Burning Man — the annual weeklong festival that draws wealthy techies and artists alike to a stretch of desert 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada — is coming up in August, which means attendees are starting to think about how to build their elaborate camps.
The idea behind Burning Man is for tens of thousands of campers to come to the dessert and build a new arts-focused, DIY metropolis that functions without the use of money. They will erect tents, temporary buildings, stands, and outposts to live in and create their own creative, artistic, and out-there community.
These so-called burners spends months leading up to Burning Man getting their costumes, decorations, and living areas prepped — but some are opting to buy ready-made storage container camps from a company called Quick Space instead of constructing their own from scratch.
Jean Temen, president of Quick Space, has been supplying the Burning Man event with office trailers for the event’s hospital and administrative buildings for seven years.
Three years ago, the team at Quick Space realised they could repurpose the trailers as living quarters. The units come with insulation, air conditioning, heating, lights, and flooring, Travis Lekas, the operations manager for Quick Space, told Business Insider. This makes them perfect for campers who would rather not deal with the realities of living in the desert for seven days.
They call them “Burner Bungalows.”
Burners can paint and add onto the trailers however they wish, for an additional fee of $US300 for the exterior and $US200 for the interior. So instead of building a camp ground from scratch, they can either use the trailer as a shelter or build around it and use the trailer for storage.
“You can paint it if you want to paint the inside or the outside — whatever you want to do,” Lekas told Business Insider. “It also comes with three five-gallon bottles of water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a garbage can along with additional garbage bags.”
This might not sound like the whimsical and artistic camps that Burning Man is known for, but the idea is to give campers the base on which to build their dream camp, Leka explained.
And although they don’t look like the typical Burning Man structure, which can range from a yurt to a tent to an RV, the trailers are practical. The ready-made storage units come with necessities like water, heat, and air-conditioning, and can be used for storage both during and after the event.
The company will also come and remove the trailer after the week is over, fitting with Burning Man’s “leave no trace” policy after the seven day event is over, which is included in the price. You can store your Burning Man gear in the trailer until the next year and not worry about shipping it or needing to fly back with all of your stuff for $US750 per year of storage.
“My camp is seriously looking at getting a shipping container that would be delivered before the burn opens and picked up after close,” one Reddit user said about the bungalows. “We’d use it to store gear year-round that otherwise would waste fuel going back to random points around the country to sit for a year.”
The cost for the trailers is about $US3,745 plus a $US1,000 security deposit — more if you want to decorate the interior and exterior and store the unit all year. Generators also bear an additional cost of $US250.
The trailers might also be a good compromise for burners who were previously planning to rely on the fully-furnished luxurious camping options, or “turnkey camps,” that have been recently banned from the playa.
That means no more built-in personal chefs, sherpas, or other luxurious features associated with concierge camping. But with the trailers, tech millionaires can still have air-conditioning in a pinch and protect their belongings from the sand and dust.
Lekas told us that the company currently has 50 orders for units this year, and if the rise in interest over the past few years is any indication, they could double their orders by 2016.
“Our first year we started off, we just built a camp,” Lekas said. “The next year and the second year, we started off with five bungalows, and then our next one went to 40 bungalows. We’re hoping next year to supply 100 bungalows.”
You can find out more information on Burner Bungalows here.
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