13 Simple Foods Ideas for Burning Man

Blue-Pirate-Woo13 Simple Foods ideas for Burning Man, By Little Woo

Enjoy some of my food tips for EASY food options on the playa – great for those who wish to simplify while at Burning Man and for other festivals as well.

Note: I buy a few special items in my home town but do most of my grocery shopping in the US. Since you can’t take meat or veggies over the border anyway, you might as well benefit from the decent prices south of the border and enjoy the grocery pit stops on the long drive down!

1) Fresh Veggies: I buy these in the US at the last pit stop before Burning Man. For me, that’s the Trader Joe’s in Bend, Oregon. It’s a favorite stop for Burners to stock up on food and water so you’ll see many references to it in this article. Get just enough veggies for salads or stir-fries that can be eaten in the first few days. (unless you have a system to keep food really cold for a week) Prewashed lettuce is a bonus!

2) Bagged Curries (no refrigeration required and pre-cooked). ~ Many brands to choose from and they all seem similar in quality. Tasty Bite and Ashoka brands range $2.50 to $4 per box. Trader Joe’s has its own bagged curries too. Available at most major grocery stores. ~ 1 bag = 1 person’s big meal (or can be shared between 2 people for a more modest amount) ~ Place the bag directly in water and boil for 5 minutes approx. Then peel open bag and serve on top of quinoa or rice…

2A) an addition from Puma, you can make your own boilable bags with a pressure sealer, then you can have any  boil a bag food you want, spaghetti, Quinoa, chile, etc.



3) Quinoa Grain: Very nutritious and delicious! Takes about 15 minutes to cook. 1 part grain with 2 parts water. Costco often has truRoots brand organic Quinoa (3lb bag) for a great price. (Minute Rice is an option if you want to cook dinner really quickly.)

4) Rice Milk or Almond Milk or Hemp Milk + Granola + Canned Fruit = perfect morning food. Bonus: These types of “milk” do not require refrigeration until opened!

5) Canned Fruit (served cold): As a snack by itself or add to morning granola! (my favorites are peaches and fruit cocktail) Frozen and Fresh fruit work too.

6) Ready-made Canned Chili : Nothing like chili (on quinoa or rice) to warm your bones and spice your palate in the cool desert nights.

7) Canned Chunky Soups: Hot soups (add quinoa or rice for more sustenance) = comfort food.

8) Beef Jerky is a great snack on the playa. Especially in the middle of the night when you need a boost of protein! For vegetarians, there are veggie options like tofu jerky or fruit jerky. (Trader Joe’s carries non-medicated beef jerky.)


~ Also Salmon Jerky and Smoked Salmon for the pescatarians out there.

9) Dried Fruit: Dried mango, cranberries and coconut are great. (Trader Joe’s “Just Mango Slices” are my favorite: unsulfured and unsweetened – a super yummy treat to keep in your backpack.) Other suggestions: Trail mix, dried nuts etc.

10) Whole Watermelon: One of the most refreshing of summer treats! Keeps all week without refrigeration if stored in a cool dark place (in the shade). Chill in the cooler just a few hours before cutting and serving.

11) Salty Meat: If you are a carnivore, meat is HEAVENLY on the playa. (Even some vegetarians have been known to crave meat in the desert) ~ If you like bacon, you will worship bacon at Burning Man. ~ Smoked oysters (canned) are a fun treat on top of crackers. (clean the can right after or the leftover oil will get raunchy!) Or maybe you like canned sardines or kipper snacks (herring). ~ Trader Joe’s carries delicious cured sausages that store well in the cooler (e.g. cured Italian or Hungarian Sausages)

12) Electrolytes: Replenish each day! Check that your drink contains sodium and potassium. ~ My favorite drink is coconut water which contains electrolytes and is light, refreshing and not too sweet! Available at most grocery stores. ~ Emergen-C packs contain 25 calories with 6g of sugars, 60mg of sodium and 200mg potassium per pack. Gatorade contains 50 calories per 240 ml, with 14g of sugars with 110mg of sodium and 30mg of potassium. ~ Fruit Spritzers & Veggie Juices are delicious drinks (healthier than colas).

13) Pickled Foods are EXTRA yummy in the desert! Dill pickles, sweet Gherkin pickles, pickled artichokes, pickled beets… (At Burning Man, I will even drink the pickle juice cause it’s so tasty.)

Also trail mixes, nuts and well made energy type bars, cam be really useful for vegetarians and others and can easily be carried about.

These articles are educational and informational resources for Burners. I make no guarantees about the information

For more Little Woo visit her site, and here are some Burning Man links.


Burning Man Time Lapse Videos

Ten principles of Burning Man