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Packing (for the walk) Essentials

May 15, 2009

I wrote about essentials for camp and now it’s time for essentials for walking! Regardless of whether you carry a Camelbak, fanny pack, or backpack, you will need to carry something. Here’s the list of everything I carry with me during most long training walks and each day of the walk.

  1. Socks. I am not going to tell you what kind of socks to buy. I’ve tried a variety of socks: Nike and Thorlos, thick socks and thin socks, expensive socks and inexpensive socks. Ultimately, while you are training, you need to be trying out socks. Figure out which ones work for you and then buy a bunch of them. Carry a pair of socks to change into about halfway through your walk. This will help keep your feet dry and cushioned through your whole walk. I have found that the more cushioned socks (like Thorlos) are better for the second half of the day.purell-hand-sanitizer-gellwrap-large
  2. Anti-bacterial gel. I hooked a thing like this to my camelbak and also packed a larger one for my bag to refill the travel one each day. There are antibacterial wipes everywhere, but I liked a little more protection… I’m kind of a germ-freak. Note: Carrie is right. Please go for the more environmentally friendly options like CleanWell. It’s small and a spray. I’m sure we can come up with a way to clip it conveniently to the outside of our bags… 🙂 Thanks, Carrie!
  3. (Disposable) Camera. Before I walked, I was told to pack a disposable camera. I decided to bring my digital camera and I was REALLY glad that I did because I got incredible pictures. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep track of the camera in the midst of everything else. So, if you are prone to lose things, leave the camera at home and pick up one disposable camera for each day. If you think you can keep track of your digital camera, pack it and extra batteries in your camelbak or bag so that you have it near you while you’re walking.
  4. Room for Snacks. I wrote in my previous post about how incredible the food is at camp. The snacks on the trail are equally as good. Just leave room in your pack for peanuts, animal crackers, fruit, and uncrustables. (Remember to put the trash back in your bag to throw away at the next pit stop!)
  5. Body Glide. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. I love Body Glide. You will definitely want to carry a small container of Body Glide with you. It’s about the size of a travel deodorant and you will want to slather it all over your body…especially if you are walking somewhere hot.
  6. A Poncho. I trained in Dallas and Puerto Rico for the walk last year. I never carried a poncho while training, but I did get one for the walk. I bought a cheap, child’s sized bright pink poncho for the walk last year. It folds very small and would have kept me dry, had we had any rain. If there is wet weather in the forecast, pack a poncho in your camelbak. If there’s not bad weather scheduled, pack it in your overnight bag. It never hurts to be safe!0871174-P-G
  7. Water Bottle. Because I carry a CamelBak, I clip my water bottle to the hook on the back. You will need to have one water bottle for gatorade and one for water. I use my water bottle for gatorade and my camelbak for water. Trust me that you’ll need two. (Or one and a CamelBak.) My favorite is this one. I bought it at Target and love it because 1) the straw hides 2) it doesn’t sweat because it’s double lined 3) it has a carabiner on it to connect it to my camelbak.
  8. Identification, debit/credit card, cash. Hopefully, if you have already registered to walk, you have received your credential sleeve. You will put your credentials (nametag) in that and wear it at all times. There will be room in it for this, but I’d put the important stuff in a small pocket in your camelbak. (Mine has a credit card organizer perfect for this.) In my nametag I kept a few dollars. The only time I spent money was at camp, but you never know when you might want a dollar. 🙂
  9. Pictures. What I did put in my credentials was a picture of my fiance and I. We’d just gotten engaged and I knew that seeing his picture would encourage me to keep walking. Many people carry pictures of family and friends who have been affected by breast cancer to remind them why they are walking. You will want to carry something to remind you of your children, friends, and supporters.
  10. Personal Medical Stuff. There’s no need to bring bandaids “just in case” because the medical tent will have everything you could possibly want. However, if you want to be able to take Advil whenever you want, pack some in your camelbak. If you use New Skin like I do, pack it in your camelbak. You will not want to wait in line for the med tent if it is something you are used to fixing on your own.

Obviously you will also want to dress in layers appropriate to the weather and leave room in your pack to remove when necessary. You’ll also want sunglasses, a visor/hat/headband, etc. This list is not exhaustive, but does cover some of the basics that you’ll want to remember when purchasing and testing out your walking pack/camelbak/fanny pack. Just do remember to test everything out on long training walks! An uncomfortable pack can make for really long days!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2009 9:30 am

    I’m not a walker, but I’d like to recommend that you consider using an alternative hand sanitizer. It’s called CleanWell and you can get it at target and whole foods and the like. It’s all natural, it’s green, it’s triclosan-free, alcohol free, and it’s just as effective as purell. And you get 4x as many uses per ounce. And it smells nice.

    The only downside is it doesn’t have the handy dandy hook thing that purell does, but if you want I can rig something for you. 🙂


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