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Okay, here’s the deal: I want to write a master packing list blog eventually. I’ll get there soon. 

That’s gonna be part two of this series. Since future Racers will now be in Gainesville for 6 weeks, I think I can bring a valuable perspective since my squad and the squads this year were the first to experience living in Georgia for an extended period of time. This packing list will include things that were helpful during that season, so stay tuned! 

For now, I thought it’d be great to include some basic recommendations and regrets from my own packing experience. I just wanted to compile a list of items I’ve loved having with me, items I haven’t used at all, and items I really wish I did have here. I’ve also hyper-linked specific items that I especially love, so you can find them easily if you want to. If you’re going on the Race, hopefully this will be helpful in all of your packing endeavors; I know that packing can be a hectic and stressful time. You’re gonna do great!



Packing for The World Race: Part 1

Recommendations + Regrets



Things I’m glad I brought on the Race:


  • Silicon q-tip: A space saver and an eco friendly choice! You only have to bring one q-tip for your whole Race! Crazy!

  • Peanut butter: Yes. My squad goes ham on the pb. Especially in Gainesville, it’s a great option for when you need a snack, or when you wanna add a little somethin to your brekkie. 

  • Straw cleaner: If you’re like me and you like using a hydro with a straw, know that it will get SO gross. Keep that bottle mold-free and bring a straw cleaner! 

    • Tip: Straw cleaners often come in different travel cutlery sets, I also recommend this!

  • Aeropress: For all my coffee lovers. I never once regretted bringing my trusty aeropress. Most of the time, you’ll have access to hot water so it’s easy to make a cuppa joe when you want to. Also, you can get reusable filters for these!

  • Plenty of ground coffee: In Gainesville, we weren’t allowed to leave the base for a good amount of time. I brought a pound of coffee from my favorite coffee shop – it was a nice little taste of home and it lasted me for almost the whole time in GA!

  • Face washing bar: I use these at home too and I LOVE them. They save so much space, my skin likes them, and they will last me almost a whole year!

  • My hammock: I don’t sleep in my hammock, but I never regretted bringing it. It’s such a nice space to chill and have quiet time!

  • Miir mug: This was really nice for Georgia! It kept my coffee warm, I could take it all around campus, and clip it to my backpack whenever I wasn’t using it.

  • Down blanket: If you get cold easily, or just like being comfy, BRING THIS. Kinda expensive, but honestly SO worth it. I used it with a sleeping sheet instead of a sleeping bag, I took it with me to devos, and used it for movie nights. 

  • Cotton sleeping sheet: I’m a big fan of the one that I got. Most sleeping sheets are cocoon shaped and made of a weird camping material that’s kinda icky. This one was roomy, and since it was cotton, it reminded me of the sheets I used at home. It was also great to use by itself when it was super hot in Georgia.

  • Full-sized pillow: Yes. Even though you have to carry it on travel days, it’s worth it! You can also get pillow carriers to help you carry it and keep it clean!

  • Sneakers: I’m a big fan of white sneakers, and I wear them all the time at home. Obviously, white is not the best option for the Race, but I compromised with off-white Reebok Club C’s. Since I wear these at home, I wore them a ton on the Race. Just bring some shoes you like and are going to want to wear on the daily.

  • Vitamin C + B-12: Okay, I really didn’t bring any actual medication on the Race (oops). But I love my supplements! 

  • Kindle: Helpful if there’s books you wanna read but can’t get right away! Also doesn’t take up as much space as books.

  • Travel watercolors: If you vibe with that. I love this set!

  • For the ladies- 

    • Diva cup: Even if you don’t use a diva cup, TRY. Haha, just kidding. But actually. Think about all the space you’ll save. Not to mention, it’s eco-friendly! 


Things I wish I brought on the Race: 


  • Clothes I’d wear normally: I’ve heard a lot of people say this, but in general, don’t just buy/bring certain clothing items because they’re “World Race clothes”. If you don’t wear it at home, chances are you’re not gonna wear it on the Race.

    • For me, I love to wear jeans at home, but I only brought one pair for the Race. I wish I brought more! I also wish I brought more shirts I like, and not just a bunch of baggy ones.

  • Skirts/dresses I actually like: If you’re gonna need these in your countries, get ones you like. In the DR, we have to wear dresses every day, and I really wish I had brought ones I like.

  • Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap: If you have sensitive skin, this works amazing as a laundry detergent. It can also be used as body wash!

  • Conditioner bar: I brought a shampoo bar, but I wish I had a conditioner bar, too! These pack great, and last for several months.

  • Spandex: For under dresses and skirts!

  • Tent broom: My teammate brought this, and it was literally the best thing ever. Living in GA especially, your tent will get SO dirty. The tent broom is a quick and easy way to get all the mud (and let’s be real, dead spiders) out!

  • Essential oil spray: I’m not a fan of perfume, so I wish I had a natural spray to make my tent/clothes smell nice.

    • Also just more essential oils in general!


Things I wish I didn’t bring on the Race: 


  • So many clothes: I know I said bring what you normally wear at home, but unfortunately you can’t bring your whole closet (and living out of a backpack, you won’t want to). I would say just prioritize the items you love, know you will wear, and make the most sense to bring. Try to pack on the lighter side when it comes to clothes. I brought several clothes that I barely ever wore. Remember you can always drop or pick up clothes!

  • Bulky bathroom bag: I would recommend something more compact, but this is definitely a personal preference! 

  • A bad quality airporter: An airporter should be something that’s really great quality and heavy duty. The one that I got was torn up after one travel day, so I don’t recommend it (it’s osprey brand). Ideally, you’d want to drag your bag around in your airporter, so get a good one, like the one from REI or Sea to Summit



That’s it for part 1 of this packing list! Thanks for reading, friend, and keep and eye out for part 2! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about packing or the Race in general. 




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4 responses to “Packing for The World Race: Part 1”

  1. Great information, Emma! I know future World Racers will be so appreciative of the wisdom you shared!

  2. Emma, I’m not sure if I can make the next Race connection, but thank you for the tips. Esp. the diva cup, spandex(whatever that is?} and more skirt/dresses. I’ll make a mental note of these items.


  3. Thanks Emma, great advice to all upcoming racers. Keep your pack light. I agree, bring those couple of things from home, like that coffee or that fav blanket for those cool mornings/evenings etc., a hammock for chillin’. My son brought very little and bought it as he traveled going to thrift stores for shoes/clothes, while my daughter packed with a little more convenience, eventually taking her brother’s advice of “better with less and multifunction gear”.