The Burning Man season lasts a long time. This is especially true if you’re working for the organization, are making building big art, or are working on production of an ongoing Burning Man themed art project, like the Accuracy Third thing is that we are doing all the time. Since we launched Accuracy Third almost four years ago, I don’t mentally leave Black Rock City any longer. I always made weird, Burning Man-esque art, but this podcast is so Burning Man centric, my mind is always straying back to Black Rock City. It’s lovely. I carry a headscape of temporary community with me like an escalator carries feet: all day, every day, and it’s not what you’d call hygienic. Of course, there’s a difference between being in Burning Man and being at Burning Man in my head all the time. Having a brain full of the burn is great, but physically getting to the burn and bringing everything I need for three weeks of “comfort” is still a process that requires my full attention over the course of months. Because of course, I start my preparation months ahead of time.
This is one of the foundational ways in which I think I am really very quite good at Burning Man. In my experience, there is only one way to get good at packing for Burning Man, and that’s a big, heaping bowl of failure of going to Burning Man. You have to know what you neglected to bring before you know you’ll never forget to bring that ever again. And I can’t tell you what to bring to Burning Man to be fully prepared. Do we have a packing guide? Yes, we have a packing guide <--LINK TO: https://accuracythird.com/survival-guide/survival-guide-packing-list/ on our website. And yes, it was my idea to put it up there. Also too, most of the items on that list are my personal packing list. It’s a list I created after my Sophomore slump, when I thought I knew the playa much better than I actually did. But I made sure I wouldn’t make the same silly packing mistakes on year three by starting my list in the middle of my problematic year two.
Have a list. That’s easy, right? Sure, but it gets more complicated when you assimilate Burning Man into your life, and you find yourself going year after year after year. It’s at that point Burner-you creates those all-important Playa bins. Now, they could be containers of any kind; we’ll use “bin” loosely from now on, but you and I both know what we’re talking about: a container of any size, still slippery from last year’s dust, filled with all the important things you only need for that one week a year. It’s a great idea, and makes putting your this-year’s playa stuff away as easy as it makes taking all that stuff to next year’s burn, easy as peasy-pie. But the glaring problem is that you don’t have an inventory for the bin(s), do you? (You don’t. Most art projects and build teams don’t, and neither do you.) The responsible thing to do is to take a pass at inventorying the bins upon your return. Sometimes my “return” is in January, which of course is A-OK.
This year, I had my shit together, and organized all my milk crates and duffels that first week I got home. That started a light organization and consolidation process throughout the Accuracy Third Studio and the rest of the garage/workshop. I’m writing this the weekend before Rex and I move across the Bay, to new digs with unknown pitfalls and exciting bennies (can you use “bennies” as an abbreviation of “benefits?” I think you can. I’m going to.) One of the bennies of generally having my Burning Man shit together is that when we move next week, I can just pick up a lot of things and go. I have a lot of big things filled with smaller things, and they’re organized that way because of the packing skills I’ve honed through moving my life to the playa for three weeks every year. Next week I move the other 49 weeks of the year twenty-odd miles away. I will move my whole life to a new city in my mutated truck, just like I move to Burning Man.
It’s all very hella exciting. I think I will be really very quite good at it.