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

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. Costuming for Burning Man inspired her to sew again, a skill she learned in middle school home economics class. She is now a couture pattern-maker, custom clothier and rain hat maker. Molly got dusty from 1998-2009 and 2012-2015. She reads the comments.

9 Comments on “Pro Tip: The Go Bag

  • JimEJim says:

    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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  • Aurelia says:

    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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  • Allen says:

    wet wipe “baths” keep the funk at bay… They’re cheap and about 3 packs will get you through the week… dependingon your xtra curricular activities of course.

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  • Dangerkitty - Jaz says:

    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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  • rafael says:

    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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  • ErikFutzer says:

    What?! Wear your funk with pride! Put on normal clothes? What a depressing way to leave.

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  • Princessj says:

    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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  • Mario "Diesel Bitch" Corsetti says:

    Not True!!!!!

    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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  • marg says:

    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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