This story is over 5 years old.

The VICE Guide to Right Now

Government to Burning Man Ravers: Please Poop in Bags Now

The Bureau of Land Management has suggested Burners use more "pee bottles" and "poop bags" this year.
Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

Burning Man is based on ten core principles. Some of these tenants are basically just vague hippie garble, like practicing "radical self-expression" and making a "communal effort," but others are more concrete rules like "gifting," which essentially means that nothing is for sale and everybody should just share with everybody else. While the festival runs on most of these credos, with people pitching in to help one another and sharing sandwiches or little finger LEDs with all in need, there's apparently one principle some participants have been seriously slacking on—the one that says "leave no trace."


According to new July report from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), some incontinent festivalgoers have been dropping deuces in the desert, leaving the Black Rock Desert plagued with human poop, Reno Gazette Journal reports. Luckily, the BLM has hatched a novel new plan to help organizers solve the poop problem next year: just get the Burners to shit in bags from now on.

It's not like there aren't enough bathrooms to go around—Burning Man organizers already set up nearly 2,000 port-a-potties around Black Rock City every year. But according to BLM, the poop problem isn't in the main area, it's in the "deep playa," the area on the outskirts of the festival that is often home to late-night dance parties where bathrooms are scarce. The isolated area is great for ravers who don't want to stress about waking up sleeping people, but it also means that the bathrooms are a long journey away. It's apparently easier to just hang a root in the dirt and keep dancing.

There's already a fleet of Burning Man staff scouring the area during the daytime to scoop the leftover coils of stoned Burner dookie, but the desert is big and turds are small and it's impossible to collect it all. In the report, the BLM suggests that organizers "hand out or ask Burners to bring pee bottle and poop bags for camp and deep playa events." (Yes, the government used the words "pee bottle" and "poop bags" in an official report.)

BLM also suggested plans to put up more signs to remind potentially forgetful Burners to poop in toilets and not the dirt while they're dancing, and to install "mobile rave zones" closer to the toilets.

Awkwardly squatting over a plastic bag when the urge strikes doesn't seem like the easiest solution, especially when it's the middle of the night and you're caked in dust and coming down off 2C-B and trying to wrestle your way out of a reflective silver unitard or whatever, but it's at least keep in line with the Burning Man ideals. Maybe the DogBuddy is destined to be the hot new 2018 Burning Man costume trend.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow VICE on Twitter.