How To Pack for a Ragnar Relay

“I know I forgot something.”

I can’t be the only one to say that when I leave on a vacation. It happens. Every. Single. Time. The nice thing is that you usually can stop and purchase said forgotten items at your destination.  Relays… not so much.

The exchanges, the tiredness, the pure excitement, and just, well, the relay craziness… It’s a blast! But, making sure you have all your belongings with you and easy to access, when your leg comes up, is key to helping you have the best experience you can.

That’s why you are reading this now. You are a smart one. Digital high-five.

Now, let’s get packing.

Step 1: Ziploc Bags are your Friend




Start with a Ziploc bag labeled for each of your legs, items you need for every leg, food, and one for toiletries. As you pack, put the items in their respective bags. I like to include my leg map so that I can visualize what I need; compression socks for long runs, trail shoes for dirt paths, or safety gear for the night run.

Packing within bags also helps prevent losing items and makes it easy to grab the gear you need for your leg at the drop of a hat. In addition, you can put your dirty clothes back in the bag after your leg and contain your stinky, sweaty clothes.

Step 2:  Costumes, oops! I Mean Clothing



Your teammates will thank you for not stinking up the van, but more so, you’ll be happy when you get into fresh rags. Pack a new outfit for each leg. And if you can, make them fun… because the crazier and more inventive you get, the more fun the relay is – not to mention, the awards you could win!

Step 3: Gear & Accessories


Tiger Tail


Relays are like unlike any other race, because you have to be equipped to handle the stuff you normally could just suffer through until you got home.

I am talking about…

  • Having hydration belts or handheld water bottles for the legs without van support.
  • Needing a Tiger Tail portable massage roller to keep the legs from going stiff.
  • Having a blanket to keep warm in between night and morning legs.
  • A jacket to wear out of the van while you cheer on your teammates during the colder hours.
  • Giving your feet some breathing room by having flip flops on hand.
  • Not forgetting your cell phone to tweet @RagnarRelay
  • Using Shower Pills that act as your morning shower.

Start thinking about, “What do I do before a race and after? Do I have these things with me?” Think… this is camping. But it’s not, it’s running. But, it kind of isn’t.

Step 4: Food


Cif Bar Product

My first relay, my team hadn’t figured this one out. Before we knew it 30 hours had passed and all we had eaten was peanut butter filled pretzels. So learn from my mistake, not the hard way. Pack fuel, food, water, recovery drinks, and the works, then pair them up with your leg bags. Check out this blog post that further details what to eat at during Ragnar Relay.

Step 5: Safety

I mentioned earlier, but I’ll mention again, because it’s IMPORTANT.

Make. Sure. To. Pack. Your. Safety. Gear.


Easiest place to keep it… in the leg bag that will most likely fall during the evening hours.

Here’s a look at what my packing checklist looks like for Ragnar Relay- Colorado this weekend.



  • 3 Short Sleeve/Sleeveless/Tank Running Tops
  • 1 Long Sleeve Running Top
  • 1 Long Sleeve Running Full-Zip (To Throw onto Short Sleeves for Morning Legs)
  • 3 Pairs Running Capris/Shorts
  • 1 Pair Running Pants
  • 3 Pairs of Underwear
  • 3 Sports Bras
  • 5 Pairs of Socks (PRO Compression Socks work great)
  • Road Running Shoes
  • Baseball Cap or Visor
  • Warm Hoodie or Jacket
  • Warm SweatPants
  • Gloves
  • Arm warmers
  • Flip Flops


  • Portable Music Device (ie – iPod)
  • Headphones (Jay Bird Wireless Headphones work great!)
  • Tom Tom Sports Watch  and Heart Rate Monitor
  • Tiger Tail Portable Massage Roller
  • Water Bottle
  • Hydration Pack or Handheld Water Bottle Holder
  • Race Number Belt
  • Cell Phone
  • Electronic Device Chargers
  • Blanket
  • Pillow
  • Reflective Vest
  • Night Ize Headlamp
  • Flashing Reflector Light
  • Flashlight
  • KT Tape, Ibuprofen, Ice Packs, etc.



  • Deodorant
  • Shower Pills 
  • Bobby Pins
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Comb
  • Vaseline or Squeeks Cheeks to prevent blisters
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Duffle Bag
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Race Bible and Leg Maps
  • Van Decorating Supplies

Food (Check out: What to Eat During a Ragnar blog post, too.)

  • Water
  • Nuun Electrolyte Tablets
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Meal Replacement Shakes
  • Bananas and Oranges
  • Hummas and Veggies
  • Oatmeal
  • Energy Gels
  • Gronola Bars
  • Bread or Rice Cakes Peanut Butter, and Jelly
  • Gummy Bears

Once everything is in their bags, place them in your duffle bag or suitcase in the order that you’ll use them. And that’s all there is to it!

Here are some additional blog posts that others have written about packing for a Ragnar:

How to Pack for a Ragnar – Meals and Miles 

Top 10 Items To Pack For a Ragnar – Digital Running 

Have you ever written a blog post about how to Pack for a Ragnar? Leave us a comment below and we’ll add your blog to this post!


About Genevieve Garner

Garner (aka - Viever) is a guest blogger for Blognar and is the enthusiastic and driven athlete and voice behind She lives on the edge of giving up and seeing how much more she can give, meanwhile convincing you to live the insanity, too.

7 Responses to How To Pack for a Ragnar Relay

  1. Rachel says:

    GREAT LIST! I wrote a post that also covers van wide needs like first aid here:

  2. Althea Smith says:

    Thank you so much for the excellent list!

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