There are camping trips. There are music festivals. There are trail-running races. And then there are Ragnar Trail Relays—a magical combination of all three.
After you’ve rallied your Ragnar Trail team, chosen a Ragnar Trail event, and done some good hard Ragnar training, it’s time to plan out The Ultimate Ragnar Trail Campsite. Here are some pro tips to keep in mind.
Step 1: Get the Gear
The gear you need for a Ragnar Trail Relay is similar to what you’d take car camping. Depending on your event, there may be camping available from Thursday night to Saturday night for your team and support crew. Friday night camping is definitely provided, and is included in the cost of your registration. Campsite spots are first come, first served, and every team is allotted 300 square feet (about 17 ft. x 17 ft.). For a team of 8 people, here’s a list of items to consider:
- 2 or 3 medium-size tents, such as the 4-person REI Half Dome tent
- 8 sleeping bags
- 8 sleeping pads
- 8 pillows
- Lantern or decorative lights
- Table for food prep
- 8 camping chairs
- Water jug
- Coolers with beverages and food
Optional Campsite Items:
- 2 or 3 cots
- Canopy or pop-up tent
- Stove (preferable with 2 burners) for cooking hot food
- Solar chargers
Some teams go all out with rugs, couches, full bar areas and a recovery station. Remember: pack it in, pack it out. Go “glamping” crazy, but remember that whatever you set up for the weekend must also come home with you.
Step 2: Pack the Food
Runchies. It’s what happens when you run 13+ miles of gritty trails on little sleep. You and your team will certainly know the meaning of this word after your Ragnar Trail weekend. Ragnar Trail provides a dinner on Friday night, which is included in the price of your registration.
Also included in your registration fee is REI’s “Ultimate Cup of Camp Coffee” tent, where you can enjoy delicious coffee from Friday night into Saturday, as well as hot chocolate and s’mores. You don’t need to pack food as if you’re going to live alone in the wilderness for a month, but here’s a list of nice-to-have items:
- Fruit (fresh and dried)
- Breakfast for Saturday morning
- Energy bars, such as KIND
- Electrolyte tablets
- Ground coffee and coffee press
- Beer for after your last leg
- Trail mix
- PB&Js (never a bad idea)
Step 3: Keep Sustainability In Mind
Ragnar Trail Relays are certified sustainable events. Ragnar employees have a heightened sense of responsibility towards the place that gives them their spiritual peace, endorphins and recreation opportunities, and these events are designed as such. When packing for a Ragnar Trail, here are some things to consider:
Cupless Race – Ragnar Trail Relays are a cupless race, meaning that no cups will be provided for water, hot chocolate, coffee, electrolyte mix, etc. Bring your own mug for warm liquids, and your cup of choice for cold drinks.
Camp Decorations – Camp decorations are fun to have and add to the experience for all runners. Try to bring decorations you can use again, like holiday lights. And steer clear of unnecessary waste, like party streamers and balloons.
Composting – Ragnar Trail Relays have recycling and composting at their events. Take your banana peels, coffee grinds, eggshells and other food stuff to the composting area. Recycle items appropriately or bring them home to do so.
Team Captains should delegate what items each member should bring, so your team doesn’t wind up with 11 sleeping pads, 1 tent, and 5 kitchen tables. Set up a shared list so your team members can indicate which items they will be bringing. For last-minute camping items, check out your local REI. Happy camping!