First of all, soft sided duffle bags work best. Leave the suitcase for your next vacation. Be creative with your bag. You will see lots of pink bags and finding yours in a sea of pink is not fun! Also black is another popular color. Buy a cheap bag and decorate it! Make sure your name, participant number and tent address are on your bag as well!
Once you have the bag, get another….garbage bag that is! Line the inside of your duffle bag with a garbage bag. Trucks get unloaded even in the rain, so be prepared. There’s nothing worse than rain while you walk but then add wet clothes to change in to…yucky!
I suggest packing all your stuff into 2.5 gallon Hefty zipper bags. Why you ask? 1. You can keep each day’s clothes together so there is no digging in the bottom of your bag for stuff. 2. Dryness …again! 3. They work great to put the stinky walking clothes back into after your shower. You have no idea what used walking clothes that have been fermenting for two days smell like! Why risk it before putting them in the washing machine on Monday?
As far as sleeping accommodations, pool floats work great. This time of year they are usually on clearance so keep your eyes peeled. Plus a hand pump works fine to inflate them. But a battery powered pump would be easier. Just remember…it adds weight to your bag and stress to our Gear and Tent Crew. Please be kind…35 pounds per bag. A couple pounds over is fine….double the weight limit…nope!!
Also remember, everything must be in your duffle bag. You can not attach anything to your bag…ie sleeping bags, etc. This has happened before where folks have attached their sleeping bags to their duffles with bungee cords. Please avoid doing this. The hard working crew handles every piece of luggage and 9 times out of 10 the bungee cord comes undone and hurts someone.
The other great debate is sleeping bag vs. sheet and blanket. You need to talk to the weather man on this one. If it's looking like warmer weather, I would go for the sheet and blanket. However, if you are seeing lower temperatures on the forecast map, consider a sleeping bag. Just make sure the either choice is able to fit INSIDE your gear bag!!
Other things to think about - flash light for those late night bathroom visits (headlamps seem to work best - hands free and no risk of falling in the portapotty!), bug spray for early mornings, flip flops for the showers and maybe, just maybe a sweatshirt... so when the cooler weather arrives you will be ready! ;)
Also the $12 towel service is a MUST! You could take 4 showers a day and always have a clean, dry towel! :)
Use the check list on the 3-Day event info page for reference. They have a really great list.
Remember, the 3-Day is not a beauty pageant. Leave the blowdry at home - besides, there are no electrical outlets. Also remember, no using cell phones or ipod while walking on the route. We are looking out for your safety!
Also make sure that you print your credentials before you arrive at Opening Ceremonies. You can get a lanyard and holder when you arrive!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! :)
Walk Smart, Walk Safe, Walk Strong. :)