Camp FAQ: For Confirmed, PBR 2020 Campmates

What next?

Getting ready for Burning Man? 
Everything you need to know is right here.

CAMP FAQ: For Confirmed PBR 2020 Campmates.
This page is intended for people who have been invited to join, and paid the membership fee. It contains everything you need to know, now through BM.


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  • We use the google group to broadcast essential info.  
  • Membership to the google group is required.  
  • Please subscribe here

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About 25% of our campmates are mechanics.  The rest have other roles (DJ, bartender, bike distribution, greeter, kitchen, MOOP, set up, strike, water, etc).  


  • Campmates commit to working four 4-hours shifts (16 hours total) during the event.
  • Everyone must work at least one 4-hour shift during either set up (August 24-29) OR strike (September 5-10)
  • Read the worksheet descriptions here
  • We will send you an invitation to register for Shiftboard later.

WORK ACCESS PASSES / WAP (formerly Early Access Passes / EAP).

  • WAP are awarded to a select group of campmates, arriving August 24-29, and working set-up, or bike distribution.
  • BM expects PBR to be fully open and operational when the gates open to the public - not stuck in traffic.  So BM gives us a healthy allocation, but they are still highly coveted. 
  • Each person must have his/her own WAP.  
  • If you're riding the Sat Aug 29 bus, WAP is not required.
  • We work before, and/or after BM (preparing bikes, loading trailers, etc).
  • Hotels, meals, BM tickets, and/or wages are provided. If you're interested, reach out. 

Packing & Shipping 


  • Departure Party will be hosted in San Francisco on Saturday 22 August.
  • Great opportunity to meet other camp mates.  
  • The only time to give us gear that you want us to transport to BRC.  
  • Each campmate is allowed 3 crates.  If you have a compelling reason for more, ask (ie: set up, strike, shift-pod, etc). 
  • If your item fits in a crate, it should be in a crate!  
  • We only accept one type of crate: the 27 gallon black and yellow tub.  The best one's are at Lowes.  Home Depot is almost as good, but not quite.  If you want them via mail order, click here.
  • Crate must be clearly on all 4 sides and the top, with blue painters tape in black ink with your name and contact details.  We will supply blue tape and black markers at the departure party.


Getting there 
Getting to Black Rock City


Most of us arrive via Burner Express Bus, or carpool.  We don't really have space for RV's, nor trailers (other than trailers we use to haul bikes).  That said, here's a full list of options:
  • Burner bus: There is a burner bus that departs from either Reno or San Francisco. 80% of PBR rides the bus! It's economical.  You can sleep.  You enter via a special gate, and skip all the traffic going in/out of BRC.  More information here.  
  • Drive: If you drive, you will need a vehicle pass, plus a burning man ticket. Wait times in/out can be as little as one hour, and as long as 12 hours.  
  • PBR car pool: We have a Google sheet we use to help coordinate a car pools for camp mates, here.  Please see all three tabs.
  • Public Ride Share: If you would like to find your own ride share, you can do so here.
  • Plane: There is an airport in Black Rock City, and you can fly from SF, LA, or Reno.  More information here

Arriving at BRC 
Arriving in Camp


BM will announce camp locations in July.  Historically we've been at 9/B and 9/G.


Heather and Sonia will greet you, and give you your name badge.

BADGES (aka Laminate)

  • You must wear your name badge whenever you are in camp.  (FYI: if you wear it elsewhere on playa, it may have unintended positive effects).
  • Please wear it around your neck, using the lanyard we give you. This helps everyone learn names faster, and it's easier to read.  
  • PBR has approx 115 campmates, and 6,000+ visitors.  We haven't had a problem to date, but if you see a non-campmate in a campmate-only area, let us know (ie "If you see something, say something").
  • You must wear your badge to dinner (Wed-Sat @ 7:30 pm).  No exceptions.


  • We will set up one 60x120 shade tent; if you put your backpacking tent underneath, you'll be comfortable.  
  • When setting up your tent, please be sure to get the sides of your tent as close as you can to the next tent.
  • Walkways should be behind or front of your tent door. Please ensure there is 2 ft of walkway in front of your tent.


The shade farthest from the kitchen is removed first; the shade closest to the kitchen is removed last (and thus, reserved for "strike" crew).  

If you put your tent in the wrong spot, you'll probably have to move it (or accept that we may remove your shade, before you depart).

Bikes for campmates
  • Each campmate will be issued his/her own bike, with a unique number, and a lock.  
  • Please, Lock your bikes, at all times (in camp, and elsewhere too).  We like to say "If it's not locked, it's not yours."  
  • At the end of BM, before you depart, return your bike to the designated PBR bike trailer.  If you don't return the bike, you lose your $150 security deposit.  


  • We have a mandatory nightly pre-dinner meeting at 7:00 PM.  
  • Pre-dinner meetings are short, and to the point.  
  • The agenda and speakers are arranged just beforehand.  If you want to speak, get on the agenda.  
  • It's the one time per day where we reflect on what we're doing well, and how we can do it even better the following day.
  • The meetings end at 7:30 or before.  And then, we have dinner.



PBR serves four delicious and nourishing dinners
, Wednesday-Saturday. Dinner starts at 7:30 PM.  Dinner is optional (but nearly everyone attends).

If you stayed in camp a full day, this is what it would look like:

  • 10 am:  Earliest shifts start
  • 11am - 6 pm:  Bike Repair and Bike Distribution open.
  • 6 pm - 7 pm: Clean up of mech and distribution area.
  • 7 pm - 7:30 pm:  Pre-Dinner meeting.
  • 7:30 pm:  Dinner.  Make your evening plans.
  • 9:00 pm: Head out for the night.

Outside of the four catered meals, you're on your own.  Campmates often band together with a few others, in advance, to shop and cook together.  Others form impromptu groups on site.  

Bring food high in minerals and salt.  Foods that help replenish your minerals and electrolytes may include: bananas, coconut water, cabbage, jicama, peanuts, and seaweed.  Beware: bananas may not fare so well in transport.


We have a commercial kitchen, built into a semi-trailer.   

  • Campmates can use the kitchen anytime.  
  • 10 burners; 3 ovens; 3-basin dish sink for washing dishes; 2-basin prep sink; hand wash sink; 3-door fridge; 2-door freezer.  
  • All equipment to cook, including pots, pans, utensils, microwave, and toaster; cooking oil, dishwashing soap, etc.




Our shower trailer features two showers; a comfortable changing room; and 4,000 gallons of water.  Arguably the best shower at Burning Man!


Water & Power 


PBR has enough water for people to live comfortable, as long as we conserve.

  • In the kitchen, if you're washing dishes, use the 4-buckets vs running water (hot pre-wash; hot soapy wash; cold rinse; Clorox dip).
  • If you shower, you should get wet, then turn off the water.  Soap.  Then turn the water on, and rinse.
  • If you brush your teeth, or shave, never leave the water running.

Because the water is flowing out faucet at full pressure, and the size of our water truck, it's easy to forget that you're in the desert.  But we need to conserve!  At the end of the event, we had very little extra.


We have two portable toilets within camp (aka outhouses).  They cost PBR $3,000/burn.  For this reason, the toilets are exclusively for PBR campmates.  

  • Each one has a combo lock on the door.  It's very easy to use, and to remember the combo.  
  • Last year, more than once, the lock disappeared.  This year, we're putting the lock on a chain, so the lock will always be right where you expect it.  
  • Lock the door!  If you don't lock the bathroom after use, countless others, from other camps, will use it, and it will get gross, fast.   


  • 12,000 square feet of shade with mesh floor (to catch MOOP).
  • Commercial kitchen with 10 burners, 3 ovens, 3-basin dish sink, 2-basin prep sink, hand wash sink, 3-door fridge, 2-door freezer.
  • All equipment to cook, including pots, pans, utensils, microwave, and toaster; 3-basin sink for washing dishes, with washing supplies. 
  • Catered Dinners (Wednesday thru Saturday at 7:30)
  • Two refreshing showers for campmates only
  • 4000 gallons of fresh water
  • Gray water tanks (we handle it!)
  • Professional audio (rivals a night club)
  • Arguably the best music on the Playa
  • Electricity (45 Kw Diesel Generator running 3-phase)
  • Two onsite portable toilets, for campmates only.  


If you're new to our camp you're probably wondering what you need to do once you've signed up for a work shift. At the start of your workshift, meet your shift manager, team lead, or co-lead, in the region where your work is designated:

  • Mechanic or bike repair duties - meet at the bike repair area near the bar 10 minutes prior to shift start time.
  • Bike Distribution - scanning or loading bikes, meet in the bike distribution area 10 minutes prior to your shift start time.
  • Everything Else - MOOP cleanup, gas & propane, kitchen clean, etc. Meet in the campmate lounge area 10 minutes prior to shift start time.

Bike Mechanics 101 
Bike Mechanics 101


We will be adding instructional repair videos here.  Stay tuned!

  • On Playa Flat Repair
  • Post Playa Bike Maintenance 


A theme camp is a group of individuals, with different strengths, layered on top of each another, who collectively form a community that provides a service.

A community is a bit like JENGA. If any one block of wood is removed - or someone misses a shift - the community may collapse.  

In recent years, we've noticed a slight uptick in "missed shifts." To reverse this trend, and others, we're introducing a deposit system.

• $300 JENGA deposit. Work your shifts.
• $150 BIKE deposit. Same as all renters.
• $50 MOOP deposit. Clean your space.

If there are any egregious violations to our principles (including but not limited to missing shifts), we may ask you to leave, and you will not be invited back.

For nearly everyone reading this, nothing herein should be a concern. You make commitments, and you honor them. You work your shifts. But if you have concerns, contact us.


More questions? Contact us 
More questions? Contact Us

If you need to contact any of the administrators of the camp:


Dues, tickets, vehicle passes, early arrival passes
Sonia, Heather