Claudia lives in Northwest Pennsylvania and is the proud parent of a thrower.
Anyone who is in track and field in high school, or has a child participating in it, knows that it can be a challenge figuring out what to pack in a bag for practice or a big meet. A lot of what goes in the bag depends on the weather and, in the case of a big meet, the duration.
The specific event(s) the athlete is competing in also matters. You have to think about any equipment they might need or any special shoes.
There is also a big difference between what goes in the bag for practice and what goes in it for a meet. You don't need nearly as much in a practice bag.
The bottom line is that you definitely want to be prepared, because it's no fun if you are at a hot and sunny meet for 10 hours without sunscreen, or you forget your jacket when the temperature drops down to 55 degrees.
So for everyone trying to figure out what to put in their track and field bag, here are a couple of lists of suggestions, one for a practice bag and another for a meet.
Pack smart and, more importantly, good luck!
I'm the Proud Parent of a Thrower, How About You?
Packing List for a Track and Field Practice Bag
You don't need nearly as much stuff for a practice bag as you do for a meet. In our daughter's case, track practice is right after school and usually runs about 2 1/2 hours. Since there are locker room facilities available, she has a place to store some items.
What you pack also depends a little bit on where you live. We live in the Northeast part of the U.S. Practice for the spring track and field season starts in March, so it can get pretty cold. It also can be really wet, so pack accordingly.
Sweatpants /Track Pants*
Knit Cap or Baseball Hat*
Packing List for a Track and Field Meet
Packing for a meet is a bigger job. Some meets, especially big high school invitationals, can be a very long all-day commitment. If you only run in one or two events, it may seem even longer, so you want to be prepared.
Knit Cap or Baseball Hat*
Water Bottle (or 2)
Rain Jacket (Poncho)
Track Pants (Sweat Pants)
Feminine Hygiene Products
Tape (Depending on the Event)
Extra Pair of Shoes/Slides
Pain Reliever (if permitted)
Chalk (Depending on the Event)
Spike/Event Shoe Bag
Important: Track and field meets and schools can have different rules and regulations. Before going to a specific meet, check them out with your coach or the meet website to make sure you aren't bringing something you aren't supposed to, or you aren't forgetting something you may need.
Why Do I Need All of This Stuff for a Track Bag?
If you are new to track and field, you are probably wondering why on earth anyone needs all of this stuff in their bag. I know I never thought about all of this when my daughter first started out.
Well, below are a few explanations. My daughter has been throwing now for three years and we just finished up her third season. Even now we forget to pack something, like the sunscreen for the hot and sunny invitational where she got a nasty sunburn.
|Item||Why do I need that?|
Participants are at a meet all day and chances are that they only compete in a couple of events. A towel is great to sit on, it keeps you dry and in some cases, like for throwers, it drys off equipment. It can also double as a blanket on those cold days.
Portable Phone Charger
I can't tell you how many times my daughter has called me using the coaches phone because hers had died. We learned our lesson and the charger is always in her bag for a meet.
If you live in sunny Florida or it's going to be 80 degrees plus on the day of meet, you aren't going to need these things, but when practice and meets are in March, April and May in the more Northern states, it's cold. And if you are at a meet after the sun goes down and sitting around in the bleachers it gets cold, sometimes really cold. You can also get chilled if you've been sweating and the temperature isn't that high.
We couldn't make it to all of our daughters' meets this year so even though I packed her some snacks, I threw in some money. Kids love going to the snack bar or getting a tshirt from that special invitational. It never hurts to throw some in the bag.
Some athletes are quite dedicated and may want to write down notes on certain events.
Extra Shoes or Slides
In the spring season the field can get pretty wet so throw in an old pair of tennis shoes or a pair of slides to change into.
You'll want a garbage bag to cover things up if it starts to rain. It's also good to have to put wet clothes in at the end of a meet.
Packing for an Indoor Track and Field Meet Versus an Outdoor One
For the most part, the packing list for an indoor meet is the same as an outdoor one. You probably won't need that extra jacket or the rain gear, but you'll still want a sweatshirt.
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell
... on March 07, 2020:
this my 3rd track season and i needed to get organized thank you for advice
no name on March 02, 2020:
today was my first day of track practice and I had no idea what to bring this article helped me a lot if I had to rate it its a 5/5 for me.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 17, 2019:
Glad to help. Hope you did good at your meet!!!
Lizzion2128 on May 16, 2019:
I have a track and field day at my school tomorrow, and will be outside for 7 hours in the 90 degree weather. This article help so much! (also might possibly rain)
Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 21, 2019:
Glad it helped. Hope you did good at your first meet!
Ikram on April 17, 2019:
thank you so much, my first meet of the year is tomorrow and I had no clue on what to pack.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 19, 2019:
I'm glad you found the article helpful. Good luck in your upcoming season!
Anonymous on March 18, 2019:
Thank you so much for these useful tips and I will be sure to use them for my track season coming up.
Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 01, 2019:
Oh that is going to be a long track season and it starts pretty soon. Just hoping the weather warms up. Thanks for checking the article out.
Nikki on February 28, 2019:
Great tips! I am a new track mom to 3 children. This is going to be a looong season
Claudia Mitchell (author) on June 12, 2018:
I can't believe we forgot the sunscreen at that one meet. Boy was my daughter sunburned. Oh well, live and learn. We have it down to a science now. Thanks for stopping by to read!
Adrienne Farricelli on June 09, 2018:
You have many great tips here and it's all nicely organized. I don't have kids, but I will pass this article along to my friends who have kids in high school involved in these sports. Sun tan lotion is sure something that one doesn't want to miss packing when spending any time outdoors.