Monday, October 13, 2014

Alchemy Follow-up, Packing List and what we forgot

For next year, and/or for Euphoria (another regional burn in May, which is smaller), we are looking at taking Damian and making a family-friendly camp. The current discussion is to camp with some friends from church who are going, and possibly combine with the camp who makes mead.
I adore my Team Bad Idea campmates, but I think that a burn would actually be a good environment for the Wolfcub to grow up seeing.
The 10 Principles are definitely things I want him to grow up understanding.

So here's what we took-


  • Tent (we took the REI Kingdom 6, which was fantastic for the 2nd room, but I think I like C's teepee tent better)
  • Open-sided pavilion
  • Camp chairs
  • Firepit that doubles as a grill
  • Firewood (bring more next year!)
  • Sleeping pad of some kind (we ended up taking a queen air mattress)
  • Sleeping bags (we always buy 2 of the same kind so we can zip them together, but REI has some double sleeping bags. We also took a third-extra- sleeping bag to layer UNDER the air mattress to help stay warmer, since air mattresses are giant heat sinks and will freeze you to death outside, especially when there's FROST on the ground Sunday)
  • Tarps (we used these to create walls int he pavilions for when the sun, wind, or rain got obnoxious- we need more caribiners next time to hang them more easily)
  • Pillows
  • Lamps of some kind that can be hung from the pavilion (we took some IKEA hanging solar patio lights, but I think next time we'll get some actual bright lanterns and hang them from the pavilion peaks)
  • TP & Wet wipes
  • MOOP (trash) bags 
  • Weather-appropriate clothing and comfy boots (I don't really dress up)


  • Cooler (we took dry ice, layered it in the bottom, then added food/drinks and regular ice)
  • Firepit grill (see above- this was important enough to get 2 entries)
  • Cast iron pans and Korean (ceramic) dutch oven
  • Bamboo cooking utensils
  • Camping plates, bowls, silverware, etc (next time we will bring reusable, this time we brought flammable paper to avoid moop or the need for doing dishes)
  • Trash bags
  • Some way to wash dishes- salt for cast iron, something to use as sink, biodegradable soap, scrubby of some kind
  • Cast iron teapot for large pots of tea
  • Corkscrew
  • Can opener (we didn't take cans, but someone else borrowed it)
  • Something for quick-lighting fires in the morning. We used quick-start charcoal and then added wood.
  • Our titanium sporks which can be clipped to belts


  • Water drops to make water palatable since I don't like it plain
  • 4 5gal containers of water- one per person per day, PLUS some for washing/dishwashing
  • Breakfast food
  • Lunch food 
  • Dinner food
  • Tea bags, instant coffee packets, sugar (in a small s'ch bag but next year a tupperware), small jug of milk
  • Snacks- you'll probably want them 


  • A mug that can be clipped to my belt (people will offer you drinks. Part of Radical Self-Reliance means being able to accept them without someone else having to scrounge up a cup or create MOOP with disposables. I have this one, which was great, but I also like this one that can be used to cook and has a lid you can get to go with it)
  • My belt first aid kit for Ranger shifts
  • Ear plugs
  • Ambien/benadryl because it gets LOUD
  • Method of lighting self up at night (el wire is very popular)
  • Burn belt (not necessary but awesomely useful. I clipped my camping spork, my mug, my first aid kit, to it, and then put little things of pepto, tylenol, etc in the pockets to give out. 
  • Usual first aid kit (includes sunscreen, bug spray, etc- you will want both)
  • A few lengths of rope/cord
  • Extra tent stakes

Notes for what worked and didn't this past year:
  • We need to camp farther from the sound camps. Ouch. 
  • Old bucket, plus 2 lids. One solid lid, one with a 'seat' cut out. Add ashes and water. Use as chamberpot for 2am potty runs. Add ashes from fire every morning and evening. Dump in a dumpster en route home. 
  • We need a better method for securing tarps to the pavilions. Caribiners and zip ties would likely be better (caribiner to pavilion top rail, zip tie up for breeze, cut tie to let down, then zip tie sides together along pavilion corners)
  • How the hell did I get through the weekend without a knife of multitool?!?!
  • Foam tiles for the tent floor. 
  • Something to create shelves for storing all the things, OTHER than the floor
  • Warmer sleeping bags if another night in the low 30's is predicted. YEESH THAT SUCKED!
  • Clippy-plate for food we kept being offered
  • Many camps serving alcohol or in the red light district (such as the sex dome) require ID. Rather than carry it around, we photocopied ours, then used packing tape to attach it to our cups. This awesome idea came courtesy of other burners, so don't credit it to me :)
  • Gifting is a thing. If you create anything, whether it's friendship bracelets, granola bars, or rides in a human pony cart, Gifting is a fantastic thing that people share. Find your expression of how to gift. In my case it was always having tea or coffee available for people coming by.

  • I am reminded by a loved one: pack the whimsical in favor of the practical any time that a choice must be made between the two. 

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