Suggested and mandatory reading to prep for Burning Man.

Suggested reading

Burning Man Glossary
The peculiar and specific lexicon of Burning Man culture is explained here in this Burning Man glossary.
Yes, spend hours on this site. Yes, visit it again…and again. Yes, prepare like you’ve never prepared for a trip before. Yeah, it sure is a lot of reading and a lot to take in. No, you’re not going on vacation…you’re going on an adventure into a vastly inhospitable land. Prepare. Read. Watch videos. Learn. Be a bit nervous about the massiveness of it all.

The Jack Rabbit Speaks
This publication is the email newsletter from Burning Man, and you need to sign up for it and read it. The closer it gets to the burn, the more specific the newsletter gets about preparing for Burning Man and tips you need to read and know.

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Mandatory Reading

Burning Man First-Timer’s Guide
You absolutely must read this guide. At least once. Preferably more than once. Let me tell you a little story. One year when I was a theme camp organizer, we had a lovely young woman show up in our camp. She was smart, kind and quite a go-getter in her own right. A mature woman in our camp who’d last been to Burning Man more than 20 years ago noticed this particular young woman had very little in the way of possessions and gear. Even in Reno–pre-playa when our camp was in preparation and truck-packing mode–the young woman was already complaining about being cold.

The mature woman asked the younger woman where her coat was, and, it turned out, the younger woman had only brought a hoodie as her jacket and only flip flops for her shoes. Taking a deep breath before responding to this news, the mature women asked her, “Did you read the Burning Man First-Timer’s Guide?” The younger woman hadn’t, explaining she hadn’t wanted any previous notions of what to expect to cloud her experience.

Now, while I laud the desire to reduce or eliminate expectations, I state unequivocally that you must read this guide. Fwiw, the mature woman, who was on a budget herself, took the young woman out shopping and bought her some warmer clothes and boots before they headed to the playa. And the younger woman? She survived and had a great time. She has also since come back to the playa, brought loved ones with her and is markedly more prepared now.

Burning Man Survival Guide (Mandatory)
Ditto on the Burning Man Survival Guide. You must read it. I read it every year.