Dress to Impress or Don’t Dress at All

burning man, costume, dressHow to dress for Burning Man is an individual choice. People are respected, whatever they wear. Some choose to dress, others like to be naked. Even naked, you need to be prepared for the sun and dust of the Black Rock desert.

Find your Burning Man costume

Choosing what to wear can be a tricky matter, especially if this is your first time Burning Man. You might fall into the trap of selecting something too brave. It’s a striking garment in your eyes, but did you go all the way? Costumes are a form of self-expression and very much appreciated in this festival. Just find one which makes you shine from the inside. Do you adore Renée Zellweger? Buy a bunny costume. Are you ready to show your perfectly formed buttocks? Try pants without fabric on your most precious possession. Don’t be scared, just experiment with your clothing and look. You will encounter people (un)dressed in all colors of the rainbow. Remember there is no dress up shop at Burning Man and this is your playground for a week.

Enjoy fashionable dusk masks

Dust storms are always just around the next corner, be prepared so dust doesn’t become your only meal of the day. Dust masks are available in a bewildering range of types and colors, or you might just as easily create your own from a colorful scarf or bandana. This is a versatile idea, as you can also knot it around your head to avoid a burned scalp or worse, heatstroke. Caps or hats come in handy as well, although these tend not to release heat that easily and you can just end up with an unpleasant sweaty hairdo instead. A word of caution: the sun is not only hot, but also very bright, make sure you take your sunglasses and sun cream.

Use your camel back like never before

Always fill a backpack with water if you’re about to explore Black Rock city. You will easily consume one liter in one hour and when you are not near your RV, you can’t replenish. Make sure you take at least one gallon (or four liter) water per person a day. You will be enjoying massages, dancing or stand-up comedy in party tents, which are even hotter than the dessert grounds (even if there is some form of atomization). Never fill you camel bag with alcohol, water is key to survival here. Alcohol is given away freely by mutant vehicles and other participants. Be wise and mix your drinks (more water than anything else!).

Put on your dancing shoes

Take enough shoes, like sneakers, flip-flops and boots. If you wear boots or sneakers, you aren’t risking a ‘playa foot’. Are you a flip-flop lover like me? Take care of your feet, the alkali dust can irritate your skin. So always clean your feet with water before your head into bed. Wet wipes are helpful for your daily routine. Even if you bring a bike, you will be walking or dancing a lot, therefore comfortable shoes should be your number one priority. For once, try to combine function with fashion.

Let light be your guide

When the night falls, the scenery will be one of lights. Many colorful lights. Not only art works and mutant vehicles light up, you will also encounter people with customized jackets and bikes. Between the lines you’ll read it: you can’t stay in the dark. Besides the unquestionable romance, it’s sadly not that safe. People will be riding bikes or art cars and, if you’re not illuminated somehow, they can’t see you. Try to find some unique lights or make them yourself. Everything you see on Burning Man is handmade, why not give it a try?

Decorate to the max

You are ready for Burning Man, but how about your RV and bike? I advise you not to put stickers (even if they are bright colored farm animals) on your RV. Although stickers will make your RV look groovy, the sun will be melting the glue all day, realizing a stickiness you haven’t experienced before. We had to clean for hours in the blasting sun! So take flags or make something unique yourself. Your bike is an extension of you, so decorate it well. Without something special, you might feel a bit dull, especially because everyone else is riding a personalized one. Be creative, even garbage can be a source of inspiration.

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