the burning man experience

The Burning Man Experience

Burning Man…an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

This was our first burn.  No matter how much you research, how many videos you watch, or how many photos you look at, nothing prepares you for what lies ahead.  People ask us “what is burning man”?

Our response: “it’s anything you want it to be”!  It doesn’t matter what your reason is for going, or what you are looking for, you can find it in Black Rock City.  It’s an unbelievable experience with a flow that can be described as yin and yang.  People and things co-exist in this city that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.  I can’t tell you what others experienced, or what your burn will be, but I can tell you about our first burn.

In our neighborhood, we sat outside in our lawn chairs, played Uno, drank, ate, and shared stories.  Strangers greet you with a hug and a simple statement: “welcome home”; as if you’ve simply been away for awhile and now you are back where you belong.

Fellow burners at Burning Man

The Playa was covered with intricate art pieces that would require a special exhibit at the MOMA.  We saw more fireworks and art set on fire than most people will see in a lifetime.  The strength of flame to bring a community together is unmistakable!

Burning Man fireworks

We played oversized games like Jenga, non-stop Dodge ball, painted art and witnessed a battle between the bunnies and the carrots.

Burning Man Jenga

We marched for Waldo and his cause, shouting and flying flags in his honor. Come to find out, all he ever wanted to be a little obscure.

Waldo March at Burning Man

We were gifted snow cones in the desert, psychic cocktails and homemade crafts that inspire the creative spirit. We received gifts and we were watched over as if everyone was a big brother or sister.  New playa names were bestowed upon us with great joy, like new additions to an ancient tribe.

snow cones at Burning Man

We volunteered as lamplighters and became participants in our community. Grateful citizens passing by would shout “we love you lamplighters” and we gained a sense of pride for our city.
Lamplighters in Black Rock City

People are tolerant and understanding here, how we should be all the time. We left with big questions about Black Rock City…“Why do we come to the middle of the desert to gain a great sense of community and compassion?  What makes this city so different than our hometowns?  Can the spirit last more than a week?”  The only conclusion we came up with: everyone should experience Burning Man at least once!

people of burning man

Thinking of going to Burning Man for the first time?  Check these out:

Have you been to Burning Man?  Gift us a story of your experience in the comment box below.

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (20)

  • Greg V

    Hi guys. I know this is bringing up an old blog, but I will attempt to go the Burning Man this year. Looks to be a bit daunting to get the tickets as they sell out in like 45 min of going on sale, but thats another topic.
    My question is about the cats. Are they allowed and did you have them on board during this adventure. I travel solo but for my cat who adopted me this last summer. So my concern is having him on board when I go.
    If not, what did you do with your guys?
    Thanks, Greg

    • cats are not allowed.make sure you read over the burning man website before you go for all the dos and do not’s. we leave our cats in reno at the Kozy Cattery. Really nice place and the cats love it.

  • Rob Mortensen

    Hello Wynns,
    My wife Suzi and I are really enjoying your adventures and have to admitt we have been living vicariously through you. 
    We are purchasing a small RV to get us out,about and starting our own adventures.
    On our radar is Burning Man 2015. It happens to be my 50th birthday at that time as well. A genuine bucket list item for me. Any additional information you can pass along is greatly appreciated.
    One particular question has to do with parking your rig. Do participants have a certain allotment of space to set up or do you drive until you find a space that looks good? 
    Thanks again for sharing your adventures and inspiring us to get out there.
    Best wishes,
    Rob and Suzanne M.

  • Melanie

    Hey guys, you are totally living my dream. Kudos. This year, I tried to go to BM (would have been my 5th time) in a conversion van. Tried, because one drawback is that I can’t bring my son, who happens to be furry and of the k-9 variety. Tried dogvacay, and couldn’t find anyone local to take him.

    No biggie since I was driving across country afterwards anyway. Plus I got to sell my ticket to someone who was going for the first time … and well there were great enough “coincidences” around the burn that I chalked it up to fate.

    My question for you is about your cat. What did you do with her/him when you were at BM? Really psyched to have discovered you guys, and looking forward to looking through all your amazing work and resources. Thank you for doing this!

    • Melanie, glad to have you around!!! We found a great cat hotel in Reno called the cozy cattery. They loved the place and we got to enjoy the burn knowing our furry children were safe and happy.

  • wow is all I can say! need to go some day to feel free again.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences I loved the video and the post. xox Karin

  • Hey fellow nomads! Next time u go check out Camp Nomadia! We are also full-timers and burners – last year was my 4th and hubby’s 5th burn. We are friends with Cheddar Heti and the roaming Pint. Jeanette turned me on to your blog. Happy travels – come see us in Cedar Mey this winter with the NuRVers

  • You guys are too cool. Great job on the video!

  • Lookin’ forward to your next posts on Burning Man. I so see myself there! 🙂 -joanne

  • paul van

    Awesome experience. Reminds me of a post apocolypse world.

  • FYI: Randy was our neighbor at Burning Man, he’s in the top shot on this post. We met early one morning when he came over to tell me I was parked in the middle of the street! ha. Thanks for looking out for a Couple Virgins.

  • Kat I totally got dust in my camera and lens. Had to get a Camera ‘Tune-up’ in Reno after the event. Cost me $150 but totally worth it!

  • kitty kat

    This looks so cool! I love the giant pac man! J I don’t know how you didn’t get sand in your camera.

  • Randy Lent

    Beautiful pictures.
    Thank you for bring back the memories.
    The firework’s was the most(amazing)show.

  • mary

    the picture of the dome kind of reminds me of Mad Max with a little color. what an incredible experience!


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