A runner makes her way down trail.

What To Pack for Your Adventure Racing Weekend

What To Pack for Your Adventure Racing Weekend

Adventure racing requires stamina, gear, refreshments and a burning torch of optimism. Packing the right way for your individual needs will make your unforgettable experience memorable for the right reasons, and not because you had a meltdown when you forgot your lucky hat. When it comes to either an adventure race, preparation pays off big time: so adventure racing needs a cool head that thinks through all the details. 

It’s a good bet that a list, whether handwritten or using an app, will come into play. We have a few categories to suggest contemplating as a guide for belongings you need before and after your adventure race.


A man packs his IceMule Boss cooler.

Even if your adventure race is near a city, getting your usual meals and snacks might be a challenge. The more food you bring, the fewer decisions you’ll need to make about where or what to eat—and you’ll save money. We highly recommend one item (which also covers beverages) that is essential for any road trip: the cooler. If you need to, upgrade to the improved technology that has taken coolers to another level of efficiency. Your proteins, fresh fruit and veggies will thank you. 

We can’t emphasize this enough: It’s worth a few extra bucks to have a cooler you can rely on. The IceMule Boss is the only way to adventure race in style when it comes to your cooler. With 30L of capacity and the ability to keep your stuff cold for days on end, this is the choice when it comes to something as intense and demanding as adventure racing. Make a list of your usual foods, and prep as much as you can. Adventure racing needs fuel, and you know the best kind. Throw a few snacks in a bag or box so you won’t overspend at the convenience store when the craving for a salty or sweet blood sugar boost inevitably comes along.


A person packs their IceMule cooler as they prep for their next trip.

Like the food, why not bring your sodas, beer and/or water? Store these in the car in your IceMule Traveler and add to your amazing, frosty cooler before the adventure race begins. When you return, you are greeted with an ice-cold celebratory brew. Whatever you desire, bring it with so you won’t need to buy it there. In nearly every condition, but especially in the heat, familiar drinks are satisfying, hydrating and comforting. 

Your Environment

A hiker makes their way down trail, with the help of their hiking poles and other adventure gear.

Are you going somewhere that is unfamiliar to you? Is it known for its mosquitoes, sunshine, cold nights and/or swamp creatures? Whatever the environment, bring supplies to fend it off, like bug spray, sunscreen, the right footwear and so forth. This seems obvious, but new places can pose hazards you might not anticipate. Take some time to pack several items with an eye toward maximizing pre-race comfort and during recovery.

Relax and rejuvenate

A traveler takes in the views at the top of a ridge.

Wherever you travel you’ll need to unwind. Specific items can really boost the privacy factor and help you relax, even if you can’t completely escape friends, family or crowds. Bring some ear plugs, your usual headphones, a comfortable pair of shoes like flip flops, and one reliable outfit for downtime. A good book will help you get some quiet time, even if you never read it. We also highly recommend a baseball cap and sunglasses to dodge the paparazzi in case your plan works and you win the adventure racing sweepstakes. 

Your security

A runner pauses to take in the summit overlook while wearing a backpack.

Adventure racing requires no more personal stuff than globetrotting or roadtripping. But this might be a good time to invest in a travel backpack. The Millennials have redefined practical travel gear, so there is an amazing array of smartly designed travel pack options for insanely good prices. Keep backpack with you before and after your adventure racing and leave it with a trusted friend or locked in your vehicle during the race. This will be where your phone, wallet, hidden cash and other necessities will live. Your handbag or purse isn’t going to cut it on the road.

Your head and heart

A kayaker makes his way down a whitewater rapid.

Consider what you want, whether small or large, to celebrate when the adventure racing is over and you land back down on earth. A treat, a memento, a postcard or a good luck charm are all good choices. You need physical rest because of the effort it takes to prepare and race, but afterwards psychological comfort matters, too. Along with a celebratory drink, a postcard to send to friend or family is always a good choice. Whatever way you decide to relish the accomplishment – whether you win or lose – give it some thought beforehand so you can pack appropriately.

Looking for the right course for your skill level and interests? Check out The Dyrt's top picks for adventure racing destinations! 

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