Camp Soft Landing

Providing a comfortable setting for visionary discussion and tea service amongst the mayhem of Black Rock City

Hello, Camp Soft Landing Campers!

We’ve developed a lot of awesome opportunities for all of you to participate. We’re also rolling out more affordable than ever dues options. Most exciting (to me), we are cultivating a fantastic interlocking interconnected interwoven dizzyingly simple leadership team that you can grow to be a part of, step back from, return to, and innovate upon. Collaboration is fertile, and we want each and every Camp Soft Landing member to be invested in the well-being of your campmates, the smooth functioning of the camp, and the various opportunities to step up and step back from meaningful ways to contribute to this enriching community.

As we’ve been coordinating like a busy beehive to bring all this content together, we’ve reflected on what a special community Camp Soft Landing is. We provide very modest amenities to our campers on a radically small budget. We work to minimize our environmental footprint in thoughtful, balanced ways. Our camp dues and other contributions go toward our service-focused gifts to the playa. We are a group who gather each year to provide a thoughtful and innovative speaker series and a truly unique 24-hour teahouse in Black Rock City. We strive for cooperation and transparency, creativity and self-reliance.

Thank you all for being a part of this project. We are honored and inspired to share Camp Soft Landing with you in 2017, and for many years to come.


When you arrive in camp

Before you set up your camp, please find a member of our interior placement crew (Tryp, Eggroll, or Nectar). They'll get you situated in just the right spot. There are more than 150 people camping in Soft Landing this year, and the only way to ensure that everyone has enough space is a little good old-fashioned top-down organization. If you arrive at night, feel free to park at the edge of camp and sleep in the teahouse until the morning.

Camp meeting Monday, August 28 @ 1 PM in Palenque Norte

If you’re on the playa by then, please come to the Palenque Norte tent at 1 pm on Monday, August 28, for a camp meeting. We’ll say hello to each other, talk about camp logistics a little bit, and provide an opportunity to share questions. It will take an hour or less. We’ll also hand out postcards with the Palenque Norte schedule for all of you to share with folks you meet in your first days on playa!

We ask that pod leaders arrive at 12:30 pm so we can talk together a bit about that role.

CSL Pods for 2017

These are some of the pods in Camp Soft Landing in 2017:

  • Camp Now
  • Palenque Norte
  • Full Circle Teahouse
  • Dust Hazard
  • Virtual Reality
  • Community Kitchen Love Pod
  • System 3
  • Zendo

If you’d like to lead a pod, please contact us at We’ll get you set up with just the right amount of space and the resources you need for a smooth, enjoyable burn. Pod leaders are responsible for placement of their pod members within the space allotted to them by camp, and for mediation of conflicts within their pod.

Box Truck for Camper Gear

New this year, you’ll be able to buy space for your gear on a box truck leaving from Oakland for Black Rock City on the evening of Friday, August 25. Items will return to Oakland by Wednesday, September 4. Depending on interest, it will be $25-50 roundtrip for each item of 10’ of length + girth. That is, a 2’x2’x2’ cube, or something that is 4’x1’x2’, etc. Items must be dropped off at a TBA location in Oakland between Wednesday, August 23, and the morning of Friday, August 25, and similarly picked up between Wednesday, September 6, and the evening of Friday, September 8. We will offer an option for you to ship items to us, so long as you also provide a return shipping label. Anything not dropped off on time will miss its nonrefundable ride, and anything not picked up in time will be considered a ground score.

The intent behind this is that increasingly many Camp Soft Landing campers are carpooling or taking the Burner Express to the playa. This is awesome! But it means that it’s harder to bring in all the gear you need to Black Rock City, especially since Camp Soft Landing doesn’t provide (much) shade or a meal plan.

Buy your spot here! Contact with any questions.

 Participation Opportunities

The Full Circle Teahouse
Palenque Norte
Community Kitchen
Bay Area Pre-Playa Prep
Strike and Unload
Mayor for the Day

NB: You’ll also find all this info during the checkout process for your dues.

Camp mayor for the day: NB: One day as camp mayor counts as three shifts toward your dues! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday count as four. In this role, you stick around camp most of the day. You'll be the primary person in charge of the electrical and propane systems (we'll teach you everything you need to know.) Along with the teahouse kitchen crew, you'll ensure that the community kitchen and shower stay clean and organized. You'll answer questions campers might have, receive any fuel or water deliveries scheduled for that day, and other tasks needed for the smooth operation of the camp. You'll also be, as suits your level of experience and comfort, available for helping pod leaders with mediation and dispute resolution. Detailed task descriptions can be found here. Camp mayors work with the camp coordinators Stephen, Starfox, and Tryp.

Palenque Norte: The Palenque Norte Speaker series will run Tuesday-Friday, featuring a variety of illustrious, weird, and insightful speakers from psychedelia, technology, social justice, community building, politics, and other fields. This year we’ll also be featuring music in the evening. Volunteers for Palenque Norte will help with recording and audio/visual tech, and with fluffing and emceeing for the speakers, DJs, and musicians. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch all the speakers on a day you're interested in! Brad and Frank lead this project.

Full Circle Teahouse: NB: The midnight to 6 am tea shift counts as two shifts toward your shift commitment! The Full Circle Teahouse offers 24-hour gongfu-inspired tea service Sunday, August 27, through Monday, September 4. Servers share tea and empathy during six-hour shifts. Runners wash cups and teapots, refill jars of herbs and tea, carry water, and tidy. Annie, Felix, Nikkia, and Starfox lead this project. Detailed info about the teahouse here.

Teahouse Kitchen: A new pod has formed this year, focused on making Camp Soft Landing's modest amenities as awesome as they can be for all our camp members. The greywater and camp shower attendants will help to ensure that all campers know how to wisely engage with these resources. The kitchen queen will remind people to be tidy and facilitate community interaction in the kitchen and dining areas. Detailed info about the kitchen here.

Load / build: Final preparations will commence in Oakland on Saturday, August 19, and continue through loading in Reno until we reach the playa on Monday, August 21. Build will take place in Black Rock City Monday, August 21 through Saturday, August 26.

Strike / unload: Strike will begin on Sunday, September 3, and will finish with a thorough MOOP sweep in the early afternoon on Tuesday, September 5. Unload will begin in Reno on Tuesday, September 5 and wrap up in Oakland on Thursday, September 7. Helping with the entire load, strike, or unload will get you a refund on your camp dues of up to $100, to be issued after the event. Unless you are leading a particular part of build, any amount of participation in build will only count as one shift; this is because build is a particularly awesome time to be on playa and we just don't have to incentivize it that much. Each single day of load, strike, and unload count as one shift toward your dues. Fifi and Starfox are coordinating load, build, strike, and unload.

Off-playa preparations: We need lots of help with gear preparation, infrastructure creation, and administrative management of Camp Soft Landing. Please email us at We're creating a less centralized, more sustainable admin and leadership structure for Camp Soft Landing, The Full Circle Teahouse, and Palenque Norte. If you'd like to be involved regularly in any or all of these projects, please let us know in what capacity -- large, small, in between, or parts unknown -- and we'll find the right way to fit all the pieces together.

Dues for 2017

The moment you’ve all been waiting for! Including the return of early bird dues discount, to encourage you to commit to paying your dues early :)

  • 1 camp participation shift and $380

  • 3 camp participation shifts and $180

  • 4 camp participation shifts and $80

+ $50 early bird discount (through July 15!!!)

+ Refund up to $100 for staying through strike

Pay your dues here!

Full refunds will be available upon request until August 10. No refunds will be issued after that date, except for extenuating circumstances.

So what do these dues pay for?

Camp Soft Landing has ongoing costs such as:

  • Storage and transportation of camp gear
  • Food for build and strike crew
  • Comp tickets for up to four outstanding contributors to camp each year (part of the ongoing effort to make CSL a sustainable project for years to come)
  • Decor, lighting, and equipment for the teahouse and Palenque Norte
  • Water and tea for the teahouse
  • Electricity and water for the teahouse, power for Palenque Norte, propane and electricity for the community kitchen
  • A charging station for camp electronics

Improvements to infrastructure. This year we’ll be improving:

  • Shade for campers in the teahouse pod
  • Community kitchen infrastructure and ambiance
  • Shower system
  • Palenque Norte A/V system upgrades
  • Electrical and hot water system
  • Teahouse structure and furniture

Things your dues DON’T pay for (at least this year!):

  • Camper gray water (the gray water evaporation system seems to function best when it primarily serves the teahouse)
  • Food during the week of the burn
  • Money in the pocket of anyone

Gray water in Camp Soft Landing

Camp Soft Landing will not be providing any evaporation of camper gray water during the burn this year. The evapotron setup will be for the teahouse, as it functions best when this is the case. We want to make sure you are all prepared to pack out or process your own gray water. This is pretty substantially different from life at home, where water disappears down the drain instantly. We know from our careful data collection that about half of you are new to Soft Landing this year. Please be prepared! This is a camp that particularly emphasizes radical self-reliance and our gifts to the playa. One of the ways we express this value is by providing minimal amenities and focusing our resources on our community based art projects.

So, there are a few good ways to process or pack out your own gray water. One of the nicest ways to process gray water is to filter it through a piece of cloth like a bandanna, then lay a paper towel on top to absorb all the oil. Put the chunks from the cloth and the paper towel in your doubled up trash bag at your own tent. Now, you have “light gray” water. This can be poured onto a towel or moving blanket on top of your cooler to promote evaporative cooling, or poured into a swamp cooler to keep your tent pleasant during the day. Just make sure not a drop touches the playa! Unfiltered gray water can be poured into an empty container in which you brought in water. Just be sure to sanitize it after you get home!

Personal gray water is any water you have used that is not leaving your body as urine or sweat. This includes water from brushing your teeth, cleaning your dishes in the community kitchen, showering in the camp shower, cooking pasta for 20 people, etc. It must not touch the playa, and you are responsible for all of your own gray water. Please be mindful of this in your packing, and consider bringing resealable water containers to make it easier to pack your water back out — those single-use “suitcase” style water containers don’t reseal well, nor do one-gallon jugs with a pop top instead of a twist cap.

This may seem like a lot of explanation about a simple topic, but last year someone dumped their gray water in the fuel containment system in the camp’s fuel depot! If I ever find out who you are, we’re going to have an extremely pleasant and thoughtful conversation, I assure you :)

What to bring?

Here’s a helpful packing list that I’ve assembled over the years <3

    •    tent
    •    rebar
    •    tennis balls
    •    shade structure
    •    bedding
    •    plate, bowl and utensils
    •    cups
    •    ziplocks
    •    zip ties
    •    soap
    •    trash bags
    •    water bottles
    •    backpack
    •    water - 1 gal/day
    •    resealable water jugs
    •    glowy shit
    •    ear plugs
    •    single-ply TP
    •    hand sanitizer
    •    baby wipes - 5-10 per day
    •    towel
    •    coconut oil for skin
    •    sunscreen
    •    chapstick with sunscreen
    •    sunglasses
    •    goggles (make sure they have foam so no dust gets in)
    •    dust mask (a particulate-grade cotton face mask works best)
    •    time piece
    •    warm clothes
    •    good shoes or boots
    •    sharpies
    •    pen and small notebook
    •    ticket or confirmation number
    •    cash
    •    ID - and photocopies for bars
    •    scissors
    •    toiletries
    •    batteries
    •    first aid
    •    camp chair
    •    sheet or tapestry to put over bed to keep the dust off
    •    duct tape
    •    vinegar
    •    knife
    •    liquid aloe to add to baby wipes
    •    sunhat
    •    bungee cords
    •    nasal saline spray
    •    eye drops
    •    pillows
    •    extra snacky food

    •    cereal and soy/almond milk
    •    protein powder
    •    just-add-hot-water soups
    •    canned soup
    •    dried fruit
    •    trail mix
    •    chips
    •    salsa
    •    canned beans
    •    jerky
    •    electrolyte beverage
    •    salami
    •    crackers
    •    food bars
    •    ready to eat Indian packets

Palenque Norte Lecture Series 2017 Schedule

at Camp Soft Landing 9:30 / G


10a Radical Breathwork with Neosteph
11a Tools For Navigating Altered States with Meriana Dinkova
12p Psychedelics of Interpersonal Contact with Steve Bearman, Ph.D.
2p Members of the Metaverse Scholars Club
3p Creative Catastrophes with Michael Garfield
4p People of Technicolor with Emma Dilemma
5p Physician, Heal Thyself with Sudha Rani Kailas
6p Building a sustainable coalition for liberty with Grover Norquist
7:30p The Struggle for the Sacred with Mitch Migano
9p-2a DJ Set


10a Second Breakfast Yoga with Misty Leiter
11a Psychology of Completeness / DA Breathing with Tatiana Ginzburg
12p Getting Unstuck: Immediacy and Emotional Flow with Eric Lannigan
1p The Flowering Soul with Rak Razam
2p Daily Happiness with Tryp
3p Psychedelic Sex Work with Hunter Light
4p Trumpism Knocks us Back with Cory Doctorow
5:30p Psychedelics in Healing and Your Relationships with Warren McKee
6:30p Consciousness as a property of material structure with Andres Gomez Emilsson
7:30p How to Make It in Psychedelic Futurism with Daniel Pinchbeck
9p-2a Cyberacoustic Guitar by Michael Garfield


10a Radical Breathwork with Neosteph
11a Psychedelic Urbanism with Sonja Truss
12p Feeding Communities with Emma Dilemma
1p Tech Ethics as Psychedelic Parenting with Michael Garfield
2p Updates on Psychedelic Research with George Greer MD
3p The Origin and Future or Life with Dr Bruce Damer
4:30p Experiences in the BM Culture and Communities with John Halcyon Styn
5:30p Psychedelics and the Future of Medicine with Dr Naughtalie
6:30p Women in Cannabis with Emma Dilemma and Annie Oak
7:30p Naloxone Training with Annie Oak
9p-2a DJ Set


10a Second Breakfast Yoga with Misty Leiter
11a Holotropic Breathwork with Sheelo Bohm
2:30p Rational Ritual and Pragmatic Mysticism with Sarah McManus
3:30p Q&A with John Gilmore Drug Policy and Electronic Frontier discussions
5p FDA-Approved Phase 3 MDMA/PTSD Research with Rick Doblin, PhD, M.A.P.S.
9p-2a DJ Set


Blackstar Bowie Sanctuary

The Blackstar Bowie Sanctuary is returning to Camp Soft Landing, with substantial improvements but the same sweet vinyl. Check out the listing in Playa Events!

The Sanctuary Yurt will always be open for all to enjoy, but you are invited to help with the formal administration of the Mysteries. It's going to be out of this world.

Here's the schedule!

  • Monday, 9am-3pm, Assist in Bowie Sanctuary Construction & Decorating
    • (Request volunteers with experience in arts, construction, etc., w/ meticulous hands & innate sense of craft)
  • Monday, Noon-6pm, Pee-Cone Pie Party set up, gift delivery, strike
  • Wednesday 2-8, Pee-Cone Pie Party set up, gift delivery, strike, assist final push on Sanctuary Preparedness for Admin of the Mysteries
  • Wednesday 8pm-2am, B(OWL)ie Brotherhood Alter Boys*, assist in administration of the Blackstar Mysteries (Bowie fans encouraged, not required)
  • Thursday 8pm-2am, B(OWL)ie Brotherhood Alter Boys*, assist in administration of the Blackstar Mysteries (Bowie fans encouraged, not required)
  • Friday 8pm-2am, B(OWL)ie Brotherhood Alter Boys*, assist in administration of the Blackstar Mysteries (Bowie fans encouraged, not required)

*Both the Brotherhood and Alter Boy Positions impose no expectations of hard-ware or soft-ware, sex- and gender-wise, on applicant/initiates. Bowie didn’t see these distinctions & neither do we.

There will also be Pee-Cone Pie giveaways!


Burning Man Rideshare

In case you still need to figure out how to get to the playa, you can use the rideshare provided at to get yourself situated.

Useful Information to Know

Each year placement asks us to share this document with you all so you can know a bit more about all the things that are going on to make Black Rock City function.

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