Bring a variety of bags to Burning Man (including a MOOP bag)
The dust, the explosion of stuff, living in a tent…Extra bags help create order.
While you may have watched dozens of videos about Burning Man, spoken with that many or more friends and read countless articles about Burning Man, you can’t comprehend how same-same everything starts to look (including inside your tent) when the playa dust gets all over everything.
Plus living in a tent for a week when you’re out of your normal rhythm and habits in life can have your gear and stuff scattered around. For these two reasons, I recommend bringing extra bags of various sizes both 1) to help create more order in your tent set up your and 2) for when you’re out and about.
Ziplocs, in the full range of sizes
Explore the world of Ziploc® bags! There are so many options—snack, sandwich, quart, gallon, L, XL, XXL, XXXL!
Each year, as I begin packing for Burning Man, I’m not truly ready to get serious until I replenish my stash of Ziploc® bags! (I also re-use many of them from year to year, especially as they are already pre-labeled.) These types of bags are a product category where brand reputation versus generics can make a difference. Quality counts here. That has been my experience.
Now, you may be surprised to discover after being on playa but a few days how cloudy and dust-covered even your Ziploc® bags get. I label my Ziploc® bags, always, so that I can determine what’s in the bag without having to see in the bag. I typically use a ¾-inch white gaffer tape for the label and a sharpie. And I label both sides of the bag. Why not? The extra inch of prep you can do at home makes for a world of difference when you’re covered in dust.
Texturally distinct small bags can help you find things inside your backpack
In bringing a variety of bags, I make sure to bring a few little bags with different textures because the textures help me find things by feel in my backpack. I use these small bags for sorting items in my tent too. These types of bags are probably stuffed somewhere in your closet or are easy enough to find at a thrift store.
Bring a sturdy MOOP bag
You will find MOOP when you’re out and about in Black Rock City, and you will pick it up (why wouldn’t you!). Now, putting MOOP in your backpack or pocket may not always be the most desirable thing to do, so consider having a dedicated MOOP bag. For some people this is as simple as having a Ziploc® bag in their backpack. Others prefer a more dedicated bag.
I think the Earth Guardians camp still gives out MOOP bags. They also have a DIY site if you want to make your own.
Also, learn more about MOOP and how to prevent it.
Bring an extra duffel bag for packing out
Packing down your belongings at the end of Burning Man might be happening during a hurried time when you’re rushing to pack, or during a dust storm, or perhaps you’re simply exhausted. All the care that went into carefully packing your bags to go to Burning Man probably won’t happen when it’s time to pack down. An extra duffel bag can help here!
Photo by Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash