You are home from the burn, but something just don't feel right. This is normal, you have had massive sensory overload for days and it will take a while to readjust to reality camp. Some readers will never experience this - it seems the more the burn changes your outlook, the more decom affects you.

First Time

My first burn was a major life changing experience. My decom was long and slow and painful (6 weeks of being a zombie, breaking into crying fits, deep depression, etc...). My wife on the other hand just viewed it as an interesting vacation and had no decom at all.

Second Burn

My second burn decom went pretty quick and I was ready for reality camp much faster. This is probably the only thing I considered better as a "jaded burner".

Burn Three

I have decided that the best way to decom is to continue the party. On arrival in default home I kept the party going. I set up lots of lights, wear burn clothes, drink a lot and spin my fire poi at every opportunity. I was depressed for less than 6 hours and will be good and ready to stop the party by the time I do. This option is a bit tougher for those who work 9 - 5 jobs, but figure out a way if you are having a tough decom.

Fourth Burn

Even though I busted up my ankle within 6 hours of arriving on the playa and was practically confined to camp for the next 12 days, it was my best burn ever. I had a rough time decompressing for the first week or so and luckily was able to party through it using last years strategy. Now if my ankle would just finish healing so work isn't such torment.

Fifth Burn

I took an extra day off work and then was pretty much back to normal. For a variety of reasons this was my least favorite burn by far, so that may have helped with decom.


Decoms are now no big deal for me and I adjust to reality camp much easier. I guess Im jaded.


One of the things that makes decom so hard for many people is the stuff they "missed". You have to let it go, your burn was your burn - accept it for what it was, and don't regret missing anything. Sure you missed "that", but you got to do "this". Once you accept that sitting around chatting with great people is every bit as good as seeing some large art, you will have far fewer regrets.


The generally accepted wisdom is to not make any radical or irreversible life decisions for several months after the burn. In the flush of exuberance after that life changing experience, bad decisions are easily made. This is not the time to make decisions that will have a major impact on your life such as marriage, divorce, career, relocation, etc...