Tips and Tricks pertaining to keeping clean and comfortable in Black Rock Desert.


Showering: We often use solar-heated camp showers. Many of us have found it helpful to shower just before the sun goes down, to wash sunscreen and dust off before getting dressed for the evening’s festivities.

Sponge Bathing: A basin and a washcloth kept in your tent can provide an easy wipe-down before crawling into your sleeping bag at night.

Baby Wipes: When you can’t shower, or when you need a quick cleanup before bed, and to get the worst of the grime off of your body, unscented baby wipes are highly recommended.

Playa Foot

The alkaline pH of Black Rock Desert is harmful to your skin, especially feet. It is NOT recommended to go barefoot at Burning Man, and it will result in stinging, cracked, and bleeding feet. The best thing is to wear full boots or shoes, but this option can make it difficult to beat the heat.

If you opt to wear sandals or other well-vented shoes, there are things you can do to maintain the health of your feet.

Wear clean socks! Bring at least one pair of socks per day, if not two. It’s a great idea to package your socks in a resealable storage bag where they will stay dust-free throughout the week. Put on a fresh pair once or twice a day to keep feet clean and happy.

Get a pedicure before you leave for the desert. It might seem counter-intuitive, but this will get rid of the rough, dead skin that can easily dry out and form deep and painful cracking.

Moisturize! Wash your feet each evening before you put on your nighttime shoes or before you crawl into bed. Use a vinegar/water solution if you have it, to balance out the pH of your skin. Pat dry and apply some kind of heavy duty moisturizer (shea butter, Lubriderm, some people use Vaseline, but we don’t recommend petroleum products). Slather it on, drench your feet, don’t skimp, and don’t worry about excess goo – put a fresh pair of socks on over the goo and go to sleep. Your feet will absorb all of it as they rehydrate, and when you wake up in the morning you’ll be good as new.