Burning Man Preparations

Other than a day of recovery from the Mozilla Summit and travels around it, today was a day for Burning Man preparation work.

While I was out of town, our food supplies came in the mail. You can see much of it below:

Burning Man Supplies

I ordered Tasty Bites food and other Indian “pouch” food. These have long been a staple of Burning Man because they come in sealed pouches and don’t need to be cooked (if it is warm enough that you don’t care) in order to be eaten. Some of the ones I ordered are all organic and all of the food is vegetarian. I bought probably twice as much as we’d need for Burning Man as it came by the case and we can eat it at home anyway.

I also ordered “zipfizz energy mix” which is a kool-aid-like substance that can be added to water. It is sugar free but caffeinated. We plan on making coffee at Burning Man but don’t necessarily want to make it for quick caffeine. Since we’re drinking water constantly anyway, this seemed workable. I tried it today and it was tolerable.

In addition to supplies that came by mail, R and I went to a local hardware store that sold elwire and drivers for it. She had already ordered some online for our bicycles but she found that we needed more. Being in the Bay Area, you can actually find businesses that stock this sort of thing and we picked up some pieces and portable driver/battery packs that clip onto belts.

We then headed over to Osh and Home Depot to pick up building materials. I had ordered heavy duty (double thickness) tarps in specific sizes and these had arrived when I was out of town also. At these stores, we picked up rebar, some curved heavy anchors and some six foot lengths of half inch threaded pipe, along with some shorter lengths of 1/8 inch pipe pieces. The goal here is to turn our 1974 Ford E200 Van (aka “The Serial Killer Van”) into a shade structure for Burning Man. The tarps in the specific lengths can be attached to our welded roof rack and pulled down to the ground at an angle. This allows us to have the sun not shining in the windows or directly on the front or sides of the van (possibly to allow sleeping past 8:00 AM). The rebar and anchors will allow us to hook the tarp down so windstorms don’t rip it away. The lengths of pipe will sit vertically on the rebar with the 1/8 inch end pieces poking through the grommets at the top. With two of these lengths tied in two directions each by rope, we should have a porch-like area with a tarp roof that goes from the top of the van’s roof rack out ten feet to these pipe pieces. This will be on the side with the sliding door in the van, allowing us a shaded place to get in and out and to, possibly, sit.

I need to try this all out but it isn’t rocket science to bungie, through grommets, tarp to the steel roof rack (which is built for real cargo) and to anchor them to rebar at ground level. I think enough engineering has rubbed off that I can do it. The porch area is the most difficult because I have to figure out the best way to anchor the poles with rope. At worst, we’ll remove the poles and anchor the tarp at an angle to allow us to get in and out of the van in shade.

One of the most common problems at Burning Man is that tents and such get exceedingly hot from the Sun very early in the day. We’re hoping that this will help, which will improve sleep.

We also picked up a length of carpet that should fit just about right in the van. I’ll have to cut out sections on the side for the wheel wells but that is about it.