Burning Man Economy
Q: What's this barter system I keep hearing about?
A: There's no bartering at Burning Man. The city is built on the principles of a gifting economy. Most people bring more than enough supplies, and willingly part with them if people need something. I've seen burners produce some amazing items on the playa, and you will too. If you want to participate read more about the gifting economy here and how you can participate. Burning Man doesn't allow for corporate sponsorship or vendors at the burn, so there are only two items you can buy: ice and coffee.
Q: Wait, there are no vendors? Then how do I buy food or score new clothing?
A: One of the ten principles of Burning Man is radical self-reliance. That means you need to bring enough food, water, clothing, and shelter to take care of yourself. That means being prepared. Don't be that guy or girl who winds up in the medic tent because you didn't bring bandaids. The good news is that being in a gifting economy means you get gifted things, like coffee at the french quarter, or clothing at costume cult. You could use the guide book and find free food all over the playa that people prepare as their gift.