How to Pack for a Ragnar Relay: Tips from Ambassadors

It might just be another Thursday to you but to me, today marks exactly 3 WEEKS until I leave to for Saratoga Springs to begin a 200 mile adventure with 12 of my closest friends!

Yup, it’s September 1st and Ragnar Adirondacks is right on the horizon just 22 short days away!

Along with all the excitement of the last minute things (van decor, team magnets, shirts, etc), there is also lots of packing to do.  

While this isn’t my first rodeo, or should I say Ragnar?, I called on my fellow Ragnar Ambassador friends to tell me what they suggest you SHOULD pack, what NOT to pack and any expert tips/tricks they have for making the whole “operation pack 6+ people into a minivan” process go smoothly. 

How to Pack for a Ragnar Relay plus tips from Ragnar Relay Ambassadors!

Before we get into all the genius tips they shared, this is the basic gear “must have” list for anyone running a Ragnar Relay- give or take a few items that may be mentioned in the tip section below. 


Ragnar Relay Gear MUST HAVES Packing List! Plus tips from Ragnar Relay Ambassadors!

It’s also important to note that out of all of these “must haves”, the headlamp, reflective vest and strobe light clip are required for nighttime hours.  Nathan makes all three of these items which you can purchase on their site for a reasonable price.

Outside of this standard packing list, here is what other Ragnar Ambassadors had to suggest…

Tips on packing….

  • Pack each race outfit in 3 separate gallon size bags.  Label them “leg 1”, “leg 2” & “leg 3” then use it to store your dirty running outfit after you’re done.  It helps to stay organized, find your clothes in the dark and keep out the funk.  – HoneyBeth N., Jason R. & every Ragnar Ambassador 😉 
  • Bring a small blanket for night legs, it’s easier to pull out than a huge sleeping bag. – Nicole A.
  • Use the plastic 3 drawer storage units in the back of the van.  Everyone gets a drawer to put their Ziploc clothes, dry foods, headphones, etc in. Easy to access and organized! – Becky P.
  • Bring a car charger and a portable charger battery if you have one! So great for everyone to be able to charge their phone in the van.     And of course my cow bell (but not for during quiet hours, of course 🙃) – Terrie P.
  • Shower Pill or baby wipes, small blanket, sleep mask, my Undress for changing anywhere. Don’t bother with extra shoes, just 1 pair of flip flops and my running shoes (unless you live in a wet area/or the forecast calls for rain). – Tammy R. 
  • Beach towel! Multiple uses (blanket, pillow, to cover the seat when you’re sweaty, sometimes even use as a towel!) – Emily E.
  • Neosporin just in case you end up chaffing some place you don’t want to. Also small cash for purchases from the organizations supporting the race. – Greg R. 
  • Use a small garbage can with a big bag in it – everyone tosses gross clothes in so that there aren’t tons of bags all over the van. Bonus – whoever does the laundry gets the first shower after the race. – Adam M.
  • T-rex onesie (because, Ragnar). – Kym U.
  • ID so you can get your free beer at the finish – Me

Van decorating tips…

  • Bring Mr Clean magic erasers… In case anybody over decorates the rented van. – Steve T.
  • Bring shrink wrap. Wrap your van and then you can draw with sharpies on the shrink wrap. And duct tape. – Becky P. 
  • If you use a power converter so that you can have Christmas or other lights for decoration, then bring along extra fuses. – Greg R. 

What NOT to bring…

  • No books, nobody ever reads on Ragnar. – Nicole A. 
  • Less is always the right amount! – Carol C. 
  • A bad attitude. – ME 😉 

You can also find more packing lists and tips on The Green Running Girl  and I’d Rather Be Sweating

You might also like:  Race Day Superstitions and Running Rituals: What Every Runner Needs to Know

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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