Survival Guide – Welcome Home!

I WILL SURVIVE! HEY HEY!

Also see the Glossary page for terms you might encounter!

Event Basics

What is PdF?

Playa del Fuego is a Mid-Atlantic Regional Burning Man Event. The event takes place on Memorial Day, with its sister event Constellation taking place in West Virginia on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. PdF is an all-ages event.

Playa del Fuego is a community-driven, temporary experiment in collaborative community building, featuring interactive and experiential art and music, a gifting economy, and striving to Leaves No Trace. Inspired by the Burning Man festival, it is a place for radical self-expression and an experiment in temporary community building. Along with this idea, participants are encouraged to plan for a single entry, single exodus experience.

Attendees are known as participants. There are no spectators at Playa del Fuego; everyone collaborates in some way to create the event. It is a place of acceptance, inclusivity, and respect. It is organized entirely by volunteers. Art and entertainment are created solely by participants. There are no concession stands. No cash transactions are permitted at Playa del Fuego; even bartering is discouraged. This is a sincere experiment in creating a gift economy. If
you need something, ask for it. If you have it, gift it! There are no garbage cans; there are no dumpsters. Playa del Fuego is a blank canvas; expect nothing…bring everything.

Where is PdF?

PS 40.777480°, -76.022822°
Coal Creek Ranch, Tamaqua, PA

When is PdF?

2022 Event Dates: Thursday, May 26 – Monday, May 30

Gate Hours

  • Thursday: 5 pm – midnight
  • Friday: 9 am – midnight
  • Saturday: 9 am – 8pm
  • Sunday: Closed- Exit ONLY
  • Monday: GO HOME!!!

Your Responsibilities

Participate

You are responsible for participating. There are no spectators at PdF. You can participate in many ways, including by volunteering and jumping in, interacting, and sharing your art. Playa del Fuego is ENTIRELY run by volunteers. You are strongly encouraged to pick up some volunteer shifts during the event. Anyone can volunteer, even first-timers. By volunteering, you are helping the event run smoothly and you get to interact with many new and wonderful participants.

Self-Reliance

You are responsible for your basic needs (food, water, shelter), your safety, and your wellbeing the entire time of your stay at PdF. We call this Radical Self Reliance.

Be Prepared: Create a food plan. There are no food vendors. There is no drinkable/potable water available onsite. There are no kitchens. There are no electrical outlets. Come with a plan on how you will feed yourself, how you will stay hydrated, and how you will deal with food and water waste.

Be Prepared: Pack for the weather. This locale averages a high of 75 °F and a low of 53 °F. HOWEVER, there have been extremes ranging from 94 °F down to 38 °F recorded. Pay attention to the weather and pack for it.

Be Prepared: Create a trash plan. You are responsible for your trash at all times. There are no dumpsters, there are no trash cans.

Be Prepared: Create a gray water plan and a leave no trace plan.

What to Bring (aka, more self-reliance)

Necessities:

  • Bedding and shelter of some type (a good camp tent is recommended, along with sleeping bags) Note: The ground will be rocky in places, sleeping bag on the bottom of a tent may be uncomfortable without padding or a cot.
  • One gallon of water per person per day (for drinking, dishwashing, food prep., etc.), more if planning to bathe. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times!
  • A plan to carry out gray water that can’t be disbursed onsite
  • Enough food and beverages for your entire party for the length of your stay
  • All required prescriptions, contact lens supplies, toiletries, etc.
  • First aid kit
  • Single-ply toilet paper (the porta-potties only get serviced once a day)
  • Garbage bags and zipper-type baggies. (more than enough for all of your garbage—it’s good to bring extra for MOOP that accumulates during the event)
  • A plan to carry out all your trash
  • Can or bottle opener if bringing cans or bottles that need opening
  • Portable ashtrays if you are a smoker (decorated mint tins work great)
  • Flashlights (headlamps are very useful, especially at night in the porta-potty)
  • Extra batteries or chargers for EVERYTHING
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Insect and tick repellent—there are deer in the area which carry deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, which is not fun: please consider your tick repellant carefully!
  • Sturdy closed-toe footwear—the terrain is rocky and full of sapling stumps. Also, there are copperheads and rattlesnakes in the area.
  • Glowy lights to be seen at night—don’t be a Darkwad!
  • A cup for beverages—many camps have drinks to share, but you must bring your own cup
  • Ice for the entire duration of your stay (or see Ice Sales)
  • Common sense, an open mind, and a positive attitude
  • Anything else you can’t live without, but won’t be heartbroken if you lose it

Recommended:

  • Shade structures, umbrellas, parasols, sheets—things to break the cruel mid-day sun and/or keep you dry in the rain
  • Rebar to keep the above structures firmly rooted to mother earth
  • Small hatchet, lopper or shovel to uproot sapling stumps (from Locust trees)
  • Cooler(s) to store your perishable foods and beverages
  • A cooking stove
  • A mountain bike (light it up at night!)
  • A fine strainer for dishwater gray water
  • Earplugs / eye-mask not everyone will sleep when you do
  • Insect bite and sunburn treatment/medication
  • Watertight protective bags, like heavy Ziplocs, for cameras, electronic gear, etc.
  • Blinky lights, toys, magical fabulousness, handmade, and heartfelt and swell stuff to share—anything you think would make things more fun for
  • Pre-moistened towelettes, aka baby wipes, as there are no showers on site, but remember they must be packed out! Do not put baby wipes in the porta-potties as they clog the hose that cleans them!
  • Spray bottle (for misting if it will be hot)
  • Rope, string, duct tape, zip ties, bungees
  • Fuel for stoves and generators, etc.
  • Rain hat, rain gear
  • Sun hat
  • Seating, because you can’t dance forever
  • Simple tool kit and a sewing kit. Including scissors of some sort.
  • Socks, socks, and more socks
  • Abundant amounts of whatever makes your life better: beer, bacon, chocolate, coffee, &c.
  • If your favorite beverage is available in a can, get that version. They crunch down for easy pack out, where they can be recycled.
  • Bring more socks than you think you’ll neednothing better for tired feet than clean socks

You are responsible for getting express enthusiastic consent before entering a camp, going in for a hug, touching a person or their things, taking a person’s picture, or having sexual relations. (see 11th Principle Consent, below)

Fire Safety

It is your responsibility to Burn All the Things safely! Tent fires and fuel fires are a real threat. The complete Fire & Generator Policy is available on the website, and includes information for large scale burning art and flame effects, At a minimum, every burner should be aware of the following safety rules:

  • All Fire Pits / Campfires / Burn Barrels must be 6 inches off the ground to prevent burn scars (burn scars are a trace!)
  • All Fires and Generators must have (minimum) a 5 lb. ABC Fire extinguisher and 5 gallons of water on hand
  • There should be a 15 ft minimum clearance from any tents
  • No fire source should be under any canopy or structure
  • No Fire Spinning without a safety
  • No Fire Spinning within near combustibles
  • Any fuels (including generator fuel) must be kept at a minimum of 15 ft from any fire source
  • Generators must properly baffled for sound

Burn Culture: Welcome Home!

The Ten Principles

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote the Ten Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regional Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception. PdF operates according to these principles:

Radical Inclusion – Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Gifting – Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Decommodification – In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance – Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise, and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression – Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort – Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote, and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility – We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace – Our community respects the environment. We are committed to\ leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Participation – Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediacy – Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

from the burningman.org website

The 11th Principle: Consent

What do we mean by consent? Consent is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in a mutually agreed-upon activity. The consent has to be ongoing throughout any encounter, and enthusiastic consent is best! While consent is generally spoken about in terms of sexual activity, it extends beyond this at PDF – we apply the same guidelines to taking pictures of others, hugging, entering a camp’s private space, &c.

Easy Consent Guide:

  • NO means NO.
  • NO means NO the first time, every time, and completely.
  • No cajoling, no “c’mon please”, no emotional blackmail. NO means NO!
  • On the other hand: YES means YES. Enthusiastic YES is best!
  • SILENCE = NO. MAYBE = NO. NOT YET = NO.
  • Only YES = YES.
  • Consent IS binary! Consent can be revoked at any time, even if you have touched that person in that same way before. Consent can be revoked after saying YES. You do not have the right to touch anyone without an enthusiastic YES! This goes for hugs, handshakes, sexual activity, and shiny costumes!

Please note: the cultural norm at a burn is to HUG hello, not shake hands. Please ask for consent before going in for the hug; if you don’t want a hug – speak up!

Leave No Trace

Practicing a Leave No Trace Ethic is simple: leave the place you visit the same or better than you found it; leave no trace of your having been there.

No Public Trash Cans, No Dumpsters, Pack It In – Pack It Out!

Playa del Fuego practices Pack-it-In / Pack-it-Out. What you bring with you, you take home with you. There are no public trash cans at this event. There are no dumpsters.

At all times, at all places on the site, you are responsible for the trash you create. Don’t ask someone if they have a trash can. They don’t.

NO dumpsters are provided at the end of the event: please create a plan to take your garbage with you when you leave.

Leave No Trace Tips:

  • Bring cans instead of bottles! Beer and soda cans can be squashed down for a smaller trash pack out!
  • Pack an empty 5 gal bucket to bring in, make all your trash fit in it by discarding as much packaging as possible beforehand, and compacting cans etc, so on the way out, and you are covered!
  • Plan Ahead and Prepare. If you are bringing an EZ Up type structure, have a plan for it becoming a mangled mess (consider bolt cutters). Plan room in your car for trash to go home.
  • Reduce Packaging before you arrive. This is the key, really. Don’t bring the trash in the first place.
  • Rethink Your Food Portions, you’ll probably need less than you think
  • MOOP Sweeps of your camp all weekend long, and a final MOOP sweep before you go.
  • Do Not Use the Playa as Your Toilet aka no shitting in open camping and no shitting in Whiskey and Whores! Porta Potties are provided for shitting! Porta Potties are NOT trash cans; take your beer cans with you!
  • Add a ziplock type bag to your pocket or bag to collect trash you see as wander
  • Be Aware of Very Small Items No Trace really does mean NO trace. Be conscious of spare nails or smaller trash particles like cigarette butts and peanut shells.
  • Do Not Pour Leftover fuel or genny gas on the Playa (duh)
  • Minimize Fire Impacts Avoid creating a burn scar by using a raised fire pit, or use fire shields to protect the ground.
  • Bring Contractor Bags Collect your trash and save your car from mud and wet tents!
  • If you have uncrushable bottles, you can stuff a crazy amount of other smaller trash inside them, minimizing the volume of trash you will need to haul out.
  • Pockets, Bags, and Carabiners are Great! When you visit a camp, take your trash with you

The Event

Amenities a.k.a. porta-potties

NOTE: there are no showers, there is no onsite water.

There are no flushing toilets, but plenty of porta-potties.

IF IT DOES NOT COME FROM THE BODY, DO NOT PUT IT IN THE POTTY!

Single-ply TP is the only exception.

No beer cans, no tampons, no baby wipes! These things clog the hose used to clean them.

Bring small zip-lock bags for your wipes, pads, or tampons, and take it out with you!

Did we mention NO BEER CANS?

Take your MOOPy mess back to your own camp to dispose of.

Firewood

Firewood is included in your ticket price, and you are welcome to have a fire in your camp in a fire pit or burn barrel*. The fire pit/barrel must be elevated so you do not leave a burn scar on the ground. This is part of Leave No Trace. Also, you must have water or fire extinguisher on hand for safety. All fires must be attended to at all times. No exceptions.

NOTE: It is illegal to carry firewood across state lines due to the emerald ash borer quarantine. Please do not bring firewood to PDF and please do not take it home unless you live in Pennsylvania.

UN-USED FIREWOOD MUST BE RETURNED TO THE MAIN PILE.

On Monday’s pack-out, all unused firewood must be returned to the main pile. This is a Leave No Trace event! Extra firewood not in the main pile is MOOP. Put it where it belongs!

*provided there is no open fire ban due to drought. Currently, there is no such ban in place, nor any expected.

The Gifting Economy

Gifting Economy is part of the 10 Principles and means that everything being offered by a camp is free.

Gifts can be anything from a hug or a helping hand, to some batteries for your air bed pump, or a theme camp bar giving away drinks. BRING A CUP to take from camp to camp with you – Camps DO NOT provide cups! (A plastic mug on a carabiner works great!)

Gifts are given without the expectation of anything in return. Bartering is discouraged!

A Gifting Economy does not mean all property is free property. Ask before you touch or take anything. If it doesn’t belong to you, it doesn’t belong to you! A pair of boots outside a tent is NOT a ground score! Please be respectful of people and their things. Consent includes touching or using other people’s stuff.

Vending

Vending of any kind is not allowed, with the exception of pre-authorized ice sales and reentry passes at Camp Re-Charge.

Vending includes the promotion of other events, products, or services.

Gifting does not equal bartering, nor are you entitled to anything.

It’s only a gift when offered freely; taking something because you want it is still theft at PDF. Ask permission before taking or touching anything or anyone.

Re-Entry Passes

As an experiment in temporary community, leaving during the event with plans to return is highly discouraged. Participants should plan to bring everything they need and plan to stay for the duration. Ins and outs not only disrupt the continuity of experience for the participant, but they also create significantly more work for the gate, greeting, and parking. Additionally, the landowners expressed preferences for PdF to minimize in/out traffic, if possible.

With all that in mind, re-entry passes will be available for purchase online at playadelfuego.org prior to the burn, and they will be available for purchase onsite from Jim at Camp Recharge. Jim has been the PdF purchasing coordinator for several burns and is able to process your credit/debit card payments using PdF’s Paypal account. Re-entry passes and wristbands will be required to re-enter the event once having left. Please be radically self-reliant and plan to not leave.

In the event of an emergency, Re-Entry Passes will be granted at no charge. See prices and sale times below.

Ice Sales

Ice will also be available for sale prior to the burn on the website. It is also available onsite via credit/debit card with Jim at Camp Recharge at certain times. There will be NO CASH SALES ONSITE.

Pre-Sale Reentry Pass & Ice Sales

Where: tickets.playadelfuego.org for pick-up during the event

Price: (payment thru Paypal)

  • Ice: $3 per 7lb bag
  • Reentry Pass: $20 per car per rentry

Online Sales Close: TBA

Onsite Reentry Pass & Ice Sales

Where: Camp Recharge

Price: (credit or debit only- NO CASH SALES)

  • Ice: $3 per 7lb bag
  • Reentry Pass: $20 per car per rentry

Onsite Sale Times:

  • Friday 11am–noon & 5–6pm
  • Saturday 11am–noon & 5–6pm
  • Sunday 11am–noon

Gray Water Policy

Please Note: The Tamaqua site has no water. You are responsible for bringing enough water for the duration of the event and for packing out the water you can’t disperse when you leave.

Water leaves a trace and should be used thoughtfully. Each participant should have a plan on how to disperse the water properly in place, and haul out what you can’t disperse.

What is Gray Water? Gray water is water that has been used for cooking, washing, dishwashing, or bathing and contains soap, detergent, food scraps, or food residue.

Why is it a problem? While gray water is a lot less harmful to the environment than wastewater from toilet facilities (which is called black water), gray water is still technically sewage and can run-off or leach through the soil to enter waterways and aquifers, resulting in algal blooms or other water quality issues. It is part of your responsibility to properly dispose of your gray water. Be kind to the environment – do not dump anything that would cause harm! Foodstuff and oil should never be disposed of on the ground.

A Gray Water Plan will make water management easy, and a good plan had two components: disperse and pack out.

  • Disperse: In general, small amounts of “light” gray water such as shower water that used biodegradable soap can be sprinkled around on the ground so as not to make a puddle. For dishwater that used biodegradable soap, best practice is to use a fine strainer to remove fine food particulates and add a drop of bleach to sanitize before sprinkling about. By using biodegradable soaps for both yourself and your dishes means that the majority of your water waste will be dispersed.
  • Pack out: All other gray water and greasy messes must be packed out. Packing in an empty 5-gallon bucket with lid is an easy way to have space to carry out any gray water that can’t be properly dispersed.

Rangers, First Aid & Sanctuary

PdF is truly a community and we are here to help you navigate your burn! Amazing volunteers step up and put in long hours to help you when you need it most!

RANGERS are not cops and they are not your mom, but they wear a lot of khaki! They are here to help you and are trained to resolve conflict via the FLAME method: Find Out, Listen, Analyze, Mediate, Explain. Burns can be intense, is your minor disagreement escalating? Is there a creeper bothering you? Neighbors having a domestic? Got a friend who’s super altered and out of control? RANGERS are your friend! Simply look for someone with a radio (they can call one) or if no one is around, just start calling loudly for a RANGER, and someone will get one for you.

FIRST AID is a self-serve Band Aid station with a few other good Samaritan supplies, available at the Participation Station, but please plan to bring your own kit. For urgent medical issues, Rangers and Sanctuary can page on-call medical personnel for assessment and referral to outside resources.

SANCTUARY is to help you with emotional issues. Not feeling well, but it’s not medical? Are you triggered? Anxious? Simply overwhelmed at all the stimuli and need a quiet space? SANCTUARY is here for you, gentle burner. You are safe here.

Off-Limit Areas

All permanent buildings (hunting lodge and garage) and any existing structures are completely off-limits to all participants.

Any area outside the event boundary, as marked by signs and patrolled by the landowners, is strictly off-limits. The surrounding land has tall cliffs and deep ravines that could be very dangerous. If you are caught trespassing on the land outside the event, you will be evicted.

Onsite Vehicles- RVs and Car Camping

PDF has space for a limited amount of RVs in RV Town and cars in Car Camping.

To get your RV placed in the RV area, or to camp with your car onsite in car camping, fill out an ONSITE PARKING REQUEST available on the PdF website.

RV & Car Camping requests deadline: April 29, 2022 CLOSED

All participant vehicles not pre-approved for onsite parking are parked in a lot outside of the event. Camping in this lot is not permitted.

Note: To park with your placed theme camp, please include that request with your theme
camp application, not as a request to be in RV Town or Car Camping.

  • Vehicles parked on-site must remain in place for the entire event! You may not leave and re-enter, even with a re-entry pass.
  • An RV is not permanently placed until given the greenlight to do so by the parking coordinator.(Meaning, don’t set up ANYTHING until one of us personally says its ok)
  • Early entry volunteers must adhere to these rules as well.
  • All onsite vehicles must display their parking pass at all times.
  • Space is LIMITED for RV Camping, We have to pack the RV’s in as tightly as possible and this means if you park permanently in a place not approved by the parking coordinator: WE CAN NOT GET THE MAX PEOPLE PARKED IN RV CAMPING!!!

Sound Policy

Tl;dr: 10am – midnight max 80db at 100 ft; Midnight – 10am max 70db at 50, no subwoofers

Amplified, projected, or otherwise man-made noise or music shall be permitted between the
hours of 10 am and 12 am (midnight).

Beginning at 12:01 am, all subwoofers (any device capable of
emitting sound below 100HZ) shall be turned off and the sound shall be no louder than 70db(A)
at a distance of 50’ from the source of the sound, or at the Access Area boundary, if the
boundary is closer than 50’ to the source.

Sound shall be no louder than 80db(A) at other times, when measured at 100’. with a national commercially accepted Sound Level Meter or SLM (Type S2A).

Nudity

Nudity is welcome at PDF! However, if you can be seen from a road, you should be
properly attired for a public setting. Meaning there should be nothing about your attire that
allows others to see parts of your body the law does not normally allow to be displayed in
public.

Tl:dr If you can see the “outside world” make sure your “bits” are covered.

Ticks, Wildlife, and Locust Trees – Oh My!

Ticks

There are likely to be ticks in the area that carry Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Lyme disease is carried specifically by deer ticks, and the site is currently used by a hunting club and designed to attract deer.

All participants are encouraged to practice Radical Self Reliance and get educated on ticks and Lyme disease before arriving at the event.

Frequent tick checks and tick repellent are strongly suggested.

Wildlife

Local wildlife includes black bear, fox, bobcat, coyote, racoon, rattlesnakes, copperheads,
and deer.

Interaction with wildlife isn’t expected as the noise of the event will likely keep
wildlife away, however, if you encounter a black bear, identify yourself by speaking in a
calm, appeasing tone and back away slowly, preferably in the direction you came.

We recommend wearing boots because both rattlesnakes and copperheads are venomous.

Locust Trees

Have big thorns.

In fact, they have really BIG thorns.

And they are everywhere.

We suggest wearing boots and making sure the area where you set up your tent is free from
locust tree debris and stumps (a shovel or a small hatchet will help).

Nobody wants to reboot Princess & the Pea with a tent and three-inch thorns.

2022 Vaccination Requirement

All attendees are required to show proof of up-to-date vaccination status at the gate before being admitted to Playa Del Fuego. This includes boosters for individuals who completed their initial vaccinations more than 6 months prior.