Pro Tip: The Go Bag

Before you leave for the playa, do your future-self a favor and pack a “go bag” of clean clothes for the slog home. I keep mine in the front seat of the car during the event. After everything has been torn down and packed away, before I step off the playa and into the car, I drop trou and change every item I’m wearing. The bag contains blissfully clean stuff that hasn’t been tossed around my tent with the dirty bits. It’s the only way to go for the long ride home: clean undies, dust-free sunglasses, unscathed flip-flops, a hat to hide my scary hair. Clean shorts and a T-shirt feel restrictive and straight but when I stop at a diner along I-80 I’m glad for the armor. You’ll still look crazy-dirty to the outside world — might as well not bring the funk too.

If you are flying home from Burning Man this advice is more of a mandate. Kisses!

About the author: Molly Ditmore

The night Molly Ditmore arrived at Burning Man 1998, she told everyone that she had come home. She didn't pack a flashlight or get any sleep. She volunteered at Media Mecca for six years, where she handled press inquiries from the music community and hosted an art tour. Because of Burning Man she started sewing again and is now a couture pattern maker. Molly attended from 1998-2007 and is returning in 2009. She'll be blogging about practical matters, personal art projects and relationships. She thinks you should scale back your dance camp.

9 thoughts on “Pro Tip: The Go Bag

  • Good tip. The only thing I might change in that list are the flip flops. Your feet can smell pretty bad after a week on the playa, so something that covers them up helps a little. Or, at least keep a couple of baby wipes on hand to wipe your feet down before heading home. :)

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  • I call mine the hallelujah bag :) Fresh clothing, shoes, and a dryer sheet to make it smell extra fresh!

    P.S. Driving in sandals is illegal is some states – closed-toe shoes are best.

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  • We started using the go-bag idea a couple of years ago…but we wait till we hit a truck stop shower to get some of the funk off, and then go into ‘average traveler’ mode with our clean clothes and shoes. Being clean and soft is the only thing that tempers the bittersweet of exodus. Well, that and sushi.

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  • This is a common sense thing. Nobody told me about a go bag my first year in 04 but I prepared something like it anyway. Anyone who has gone to multi day festivals knows that a clean pair of clothes to wear back into the real world is as important as not leaving your trash lying around. Such a long drive home in such heat, smelling your car mates funk is a revolting thought. Good tip on the closed toed shoes as well, didn’t know driving in sandals was illegal. What about barefoot driving?

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  • We started using the ‘go bag’ 2 years back..and will continue to do so! We usually wait til we hit Reno and shower THEN the awesomely clean clothes, socks, mmmm it feels awesome.

    Truck stops work too, particularly if you take a moment to wipe down the car seats before gettin back in and mucking up your brand new duds ;)

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  • Not True!!!!!

    http://tafkac.org/legal/driving.barefoot/driving_barefoot.html

    You may drive barefoot in all 50 states, provided you are not operating a motorcycle.

    You may still get a ticket if the Police think you’re being reckless or careless, but there is no required footwear for automobile operation in the US of A (yet).

    So; don’t stick that bare left foot out the drivers side window, stay in your lane sweatfoot and you’re probably good.

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  • Flip-flops while driving is dangerous because they have slip off and get caught in the pedals. Barefoot is ok (but tires out your foot muscles faster!)

    I’m surprised the go-bag has a name. For me it was common sense to want to wear something clean and comfortable for the exhausted, exhausting drive back to the default world. (It can still be a fun burner outfit – it’s just clean!)

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