A Complete Packing List for Your First Burning Man

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In its natural state, the Black Rock Desert is not a friendly place—it is hot, windy, and inhospitable. However, for one week out of the year, Black Rock Desert becomes the friendliest place on earth. Hundreds of people head out to a temporary city to take part in Burning Man, one of the coolest times of your life. That is if you pack right.


Since this festival takes places in the middle of a desert, there’s not much at your disposal. As such, you have to bring everything you could possibly need with you. It’s almost impossible to run to the store and pick up items you forgot. Our packing list for your first Burning Man will help you decide what you need what you don’t. Keep in mind, this list covers the basics to ensure you’ll be comfortable. After your first trip, you’re sure to gain a better idea of what your needs are and will be able to pack better next time.



  • Food and water – bring nonperishables as well as enough water for showering, brushing teeth, drinking, and cooking.
  • Dust goggles and mask – it gets windy out in the desert, and dust will get everywhere.
  • Sunscreen – you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, so protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays
  • First Aid kit – in case any accidents happen
  • Earplugs – at Burning Man, the party never stops. These are a must if you plan on sleeping.
  • Portable GPS – keep this with any valuables. In the event of theft, you can track it with your phone.
  • Camera – there is going to be a lot of cool stuff to snap and post.
  • Headlamp – this is crucial for getting around after dark.


Camping Gear

  • Tent and canopy – due to heavy winds, use rebar and rope instead of normal stakes to secure both.
  • Battery-powered lantern – you can hang this inside the tent.
  • Sheets – they will keep dust off your sleeping bag.
  • Lawn chairs – you’ll want to take a break once in a while.
  • Folding table – for eating and cooking.
  • Work gloves – setting up camp is hard work, and these will protect your hands.
  • Carpet or tarp – put this under your camping area to keep the dust down.
  • Fire extinguisher – always a prudent addition.


Kitchen Gear

  • Cooking stove – remember to bring extra cans of propane
  • Matches/lighter
  • Plate and bowls
  • Pots and pans – bring at least one of each if you plan on eating hot food.
  • Eating utensils
  • Can opener
  • Ziplock bags – you can use these for leftovers or storage.
  • Tupperware container – a great way to wash dishes and store all your kitchen supplies.
  • Garbage bags – bring lots of them to make travel easier.



  • Toilet paper – there won’t be any in the desert.
  • Eye drops – dust combined with wind leads to miserable conditions.
  • Towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Solar shower
  • Vinegar – mix it with equal parts water to get the dust off your body.
  • Aloe Vera lotion – if you get sunburned, this will be a lifesaver.

What do you think?

Written by Logan Voss


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