Electronics I pack for Burning Man

man on cell phone

One of the many gifts I experience at Burning Man is being completely unplugged from my phone, email, screens and any need to connect to others outside of Burning Man. I concede it is probably a stretch beyond most people’s comfort zone in not turning to an electronic device for connection, information or outside world communication; however, if Burning Man isn’t one of the greatest and grandest (and safest) environments to stretch beyond one’s comfort zone, I don’t know what is.

May I suggest you pack your phone and electronics away and be done with them until you’re back in your car and on the road out during Exodus?

Your phone, the playa and corrosion

Put your phone in a sealable plastic bag and don’t take it out, even once, during the week. Better yet, keep it in your car and don’t access it. On a personal level, stretch into the discomfort of not having your phone on hand. There is no one you need to connect with at Burning Man. No friend. No campmate. No hookup.

Let the flow and practice of immediacy be your guide. If you lose your friends and can’t find them for the rest of the night, so what. You’re at Burning Man; do something else; you’re going to have a great time. If you were hoping to catch a workshop or performance but you couldn’t find it or remember where it was, so what. You’re at Burning Man; do something else; you’re going to have a great time.

On a practical level, the playa dust can (will!) corrode electronics.

Charging cords

Obviously you need your charging cords for travel. Regarding all electronics, I’ll say the same thing as above: Keep your gear protected and don’t access it.

Also label your cords and chargers. Use craft tape. Pick one distinct roll and then stick it on all your electronics and cords. You may find yourself staying in a hotel in Reno with a few friends who all have iPhones, and all your charging cords look alike. The better you mark your cords the more likely they are to come home with you. Mark your Kindle. Mark your tablet. Mark your wall charger. Mark it all with your “branded” tape.

Laptop and charger

I bring my laptop to Reno, as I have been a theme camp organizer for several years and cannot at this time satisfactorily conduct my business from my phone alone. Often I am still involved in camp admin up to the last minute before we head out to the playa. Also, since I’ll be off-grid for so much time, I want to take care of business pre- and post-event, so I pack my laptop.

The gift of a “digital sabbatical” … only you can give it to yourself


USA Today article: Burning Man is where cellphones go to die

Photo by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash

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