Ah, Burning Man. It's art meets music meets dirt meets naked meets f**king amazing. As a two-time burner myself (who is sadly missing it this year) I can personally guarantee that this gear will maximise your awesome.
Being bright and glowy at burning man isn't just to make your dancing trippier, it's absolutely mandatory at night time. People are tearing around on bikes and art cars and you absolutely need to be visible. No joke, people have died. You'll see a lot of disposable glowstick-like jewellery, but that's like making an ecological snuff film (MOOP!). El wire (electoluminescent wire) is awesome. It's bright, reusable, and you can make amazing costumes out of it like the one you see above. It's all over eBay and the internet, but this guy charges less than $US1.50/foot (depending on the gauge) and gives a burner discount.
Yes, the desert is very hot during the day, but Black Rock City is pretty high up, and as soon as the sun goes down it gets cold in a hurry. You want to shower off from the day's romping so you don't smell like butt when you head out to find love on the dance floor, but when it's cold out a cold shower sucks. Instead, hang up a solar shower like Sea to Summit's Pocket Shower in the morning, and by the time the sun sets it will be piping hot. If you don't have anything to hang it off of just get a friend to hold it for you while you shower. I know that sounds weird, but hey, it's Burning Man. $US30 at REI.
You want to capture some images from the burn? Well that alkaline dust is mighty fine; it will get all up in your camera and screw it up good an proper. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is dust-proof, drop-proof (up to a 2m), and waterproof up to a whopping 12m! Not only that, it's fairly compact and it takes really nice pictures. If you want a point-and-shoot camera for Burning Man and other rough and tumble activities, it doesn't get any better than this one. $US300 at B&H.
Here's one for the ladies. Fact: You will have to pee at Burning Man. Fact: You may be far away from the nearest outhouse when you have to pee, and/or the outhouse may be nasty. Fact: You probably don't enjoy pissing on yourself or your clothes. While there is a camp that will give you a Dixie Cup with a small hose attached, I'd recommend the more ergonomic design of the Sani-Fem Freshette Feminine Urinary Director. It'll give you a way to discreetly take a whiz without getting it all over yourself. Just remember not to take your leak in places where people are likely to walk (i.e. do it in a port-a-potty or in the middle of the playa). $US23 at REI.
Hoping to get laid at Burning Man? You're not alone, my friend. Unfortunately, the hot, dry, and dusty environment isn't particularly friendly to your nether bits and you're going to want to give them a good once-over pre and post bonage. Swipes Lovin Wipes are designed specifically for such endeavours. Mild, yet thorough and refreshing, just like your privates want them to be. $US6 at Good Vibrations.
You just met a beautiful stranger. You shared a passionate kiss on a bus that looked like a pirate ship. He/she said, "Meet me at the Hookah Dome in one hour." Awesome! Oh no, your bike tire is flat! You don't have a moment to spare! Swap out the tube, plug in a CO2 powered tire inflator like this Genuine Innovations Ultraflate Plus, mount up, and go meet your destiny! $US20 at REI.
This thing is absolutely clutch. I brought the Misty Mate Deluxe Personal Mist Air Cooler with me the first time I went to Burning Man. I was single back in those days, and I won't get into details, but suffice to say that I was exposed to some things that I wouldn't have been had I not brought it. Enough said. That aside, it feels absolutely great during those scorching days and your friends will love you for having brought it. The guy that invented it should work for NASA. $US26 at Amazon.
Black Rock City is hotter than balls during the day. You will sweat. You'll be biking around and dancing. You may be inebriated at some point. All of these things can really dehydrate you. You need to push fluids and make sure you get some electrolytes in you. Guess what? Emergen-C drink powder packets are really good for that as they just happen to be electrolyte-balanced. Any flavour will work, but they do make an ElectroMIX designed for specifically those purposes. Amazingly, they actually taste pretty good! $US6 for a 30-pack at Amazon.
Don't you dare doubt me! You absolutely need this! How can you live without it now that you know it exists? Get into this gigantic, inflatable ball from Zorb, and have your friends roll you around in style. Shit, with this you don't even need friends. Giant inflatable ball equals instant friends. You will be the most popular person in Black Rock City. Impulse buy it now and thank me (or hate me) when you get back. $US1200 at Amazon.