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  • Writer's pictureמערכת מידברן

On health and hygiene in Burn to Basics, or: How to enjoy the event and come back in one piece

We all want to have fun at the event - and come back home safely to tell about it. After 10 years of medical experience at Midburn, we have gathered all the essential things you need to know about this: how to keep yourself safe and what medical support there is in case you happen to need it.

We call it: Radical Prevention.   

Radical Prevention - the twin sister of Radical Self Reliance

First and foremost, the responsibility for our well-being is on each and every one of us. From our experience in past years, most of the cases that required medical attention could have been prevented by keeping some simple rules:

  1. Bring your own First Aid

Radical self reliance, right? It is your responsibility to bring to the event all the basic First Aid supplies: band-aids, bandages, cough syrup for kids, thermometers, pincers, painkillers, antipyretics, sunscreen, contraceptives, and any other supplies that you may require.

  1. Do you take medication? Then bring it with you

Our medical supplies are limited, both in variety and in quantity. They are intended to be used in emergencies. If you’re taking any medication, you have to bring enough of it for the time of the event (and some extra). You should also take care to bring any cool boxes or have other ways to keep your medication in its proper conditions, as needed.  

  1. Water, water, and more water

It really sucks to miss the magic due to dehydration. Unfortunately, this happens a lot at the event. In the desert, what we think is a lot of water, usually isn’t. Under the conditions during the event, we’re talking about 3-4 liters of water per adult per day. How do we know we have been drinking enough water? Ask yourselves and those around you: “Do you remember when was the last time you have urinated?” If it was 2-3 hours ago, you’re in danger of getting dehydrated. If you were consuming alcohol during this period - you have double the chance!  

  1. Replenish minerals

It really helps to consume isotonic beverages (dubbed “electrolytes”) during the event. This helps our body replenish the minerals that were lost in the heat (via sweating). You can purchase premade powders, or use the many rehydration recipes available online. Also, coconut water is a natural rehydration drink. Carry your own and also prepare a large canister for everyone in the camp. 

  1. Protect your body

A hat, suncsreen, and sunglasses are a must in the blistering sun. Beware of open fires around you. There will be rebar sticking out, potholes and possibly venomous animals such as millipedes and scorpions. Wear closed shoes (and keep them in the tent at night), be careful when turning over rocks, and use work gloves when you do construction work. If you see anything which might pose a danger to yourself or to others, such as an unmarked rebar, a power cable or anything else, it is your Civic Responsibility to act to remove the hazard. 

  1. Be aware of Desert time

Experienced desert folk know that there is a time to work and a time to rest. Arrange your schedule so that you will be active during the mornings, evenings, and nights. Try to rest in the shade during the hot hours (11:00-16:00). Luckily in Shittim there is a lot of shade and lawns which you can use to rest and recover. 

  1. Keep your hygiene

The conditions in the desert are conducive to infections. Always wash your hands when preparing food and after any visit to the restroom. Pay attention to any food which might have spoiled in the heat, and don’t drink from any unknown water source. Better be safe than sorry. Any cuts and bruised should be cleaned up and bandaged or covered so they won’t get infected. 

  1. Know your boundaries

Midburn is intensive, both for your body and for your psyche. Make time to rest, drink, eat nutritious food and listen to your body. It is smarter than any medical expert. 

  1. In case you’re hurt

First of all, keep calm, you’re never alone! If possible, get to the infirmary (located at the North-West corner of the village) and receive medical treatment there (we prefer not to treat in the field). 

If a medical emergency arises which requires on-site treatment or an evacuation, contact the infirmary via the comms (hail one of the Nomads who patrol the site). 

A word on the medical facilities

The medical team at Midburn (MEDBURN) operates as an emergency medical facility 24/7. Its purpose is to provide medical services to the temporary city of Mudburn, from build to strike. During the “Burn to Basics” event, we will be located at the North-West corner of the village. There are 2 arms: 

  1. Emergency response team:

We are required by the authorities to keep ambulances and paramedics on-site, for treatment and evacuation in case of life-threatening emergency situations. 

  1. Volunteer team:

Over and above what is required of us by law, and as a service and a gift to the Midburn community, we have set up an array of volunteers, which includes burners with various experience in medicine and complementary medicine. Their purpose is: To Get You Back to the Party! These volunteers staff the infirmary around the clock and can provide an answer to most of the medical issues which might arise during the event, from orthopedics and dehydration to paediatrics. The production staff invests a lot or resources and effort into the clinic, including extensive medical supplies. It should be stressed that it is not an “official” emergency room, but an infirmary operated by volunteers who are all burners with a lot of good will and a desire to help out. While you can use the infirmary’s facilities for any medical need, you also of course have the right to seek medical treatment outside of the event, in any of the country’s medical facilities. 

Let’s have a safe and amazing event! 

With love, 

The MEDBURN team <3 


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