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Looking for a Burning Man packing list? We’ve got tips on clothes, shoes, and all the essentials. Check out this guide on what to bring to Burning Man for one of the biggest festivals in the world!
What to Bring to Burning Man
Written By: Casey Carr-Jones
Burning Man is a unique annual event that brings together tens of thousands of people in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for a week of music and radical self-expression with a focus on celebration, community, and civic responsibility.
The desert transforms into a temporary community called Black Rock City, filled with art installations, theme camps, and villages. After the festival, their motto is to “leave no trace” and each festival goer is responsible for removing all trash.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill festival, and so your outfit can’t be run-of-the-mill either! If you;re planning on heading to the festival this year, we’ve got everything you need if you’re wondering what to pack for Burning Man.
If you’re traveling the West Coast, check out these tips on what to pack for USA in summer!
Burning Man Clothes
Burning man style is, in a word, RADICAL. This event revolves around radical inclusion, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance. And Burning Man outfits certainly reflect that! The crazier your festival outfit, the better!
Use a capsule wardrobe to pack light but create many outfits. Learn more in my guide!
What to Wear to Burning Man
It’s been said that Black Rock City turns into an art scene, but the art is in the clothing! The best outfits at the festival are all about creating a new identity or playing out a fantasy. If there’s something or someone you always wanted to dress like, the time and place are now!
If you’re looking for a great pair of pants, a funky and fun wide-legged Bell Bottom in an outrageous pattern is a great choice. You’ll want something comfortable (the ones we have pictured are high waisted and won’t cut into your stomach) that you can dance the day and night away in!
Lace, chambray, and fringe: here are the latest trends for festival clothing!
Burning Man Clothing Ideas for Tops
You’ll want something cool and movable during the day top-qise when it comes to clothes for burning man. We recommend a top like the iHeartRaves Crop Top that’s cute, comfortable and will stay cool in the heat.
A few other tips for clothing:
- Practice cultural sensitivity and leave the Native American headdresses at home.
- Flower crowns may cut it for some festivals, but this is a time to go all-out!
- Fur has become a bit of a cliché, but faux fur is still popular and can be practical and cozy at night.
- No glitter, sequins, or feathers–wear nothing that will leave trash or remnants behind.
Read this foolproof guide on long-lasting Festival makeup!
Burning Man Night Clothes
You’re going to be in the desert during the festival, that means it’ll be hot during the day but the temperature can seriously drop. So when planning your outfit you’ll definitely want to bring warm clothes for evenings.
Thermals are the key to keeping warm when the temperatures drop at night. When it comes to clothing, a silk undershirt with anti-microbial technology is perfect for cool evenings. It’s both fast wicking and drying, so you’ll stay comfortable while you’re in it!
Visit our post on the best thermal underwear to learn more!
Burning Man Clothing Guide for Sleeping
If you’re wondering what to wear for Burning Man sleepwear-wise, you’ll want to pack warm, snuggly clothes for sleeping. Remember, you’ll be in a tent with little protection from the cold and wind.
Consider fleece-lined leggings or cozy flannels and pack an extra blanket. That way you’ll stay warm throughout the night!
Read these tips on what to pack for desert adventures!
Burning Man Shoes
If you’re wondering what to bring to Burning Man for shoes, you’ll want to be comfortable and keep your feet protected.
Best Shoes for Burning Man
Comfortable footwear during the festival is key. Flip flops or sandals work for some people, but I recommend a pair of Burning man boots or walking shoes to protect your feet from the elements and any unmarked tent stakes.
The last thing you want is for your feet to hurt too much to walk or bike, so be sure your shoes are broken in completely in advance. Be sure you can walk, stand, and dance all night in them!
Bring at least 2 pairs of shoes to switch daily (and extra socks), and feel free to decorate them as well.
Take a look at these options to find the best boots for Burning Man!
Accessories Packing List for Burning Man
Besides your clothing, we’ve got a list of accessories you’ll want to consider bringing along to this year’s festival:
Have Fun With Costume Accessories
You’ll see people dressed in steampunk and burlesque styles or as superheroes or ravers. You’ll walk by someone in a spacesuit, or dressed head to toe in body paint. Glowing costumes are favorite women’s outfits for nighttime.
Even though it may sound a bit like Halloween, you won’t see many off-the-shelf costumes. Many Burners (attendees) have custom-made costumes specifically for this event.
A fun pair of Steampunk Goggles can be a great addition to your Burning Man fashion. Not to mention, they can help you avoid getting sand in your eyes during a pesky desert storm!
Get Some Shade With a Wide-Brimmed Hat
You’re going to be in the sun a lot, and with that in mind when you’re planning your Burning Man festival outfits you’ll want to add a wide-brimmed sun hat to it.
Not only is a sun hat useful when it comes to blocking the sun and preventing sunburn (don’t ruin your vacation with one), they look super cute. Consider a hat that has a chin strap so you don’t lose it on a windy day!
If you’re wanting to wear a fun hair style, here’s a list of cute summer ideas, accessories, and hats to bring along on your summer trips!
Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses
Your head is not the only thing you’ll want to protect from the sun, the last place you want to be without eye protection is in the middle of a desert! With that in mind, we recommend a pair of polarized sunglasses.
In fact, when planning what to bring to Burning Man, we recommend taking along two pairs of sunglasses—just in case one gets lost.
Find out the benefits of polarized sunglasses plus our top picks!
Fight Off the Dust
When it comes to putting together your packing list for Burning Man, you’ll want to pack a few items that can help you protect your eyes and nose against dust and sand. The festival takes case in the middle of the desert, so the occasional sandstorm is not unusual.
Great dust and dirt protection includes items like a face mask or pair of goggles, which will not only protect you but will also fit in with your clothing style!
Burning Man Gear List
Waterproof Dry Bag
Things at the festival can get messy, so we recommend adding a dry bag to your packing list. Something sturdy and waterproof will make sure your personal items stay safe while you enjoy the festival.
Use a dry bag to protect valuable items like your phone, camera or other electronics. You can get them in 10 and 20L sizes, and users share that bags that are closed tightly will protect your items from water (and dust!).
Reusable Water Bottle
You do not want dehydration to ruin your festival experience, that’s why we highly recommend reusable water bottles, like the Hydro Flask, as Burning Man essentials.
The festival suggests bringing 1.5 gallons of water per person per day. You’ll leave it at your camp, but be sure to pack a reusable water bottle to fill up as you explore other parts of Black Rock City!
Your Burning Man checklist should include a pair of earplugs, that way you can catch some zs, whether you’re taking an afternoon nap or trying to fight midnight rowdiness from the neighboring tents.
When heading to Burning Man, what to bring when it comes to ear plugs will be something comfortable enough to sleep with, and that will successfully block out the music and excitement of the other festival goers.
Lotion and lip balm
The desert can get super dry, and while you’re hydrating yourself with water, you need to also protect your sink and lips from getting chapped, dry or blistered.
Wondering what to bring to Burning Man to keep your skin hydrated? We recommend a 2-in-1 product like Palmer’s lotion and lip balm combo. Less to bring, but you’re still taking care of dry skin and chapped lips!
Cozy Travel Blanket
It’s cold at night in the desert, so you’ll want to bring along an extra blanket. Aim for something packable and lightweight.
Bearz Outdoor blanket is perfect if you’re wondering what to take to Burning Man for a blanket. It fits into a compact little bag that’s perfect to fit in a carry-on or handbag. It’s waterproof and sandproof, making it the perfect festival gear.
Your Burning Man packing list should also include recommended items like duct tape, a first aid kit, and a headlamp.
You’ll want to be prepared for everything and anything, and a minor injury first aid kit will help you deal with minor scrapes and or burns, a headlamp will make sure you don’t get lost at night, and the duct tape can cover everything else!
Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Burning Man Clothes|
|Bell Bottom||A funky and fun wide-legged Bell Bottom in an outrageous pattern is a great choice.||Check Price|
|iHeartRaves Crop Top||We recommend a top like the iHeartRaves Crop Top that’s cute, comfortable and will stay cool in the heat.||Check Price|
|Terramar Silk Undershirts||Thermals are the key to keeping warm when the temperatures drop at night.||Check Price|
|Fleece-Lined Leggings||Consider fleece-lined leggings or cozy flannels and pack an extra blanket. That way you’ll stay warm throughout the night!||Check Price|
|Burning Man Shoes|
|Steve Madden Troopa Lace-Up||I recommend a pair of Burning man boots or walking shoes to protect your feet from the elements and any unmarked tent stakes.||Check Price|
|Accessories Packing List for Burning Man|
|Steampunk Goggles||A fun pair of Steampunk Goggles can be a great addition to your Burning Man fashion.||Check Price|
|Open Knit Sun Hat||On planning your Burning Man festival outfits you’ll want to add a wide-brimmed sun hat to it.||Check Price|
|Ray-Ban Retro Glasses||We recommend taking along two pairs of sunglasses—just in case one gets lost.||Check Price|
|Dust Mask||Great dust and dirt protection include items like a face mask or pair of goggles, which will not only protect you but will also fit in with your clothing style!||Check Price|
|Burning Man Gear List|
|Dry Bag||Use a dry bag to protect valuable items like your phone, camera or other electronics.||Check Price|
|Hydro Flask||We highly recommend reusable water bottles, like the Hydro Flask, as Burning Man essentials.||Check Price|
|Silicone Ear Plugs||Your Burning Man checklist should include a pair of earplugs.||Check Price|
|Palmer’s Lotion & Lip Balm||You need to also protect your sink and lips from getting chapped, dry or blistered.||Check Price|
|Packable Blanket||Bearz Outdoor blanket is perfect if you’re wondering what to take to Burning Man for a blanket.||Check Price|
|Headlamp||Your Burning Man packing list should also include recommended items like duct tape, a first aid kit, and a headlamp.||Check Price|
Packing For Burning Man
Once you’ve chosen your clothes and gear, use packing cubes and other luggage organizers to organize and compress your clothing tightly to make the most of less space.
There are a variety of packing organizers ranging from compression sacks to packing cubes to ziplock bags. Personally, we like using these packing cubes and our readers agree. They’ve helped millions of our readers travel carryon only!
Watch the packing tutorial on Youtube!
We put together a five-part YouTube series showing you the different methods to use packing cubes. If you use this specific packing strategy, they can also compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry on only!
Buy Compass Rose Packing Cubes here!
What are your tips on what to bring to Burning Man? Please share in the comments!
Love music festivals? Read these posts:
- What to Wear in Palm Springs: Desert, Festivals, and Year Round Sunshine
- What to Wear for Coachella
- What to Wear to European Music Festivals
- Long-lasting Music Festival Makeup
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Author Bio: Casey Carr-Jones is a part-time writer and full-time #girlboss, traveling the world while writing and managing a resume review business. Learn more about her adventures on A Packed Suitcasey or on Instagram.
Love all of the information you share and have gained valuable insights for my own travels. Thank you!
As a burner, I wanted to share insights of my own, that may be worth including. I have so many, but these should fit in with the theme of your article.
Instead of a water bottle, bring a hydration bag (like a camelback), and add ice to it regularly.
Always carry a spare cup, with a carabiner (which could also serve as a possible bow), so that you can try the many gifts of culinary delight on the playa.
Bring lights to illuminate yourself at night, so that others will see you.
Organize your wardrobe by outfit and use bags to separate each one apart. It’s much easier then digging for clothes while enduring the heat if your tent.
Volunteer on and off the playa, and give back to this artistic experiment.
Hi Justine, thanks for your lovely comment, so pleased you enjoyed the post!! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic tips with us!! 🙂