[12] Things You Should Know About Burning Man

Are you thinking of heading to Burning Man this year and need some rapid-fire answers to some burning (see what I did there) questions?

Well, look no further because you have found everything you need right here! We will dive into twelve (12) obscure questions about Burning Man.

These are the main things you should probably know but probably didn’t knowโ€”isn’t that a tongue twister (ish) or what?

Let’s get into it, shall we?

โ˜Ž๏ธ Do walkie-talkies work at Burning Man?

The short answer is yes, but only if you get the right one. You will need a walkie-talkie or other device that you can hear over all the outside noise, one that can tune into subchannels to avoid the constant chatter on all the other channels, and one that can still communicate with its buddy across the playa.

There are two great options, which have had their praises sung across Burning Man forums, and these are the Cobra 25-mile range walkie-talkies (there are several options of models) and the Garmin Rino GPS Radio.

These two options allow you to do all the things I mentioned above. The Garmin will also enable you to ‘pull’ your friend’s location from their device and give you the distance and direction to them from where you are. That will prove super handy if you get stuck out on the playa in a dust storm.

do-walkie-talkies-work-at-burning-man
With a Garmin Rino GPS Radio, you’ll be able to pinpoint your crew ๐Ÿ“

๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ Are burning man tickets hard to get?

Yes, Burning Man tickets are limited to about 70 000 in total, and getting them can be quite difficult. But it is possible with just a little bit of planning.

There are several online sales where you can get your Burning Man tickets. Read our article on How to Plan for Burning Man, where we explain how the sales work and how to get your tickets. The main things you need to know are:

  • You need to create a burner profile
  • You also need to purchase a vehicle pass as well as your ticket
  • They only accept Visa and Master Card
  • DO NOT refresh the web page once you are in the waiting line on the burning man website- this will put you at the back of the queue and essentially tank your chances of getting a ticket.

๐Ÿ‘ฃ Are people naked at Burning Man?

Sometimes people are naked at Burning Man, but not the majority. People mosey around in various states of dress and undress at Burning Man. Because it is all about radical self-expression and radical inclusion, people wear whatever they want whenever they want at Burning Man.

However, the harsh elements of the desert make it impractical to be naked for any length of time, so people are mostly only partially undressed, if at all. Nevertheless, most people wear at least something since that is all part of having the freedom to be yourself and express your creativity.

๐Ÿฆน Can you sneak into Burning Man?

Yes, it is possible, but it’s incredibly difficult and not advisable. Unfortunately, there are several stories about people who have attempted to sneak into Burning Man. From leopard crawlers in the dark to young men squished into cubby hole compartments (yes, that’s a true story).

The consequences are pretty severe, though. For example, if you are caught trying to get in without a ticket in a car with other people who do have tickets, they will turn your entire vehicle away, and the valid tickets of every person in the vehicle are voided.

The gate staff are almost clinical in the vehicle searches and even have night vision and radar to detect movement within 5 miles of the fence. One guy was watched leopard crawling for hours by the staff before stopping him just as he reached the fence.

๐Ÿ”ฅ Why do they burn the man at Burning Man?

“It began spontaneously, as a playful impulse,” said Larry Harvey, one of the founders. The first man burned in 1986 on a San Francisco beach. The original burners, Jerry James and Larry Harvey created a big wooden effigy and set it on fire. It was transfixing.

A crowd gathered to watch, and people started to sing. Then, a woman grabbed the hand of the Burning Man (the first impromptu performance) and the tradition of burning the man and a community was born.

Since then, the man has gotten bigger and bigger every year, as they and many new burners tried to recreate that magical moment.

Over time this tradition has morphed into a new creation. A celebration of outrageous art, freedom, expression and carefree existence. Find out more on the Burning Man Timeline.

Read Next: Is Burning Man A Cult?

why do they burn the man at burning man
(๐Ÿ“ธ: Dane Deaner/Unsplash)

๐Ÿ”š When does Burning Man end?

Every year Burning Man ends on the first Monday of September. Labour Day in the United States. It starts one week before that, on the last Monday of August every year.

๐Ÿšฟ Can you shower at Burning Man?

Yes, you can shower, but it can be tricky. Burning Man does not provide public showers, but some theme camps offer showering stations. Unfortunately, you often have to wait in a long line to get into one, and they usually work off of a “you wash me, I wash you” principle.

You can also bring your own portable shower to use. However, if you do this, be sure to have a suitable grey water disposal plan because all runoff and other water may not touch the playa. The grey water must be evaporated from containers or taken home and disposed of at home.

๐Ÿฅถ How cold does it get at Burning Man?

The temperatures at Burning Man can drop as low as 32ยฐF (0หšC) at night. But they usually range between 40ยฐF and 50+ ยฐF at night. During the day, the temperatures will rarely drop below 52ยฐF (11ยฐC).

The weather on the playa can be volatile, so make sure you are always aware of what is happening and if bad weather is coming in.

From rain to dust storms and tornadoes, you can find yourself in a muddy, confusing mess if you ignore Black Rock Radio’s weather reports.

๐Ÿฅต Is it hot at Burning Man?

Yes. During the day, it can get as hot as 90หšF (32หšC). The daily average for the week is roughly a low of 52หšF (11หšC) and a high of 88หšF (31หšC). For this reason, you should make sure to bring loads of water, a head covering or scarf sunglasses, and (in the words of Baz Luhrmann) LOTS of sunscreen.

The hot, alkaline playa can also destroy your feet, so wear shoes and bring salt water to wash your feet. Here’s some more information on taking care of playa foot.

๐Ÿ’Š Are there drugs at Burning Man?

Some people do use drugs at Burning Man. But they are expected to do so in private because, technically, they are not supposed to.

Due to the nature of what Burning Man represents, many people enjoy psychedelics here to help them expand their minds and try something new in a place with no judgement. Burners are, however, expected to obey the law in all areas (local, state and federal).

It is also worth mentioning that not everyone uses drugs at Burning Man. Many people go to enjoy the experience of the art, music, and community.

๐Ÿ• Can you leave Burning Man early?

Yes, it is possible to leave Burning Man early. You can leave on any of the days that you choose. You can even leave and come back, however, every re-entry costs $20, and you’ll have to wait in the line just like everyone else.

If you want to leave and return, keep your ticket stub as proof of your ticket purchase and inform the gate staff that you intend to return. You will be given a wristband which you must have when you return.

๐Ÿ๏ธ Can you take a motorcycle to Burning Man?

Yes, you can take a motorcycle to Burning Man to get there, but you are not allowed to drive it around inside the event. Motorcycles do not require a vehicle pass to get into Burning Man.

Other one-person vehicles like larger stand-up scooters, fat tire scooters, gas-powered bicycles, powered quadricycles, ATVs, and mopeds are also not allowed to be driven within Burning Man.

Generally, the only means of transport allowed within the event are bicycles and walking. A few exceptions can be found on the vehicle rules and protocols page on the Burning Man website. You can also find more information on the same webpage.

๐Ÿค” Final Thoughts

So there are the straight answers to all your bursting questions about Burning Man! I hope this gave you a better idea of what to expect and maybe helped you get more excited for the experience (or perhaps gave you a more realistic picture of what to expect).

If you have more questions or want to know more, why not check out these articles below. Which expand on the main preparations you need to make for Burning Man and the factors involved in going to Black Rock City by yourself!

Read Next:
How to plan for Burning Man [6] Things To Remember
Can You Go To Burning Man Alone?