Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I love the idea of no makeup....but....

My to-do list is getting longer. And I've noticed that I've become a little obsessed with the idea of how to stay semi-clean. Dusty I can handle. Not so sure about downright wretchedly stinky.

So, my friend Dennis is a Burning Man veteran (hey, he's been once...that counts!!) and he's 'splainin' to me that I can't just set up a shower without some way to deal with the gray water that it will create. The rules are very strict on this point...no water dumping on the playa!!! He went on to say how, in his camp, they had laid out a tarp, put a big tub in the middle of it and poured water over their heads, then allowed the water on the tarp to evaporate and then threw the water from the tub on the road behind the water truck that comes by every morning spraying the road for dust control. He also mentioned that it didn't take long for that tub of water to begin to smell a little ripe or for the tarp to become muddy with the blowing sand from the playa. Not acceptable. The whole idea is for camp to *not smell*...not of stinky humans and not of stinky human bath water.

So, I did what any good internet-savvy person would do and I googled "burning man showers" expecting to not find much. What I found were all *kinds* of ideas about how to build showers, how to collect gray water and what to do with it after you collect it (hauling it out the same way you hauled it in, was the most common suggestion - ugh). Doesn't sound too appealing.

I'm running through all of the possibilities when a friend sends me a link to Ted.com. Now this link has nothing whatsoever to do with Burning Man *or* showers...but what it does have is a video of a guy who's come up with the ultimate water filtration bottle. This bottle makes sewage into pure and drinkable water and it comes in handheld drink-me size and also a mondo-gigantor-can-handle-a-family-of-four-for-four-years size. Inexpensive...and now I'm thinking...we can filter our shower water and use it over and over again...storing it in the big filter bottle and also in the solar shower bag. It only takes seconds to filter the water using this method. I think I'm on to something here.

So here's the plan....we'll still have the tub just like Dennis' camp had only we'll put a syphon hose with spigot and/or plug on the bottom of it. We'll put the tarp down, as they did, just to make sure we don't let any of that runoff touch the pristine sands of the playa. After each shower, we'll take the water from the tub, and using the syphon, we'll run the used water through the filter bottle, creating clean, usable shower water. We'll refill the solar shower so that it will be nice and warm for the next person in and we're set. As the water depletes, we'll add melted ice water from the cooler to top it off.

Awesome!! I love it when a plan comes together. Now to tackle wind-resistant shelter. This is the one that has me worried. :(

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