Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Burning Man - Costumes

Obviously with it being my first time there I was not totally sure of how to dress. My usual garb included just wearing shorts, hiking boots, and a big straw hat. I usually had a large checkered scarf (or Keffiyeh) around my neck for covering my mouth and nose during the dust storms. I also had around my neck at any given time: goggles, water bottle, head lamp, volunteer medallion (that I couldn’t take off because the string got knotted) and light. From time to time they would get tangled when I was trying to use one of them and be rather strangling.

Different events that I went to felt I was very underdressed and had racks of costumes they would give away. In their desire to find stuff that fit me among other things I got a full pirate costume with hat and cape, and a green fury blanket that I used as a cape. I would wear these from time to time too.

Because of the heat and state of liberty being felt, other people where in different states of dress. Like most European beaches it caught me off guard for about 15 minutes before acclimating to it. Most of the people in full costumes did not have hats or water bottles and frankly looked like the only people that were hot. I guess like everywhere else you must suffer to look fashionable. Popular costumes included kilts for men and bikinis or lingerie for women. So basically it was a beach without water. The less people wore while riding bikes the easier it was to see how bike seats do not help the male anatomy and it had to be painful for women to ride over pot holes in the road (of which there were many.)

I did go through 2 bottles of sunscreen and avoided getting a sunburn but I saw plenty of other people that were not so lucky. The way I looked at it was I knew if I didn’t use enough then it would hamper me being able to enjoy further fun so it was one of the things I kept on top of.

Since most costumes did not provide a way to carry necessities people would use backpacks, camelbacks, photo vests, tool belts, army utility belts, and fanny packs to carry things like cameras, lip balm, goggles, lights, and other necessities.

Besides the the costumes that were given to me I also found lights on the ground (called “ground score”) that helped keep me lit at night front and back. We were pretty lucky that there was a full moon most of the time I was there but riding bikes at night without lights was still stupid and earned you the title of “dark tard” or “playa ninja”. Other things I found were a teddy bear and a gnome that I was able to zip-tie to my bike.

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