Skip to Content

What NOT to Pack for Burning Man

There’s about 100+ things you need to pack for Burning Man so you can sleep, eat, and defend yourself against the desert sun and sand for the week. To lessen your packing list and shopping, don’t bring these items!


Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash what not to bring to burning man packing list burning man packing list

Glitter is a must at festivals like Coachella and Lighting in a Bottle, but at Burning Man it’s a no-no! Don’t put it on your shoulders, hair, or even just a tad bit on your eyes. As small as it is, it’s considered to be MOOP, which is a Burner acronym for “Matter Out of Place”. Their Leave No Trace Behind policy is very strict so nothing should be left behind that wasn’t previously there. Absolutely no glitter, glitter bombs, confetti, or anything along those lines!

Fresh, Prepared or Refrigerated Foods

Unless you have a proper refrigerator running on a generator, it’s best to pack mostly dried packaged food such as granola bars or even cup ramen if you have a water boiler.

Despite having the state-of-the-art cooler, you’ll be surprised how quickly food can spoil and how much less you’ll eat while camping. Save yourself the money and hassle, and pack minimally.

Bottled Water

Since you need to carry your own trash out, it’s best to keep it to a minimum by preventing it in the first place. Don’t pack small 6oz or even 12oz water bottles. Instead, buy large jugs of water such as the 2.5 gallon sizes, and bring a reusable water bottle to fill them up with.

I brought a few reusable bottles but this one was my favorite because of the wide mouth and size:

  • The wide mouth made it easy to pour water in from our camp’s jugs of water.
  • It’s collapsible so it easily fits in any bag you decide to take out for the day, and if you only fill it up partially, then you can make it fit into a smaller bag.
  • It’s reallyyy big so your friends and you can share this if you’d like.

This also could be used as a MOOP jug because of the wide mouth but a used milk jug will work as well!

Get it on Amazon.

Espresso Machine

This is a great idea in theory, but a ton of people will be asking you for “just one shot”. In addition, the clean up is a hassle. If you bring one, set a clear rule like, “Espressos are available at 9AM for half an hour, and that’s it.” You may not realize it, but it’s easy to caught in the espresso hustle.

Belly Dancing Clothes With Coins (at Music)

This is only applicable for when you’re watching a live show or DJ set, but leave your belly dancing clothes with coins hanging off them at the campsite. Dancing with them adds unwanted noise to those trying to listen to the music. If you’re not going to be at concerts, then feel to wear these all day and night!

Update: Of course, people disagree with this because of radical self-expression. It’s up to you. This is just my two cents!

Prohibited Items

In addition to the above items, Burning Man has their own list of prohibited items, which includes but is not limited to explosives, fireworks, hand-held lasers, paintball guns, unregistered mutant vehicles, plants, ATVS, animals, and anything that can fly away in the wind or cause MOOP.

So what can you bring?

You can bring just about anything that won’t harm others, is registered, won’t cause MOOP, won’t fly away in the wind, and isn’t living. As for dressing up, definitely bring something that falls between steampunk and post-apocalyptic like these items:

If you want to know what you absolutely need every time you go out on the playa, check out this article. As for any other suggestions on what NOT to pack for Burning Man, please comment below, and share this with your friends.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sandy N Vyjay

Tuesday 25th of July 2017

I was not aware of Burning Man and hence this post intrigued me and was also very informative. It is good to see that the festival organizers are aware of the environment and ensure that the environment does not get disrupted by the even

You cannot copy content of this page

Save this post for later!

Thank you so much for your awesome support.