Going to Burning Man and have no idea what you need to pack? Look no further, we’ve put together the ultimate packing guide with a breakdown of what you need and why! You can download our printable PDF here:
I have created this PDF just for you guys and even left some spaces for you to write what you want to bring in. Print it out and have it ready for Playa preparation!
I know it should be obvious, but trust me, the amount of stories I have heard of people flying to Burning Man and leaving their ticket at home is crazy! Pack your ticket!
Let’s start with the essentials!
- Goggles (day you want tinted and night time you want clear ones)- never leave camp without this! You need to see if the dust is blowing.
- Dust mask- as above you don’t want to get caught in a storm without this- Playa lung is real!
- Lip balm
- Camelback filled with electrolyte water
- Reusable cup/bottle
- Toilet paper- those porta potties are often empty so always worth carrying your own
- Hand sanitiser
- Head lamp
- Reusable cutlery can be handy if you end up finding gifted food on playa
Light it up! Lights not only look good, but are essential for safety at night when out on Playa. Bright ones are best which is why we strongly recommend high quality LEDs over El Wire. Lights that plug into USB battery packs are great as you can charge the battery pack each night and save money on disposable batteries.
You want to pack nutritious and easy to prepare food. Here is an example of what Josh and I pack for the burn:
- Breakfast smoothie ingredients (bananas, berries, plant milk, flax seeds, hemp protein & cacao powder)
- Lunch wraps (wraps, lettuce, mayo, avocado, tomatoes, jackfruit, etc)
- Dinner ready meals (soups, baked beans, cous cous, packet pasta)
- Dried fruit
- Nut butter
- Muesli bars
- Water! About 2-3 Gallons per person per day
- Electrolytes- coconut water or powdered electrolytes work wonders when you’re dehydrated
- Anything easy to prepare or ready to eat
Burning Man is hot during the day and cold at night! I wear next to nothing during the day and have a nice warm coat and onesies for night time. Here are some suggestions to pack:
- Organise outfits in bags with accessories so it’s easier to get dressed each day
- Boots or comfy closed in shoes at all times to prevent playa foot (some people get foot infections from the playa dust- neutralise your feet with vinegar to prevent this)
- Hat to shade you from the harsh sun
- Gloves for riding at night when it’s super cold
- Get creative and make some costumes! Burning Man is all about radical self expression
- Avoid anything that may fall off or become “MOOP” (matter out of place), so avoid feathers or glitter that flakes off
If you’re lucky enough to be going in an RV, this is what we recommend packing
- Kitchen towels
- Trash bags
- Ear plugs- music and people will be going at all hours of the day & night so this is essential for a good nights sleep
- Sleeping mask
- Zip ties
- Safety pins
- Sewing kits- for wardrobe malfunctions
- Duct tape
- Shade structure
- Chairs & table
- Buckets- in case of leaks
- Full extra can of gas- great for topping up your RV before you leave or during the burn if you’re using the AC too much
Remember, you won’t be able to just pop down to the shop if you forget any supplies, so bring any medication and first aid supplies with you! Our recommendations:
- First Aid Kit
- Eye drops
- Pain killers
- UTI medication
- Vinegar (to wash off playa dust)
- Nasal spray
Keeping clean on playa is a little tougher than normal as you have to save that water! Here are the toiletries to bring and how we keep clean on Playa:
- Toothpaste & toothbrush
- Aloe vera (no one wants sunburn but this is a lifesaver if it happens!)
- Toilet paper
- Washcloth & bucket (cheapest way to shower and saves a ton of water and waste from single-use baby wipes)
- Tampons (great for nose bleeds!)
- Lotion (your skin will get super dry so put the moisture back in!)
A bike is essential for getting around the Playa! You can get a regular bike for quite cheap or if you want to change your burn, invest in an electric bike! They are a game changer- you can see so much more and be less tired which is a worthy investment. Some other bike essentials:
- Cushion for your seat- all that riding will hurt your butt a lot!
- Bike lock- you must lock your bike! While the Playa is very safe, unfortunately there are still a small percentage who do the wrong thing
- Bike basket or storage bag- super handy for carrying extra food, water & stuff while you bike around
- Lights, lights & more lights! LED lights powered by batter back are by far the brightest and best
- Something tall to make your bike stand out from the crowd- there are a lot of bikes on playa and you want to be able to find yours amongst the 1000’s
- Bike decorations
- Tennis ball for your stand- important if you have a skinny bike stand, without this your bike will fall over!
- Puncture tire kit & spare tube
There’s a lot to take in- I know! But I hope our list helps you come nice & prepared to the burn! Here are some bonus tips:
- Download the app “Time to Burn” & update it in Reno before driving into the burn. The App will show you where you are at the burn so you don’t get lost & also has a digital list of all the events happening on Playa!
- Don’t expect to make plans and keep them at the burn! The best part about Burning Man is truly living in the moment. Enjoy it!
- Bring a spare set of RV keys and hide them in a metal container that magnetises under your RV. You don’t want to be locked outside your RV on playa!
- Unpack any unnecessary packaging on anything you bring in- whatever you bring in you pack out!
If you enjoyed this, you will also enjoy our top Burning Man Tips or if it’s your first Burn, you will love our Beginner’s Guide to Burning Man! We hope our packing guide helps you prepare for the Burn. What do you think? Did we miss anything? Let us know!