What’s in Your Pack?

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When you’re out walking long distances—for example, all that training you’re doing to walk 20 miles a day on the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®–you want to make sure you’re equipped with whatever you might need along the way. Most Komen 3-Day walkers arm themselves for those long stretches by carrying a waist pack to hold the items they want to keep close by. What you carry in your pack is completely up to you, and chances are the contents will change depending on how far your 3-Day® training walk is taking you.

But to give you some idea of what you might want to include in your waist pack, we asked a few of our 3-Day coaches, who are also walkers, to share what goes in their packs.

Ann, the local events coach for Michigan, takes the minimalist approach to her walking goodies: “I carry a water bottle, my phone, and a couple bucks for fun treats that might show up along the route.”

Jennifer, the participant support coach for Michigan, adds a little bit more to her list of must-haves: “I carry my phone, tissues, Chapstick and sunscreen. I also have mints, because Gatorade mouth is nasty. I’ll carry sunglasses (if they aren’t already on my face), Handi-Wipes, which I use to clean my hands and to wipe my feet at lunch when I change my socks, and of course, extra socks.”

The other 3-Day coaches I asked had more robust lists. Alyssa, my 3-Day social media cohort (who walked her first 3-Day in San Diego last year) shared her list:

  • Tissues – for a runny nose and runny eyes, which may afflict you at any point
  • iPhone – fully charged and in airplane mode, of course.
  • Pink bracelet – because everybody likes to wear pink.
  • Sunscreen – because reapplication is so important!
  • Small packet of trail mix – for a heart healthy boost if I’m hungry but have eaten too many grahamwiches
  • Headband – to keep fly-aways out of my eyes when wind acts up
  • Fresh pair of socks – because this is the best idea ever. Change into them at lunch and rejoice.
  • Chapstick – to keep those plump puckers hydrated
  • Gum – Chewing gum while going up a hill just makes it better.
  • Large capacity, wide mouth water bottle – so crew can easily fill it with ice and sports drink
  • 3-Day Flair – a badge of pride, and to remember why I’m walking.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles waist fanny pack supplies packing

Gayla, our Dallas/Fort Worth local events coach, leads or joins training walks throughout the year and has her fanny pack (which she bought in 2005 and has trained with for 10 years) contents down to a science:

  • 2 – 20 oz. water bottles with wide openings for ice
  • Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel by Monistat (I don’t walk anywhere without this gel. I prefer this over the “stick-style” anti-chafing products.)
  • Spark energy drink mix
  • Pen (for autographs, ha!)
  • Phone charger & plug
  • Tissues
  • Cash
  • Mirror
  • Lip balm
  • Fundraising business cards
  • Clean, dry socks in a Ziploc bag to swap sweaty socks mid-day
  • Driver’s license
  • Mints or gum
  • A little extra room in my pack for all the stuff I seem to collect on the route at the cheer stations.

Seattle participant support coach Paula, who, with 15 events under her belt has walked more times than any other coach, totes quite the impressive array of goodies in her pack:

  • A copy of my credential with my cell number, so my pack will find its way back to me if I lose it!
  • My driver’s license/ID and my debit card and/or cash for those must-have 3-Day souvenirs or a Starbucks along the route! (This is in the most secure spot in my pack.)
  • Phone/camera
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer (clips on to my pack)
  • Tissues
  • Pain relief meds (Tylenol/Advil/Aleve)
  • Chapstick with SPF
  • Sunscreen
  • Hairbrush, ponytail rubber band
  • My 3-Day bub
  • Rain poncho
  • Large trash back to sit on if the ground is wet at lunch
  • Extra pair of socks in a Ziploc bag (bag will hold dirty socks after lunch)
  • Body Glide
  • Blister kit – bandages, moleskin, small scissors
  • Sticky notes and a  permanent marker pen (to jot down names/emails of new friends)
  • A soft “squeeze” ball (mine is actually pink ribbon shaped) which is great to help circulation in your hands and keeps your fingers from swelling from all that arm swinging! J
  • Any stickers or items I may want to pass out to people along the route. I have some cool pink ribbon temporary tattoos that are a big hit with kids and adults alike!
  • For training, it’s all of the above, plus sports drink powder for hydration and snack bars for some carbs.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles waist fanny pack supplies packing

 

What goes in your pack?

The Insider’s Peek at the Michigan Route

In February of this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® events. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it was still kind of broad in the sense that it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general, to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events individually. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches, to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early in the year will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and have a few exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ll do one of these for every 2015 3-Day event, in order, which means: you’re up, Michigan! Here’s what Event Planning Manager Missy and Local Events Coach Ann had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? – Missy assured me that there will be “No major changes from 2014!” (Click to see the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Journey Map and the 2014 Michigan 3-Day Wrap-up.)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Michigan route present (i.e., Are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) – Missy’s response to this question was, “Although there is no extreme terrain in Michigan, there are plenty of motivating challenges when walking the 3-Day there, including some minor hills in the afternoon on Day 1 and a set of stairs after lunch.” Ann, a native of the Detroit metro area, confirmed, “Southeast Michigan is pretty flat compared to other 3-Day locales, but there are a couple hills that people should be sure to train for.” Missy added, “Day 2 has a challenging hill after lunch, and portions of the route are off-pavement.” Ann said, “Sweep access is pretty consistent, but there may be a few short stretches that don’t allow for easy access. We also walk a stretch of Hines Park on the afternoon of Day 2, which can be a bit on the shadeless side, depending on the time of day.” Missy’s concluding thoughts were, “On Day 3, walkers have little change in terrain, but go through more urban areas – some without shade.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? From Ann, “Historic Downtown Plymouth (with the pink fountain) and Northville on Day 2 are always great areas with tremendous community support. On Day, 3 the residents of Dearborn love to come out to cheer and decorate their streets.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall nature of the Michigan route? – Ann is happy to brag about her home state: “It’s a great mix of residential, commercial, and rural. The route goes through some of Detroit’s nicest suburban communities and folks are always really supportive.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog 60 miles michigan route

 

The Bottom Line: Michigan walkers really don’t have much to worry about, as far as challenging terrain goes, but they should definitely work a few decent hills into their training, so nothing takes them by surprise. The Midwest in early August can get pretty hot and humid, and rain isn’t out of the question, so training in the heat to get used to it is a good idea too, as well as packing for the elements (but don’t worry about that until later). With those preparations locked down, walkers will have a beautiful and scenic route, with tons of community support greeting them in Michigan.

Still have questions about the Michigan 3-Day route? Call your Michigan 3-Day coach Jennifer at 800-996-3DAY (select option 4 for Michigan), or email michigancoaches@the3day.org.

Foolproof Tips for Fundraising Follow-ups

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Sending out a fundraising email is one of the most commonly utilized fundraising tactics by Susan G. Komen 3-Day® participants, and for good reason: fundraising emails allow you to reach a potentially large audience quickly and easily, let you tell your potential donors about the Komen 3-Day and why you are taking part in it, and make it simple for donors to click through directly to your personal donation page. That’s why one of the first things the 3-Day® coaches will ask when a walker contacts them to lament the trouble they’re having with fundraising is, “Have you sent out a fundraising email yet?”

Well, have you? You have! Great job!

So now what?

The “now what” tends to be the same for most 3-Day participants: after sending out the first fundraising email, a flurry of donations will come in right away. You’ll feel great, inspired. For a lucky few of you, you’ll end up reaching your fundraising goal just from donations generated from that first email. But for most of you, you’ll notice that after a week or two, the rush of donations slows to a trickle, and you start wondering, “Is that it?”

I promise you, that’s not it. And that’s where the follow-up emails come in.

Here are my time-tested top nuggets of wisdom about working the follow-ups.

Always BCC – Just a quick word about sending out mass emails: always use the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) function in your email program (or better yet, send your messages through the email function in your 3-Day Participant Center; you can BCC from there, too). This allows you to send a message to a large group of recipients without openly listing everyone’s email addresses in the To field. It’s important to be respectful of your potential donors’ privacy. That said, some email programs won’t let you see who was included in the BCC field once a message has been sent, so we recommend that you keep a separate list somewhere of everyone you sent your messages to.

A Gentle Nudge – When I was a coach for the 3-Day, I told people all the time that their initial fundraising email gets the word out about their 3-Day journey, but the real fundraising impact comes from the follow-ups. Yes, some people will be inspired to donate right away, but most of your donors probably file your message away under “I’ll get to this later” (especially if you’re sending your letters out months before your event). Sending a follow-up message to your original send list is a way to gently remind those folks who didn’t respond yet that, “Hey, I’m still here, and I’m still counting on your help.”

Time It Right – I think that, in general, 2-3 weeks is a good amount of time to let pass after sending your first fundraising email before you send out a follow-up. After that amount of time, it’s likely that your original message has been inadvertently forgotten or lost in someone’s inbox. So you give folks that gentle nudge, then subsequent follow-ups can be spaced out with the same amount of time, or up to a month apart.

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