People have been camping outside in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., for the past few days in hopes of getting a ticket to the Prop 8 and DOMA hearings.
Between 50 and 100 people will get in, and there were about 70 people waiting in line. Today, it rained and snowed all day, and it was also REALLY cold.
I asked people their survival tips. And here’s a compilation of things they told me.
36. Get creative with garbage bags.
Make a vest. Have fun with it!
35. Bring your “God is dead” sign along with three large jugs of Dunkin Donuts coffee.
You’ll fit right in.
34. But don’t leave your giant jug of coffee on the ground.
The cardboard will get wet, someone will pick it up, and BOOM. You got coffee all over the place!
33. Carry a roll of garbage bags wherever you go.
You never know when you’ll need to seal a leak.
32. Use a large umbrella and a tarp to make a makeshift tent.
31. Drink free coffee and brownies from a man in a chicken hat whenever possible.
There were people giving out free food to those waiting in line. There was another person earlier in the day who handed out pizza. You may also want to ask where he got that chicken hat.
30. Conduct all interviews from inside your tent. Do not leave for anyone.
There were so many reporters interviewing people on the line throughout the day. These people wouldn’t leave their tent to be interviewed by this guy, so they just did it from inside. It looked like the guy was interviewing the tent.
29. Starbucks is your best friend.
Not only for coffee, but for bathrooms. Most people on line used the Starbucks to pee. Once the Starbucks closed, they used the train station. It’s also crucial for phone charging.
28. Don’t be this guy. Leave all electronics at home.
I get anxiety just looking at this photo. It was raining! fasdjaf;sdklf
27. Bring beach chairs.
It was cold this time around, but if the weather was better you could probably get a tan. You might as well make the most of your time and get a little sun while you’re just sitting there.
26. Get in a friendly argument with a member of the other side of the argument you believe in.
These two were having a very cordial discussion about gay rights. The guy on the right was there in support of DOMA and Prop 8, and the guy on the left was against it. It was all very friendly…though awkward.
25. Pay someone else to wait for you.
I would say about a third of all the people waiting outside the Supreme Court were paid by other people to do it. If you have the money, you might as well pay someone else to do it. One person told me they were making $1,000 for three nights outside.
24. Hand warmers.
23. At night, leave for an hour and get drunk.
How else are you going to sleep? I met two people on line that got some whiskey the night before. BUT, beware, peeing could be problematic.
22. Five layers. No less.
21. Bring boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
Everyone will love you. Also they’re delicious.
20. Camping out in front of the Supreme Court is the perfect opportunity to eat Lunchables.
19. Or just bring a huge bag of carrots and big tub of hummus.
A solid strategy.
18. Keep your pillows in garbage bags.
17. Store your stuff in one of these grandma carts.
You can put a garbage bag over the whole thing, which adds another level of protection.
16. Bring binder clips.
Or else the wind will blow your whole setup all over the place. It just keeps everything sturdier.
15. You should probably bring the Supreme Court decision you’re waiting in line to see.
Because that’s what you’re waiting in line to see!
14. Bring every single pair of socks you own. They should make up 25% of EVERYTHING you bring.
This was solid advice I heard from multiple people. Socks: BRING ALL OF THEM.
13. Bring pool floats.
Pool floats are a cheap alternative to air mattresses. You also won’t care if they get destroyed.
12. Build a fort.
Forts are awesome. It’s also really cool to say that you built a fort in front of the Supreme Court.
11. Use these metallic blanket tarp things.
Apparently they’re good for keeping heat. They also look cool.
10. Smoke a lot of weed.
My favorite tip I heard. One of the guys there told me that was his strategy.
9. Appreciate your views.
This was the view the people waiting in line had. At night it even lights up. You have to appreciate the little things when you’re sleeping on concrete in the cold and rain.
8. Use street poles as a foot rest.
Arguably the best spot in line was next to the street pole because you could use it as a foot rest. Genius.
7. Store bananas in your lawn chair bottle holder.
Because they fit nicely.
6. Bring beach balls.
Because what the hell else are you going to do outside in the cold for days. Also exercise.
5. Don’t leave your completely soaking-wet sleeping bag in the middle of the sidewalk.
4. Always have a jar of peanut butter on hand.
Definitely a must.
3. Bring those crappy blankets no one actually uses, because three days camping out in front of the Supreme Court will destroy them.
2. Use a box of Kellogg’s Special K cereal to prop up your American flags.
1. And whatever you do, don’t just leave your poor metal chair out in the rain.
It’s just sad.
All photos by me.