Whether you have already signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, or are still considering becoming a walker, you may be curious about what to pack for the event. Never fear, I’ve got you covered! It is, after all, a fairly big undertaking to walk over 60 miles in three days. Though I promise that it is one that you will never, ever, ever forget.
Though I am an ambassador for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, it should be noted that these items are solely based on my own personal experience. They are not specifically suggested, endorsed, or recommended by the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, but rather by me as a previous participant and someone who is getting ready to do it all over again.
An air mattress. Don’t leave home without one. (Last year my walking buddy’s husband came to our rescue and brought us an air mattress.) After all that walking all day long, your body needs to rest well. Do not even consider sleeping on the hard floor or the hard ground outside. Do yourself a huge favor and pack a really good air mattress. Your muscles will thank you.
A stable backpack or carry all bag. Whichever one you choose, I highly recommend doing training walks while wearing your backpack. It will undoubtedly help you to make sure that you like the one you have so that you don’t end up with any unnecessary additional soreness. Being able to grab your bag and go is a convenience many walkers ignore until after they realize that they are not happy with their backpack or bag.
I should know, because I am one of them. The bag I brought last year did not tie around the waist and bounced quite a bit more than I had expected. It also made me really warm and after several hours the straps began to dig into my shoulders. For this coming year I purchased this backpack from Paladineer because I heard great things about it. Mine just arrived and I am looking forward to using it.
First aid and foot care products. Waterproof blister bandages are a must! The medic tent has them, but you’ll want to bring your own as well. Personally, I strongly preferred the Nexcare (latex free) waterproof bandages by 3M to the other available brands, so I am stocking up on them for this year’s walk.
The folks at Zim’s reached out to me about trying their Max Freeze roll-on and Max Freeze gel, and I am loving it. Max Freeze is specifically designed to ease pain and discomfort on sore heels and feet. The fast-acting spray on formula provides temporary relief of achy feet, and it contains all-natural and certified organic ingredients.
Last year I also made myself a massage oil that did wonders for me. Though I didn’t take it during the walks, I sure did use it when I got back to camp and began to stretch out.
A wireless speaker. There were long periods of quiet walking time during last year’s walk when we really could have used some music to pep things up a bit. Every so often a walker would come by with a wireless speaker such as the HoMedics Hangtime, clipped onto a backpack, and it completely boosted our mood and our motivation. So this year I will not be walking without one!
A BPA Free water pouch. Sure, you could pack one of those backpacks with a straw that comes through to the front of the bag. Some people do like having those on hand. Others pack water bottles in their backpacks. Personally though, I found both of those options to add up to a heavier-than-necessary backpack. A pouch can stand upright when full, and it rolls, folds, or flattens when empty. There is water available every few miles, so you can refill your pouch and keep on going. If you get one like the Glacier it has a hanging clip which easily attaches to the strap of a backpack too.
Really great socks, and lots of them. There is a very good chance that you will want to change your socks once or twice during the day, so make sure to pack extra pairs in your backpack. Be sure to do training walks in the socks you will be wearing during the event. It may seem over-the-top, but I promise you that it is important. Blisters are rampant during training and during the actual event, so wearing all your gear beforehand is helpful.
The socks that EVERYONE is raving about now are Bombas. They are high tech socks with an ankle cushion designed to prevent rubbing, and are said to be the most comfortable socks ever made. Plus, for every pair purchased, a pair is given to someone in need. Did I also mention that if you head to their site and then tell a friend about it, you can earn a free pair of socks? That alone makes Bombas worth the investment.
A hat with a brim. Even if you (like me) are not really a hat person, it is a great item to have on hand in case of intense sun glare or rain. I was quite grateful to have a hat packed in my backpack when it was raining sideways on our second day!
Speaking of rain, pack a lightweight rain jacket or poncho. Preferably one that covers some of your legs too! Last year I had a long poncho that was great for coverage. Personally, I wanted more use of my arms for walking, so I purchased this one by Totes for the upcoming walk. It is reasonably priced and packs up quite small.
Extra sneakers. You may end up walking the entire Susan G. Komen 3-Day in one pair of shoes, but I’d still recommend bringing two pairs with you. Last year I brought one pair in my size and one pair a half a size bigger. When my feet were swollen I was able to slip into the bigger pair without issue. Also, when it poured on the second day of the walk, I had a backup pair to put on for the next day without having to be concerned as to whether my shoes would dry out in time (which they didn’t) for the next day’s walk.
New Balance is an official partner of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. As an ambassador, I am excited to start training this week in their brand new Vazee sneakers! It has a wide foot bed, midsole cushioning that helps with each step and bootie-like design that is meant to wrap the foot like a second skin. New Balance also carries specifically designed “Lace Up for the Cure” athletic wear and sneakers, such as the popular Pink Ribbon 3190 and the Pink Ribbon 990v3.
Susan G. Komen 3-Day gear. The sea of pink oneness at this event is just a beautiful sight to behold. The pride of participating in such an overwhelmingly special event is something you will want to be a part of, so get started beforehand with some Susan G. Komen 3-Day gear. You’ll wear it with pride not just during the walk or during breast cancer awareness month, but all throughout the year. Head on over to shop3day.com to start getting your pink on. A portion of proceeds from sales made on the site is donated to Susan G. Komen.
Still not sure if you want to sign up? Here are 10 reasons to sign up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. And if you are walking in Philly, please make sure to say hello!
Disclosure: I am proud to be a paid ambassador for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Please note that there are affiliate links included in this post.