Have you ever traveled for a race or need an extra suitcase for the mountains of running gear you brought to continue your training during a vacation?
We camp a lot and we’ve taken a couple of nice trips — including a cruise and a visit to Tucson, Ariz. — since I started running, so I’ve learned a few things about what to bring. Here are my favorites:
- Be flat. Just because I’ve forgotten to pack key things like my running shoes or favorite socks before (face palm!), I now always lay out all of my clothes and gear the night before. I’m talking about everything I’m going to need on race day or on a long run — from my head to my toes. I’m talking about fuel. Water bottles. Hair ties. Bra. Top and bottoms. Jacket(s). Water belt and all of the things I carry with me because I just can’t live without any of it. Take a picture and share with some friends who are experienced runners. They will point out things you may not have thought about (Body Glide comes to mind) before it’s too late.
- Double duty. My favorite tip is to pack things for your trip that you can wear for both sight-seeing and running. I’m looking at you Skirt Sports! I already wear my Skirt Sports gear during the weekend and while camping. They have gear you can wear for all types of weather, including tops, running bras and bottoms (from shorts to running skirts to capris and long pants). Since I’m going to stink it up while running anyway, I just wear the same clothes the next day for my run.
And even though I have to undo and re-tie my laces (thanks TSA!), I wear my running shoes to travel in because they’re so bulky.
- Wash and wear. Tech fabrics are easy to hand wash in the sink and hang to dry. There’s something magical about them that causes them to be dry by the next day if you wring them out really well and hang them on a clothes hanger so that the fabric doesn’t touch. I turn my Skirt Sports bottoms up-side-down and clip the shorts underneath with skirt hangers to make the process go quicker.
- Go commando. Most running bottoms have some sort of a built-in panty or brief. No sense in getting more clothes dirty. Be free while running.
- Roll it up. Tech fabrics barely wrinkle so they’re also prime for rolling up in your suitcase or bag. That way, they take up a whole lot less room. I also roll my socks and hair bands and stick them in my shoes or jacket pockets.
- SmartWool socks. If you’re not already wearing them, buy them. Now. They are super comfortable, no matter the temperature, and they will not stink. I wear them multiple times, air them out and wear them again.
Ever since I started doing all of these things, I’ve been able to save some room in my bags and know that I will arrive at my destination with everything I need. There’s a lot to be said for planning and for being creative so that you remove one more thing from the things to stress about before your run.
Do you have any tips for packing for a destination? Have you ever forgotten anything when you packed?
Disclosure: I am a Skirt Sports embassador captain. That means I get a generous discount and gear to wear test. That all said, all opinions are my own.