Cold Drinks for a Burning Man
A Brief Survival Guide and Last Minute RovR Preparation List
The Burning Man Festival is only weeks away. The 2017 festival will run from August 27 to September 4. As we’ve started our preparations, we thought we’d share a look back at Burning Man 2016 and share some packing tips.
Burning Man 2016
Last year, we brought the RovR RollR to Burning Man and drew quite a crowd in our little corner of Black Rock City with the ice chest cooler that was practically made for an event like the aptly named Burning Man. (It was 171 degrees in Nevada when we went, and natives considered it cold. That’s not true at all. But it’s very hot there: Ninety degrees is literally temperate.)
With its versatility, ruggedness, and maneuverability, the RovR RollR was the perfect companion along the hot, dusty streets of Black Rock City, and was indispensable around the playas and theme tents. The RollR allowed us to effortlessly carry everything we needed for a hot, dry day at the famous festival.
What is Burning Man?
In case you’re an ascetic who has been sequestered on some deserted tundra, sleeping in an igloo, here’s a brief overview of the cultural phenomenon of the Burning Man Festival:
Every summer since 1986 (‘86 to ‘89 elsewhere; ‘90 to present in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada), a temporary city has been erected–Black Rock City–to serve as a gathering base for an annual experiment in community and art.
The Burning Man community, with attendees who make the desert pilgrimage from all over the world, participates in diverse explorations of expression, art, celebration, giving, and unity. The week-long festival ends with the eponymous bonfire in which a large wooden effigy is set ablaze. Up to 70,000 people are expected to attend Burning Man this year.
What to Bring, and How
A quick Google search will reveal that on the internet Burning Man packing lists are as numerous as kittens and superheroes. Some are simple, recommending not much more than a cup; others are overwhelmingly complex and detailed, separated by category, even delivered via spreadsheet. We simply considered what indispensable items we could easily pack and tote with our RovR RollR cooler, with its innovative storage solutions, ten-day ice retention, and intuitive accessories.
Very few people attend Burning Man without a vehicle. RVs are ubiquitous, cars are essential, and trucks preferred. Like many reading this, we don’t have access to an RV, so we are planning to attend in our crossover vehicle. We’ll prepare the car and the bike racks, double-check the Must Bring List, and head for the Black Rock Desert.
It’s too hot to sleep in the day, and too fun to do so at night, and there will be a few of us, anyway. So we’re bringing a Sibly 4000 tent. We’ll get as close as we can to our neighborhood in Black Rock City and hitch the RovR RollR cooler to our electric tandem bike, and roll into Burning Man on RovR’s all-terrain pneumatic wheels. Besides the tent, here’s what we’ll have with us:
In the wagon bin, we can stuff warm coats from the night before when the sun rises, before bed, some snacks, a couple of folding chairs, a lantern, and a good roll of duct tape. Attached to the RollR are all the RovR accessories that we couldn’t be without for Burning Man: The dual cup holders, the prepping board, the JBL Bluetooth speaker with a nightlight–that nightlight is a blessing at Burning Man–and the RovR stash bag. In the stash bag, we’ll have smaller things: A spare car key and a hider for it, auto-chargers for our numerous devices, a good camera, and small bottles of hand sanitizer, aloe vera, and jojoba oil.
We’ll have the car packed with gallons of water, and we’ll rotate them into the cooler as needed. You can’t have too much water at Burning Man: Bring more than you need. In addition to water and plenty of ice, here’s what’s inside the cooler:
On ice: Vodka, lemonade and Tequila and grapefruit our our drinks of choice; and a few meals we cooked at home before we left; foods that need no preparation, but need to be kept cold, like bottled smoothie drinks, fruits, and protein bars.
In the dry bin, we used the center for keeping clean cocktail ice. Fruit, limes and lemons and other snacks that will stay under 40 degrees. These things will stay at forty degrees and lower for up to ten days, if you were really diligent about closing the cooler quickly, even in the Nevada heat.
Unanimous on every Burning Man Festival preparation list we found was a recommendation for a good big cup to take everywhere with you, to be a true Burning Man rambler. Drinks are free at Burning Man, but you can’t hold much without a cup, unless you’re a pelican. Many different kinds of cups are recommended, but we devised our own solution: A single attendee will go through a gallon of water per day in the desert; we’ll have an empty gallon jug each after the first day, and each have a fresh, clean one every day of Burning Man.
What Else to Bring
For cooking campside, and making the most of our RovR cooler, we’re bringing the following things: One medium pot, one sauce-pan, one ten-inch skillet (we took our cast-iron skillet because it stands up best to campfires and allowed us to pack less cooking oil); one slotted cooking spoon, one closed cooking spoon, one good metal spatula; one metal strainer; a little detergent for cleaning, and plenty of heavy-duty garbage bags. We also relied heavily on RovR’s standard prepping board, and dual cup-holders.
For personal needs, the possibilities are endless, and some things are more necessary than others. Here are some suggestions. All of these things will fit in your RovR cooler one way or another:
Sunblock; towels; wet-wipes; hands-free light; socks and closed-toe shoes, in case you’re sensitive to the desert’s alkaline dust and find yourself getting rashes–sandals and flip-flops are not recommended at Burning Man. Unless you like the sensation of burning, man.
Finally, be sure to save room for packing the things you’ll need to make the most of your time, being part of a community, and expressing yourself. Share yourself, your talents, your art, and your cooler.