statues of naked women and concrete totems. Created by Chief Thunder over a period of twenty years beginning in 1968, it is considered Nevada’s equivalent to the Watts Towers. He meant it as a tribute to Native Americans. Its main feature is a three-story house, composed of concrete, bottles, and assorted treasures retrieved from a nearby junkyard.

Located across the freeway from Imlay, about halfway between Lovelock and Winnemucca. Access is free, donations accepted for a volunteer effort to save the site from crumbling away.

Check out the Ghost town of Unionville, a mining boom town in the 1860’s with upwards of 1500 fortune seekers including reputedly, Mark Twain. Nestled in a region of mesmerizing high desert mountain ranges and remote valleys is a B&B—the Old Pioneer Garden Country Inn. 2805 Unionville Rd, Unionville, NV 89418 (775) 538-7585 or (800) 538-7556. Located on State highway 400, off I-80 about halfway between Lovelock and Winnemucca.