• Posted Jul 1, 2001

Backpack USA says " 'Your Guide' is the #1 Ragbrai packing guide we've ever encountered!"

by Kelly Huggins Copyright 1999 Tips:
  • The more you bring, the more you have to carry.
  • So pack efficiently. Remember, you have to carry your tent, sleeping bag, clothing bag, to and from the truck twice a day- morning and evening. So plan on how to do this efficiently so you're not carrying 20 million bags and getting frustrated. And so you're not making 2 or 3 trips to get it all to and from your tent site.
  • For a pillow, I bring a really small one that I can smash into my tent/sleeping bag. OR you can use your next day's clothes for a pillow.
How I pack:
  • I bring one really big bag which holds my clothes, bike equipment like helmet etc. Then I bring a smaller bag inside of that one that has my toiletries to shower with. The big bag stays on the truck the whole week. When I get done riding, I go to the truck, get into my bag and grab the next day's riding clothes, and that night's evening wear, put them into my small bag, grab my tent/sleeping bag bag and I'm done. So I'm only carrying 2 bags to my tent spot. and I don't have to carry ALL my clothes all over.
  • I bring 7 pairs of bike shorts, only because I hate to wash them out and because I have that many. Many people wash out their shorts and wear them again.
  • In the evening, I wear sports sandals. In years past, I've always worn tennis shoes. What you wear on your feet is important, because you're walking all day and dancing & socializing all night. You're on your feet all the time.
  • I'll pack fewer than 7 shirts, because I'll buy a t-shirt on the ride. You can wear some t-shirts in the evening, then wear the same t-shirt a few hours the next morning, then take it off and wear your tank top.
What to bring:
  • Garbage bags. Things get wet-- like your tent from the dew. And if it rains. You'll want to put your stinky dirty clothes somewhere where you don't have to smell them, or get them next to clean ones. And we'll use them throughout the week for garbage.
  • Q -tips-- your ears will have all kinds of dirt in them.
  • Desitin. I always get a rash on my butt. Desitin helps.
  • Lawn Chair
  • Toiletries
  • Towels/wash cloths
  • Razor
  • Hat for evening wear, in case I can't find electricity to blow dry my hair. Most times I'm able to find some way to do my hair.
  • Small mirror. In the bathroom, you don't have much time. So sometimes, I have to put on my makeup in other places.
  • Flash light. A must to find things in the dark in your tent.
  • Small baggies. I put my washcloth in a baggie so it doesn't get the rest of my toiletries wet.
  • Money. Money for t-shirt $25, money for the truck $150, money for eating drinking, approx. $20-25 per day. Bring a 24 case of your choice of drink.
  • Bring anything fun you can think of! Practical jokes are encouraged. Remember this is a circus on wheels. People will be in costumes, people will be without costumes, it's craziness all the time. This is your time to be whomever you want. It's time for you to let go and do what ever is fun.
  • Bring some type of pain reliever, you'll be sore by the end of the week.
  • fanny pack, or some way to carry money, camera etc. at night.
In my bike bag:
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra tube incase of a flat, with tire
  • Toilet paper (for obvious reasons)
  • anything fun
  • money, ID, credit card. My money bag has a string on it, so I can carry it around my neck if I want. You hear about (and I did it one year) people leaving their wallets around and losing them. It's really easy to do. OR carry a fanny pack-- which I do to, that way you can always carry your money, camera, everything you may need when we are off our bikes on our adventures-- like dancing, drinking, eating, talking to the locals.
  • hat-- because I get helmet head bad. My hair doesn't stand up to the cute factor.
  • Lip sunscreen
  • In case of rain, a rain jacket
  • disposable camera
  • Bike journal-- to write down fun stuff.
  • baggie, in case it rains, I put a baggie over my computer with rubber band.
  • Sun glasses
  • Bike gloves
  • Pump
  • computer
  • helmet
  • bike bag
  • bike pump
  • Water Bottle
  • Bike shoes
Come ready to have fun. Worry only about where you sleep, shower, pee, poop, eat and doing whatever your heart desires! Happy Packing, Kelly Huggins

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