Ragnar: Pack Out
I and 11 of my friends ran the Chicago Ragnar. It was crazy hard for us hobby runners, but it was also a self-rewarding experience. In this article, I will go over my pack out. I spent hours sifting through the internets for information. In the end, I used a combination of packing lists for inspiration and created my own with two focuses: compact and fuel. Between my National Guard experience and bikepacking hobby, I felt pretty prepared gear wise. We had large vans that provided us plenty of room. The only piece of gear I wish I had was an inflatable mat.
Personal Gear List
1. Running belt
2. Food (see below)
3. Long sleeve shirt and sleeveless shirt
4. Solar charger, USB car & wall adapters, phone charging cord
5. Three sets of running clothes in bags (shirt, shorts, compression shorts, headband, socks)
6. Sweat towel
7. Sleeping bag & pillow
8. Woobie (army blanket)
9. Anti-chaff stick, foot powder, anti-fog wipes, sun block, pepper spray, wet wipes, deodorant, and cooling towel
10. Reflective vest
11. Beach Towel
12. Two pairs of shoes
13. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
14. Headlamp and tail light
No one in my van took the time to shower during the event, so having three sets of running kit was crucial to keep the funk down. After each leg I would change into my next set and pack my nasty stuff back into a gallon bag with a dryer sheet. The weather was very warm for us and it did not rain, so I never wore my long sleeve shirt but I did where my sleeveless one for my third leg. My sleep bag, pillow, and woobie are all super lightweight and very compacted. They came in handy after our first leg when we napped in a school gymnasium.
Food and Drinks
I brought two gallon bags full of snacks; I didn’t eat half of it, however I did eat a bar before and after each run. I also ate all my energy chews during the runs. Our off time in my van worked out so we could easily get supper and breakfast. I recommend planning on the worse here and bring what you would need to survive. I brought plenty to drink as well besides water. I wanted to make sure I plenty of fuel. Most of the legs did not have water stations on the route and the few that did were towards the end of the leg. To make things more difficult Ragnar went ‘green’ this year so there were no cups meaning you needed to have your own containers. This green decision prevented the pile-up of paper cups normally seen at races, but it did lead to an increased use of plastic bottles.
I put together two identical van boxes of stuff to share. We didn’t use everything, but I’d rather have it and not use it than need it and not have it.
1. Race Bible
2. First aid kit, facial tissue, ibuprofen, lotion, foot powder, dryer sheets, vaseline
3. Trash bags, air freshener, hand sanitizer, marker, anti-bacterial wipes
4. Bug spray, wet wipes, moleskin
5. Course map
6. Extra reflective vest
7. Extra headlamp and tail light
8. Toilet paper
My pack out worked for me, but it may not work for you. Each person on the team brought different gear and provisions. I don’t think there is a perfect packing list; it’s best to start with one that’s already out there and build off that to meet your needs.