What To Pack For Burning Man When You’re A First-Timer

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Going to Burning Man requires a lot of time, planning, and dedication. If you're a first-timer, it can be a struggle deciding what to pack. You've likely heard tales of a week in the desert filled with wonder, yet you might not know exactly what this experience will have in store for you, as no one can really describe it. So, how do you meticulously plan and prepare for something you don’t know much about? Fear not, because I have created a list of exactly what to pack for Burning Man if you are going for the first time.

These are tips, tricks, and hacks that will allow you to seamlessly transition from reality into the Burn. While costumes, art installations, and means of transportation are all up to the individual, there are things you need to have with you to ensure a smooth week without any regrets. I wish I had this list when I was packing for my first time, as it can become a totally daunting task. If you pack knowing that it gets extremely hot during the day and can get very cold at night, and make sure to bring all the things below, that should be a perfect starting point for your very first Burn.

10. Your Gifting Element

Dreamwood - Michael & Lucy/Stocksy

This is a unique concept that isn't always clear for first-timers. At Burning Man, there is a spirit of gifting that runs true to the core of the community. These gifts are don't necessarily have to be extremely expensive. It can be in the form of labor (last year at my camp I worked shifts for five hours in a kitchen, as well as being a bartender in our main tent), artwork, or other thoughtful elements.

The first year I went I set up a braiding stand. I helped braid fellow burners' hair as it was so hot and dusty that all people wanted and needed was their hair off their face. Last year, I decided to make crystal necklaces for everyone. I would read their aura and give them the piece that I thought suited them best. It was great because it was unisex and it was all about energy. Get creative and feel the concept.