During the day, it is VERY bright. The sun is bright, hot, and merciless. There is no cloud cover. The playa dust itself is almost white, and it scatters and reflects light, instead of absorbing it.
You will need dark sunglasses.
There is often wind. And there is always dust. Which means dust storms. And the playa dust is not just any ordinary dirt. It is strongly hydrophilic, it is corrosively alkaline, and it is microscopically fine. Which means that it LOVES your eyes, and your eyes will hate it.
You will need goggles.
You do NOT want to wear contact lenses.
You will go out at night. Every night. Most of the "action" really gets going after sunset. There are light shows, multicolored displays, lasers painting the sky, eruptions of flame. And when you go out into deep playa and look at the sky, there is no urban light pollution, so you will see the most amazing sea of stars.
You will need to be able to see clearly in the dark.
One of the things that you may notice when looking at pictures of Burners out on the Playa are the myriad ways that each of them try to solve this problem. Most burners have goggle with dark lenses that fit snuggly over their face. Those who wear glasses will either have Rx goggles, or they will get ones that fit over their regular glasses.
I use a 3-fold solution. I have my regular glasses, I have a pair of cheap dark sunglasses, and I have a pair of goggles that I had driving Transitions Rx lenses put in. I carry all 3 around with me, and keep a set of hard protective glasses cases in my pockets. When the goggles are not over my eyes, they either on my forehead, or around my neck.
You can get cheap dark Rx sunglasses online at Zenni Optical and at 39 Dollar Glasses.
You can buy good Burning Man goggles here. Buy one (or some), and then take them to an optician's shop, and have Rx lenses put in. You want "Driver Transitions", so they will go dark during the day, mostly clear at night, and will cut glare.
Or a cheaper solution is lab goggles that you can wear over your regular glasses at night, and your sunglasses during the day.
Remember to bring glasses cleaning solution and a lint-free cloth. You will want to keep your glasses clean.
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