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Training Camp: To Pack or Not to Pack?

This blog is for future racers! I felt like I was guessing at packing when I went to training camp. Here is a list of somethings not to forget and somethings to not bring at all!

Don’t Forget!

  1. Tent with a rainfly- I mention this at #1 because I know of at least 2 people who brought tents without a rainfly. Unless you enjoy sleeping in puddles and having all your stuff reek of mildew and be soaking wet all week you need to make sure you have this. Your family will step in and help you out if you don’t have one, but it is a sad day when you wake up in the middle of the night and it is raining on you.
  2. Baby Wipes- You can shower at training camp, but you might not want to every day due to weather or exhaustion. If you don’t have these you will smell disgusting. Baby Wipes are like gold to racers before you leave and while on the race.
  3. Sleeping bag and a Sleeping sheet- Make sure you have both in case  one gets wet or you have to share your stuff or you are freezing.
  4. Water Bottle- Unless you don’t plan on drinking anything the entire week I recommend having one.
  5. Gum- Who knows? You might have some stanky breath or have a teammate who lost their toothbrush. For the sake of everyone bring some gum.
  6. Athletic Shoes- You will use them. Just trust me.
  7. Rain Cover for your pack- See #1. Rain Covers are something that every single REI person told me I didn’t need and it is the thing that I am the most grateful that I had. Most people who didn’t have them went to REI between the Man Hike/Beauty for Ashes and Training Camp.
  8. Day Pack- Have your real daypack and pack it like you would if you were actually going overseas. (Also, make sure your daypack and backpack are adjusted to fit you personally. If it isn’t comfortable REI knows how to adjust most backpacks to fit you correctly)
  9. Rain Coat- Warmth and being dry are pretty important when you aren’t changing clothes every day.
  10. Two towels- bring one to dry yourself and one to dry other things that get wet.

 Just Don’t Bring It!

  1. Computer/Ipad- Seriously you don’t want to carry it, you won’t have time to use it, and you should be able to unplug from the world for a week. You will get much more out of your time at training camp if you aren’t consistently trying to check your email and facebook.
  2. Compression Sacks that aren’t waterproof- They are worthless. Just splurge and buy the good ones. The REI brand aren’t waterproof and the seams rip if you pull too hard.
  3. Fancy Camera- You will probably want this on the race, but honestly there weren’t that many opportunities to use my camera during training camp and if it dies there isn’t a good way to charge it.
  4. All the meds/toiletries you are bringing on the race- Just bring enough for the week.
  5. Clothes- You need way less than you think. Trust me. I am a very clean, typically stylish, girly girl and I wore the same clothes for 3 or 4 days straight. Bring comfortable stuff you can move around in.
  6. Coffee mug- Caffeine is a lie. There is none. Don’t haul around a coffee mug! If there happens to be coffee magically one day use your water bottle…
  7. Snacks- just embrace the lifestyle. You don’t need a backpack full of snacks. If you think you will die of starvation bring a few granola bars, but please please limit yourself. It is part of the experience to eat the food provided for you.