This picture was taken as I was riding my bike across the Playa. I’d stopped for a moment and this cluster of dapper cyclists dressed in white carrying Chinese umbrellas rode towards me so I pulled out my camera from the ziplock bag where I kept it for safe keeping and grabbed a couple of quick shots before the dust storm hit me.
Dust is a very serious issue at Burning Man. More than anything else, it makes life on the Playa very uncomfortable. Ziplock bags are essential. Before you get out to the Playa, work out what you are going to wear on each day, pack those clothes into Ziplock bags and write the day on the front so you have clean clothes to wear each day. If you don’t, you will probably end up wearing clothes that are full of the fine grainy dust to be found out there.
And to make matters even more interesting, America’s largest gyprock factory is based just up the road, so be aware that you will be breathing in what contractors use to build the walls of your house. So, add a serious facemask to protect your lungs and skiing goggles to that shopping list if you want to protect your eyes. Dark glassed ones for daylight and clear ones for night time. I made the classic mistake of only taking dark goggles, which made stumbling around at night in the midst of a dust storm even more interesting. If you are planning to go next year and haven’t been before, it’s a very good idea to download and check the Survival Guide which can be found here: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/index.html
In recognition of the serious dust storms which roll across the Playa at least 3 or 4 times during Burning Man, today I am listening to In Dust We Trust by The Chemical Brothers from the album Exit Planet Dust: