One of the most challenging aspects of a relay is knowing what to pack, especially when vehicle space is limited.  I’ve had teammates arrive with enormous bags with enough equipment to get them across the country, and I’ve had teammates show up without a change of clothes for the entire weekend.  (For the sake of your team, don’t do this!)  One of the best ways to ensure that your team has what it needs without having too much is to spend a little bit of time organizing the van equipment, having team members volunteer to bring some shared supplies so that you don’t end up with 20 rolls of KT tape and no water.

Start by sending out an individual packing list to each team member.  These are the things they are responsible for – if they want to bring them.  Here’s one sample list. And another.  Don’t forget to check out some tips on CLR specific gear that folks may want to bring on certain legs.

The next step is to work on van supplies – the things every van needs, but not everyone needs to bring a supply of (like blister kits, pain killers, toilet paper and so forth).  A sample list for a van supply kit is here.

Some equipment you may want to seek out:

  • Walkie-Talkies can be  useful for finding your other van in the major exchange areas or giving them a heads up that you are getting near or how you are doing versus your predicted times.   Most walkie-talkies are going to work only when you are within a couple of miles of each other.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best (Verizon seems to be the most reliable on this course), so don’t plan to rely on it during the race.
  • A never been used pesticide sprayer canister is actually a nice option for spraying down your runner during the super hot legs.  I will be posting more about dealing with the heat during the race, but suffice it to say that you want to have some method of misting your runner in the van.  Spray bottles also work well.  Water guns are fun for shooting other vans, but they aren’t so comfortable when you nail your runner with the spray.
  • DEET is pretty essential.  Many people don’t like how strong DEET is and will be tempted to bring an all natural alternative, which is fine.  However, know that those darn mosquitoes are aggressive, and after they attack you for awhile, you will probably change your mind about using DEET.  Bring some along just in case.

Any other tips from race veterans?