MOOP stands for "Matter Out Of Place" and it's what Burners call anything that is not originally OF the land on which the Burning Man event takes place. Everything you bring to the Black Rock Desert, no matter how small and including yourself, is considered MOOP. In order for the event to happen year after year, all MOOP has to be packed out with you.
Of course, some MOOP is particularly toxic and/or difficult to keep track of when you're shaking your booty all over the Playa. Leaving MOOP in your wake is a big bummer to other Burners, and could actually get you in trouble.
In order to get the most out of your Burning Man experience, we've rounded up a handy list of some things that should definitely NOT come with you to the Playa. (If you're wondering what you should bring, check out our list of 23 Burning Man Essentials). If this is your first year at Black Rock City, this list is your short-cut to having fun like a veteran!
11 Things You Should Never Bring To Burning Man
- A cop costume - Costumes--the crazier the better--are encouraged at Burning Man, but leave your sexy cop costume in the closet. The last thing people want to see or think they see on the Playa is the po-po. Besides, you can be more creative than that!
- Flip flops - Did you know there is such a thing as "Playa Foot"? It's a painful drying, cracking, rash caused by prolonged contact with the alkali lakebed. Walking around barefoot or in crappy sandals makes you a big target for this
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show-stopping condition. Wrap those footsies up in some sturdy shoes, and thank us later.
- Feathers - Whether real or synthetic, feathers love to become detached and float around the desert. This is bigtime MOOP and a big no-no. Leave your pimp hats and feather boas at home, folks.
- Plants - You might think plants are the perfect way to green up your campsite, but they're actually a terrible idea. Not only is there the chance that you'd introduce an invasive species to the Playa, they often dry out, break up, and blow away. No bueno.
- Firearms - This should be obvious but one should never bring a gun to a dance party. Period.
- Fireworks - Leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals, people. Setting off rockets while you're
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drunk (or something else) is a bad-awful-terrible idea that could injure/scare people and destroy other people's stuff. Don't do it.
- Pets - It's hot, like ridiculously hot on the Playa. Shade and water are precious resources, and not always immediately available. There's also lots of noise and commotion. Be a good pet-parent and leave the critters with a sitter.
- Glass Containers - It takes one slip to smash a glass jar all over the Playa, creating dangerous, difficult to clean up MOOP. Choose reuseable plastic or ziplock bags instead.
- Styrofoam coolers - They don't hold up and will break into a million bits. Nasty MOOP.
- Straw or hay bales - It's impossible to prevent them from shedding, creating a huge mess that you'll have to clean up later.
- Swimming Pools - Baby pool! You probably thought this was the best idea ever for beating the heat at Burning Man. Too bad it's the opposite. This is an un-smart use of water, not to mention it will turn to mud in about 2.5 seconds if there's a dust storm. You're just gonna have to tough it out with a solar shower!
Image: Geoff Stearns