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Burner Gear Giveback

Location: - Map It STATUS: Active

Redistribution of Camping Gear to Unhoused Individuals in Reno.

Summary: A camping gear drive aimed at Black Rock City participants who would otherwise be throwing away camping gear. Drop-off locations will be available in Reno, NV during Exodus 9/2-9/5. All donations will be cleaned and distributed to unhoused people and families living in Reno.

Donation Drive: September 2 – 5, 2023 

Donations Accepted: 

  • Tents (in usable condition, with all parts) 
  • Sleeping bags
  • Shade cloth
  • Tarps
  • Bike Wagons 
  • Hygiene items (must be unopened/unused)
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrush
    • Deodorant 
    • Shampoo & Conditioner 
    • Soap
    • Wet wipes
    • Disposable menstrual products 
    • Hand Sanitizer 
  • Unopened shelf-stable snacks
    • Granola Bars / Protein Bars
    • Beef Jerky 
    • Dried fruit 
  • First Aid Supplies
    • Bandages
    • Band-aids 
    • Ace Wrap
    • Rubbing Alcohol 

Drop Off Dates: September 1st-4th, 2023
Drop Off Locations In Reno: 

  • Reno-Tahoe Airport at Burner Express
    • 9/1: 3pm to 7pm
    • 9/2: 3pm to 7pm
    • 9/3: 8am to 6pm
    • 9/4: 8am to 6pm
  • Camping World (9125 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89511)
    • 9/1: 9am-7pm
    • 9/2: 9am-6pm
    • 9/3: 10am-5pm
    • 9/4: 9am-7pm

Goal: Support the unhoused community in Reno, and extend the life of camping gear used at Burning Man that would be otherwise thrown in the garbage.

Context: From my experience as an outreach worker in Reno, individuals living outside already re-distribute the camping gear thrown away after Burning Man amongst themselves. However, this comes at the cost of the law, where the action of acquiring the gear falls under trespassing and theft laws. It is illegal for people in Reno to reclaim camping gear once it’s been thrown in the trash (trashcans, dumpsters, the dump) because it’s considered private property. Let’s make sure these supplies are distributed to those who can use them. 

By creating this initiative, we are not only extending the life of camping gear by rescuing it from the landfill but also limiting the impact of stress from law enforcement on people who are trying to reclaim and reuse these materials already. 

 Call For Partnership: 

  • Businesses or Venues in Reno open to serving as a drop-off location or storage location
  • Theme Camps & groups willing to help with promotion of this initiative with the focus being international & long-distance burners who may be planning to purchase and dispose of camping gear after Black Rock City
  • Theme Camps & Groups who would be willing to be a drop-off location in Black Rock City, and/or support transportation of donations to Reno after Burning Man
  • Individuals or groups willing to help with funding of this initiative, and/or assist with marketing this initiative in order to find volunteers during and after the event 

Project Needs:

  • Uhaul/Penske to transport donations 
  • Storage unit (eight months as gear is distributed throughout winter) 
  • Gas for BRC – Reno transportation 
  • Volunteers to help clean and sort gear


  • Individuals who are unhoused in Reno have additional resources for creating shelter in harsh weather conditions. 
  • Fewer usable camping gear items from Burning Man participants will be thrown in Reno dumps. 
  • Contribute to Burning Man’s Sustainability efforts as we reduce and reuse event waste.  
  • Improve relations between the Reno community and the Burning Man community
  • Fewer interactions between unhoused individuals and law enforcement.
  • Solidarity is forged between the unhoused community and the burning man community. 

About the organizer: I am Hailey Armer. I’m local to Reno, NV, and have lived in Reno since 2007, the same year I first attended Burning Man. My bachelor’s degree is in Anthropology, with a minor in Japanese studies. One of my major points of focus was how climate change would affect the migration of folks who lose their homelands to rising sea waters, effectively making them unhoused and climate refugees. In my professional career, I have found a passion for advocating for those who are unhoused in my experience as an outreach worker. 

More broadly, it is my hope that this project will improve the general impression of Burning Man to Renoites, and improve relations between the two communities. My bigger vision is to forge a partnership between Burning Man and the local unhoused community in Reno. Burning Man, in a lot of ways, is like cosplaying homelessness. With this in mind, it only makes sense that Burning Man would help those experiencing homelessness.

Interested in helping? Contact Hailey Armer: empathyjunction@gmail.com




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