Packing for a race can be daunting and take up a lot of space! The list of what to pack can be so long, but there are certain items that are always on the top of that list, because they are what we often tend to forget. I decided to ask my triathlete husband what some of his must have items are and together, we came up with our “must pack often forgotten” list.
- Safety pins – Yes really; safety pins. Every race has race Bibs that you have to wear and although triathletes use a race belt, there have been way too many times we have needed safety pins to hold the bib tight, too.
- Wet clothes bag – Whether training or racing, a triathlete’s clothes are always wet and/or stinky. You can always use the hotel laundry bag if that’s where you’re staying, but we assure you it will not be enough. It’s great to have one that also works on odors, like the Stuffitts Odor-Killing Bag. Plus, it helps if you’re flying and haven’t had a chance/opportunity to do any laundry.
- Oatmeal packets and favorite bars – You can’t always count on the local Starbucks, hotel restaurant, or nearby store to be open early to grab a bite before the race or training. Also, not all locations will carry your brand and/or flavor and believe me, you do not want to be trying something new close to race day.
- Water bottles – I know it sounds so silly that you would travel to a race and there wouldn’t be water bottles there, but more often than not they are not the same as the ones you are used to. Let’s not even talk about how expensive they can be and NO, they aren’t always included in the swag bag.
- Warm clothes – Even if you are traveling to a warm destination, make sure you pack warm sweat pants and a zip top. It’s often very chilly at 4:30 in the morning and after the race, even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it might at some time – we’re talking about those uncontrollable chills, where you just can’t seem to warm up and those reflective wraps at the finisher’s line just don’t cut it…
- Large towel or small sheet/blanket – I love to have this in my day bag, so that after the race, we can lay it out and chill for a bit before trekking back to the hotel.
- Portable charger – Never count on finding a power source somewhere out on the race course. Even if a sponsor is offering free charging stations, the lines can be long and charging can be slow.
- Wipes – Seriously, these are so great for post race, or anytime when traveling. There are a ton of different types of wipes out on the market and there are even ones made specifically for athletes. I prefer the all natural ones like Burts Bees, but there are wipes specifically for athletes like the Athletic Body Wipes by ShowerPill.
- Blister Waterproof Band Aids/First Aid Kit – You many need this for every member of the family and those blister bandaids can be life savers. Seriously…
- Sunscreen – Okay, they often supply this at the race or you can buy it, but it’s so important, for both triathlete and trisupporter alike, especially if you have sensitive skin. Using what is offered may cause you to get an uncomfortable rash. And, remember that you can get sunburned on a cloudy day, too. We like mineral sunscreens as opposed to chemical, but that’s your choice.
- Camera – Not a must have, especially if you have a camera in your phone. BUT! It is always nice to have a few shots with a camera that has some additional features and it also helps keep that battery from depleting so fast on your cell phone. After attending a lot of triathlons and taking the same old pictures, it’s nice to learn a few new tricks with the camera.
DANA and SHERRY
WHAT’S ON YOUR MUST PACK LIST?
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.