Burning Man, the desert festival of radical art and alternative lifestyle is enjoyed best not from a distance but by immersing yourself, completely. And we’re here to help you get the best out of your virgin Burning Man experience!

In the midst of huge-stage, candy-wearing, beer guzzling and grass-hopping festivals, Burning Man stands different and tall. Everything about it is beyond normal conscience, as it takes radical lifestyle to another level of free and liberated expression. Now, if you’re about to experience your first Burning Man, things can get a little overwhelming. Right from the complicatedly large art installation to the free-thinkers that hoard the place with little to hold back.

So, before you jump ship, The Sherp is here to make sure you have the best first time at Burning Man. Take notes.

1. Wear the weird, proudly

Nobody enjoys Burning Man like the one dressed to the weirdest limit. You’re the one making it to photographers’ albums, and you’ll be splashed across fashion portals for your eclectic take on clothes. Even if what you’re wearing is a garbage bag tailored to resemble an astronaut’s uniform, carry it off better than a supermodel at a high end couture show. Revel in your weirdness!

Janet Clay(Image credits: Janet Clay | www.burningman.org)

2. Even if it’s the birthday suit

Naked is the dress worn best at Burning Man. So if you’re deciding to go full commando, do it with the confidence of a new-born baby. Nobody will have time to turn away from those spectacular art installations and have a look at you, so worry, you, not. Also, given the arid weather, you’d be glad for the lack of air blockers!

70530scr_wm_519176d69edf3df(Image source: Ales aka Dust to Ashes | www.burningman.org)

3. Daft the punk out

If there’s anything the Grammy-winning electronic duo and widely worshiped members of ‘what is weird is cool’ have taught us, it’s that nothing spells mysterious like a mask. And almost everything at Burning Man is shrouded in copious amounts of mystique. You will grab more attention with your face covered, than without.

Burning Man Staff(Image source: Burning Man Staff | www.burningman.org)

4. Music, what music? 

Music, at Burning Man, isn’t so much of an offering, as much as an asset. There are no lineup announcements from beforehand, and artists don’t perform for money. But you can always check out the random gigs announced a few hours prior. But. That is only until you see something cooler and weirder happening. Being weird at Burning Man trumps everything, even music.

philippe glade(Image source: Philippe Glade | www.burningman.org)

5. The world is a great piece of art

You never know when you’re standing next to an ‘abstract’ artist and looking at an art piece. After all, Burning Man is the quintessential radical art paradise. You must appreciate every art piece in sight, or at least pretend to. Even if it looks like a bunch of boxes laid on top of each others, with mirrors attached on all sides, be sure to comment something along the lines of ‘this is a metaphysical beckoning to the mortal’s soul to look within’, or something like that.

Stewart Harvey(Image source: Stewart Harvey | www.burningman.org)

6. Keep Walkin’ 

Burning Man is held on a vast expanse of arid land. All of its internal establishments stand quite the distance away from each other. So to be a true Burning Man attendee, walk it up. Walk the entire length and breadth of the festival location, and show no pain while you do. Strut it up, and make sure you peek into every booth and every activity centre, with your attention in tow.

Michael DiMonaco(Image source: Michael DiMonaco | www.burningman.org)

7. Join a troupe 

Nothing spells out your coolth like you joining a troupe of other cool people. Since Burning Man is essentially how people of generous and welcoming minds come together, nobody’s going to mind you walking along. Pretty soon, you’ll be indispensable to the group that doesn’t even know your name. But what’s in a name? Everything’s a state of mind. A way of life. A path to liberation. You get the drift.

Jeff Weigt(Image source: Jeff Weigt | www.burningman.org)

8. Nothing’s gross

You’re at a festival which welcomes people of all kinds, mostly the kinds that are off-the-curb. So should meditating groups of silent hippies turn you away? No. Should fornicating, liberated couples turn you away? Absolutely not. Do not judge. We repeat. And if you think two people at it in the middle of the desert is gross, wait before they invite you in. (Will work better for your cred, if you accept the invitation.)

Benjamin Chambers(Image source: Benjamin Chambers | www.burningman.org)

9. Strike That Pose!

You’re at the place that is hounded by cultural followers from around the world. Writers, photographers, videographers, are all there in equal measure. So be sure to present your wackiest self at all times. Weirdness is not just represented by the fabric you own, but by the body language you carry. And that’s skin deep!

Anthony Peterson(Image source: Anthony Peterson | www.burningman.org)

10. Evolve

Burning Man is an exercise for exponentially increasing your worldview. It’s supposed to be a process of emancipation from morality shackles. So people expect a visible change if you’re back from Burning Man. Even if all that’s changed is the sand level inside your ears, you need to appear enlightened. Talk about how the festival changed your life forever. Over and over again. Till you have an audience. Let that evolution show.

Burning Man Staff2(Image source: Burning Man Staff | www.burningman.org)