My name is Kristin.
It ends with an "N," begins with a "K."
Recently got back from an epic road trip with my very close friends Chrisrelle & Erik.
We drove from Seattle to San Francisco for the sole purpose of seeing Depeche Mode play live. It was SO FUCKING FUN.
Pictures and more stories to come!
In a diversion from my usual snarky BS, here’s some actual advice, given to someone in a FaceBook group expressing interest in a spontaneous trip to Burning Man. After much of the group basically settled on the “You can’t go at the last minute. It’s too hard. You won’t contribute anything. You don’t even know anybody.” I begged to differ.
You don’t have to camp with a group. You can totally do this last minute, you can totally do it on your own, and it’ll be totally awesome. It’ll be work and it will be uncomfortable and you won’t have a shower or a plug for your cell phone or a ready-made group or a camp kitchen, but fuck it. Make some friends, right? Here we go:
Get a tent WITH A RAINFLY and as little mesh as possible to avoid dust blowing in, a decent sleeping pad (don’t bother with an air mattress) and a couple of sleeping bags. Ideally, one you can set up by yourself; but I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find a passer-by to help you if you needed it. Bring fuzzy pajamas and nice warm socks, it’s cold out there at night. Stake that shit down with HEAVY DUTY REBAR STAKES, not wussy camp stakes. Put tennis balls or water bottles on the end of the rebar so you don’t impale yourself. Mark your guy lines with flagging tape so you don’t trip.
Bring AT LEAST ONE GALLON OF WATER FOR EVERY DAY YOU WILL BE THERE, and then some extra. Seriously. Refill your water bottle any time there is less than 1/3 of a bottle left. Oh, bring at least one water bottle. Get a camel-bak backpack if you plan to NEVER be at your camp, but I do fine with a 1 liter bottle that I refill (I don’t really roam that far very often). DO NOT put gatorade, lemonade, margaritas, coke, gin and tonic, or anything else that isn’t water into your water bottle/camelbak. You will drink it, it will be awesome, you will realize your camel bak now tastes irrevocably like whatever you put in it, you will not want to drink from it, and you will become dehydrated.
Bring food that won’t spoil in the heat - I don’t know what you eat or how much you need, but add some extra calories on top of what you USUALLY eat to make up for the fact that you’re going to be burning energy just existing there. Don’t bring a cooler - you will be a slave to it and if you forget to put ice in it you will not have any food. I’d rather worry about finding something awesome to do than worry about whether my food is going to last.
Bring way more sunscreen than you think you need and apply it liberally WAY more often than you think you need to. Bring baby wipes and clean yourself (your whole self) every night. Mix vinegar and water and soak your feet at night, moisturize, and put them in good socks to keep them healthy. Bring lip moisturizer, extra contact lenses, extra contact lens solution, backup for all that stuff and then a box of condoms (just in case - if nothing else give them to other people).
At the very least you should have: 1 Lantern, 1 hand-held flashlight, 1 head lamp, 1 small/keychain/pocket flashlight. Bring extra batteries (at least 2 extra sets of batteries PER ITEM) for all of them. Consider also finding one of those wind-up LED ones.
Bring AT MOST two plastic bins/standard suitcases of clothing. Bring at least one pair of underwear for EVERY DAY, one pair of socks for EVERY DAY, and regular, comfortable clothes you can wear. Bring costumes, but not at the expense of clothes you could actually batten down and survive a week long dust storm or rain squall or zombie apocalypse in.
BRING A COAT. It can get WICKED cold. You will be miserable if you are out there with nothing but bikinis. This has been me, when I left my bag with my coat and hoodie in it in a friend’s car, who was not coming up until two days later! Bring a coat and a bathrobe and a snuggie or whatever you imagine would be comfy to lay around in a camp chair under a rain shelter in.
Bring a couple cases of beer (if you like it), or wine (if you like it) or juice (if you like it) or soda or cookies or beef jerky or your mom’s special recipe vacuum packed creme brûlée or whatever that you would like to share with people and consume on your own. Try to only bring things in cans when you can, as you have to pack out all your trash. Yes, all of it. You don’t have to bring treats to share, but it’s nice, and you will make friends easily - just like if you move into a new apartment and bring cookies over to your neighbors to introduce yourself.
Do not bring drugs, pets, or anything illegal (firearms, fireworks, etc). I know I sound like a buzzkill and I know tons of people will say “NO IT’S FINE” (and it obviously is, given how many people I help pull off our damn dome who are tripping balls every night) but you really don’t want your “my first burning man” story to involve getting arrested.
Look at the Placement Map before you leave! NOW. Okay, I’ll wait. Good. Now… Mark out some areas in the free camping zone that look promising - maybe look for something near a group of placed theme camps that do what you’re interested in. Realize you’re not going to get any of them but scope it out anyway, you’ll find somewhere cool. It’s fine. Bring a copy of the map with you.
Put this all in your car. Drive to Black Rock City. FUEL UP BEFORE YOU HIT THE PLAYA. Full gas tank. I mean it - do it in Gerlach or Nixon or as close to BRC as you can. Wait in line. Talk to folks. Make some friends. DO NOT DRINK ANYTHING ALCOHOLIC OR DO DRUGS IN LINE, for god’s sake, getting kicked out before you even get in would be awful. At the greeters, tell them you’re a virgin. You will get hugs and high fives and advice (and no, I’m not being snarky about that, either). Ask for advice on where to camp. Listen to their advice.
Find some friendly-looking neighbors in one of the areas where you can free camp. Ask if you’re going to be in someone’s space if you put down there. Then, set your things up, offer your new neighbors a beer, kick back and enjoy Burning Man.
Mom: Are you awake for the day?
Me: Uh, I dunno. I ate breakfast and worked out, I was planning on napping until we go to photograph that house [my mum is a real estate agent; I work part time as her assistant] and then I was gonna pick that stuff up for you at the office.
Mom: Oh, okay. I had some errands to do for you. Don't worry about it thought.
Me: I can get up and go do them. I'm not too tired, I just...
Mom: It's okay. I don't have any time to explain what I need done right now.
Me: ...then why did you just ask me if I was busy and tell me you wanted me to run errands?