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!

Camp Soft Landing is a collaborative community-based art project in its ninth year. We function with a fantastical interlocking interconnected interwoven 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.

Many people come together like a busy beehive to bring Soft Landing to Black Rock City. We provide very modest shared resources 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 2019. Please read this entire page, as it contains information about camp logistics, participation opportunities/shift signups, dues, and helpful advice.

New to Camp Soft Landing this year? Please take a minute to read our CSL New Camper Orientation Guide!


Camp Arrival

Before you set up your camp, please see the Camp Mayor of the Day for placement within camp bounds. They'll get you situated in just the right spot. There are more than 100 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 and don’t want to look for the Camp Mayor, feel free to park at the edge of camp and sleep in the teahouse until the morning. Please make sure you don’t park in the fire lane.

Camp meeting Monday, August 26 @ 1 PM in Palenque Norte

If you’re on the playa by then, please come to the Palenque Norte tent at 1:00 pm on Monday, August 26 for the big camp meeting. All campers are expected to attend. We’ll say hello to each other, talk about camp logistics, and provide an opportunity to ask 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!

Pod leader meeting is at 12:30 pm on the same day (before main camp meeting).

Android Oasis Happy Hour

Android Oasis kindly invites all CSL members to the Chill Dome after the camp meeting on Monday. Enjoy iced tea and other refreshments, power massages, great music, and the amazing company of your fellow campers! More details TBA!

CSL Pods for 2019

These are some of the pods in Camp Soft Landing in 2019:

  • Camp Now

  • Palenque Norte

  • Full Circle Teahouse

  • Dust Hazard

  • Love Kitchen

  • Android Oasis

  • System 3

  • Zendo pod

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.

Participation Opportunities

The Full Circle Teahouse
Palenque Norte
Love Kitchen
Android Oasis
Mayor for the Day
Strike and Unload

The Full Circle Teahouse: The midnight to 6 am tea shift on Saturday and Sunday nights (August 31st and September 1st) count as two shifts toward your dues cost! The Full Circle Teahouse offers 24-hour gongfu-inspired tea service Sunday, August 25, through Monday, September 2. 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, Expo and Roo lead this project. Detailed info about the teahouse here.

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 particular day if they interest you! Frank leads this project.

Love Kitchen: Collectively, camp is focused on making Camp Soft Landing's modest amenities as awesome as they can be for all our camp members. The Water Protectors will help to ensure that all campers know how to wisely engage with our grey water and shower systems. The Kitchen Keeper will remind people to be tidy and facilitate community interaction in the kitchen and dining areas. Indra, Lisa, and Dwight lead this project. Detailed info about the kitchen here.

Android Oasis: The Chill Dome will be designed as a relaxing and refreshing haven from the inhospitable desert on which it is built. We will offer a collection of experiences to rejuvenate weary travelers: there will be a bar with iced tea, refreshing essential oils, mints, and other consumables; a ‘chilling area’ with soft things to relax in like hammocks and inflatable couches; a ‘rejuvenation station’ with full-body buffer massages and “the human icicle experience”; plus enjoyable sound provided by our very own DJ talents, and more! The Chill Dome will also host a party or two some evenings throughout the week. Chase leads this project.

Mayor for the Day: One day as camp mayor counts as three shifts toward your dues cost! 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. Don’t worry, we'll teach you everything you need to know about how they run. 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 help pod leaders with mediation and dispute resolution, as your experience permits. Detailed task descriptions can be found here. Camp mayors work with the camp leads.

Strike and Unload: All campers will help with taking down big structures and de-MOOPing camp, however we need a dedicated strike crew that will stay through unload. Strike will begin on Sunday, September 1, and will finish with a thorough MOOP sweep in the early afternoon on Tuesday, September 3. Unload will begin in Reno on Tuesday, September 3 and wrap up in Oakland on Thursday, September 5. Helping with the entire strike AND unload will get you a refund on your camp dues of up to $100, to be issued after the event. Each single day of strike crew participation and unload count as one shift toward your dues.

We need lots of help with build, strike and gear prep. 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. Load-in will start Reno on Saturday, August 17th until we reach the playa by Monday, August 19. Build will take place in Black Rock City Monday, August 19 through Saturday, August 24.

This year a decentralized team is bringing Camp Soft Landing back to the playa. Your contributions to pre-playa preparations matter more than ever, and we're excited to engage as many camp members as possible in making Camp Soft Landing a sustainable community-based gift to Black Rock City.

If you're interested to help with load or build, please email

Camp Preparation Timeline

  • June 15 - July 15: Early bird dues and camp contribution shift signup available

  • June 8-9: Camp gear sort in Reno

  • August: Camp preparation

  • Saturday-Sunday, August 17-18: Box truck loads in Reno in early AM, arrival on playa for build

  • August 18-24: Build week

  • August 25 - September 1: Burning Man

  • September 1-3: Camp strike

  • September 4: Unload in Reno

Dues for 2019

We strive to make dues as financially feasible as possible for all members of camp by offering such a DOable fee structure. Your payment is a commitment to the shifts you’ve signed up for. In 2018, we had a lot more unexpected expenses and a large proportion of campers sign up for the lower pricing tiers and higher shift numbers. While we are immensely grateful for your service, we still need an adequate monetary flow for camp infrastructure, tea supplies, transportation, storage, and other necessary ingredients. As a result, we are raising our dues back to prices from two years ago. Please take advantage of the early bird dues discount, created to encourage you to commit to paying your dues early. :) If dues are a significant financial hardship for you this year, please let us know.

  • 1 camp participation shift and $400

  • 3 camp participation shifts and $200

  • 4 camp participation shifts and $100

+ $50 early bird discount (for the first 40 people who sign up before 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, transportation and updates of camp gear

  • Food for build and strike crew

  • 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

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

  • Public signage

  • Additional stove and kitchen decor

  • And more…

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

  • Camper grey water (our grey water evaporation system called the Evapotron primarily serves the teahouse)

  • Food during the week of the burn

  • Money in the pocket of anyone

Grey water in Camp Soft Landing

Grey water is water contaminated with soap, detergent, food scraps, food residue or flakes of human skin. Camp Soft Landing will not be providing any evaporation of camper grey water. If you would like to become our Grey (Water) Lord and take on the job of making our camper grey water cycle more sustainable please let us know. The Evapotron setup is currently for the teahouse only because it functions best that way. We want to make sure you are all prepared to pack out or process your own grey 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 a third 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 grey water. One of the nicest ways to process grey 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 grey 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 grey water can be poured into an empty container in which you brought in water. Just be sure to sanitize the container after you get home!

Personal grey 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 grey 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 grey 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 :)

Shared camp resources

Camp Soft Landing is centered around our service to the broader community and runs smoothly behind-the-scenes thanks to the self-reliance of our members. We want you to have a comfortable and rewarding experience on playa. Here are our shared camp resources:

  • Love Kitchen: Our community kitchen has prep tables, burners, pots/pans, utensils, dishwares, coolers, and a variety of spices for your cooking pleasure, as well as a chill area to relax, eat, and recharge. We also provide a modest dishwashing area. Please remember to clean up anything you touch! Pack your own trash and grey water OUT of the kitchen before you leave.

  • Shower: What is more luxurious than a shower on playa? Bring your own water and shower bag (or borrow one from a friend). You’ll be able to funnel your used shower water back into the your jug once you’re squeaky clean and ready to play. Remember, you will have to bring all your grey water back out to the default world.

  • Shade: Some members will be able to camp under our big shade structures. This is on a first-come, first-serve / special needs basis. You are encouraged to bring any shade structure you can because we will not be able to accommodate everyone!

  • Teahouse sleep space: If you need to sleep after a long day of packing up before heading off-playa, please use the teahouse space rather than driving while exhausted.

Supper Club

For the past few years, the Love Kitchen pod has coordinated an optional Supper Club for Camp Soft Landing members. Members rotate cooking dinner so that the group enjoys a lovingly prepared dinner every night of burn week. Cook once, eat every night! You are responsible for purchasing, transporting, cooking, and cleaning for your designated meal. You’re welcome to share responsibilities with a friend, as long as each group size stays limited. Once the first Supper Club reaches capacity, a second one will be formed (with staggered meal times). The default Supper Club focuses on healthy, vegetarian dinners. You’re welcome to form other groups that cater to different dietary needs or meals, and we’re happy to help coordinate this if you’d like. For more info, click here or email


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

 •    ticket
    •    tent
    •    rebar
    •    tennis balls (for marking rebar)
    •    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 (to counter playa alkalinity)
    •    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

Please take a moment to pre-de-moop your items! Remove any extra packaging from your items so that you don’t have to worry about mooping it or hauling it off playa. Recycle Camp will take your crushed aluminum cans, but don’t wait until the last day to bring them over!

Palenque Norte Lecture Series 2019 Schedule

Speaker series TBA!

For now, check out some past videos.

Useful Information

Have you checked out our public Facebook page and our private Facebook group (for members only)?

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

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.

We look forward to another magical year on playa with you all! <3

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