Preparing for Bello Gallico, my drop bag
The Bello Gallico trail is the first trail race in which I am participating in which I will be using a drop bag, so this race holds another new aspect for me.
What is a drop bag? Simply put a drop bag is a bag with stuff that you check in at the start of the race and will have access to at aid stations during the race. So you can put things like food, clothes, batteries, etc in it that you might need in later stages but don’t want to carry with you all the time.
In the 50 mile Bello Gallico the drop bags will be available at the second aid station, just before the halfway point in the race at 37 kilometers. The 50 miles or 80 kilometers is short enough to be able to complete without the use of a drop bag so I probably won’t need most of what I pack but you never know what might happen in those first 37 kilometers.
Besides that, I might actually need what is in my drop bag, it is also good to practice the use of a drop bag as I expect that I will be doing longer events in the future in which I will definitely need my drop bag.
So what’s in my dropbag for the Bello Gallico trail….
1. A sports towel to dry myself in case it rains in the first half.
2. An empty plastic bag to store wet clothes.
3. A replacement red light in case the one on my race vest stops working or falls of.
4. Basic medicine and other care products
- Pain medication
- Anti diarrhea medication
- Cleening wipes for my glasses
- Hand warmers to heat up my hands
5. Spare Petzl Nao headlamp (in case the one I am wearing breaks down).
6. Body glide, to reapply for chafing prevention.
7. Some basic first aid necessities such as bandages, sport tape and handkerchiefs.
8. Spare batteries:
- Spare battery for the Petzl Nao headlamp
- Spare batteries for my Garmin GPSMAP 64st (handheld navigation)
- Spare batteries for my Fenix flashlight
9. Powerbank with charging cable for my GPS watch
10. Food to put in my race vest:
- Beef Jerky
- Clif Bloks energy chews (1)
- Clif Bars (2)
- Amand Go bars (2)
- Nakd bars (2)
- Clif protein bar
- Torq energy gels (6)
- Nuun tablets for in my soft flask (3)
- Just Nuts bars (4)
Now of course I won’t be using all of this, but I want to have options depending how I feel and what feel that I am able to eat.
11. A full set of running gear including different types of underwear, Buffs and gloves in case it rains in the first part and I want to put on dry clothes.
12. Duct-tape (clothes or shoes might need emergency repairs)
13. Running shoes in case I want or have to switch shoes.
14. Food to eat at the aid station:
- Beef sausages
- Oreo’s in white chocolate
- Salted cashew nuts
- Fruit flavored biscuits.
15. Spare soft flask, hydration bladder and tube (in case the ones I am carrying start to leak)
16. Spare race bib belt, I use the race bib belt to carry the energy gels, to prevent spending a lot of time fumbling at the aid station putting new gels in the race bib belt I put a belt with gels already inserted in it in my drop bag so that I only need to put my race bib on it and I am good to go.
17. Trekking poles, I don’t expect that I will need them but will take them along in my drop bag just in case I need them to support me while running / walking with an injury.
Within my dropbag I will organize everything in separate bags to be able to easily find what I need.
One final advice I got out of a presentation by Maarten Schön and Marek Vis about their Legends Trail adventure was to put a checklist in your drop bag to make sure that don’t lose too much time at the aid station and don’t forget anything.
My checklist in my dropbag consists of:
- Do I need medical assistance?
- Charge GPS watch
- Blister treatment if needed.
- Clean glasses
- Change clothes?
- Change shoes?
- Refill water
- Nuun in the soft flask!
- Refill food
- Change batteries (headlamp / flashlight / GPS)
- Change spare batteries in race vest.
- Trekking Poles?
All packed in a sports bag and ready for me at the second aid station in the race.