• Gear

Entered an event? Here's what to pack in your gear bag

Some common, and not so common, items to include in your gear bag on event day.

Summer means it’s ocean swimming events season, with weekends filled with events offering different distances, experiences, and challenges throughout Australia and New Zealand.

We’ve talked before about how to prepare for your first ocean swim and how to make sure you enjoy it, so in this article, we’re focusing on a specific aspect… packing your event gear bag.

While you might think of just packing the essentials – swimwear, goggles, towel – in your swim bag before an ocean swimming event, there are a few items you might not think to pack that will have you that much better prepared.

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1. Key Lock

Key locks are great to have any time you are hitting the beach for an ocean swim but even more so on event days.

Most ocean swim events don’t have any baggage storage facilities available so it’s a good idea to lock your valuables in your car where they will be safe and then leave your bag on the beach.

Pick up a Key Lock from your local surf shop.

2. Large Rubbish Bag

You might be thinking, “why do I need a large rubbish bag for my ocean swim.”

Well, a rubbish bag comes in handy if there’s rain in the forecast, you can put your swim bag inside of it and protect it and its contents from getting wet.

Remember to reuse a bag from the cupboard.

3. Two Pairs of Goggles

It’s always a good idea to pack two pairs of goggles in your swim bag, and not just because one might malfunction before your swim.

Conditions at the beach are ever-changing with cloudy skies reducing light and sunny skies increasing glare. Each of these conditions suits a different lens, clear for low light and tinted for bright light.

Another mix you might think about is a narrow style (like Vorgee Missiles) for surf conditions and a wider softer-fitting pair (like Speedo Futura Biofuse) for gentle open water.

Buy Speedo Googles | Buy Vorgee Goggles

4. Silicone Cap

At most ocean swim events you’ll receive a brightly coloured latex cap to wear for the event, but these can be thin and harsh on our hair especially those with long hair.

Pack a silicone cap in your swim bag to wear underneath your latex event cap to prevent your hair from being pinched and pulled.

Buy Speedo Caps | Buy Vorgee Caps

5. Sports Watch

You didn’t swim it if you didn’t record it. Right?

Pack your sports watch to see exactly how far you swam, we all know that sometimes varying conditions can add or subtract an extra hundred metres or so to the advertised distance.

Plus, you get to show off your swim to everyone post-swim.

6. Wetsuit

Packing a wetsuit in your event bag is always a good idea. It doesn’t mean you have to use it but it’s always there if you want to.

When you get to the beach on event day ask the organisers what the temperature of the water is or go for a swim yourself and decide if you want to wear your wetsuit for the swim.

It doesn’t have to be super cold to wear a wetsuit, sometimes you just want that extra buoyancy to help you through.

Buy Speedo Wetsuits Men / Women

7. Glide or Vaseline

Glide or vaseline is a must in the gear bag for all ocean swimmers. It’s a great way to prevent that pesky tog chafe that can come with ocean swimming. If you’ve been doing shorter swims in the lead-up, you’d be forgiven for thinking you don’t need it, but a long swim can be unforgiving.

It also helps to prevent sea lice or jellyfish stings as it works as a barrier between the skin and the stinger.

8. Togs (and Towel)

You might be thinking who forgets their togs but over the years we have seen plenty of people forget their togs and towel on the event day.

Packing two pairs of togs is a good idea as you never know when you might need a spare.

Buy Speedo Swimwear | Buy Vorgee Swimwear

What’s your must-have item for your event day gear bag? Let us know in the comments.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 29 November 2022
  • (Updated on 4 August 2023)

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