Burning Man is here again.
This week, tens of thousands of "burners" will descend on the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada for the seven-day festival. What ensues is a no-holds-barred celebration of art, music and just about everything else. Come prepared (it's hot, dusty and remote) and bring an open mind (this is supposed to be a life changing experience, after all). Don't forget to bring the following:
Wet wipes. Because you won’t be taking a shower for a week. Seriously, everyone who visits the Black Rock Desert, or "the playa,” ends up coated in a fine layer of grit. Water is, of course, a precious commodity at the event (granted, it did get off to a soggy start on Monday when a downpour delayed the kick-off for a day). Even if you bring a portable shower, it’s doubtful you’ll use it everyday. And in that 100-plus degree weather, unless you have the medical condition anhidrosis, you'll be sweating — a lot.
Remote-controlled lantern. Because nothing says Lothario quite like heading back to camp at night — hottie in tow — clicking a button and having the tent light up. Meet the LiteXpress, which can be dimmed to create a more romantic mood. It’s the perfect all-around wingman (or wingwoman) for a mystical night.
The Rockstar Librarian Music Guide (PDF edition). Assuming you like music — and who doesn’t? — download the Rockstar Librarian, a comprehensive Burning Man guide that lists when and where the music is playing. Catch the best beats from the best sound camps.
Costumes. Lots of them. Leave your conformist self behind. At Burning Man, you can be what ever you like — referee, boy scout, fairy, over-indulgent entrepreneur — provided you bring the costumes necessary to make that look happen.
A sick stove. Having something to cook food with seems a no-brainer. The GoSun Stove ($279) is a stunning, tube-shaped portable oven powerful enough to bake, fry or broil a meal in as little as 10 minutes. And because it uses sunlight (channeled via mirrors) to do the job, you'll actually make good use of those desert rays.
Ground coffee. Even on the playa, Burners crave caffeine. Bring a couple of packs of ground up coffee from Philz, Ritual or another primo coffee maker, and folks won't just want to be your friend, they'll be even more inclined trade or barter goods, as is the burner way. Summed up one long-time attendee: "You become a god." And who wouldn't want that?