Most camps that end up going have meetings about who brings what, who does what, cooking, cleaning, ect, but we really can't do that. I think we need to use this LJ to set up equiment and structures and the like.
First of all, the major point, how are we getting to and from the playa? Rudy, you said you were looking into vans, and that fell through because of costs that cropped up to the end. I think from what you said it was gonna be 350 + 450 to rent the two vans, and thats only for one week, I thinks it was like 100 bucks each additional day. That does sorta drop it out becaue before gas or anything, we're already at 1100 bucks, and thats falling into RV cost. For the money, an RV is a better bet for the week, I think. Might be wrong. RV rental needs to happen fast, even if it's simply reserving one that we can cancel later on. Most places will let a cancelation happen probably up to a month, if not closer before the date to rent. Who wants to call around and make information gathering requests? If somebody gets me a list, I'll call around too. Almost any RV sales place will rent RV's for a week at a time. Might be good to tell them we'll need it for a week and a half, perhaps? I'm planning on being on the Playa Sunday/Monday Aug 24/25 till Monday Sept. 1. For those of us flying in, I'm thinking about taking the trip Friday Aug 22 till Sept 2 or 3. Figure I can crash with someone and catch a ride to the airport one of those days. Things to think about when renting the RV: Ask to see the actual RV you'll be renting when you pick it up, if possible, or ask to see a similar one. Ask about gas consumption, while driving, and also while running the Generator when its sitting. Ask for demonstrations on how to open/close anything, if it's one of the newer RV's with the extendable sides or an awning. Ask about late return fee's, ask about how much is needed at the time of rental *full amount + deposit + whatever*, Ask if it has a trailer hitch, or if it's possible to tie things to the roof. Ask about roadside assistance if something goes wrong. Ask about millage. As far as I know RV rentals are always unlimited miles, but I don't want any nasty suprises. Again, we need one person to do phone work here. I can do it, if somebody gets me a list of RV rentals in the San Jose San Fran area. Also, it might be good to look a little farther out, if somebody would be willing to drive and pick it up, as those area's might be more expensive, being the cost of living and such. I dunno.
Second, we need a list of all people who are going to go. Yes, money is an issue, yes, its still a few months off, but we can't base this around people who are wishy washy, work out a budget, work out a plan, and then discover one or two people just decided they couldn't do it. Yes, this may still happen, but we need people working together on this. Supposedly we're taking 10 or so people to the desert together, in an RV, with enough food and water to last a week. We can't just bumble into this like typical furs and 'hope to find some crashspace at the con or sleep in the lobby if not*. There is no lobby! Anyway, we need to get that list together. Now. I'm assuming if yer reading this, yer interested in going. How many people are ready to put forth the effort, energy and funds to make this happen?
Third, we need a few other things set up for the camp. With 10 people going, and a little effort, we can have a decent living space for us all in addition to the RV. I would rather not rely simply on that, because if something goes wrong it's all hell. Plus, space will be cramped in the RV, and hot during the day, so it won't be someplace we all want to cook/eat/sit around all the time. I've been told that Rudy has gotten a Parachute. There are a few very nice sites online about parachute structures, I've looked through most of them, and probably the best variation is one that involves a single pole in the center, and guide lines stretched out. One version, seen here, is the best I've found. A) It looks cool as hell, B) is withstands the winds with it's basic structure while providing shade and 'air conditioning', and C) it looks cool as hell. Yeah, I want to have a neat looking camp. Go ahead. Laugh! But I'd rather not just roll up inna Rv and throw a couple chairs out front and be like "The furs have arrived!". Fuck that shit. I want people to say "Hey, remember those wierd, wild, crazy furs with the funky tent and the music that dropped da bomb?" Ok, so I don't want anyone saying we dropped da bomb, but you get what I mean.
Tables. These can be constructed most easily with Milk crates and a board on top. Figure Thee milk crates, attached together with the speed plastic ties *the ones cops sometimes use for handcuffs, the ones that have to be cut off* on either end of the board, holes drilling in the board to attach to crates with speed ties, and then four rebar stakes to pound into the ground. I think if we have two of these tables it should get us going pretty well. Give us a place to set up any sort of cooking and stuff, and we can set them up/break them down easy like.
Another thing. REBAR stakes. Read up on the website if you don't know what rebar is, why it works best for stakes. We're gonna need a buttload of this, probably 10-20 stakes, with the parachute structure, and the awning if we have one. Also with rebar comes something to tie it down. A reel of parachute cord can be picked up on ebay or other places for relativly cheap. This stuff ties down well and works well.
Bathroom. Mostly, the shower. The idea I have for the shower is this. Four pieces of plywood, a 4x4 base, making it about the size of a shower stall, maybe 3x3x5. In the bottom, another piece of wood, covered with thick plastic *they sell rolls of this stuff for gardens to put down under landscaping, it keeps weeds from growing* maybe three or four layers. Even better, a piece of hard plastic, over that, so we don't worry about ripping the pastic. Now, make the whole thing break down able with wing nuts and bolts, and make a slight angle to the bottom by using washers on one side. Now, drill a 'drain' and then make another base, attached with 1 inch PVC pipe, out the back, covering this base with another sheet of black plastic. MUST be black. This drain pool is left in the sun, we all take showers, water fills into drain, sun evaporates water, soap and scum left on black plastic. If you really wanted to get creative you could make the plastic changable 'on the fly'. Also, if you wanted to go way overboard and found some cheap tile, you could tile up the inside of the shower stall. hee. Have a hook or something up above the walls to hook solar shower bag. Done. This is a very advanced shower. If somebody wanted to whip together something simpler, but remember, curtains don't work, and we can't use the shower in the RV because A) the water we have in the RV tanks is for drinking, less space wasted with jugs, and B) the drainage has no place to go once it's full, since we won't have hook-ups to drain off on the desert (note, ask when renting the RV if there is any type of draining fee if the RV is brought back with water in it. Make mention we aren't going to use the toilet, so there should be no fee for that)
Food Everything I've read about playa life is that people eat much less while out there. Ideas I've had include one meal a day where we can all meet up back at camp, say 4-5 o clock, to reduce water usage while cooking, and also talk about what we've seen, ect. We're going as a team, so we should share what we've found. None of us are actually going to be hanging totally together the whole week, we'll never see what we want, only the major stuff everyone wants to see. So, this way, we can tell of our adventures, our discoveries, ect. So, food. I think if we have ten people going, we should be able to find 2-3 people who don't mind doing the cooking for everyone else. Remember about cooking, you have to clean. (think two wash tubs, then dump dirty water into shower 'drain' pool to evaporate) so whoever cooks doesn't do dishes. Anyway, back to food. Pasta, CousCous, beef jerky, dried fruit, MRE's. Now MRE's aren't cheap, but someone I know might be able to get them through a base shop, so we might be able to get them cheaper. Plus, it will give a little variety. Also, Barillo pasta now makes dry, cheese filled tortellini. Not frozen, just inna little bag. They have four flavors, portabello, asparagus, spinish, and straight ricotta cheese. The other all have ricottas as well, and one bag is enough for 2-3 decent servings, more if yer eating small. A little garlic powder and a touch of olive oil and thats a decent meal. I'm thinking the stove in the RV will be good for cooking, though we might want to bring a back up coleman just in case. One of the little two burner ones, and a few bottles of fuel. Everyone going will be bringing a mess kit, including personal fork/spoon/knife, bowl, drinking bottle/cup/canteen. Also, being that we have ten, a good idea would be that everyone buys food for one meal, and then we all do one night of cooking.
A thought onna trailer. Could anyone borrow, or has access to a small trailer we could haul? I'm thinking this would be the best way to get bikes to the playa, as well as carry any and all trash out of the desert with us. There is a landfill on the way back that is open for us to drop stuff off. This doesn't have to be covered, and honestly, I'd prefer if it wasn't. *smells bad in confined, hot places* It's also a little bit more extra room for us to put anything we need so we're not cramped inside the RV. We don't need it, but it is a thought.
Chairs You bring what you want to sit on. Sure, inside the RV, we got some seats, but they being so cheap now, under 20 bucks, under 10 on sale, get one of those folding captains chairs. Not the little square ones, but the bigger ones with the armrests. They are damn comfy, and some even come with a footrest. The ones with the footrest can be slept in too.
Tents I'm bringing my own small tent to set up outside the RV. I like having my own space to go to, its a personal thing, AND, lets face it, I am looking for some fun of a carnal nature while out on the playa, and that means neeging an air mattress and private place. Nobody wants to watch me hump my brains out with somebody in the RV, so I'm thinking ahead. So should you, if you like priavate space or the like. Or, we all chip in and get one of those big four room tents, with the three seperate rooms and buy three airmattresses and make it like the No Tell Motel of our camp. This could be wishful thinking on my part though.
I suggest everyone who is serious about going, add themselves to the burning_man comm, as I've learned a lot talking with these folks, mostly about the mentality of people who will be there. Read the website for the event and then go back and read it again. Read the linked pages it gives you off site. Do google searches and read those. None of this will prepare you fully for what this will be, but if we all are SERIOUS about doing work before the event, then we will all have a wonderful time at the event. All the horror stories I've read involved people going unprepared, unready for what they were doing. Now is the time to be anal, now is the time to be firm, now is the time to work our butts off to get to the playa.
Cost This is going to be expensive, probably around 2000 dollars or more when you add in the cost of the RV and gas and water, BUT, with 10 of us going, the total cost is minimal. It's less then most of us would end up spending onna con, or maybe the same amount, but it's for a week, and its not just a con. Even if the total price is 3000 dollars, thats only 300 bucks per person. Thats for a week. Thats between 25-35 bucks a day if we spend 8-9 days like I'm planning on. CHEAP. Think of what you're getting for that? Now, there is a way to cheapen this further. Some of us are artists, and vulgaris had an interesting point. There is furbid, and time. If the few of you wish to help out the group as a whole, do a few comissions and donate the cash towards the RV, or water, perhaps. Think about it!
Ok, enough for now. There's more to think about, but this is a good start. Yeah, it's long, but this all needs to get done, and then some. So ask yourself, are you serious about going? If yes, then lets do some work, and get this happening. I love you all, you never doubt that.