We LOVE welcoming first-time walkers to the 3-Day! What don’t we love? Blisters on our newbies’ feet. Our veteran walkers swear by their tips to make the 3-Day experience amazing—whether that be with special socks, shoes, or gear, or with training tips to ensure they’re ready to tackle 60 miles. To make sure our first-time walkers feel supported, we asked the expert members of our Facebook groups for New England, San Diego, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicago to share their top tips for newbie walkers.
Tl;dr: Don’t skimp on socks and footwear, train in your chosen shoes, and get ready for three days unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Clothing and Gear
Learn which items our veterans say are indispensable on the 3-Day.
- “Don’t forget socks!” —Carol B.
- “Underwear. I forgot that ONCE.” —Alisen D.
- “Cancer sucks T-shirts for my new teammates.” —Tina H. P.
- “Bring shoes! Don’t ask how I know this🤦♀️ Also flip flops for camp or hotel.” —Julie J.
- “A heating pad for the end of the day! 😁” —Elizabeth S.
- “Water bottle, extra socks to change each day at lunch, rain poncho, and Vaseline® or Body Glide®.” —Gretchen E. B.
- “Don’t forget your ID! I packed so light that I left my license at home last year and missed my flight to Boston. I won’t do that again. 😆” —Belen C.
- “Blister care items, water bottle (two for sure), an extra pair of tennis shoes, and comfy shoes for the end of the day.” —Malagni M. M.
- “My pink YETI® and my cinch sack with all my buttons I’ve collected over the last 12 years!” —Jeanne G. M.
- “Blister care, favorite snack for bedtime, and something small to give to other walkers so that you engage with others.” —Elaine G. S.
- “Hairbrush. It’s not on the 3-Day packing list. I forgot it the first year I walked and always remember it now!” —Debby M. R.
- “I like my pink horse wrap, pink duct tape, and pink kineseo tape. It all works for me.” —Marilyn W. G.
- “HikeGoo to prevent blisters, two pairs of socks for each day so I can change at lunch, and comfy recovery shoes for the end of the day.” —Kate P.
- “Love my toe socks. I rarely get blisters wearing them and then only on my heels one time.” —Shirley B. E.
- “Comfortable sports bra! Find one that fits well and doesn’t chafe.” —Janna F.
- “Good shoes and socks!” —Jacki P.
- “I wear socks with my Keens. No blisters!” —Roxanne L.-V.
- “Besides the right shoes—bring sunscreen, and sunglasses.” —Terri L.
- “Layers. A wicking shirt if it’s hot, cotton if it’s cold. All clothing should be non-chafing—test it out ahead of time.” —Terry B. B.
- “A great sports bra!” —Sara M. G.
- “Good and big shoes with NON-cotton socks.” —Nataly T. P.
- “Toe socks.” —Elizabeth S.
- “Sunglasses.” —Alisen D.
- “For the ladies…a good sports bra.” —Julie L.
- “Socks and good shoes!” —Donna T. W.
- “Good shoes. Then socks.” —Lori L.
- “Extra socks for midday and a bigger pair of shoes for day three. My feet are always swollen by day three.” —Wendy C.
- “Toe socks and foot lube🤣” —Mary M.
- “Compression shorts under my regular shorts (keeps my thighs from rubbing together, causing sparks and catching my underwear on fire).” —Sherry P.
- “Good shoes and good socks WHICH YOU HAVE TRAINED IN. You need to test everything you wear.” —Kat C.
- “Toe socks, and use HikeGoo before you put them on! Alisen D. has a great video of it 😂” —Lisa B.
- “Toe socks and good shoes.” —Patricia A.
- “Compression socks.” —Julie L.
- “Excellent shoes—two pairs.” —Pam B.
- “Good socks, double-layer Wrightsocks™.” —Suzanne J.
- “Make sure you have the right shoes. Right fit and support.” —Michelle S.
- “A smile! Toe socks…no blisters.” Julie J.
- “Socks are everything. High-end running socks.” —Nancy P.
- “Don’t skimp on shoes and socks.” —Sally P.
- “The names of everyone for whom you walk. Sunglasses! Your credentials printed a few times.” —Sandy K.
The weeks and months before the 3-Day can set you up for an enjoyable, pain-free three days. Our veterans tell you how.
- “Train. Do it… lol… and don’t skip. 🙂 (I learned my lesson my first year)” —Valerie K.
- “Have a training plan. It’s not a race. Soak in the event, enjoy each station, don’t walk alone, buddy up, hydrate, stretch, most importantly have fun. This is my 5th walk.” —Donna R. L.
- “Train! Find what works for YOU: shoes, socks, sports bras, etc. What works for some may not work for you. Embrace every moment!” —Sara M. G.
- “Make sure to train with your gear and break in your sneakers!” —Jennifer R.
- “Stretch, hydrate and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t keep to the suggested training walk schedule. Keep on going, gradually increasing your miles each week.” —Beth W. N.
- “Start slowly and work your way into higher mileage.” —Alisen D.
- “Get some hills in, even if they are small, even if you hear there are no hills on the route. Hills will help you gain strength. Also wear pink or your team shirt. You never know who you’ll pass, and they may donate. —Julie J.
- “Train.” —Susan K. T.
- “Practice as you mean to go on. Set a pace that is consistent, potty every 3 miles, hydrate, smile, walk, walk, walk…and enjoy your journey!” —Teresa O. H.
- “Find a buddy to train with and STRETCH!!” —Mary Jo A.
Here are a few final tips on how to have the best 3-Day ever.
- “Start earlier than suggested and stick with it! Warm up, and STRETCH! Oh, and eat, drink and pee!” —Patti N. H.
- “TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET 🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻🦶🏻. Pink shoes are not always the best shoes. Use petroleum jelly on your feet at every pit stop or when you feel a hot spot. Change socks at lunch.” —Glenda F. Y.
- “Dry socks, and use petroleum jelly or Body Glide for feet. it’s not a race, so take it in, plan and prep.” —Terri P. S.
- “I’m super excited for the upcoming New England walk! I did my last one in San Diego, but it was a few years ago! Moleskin and good socks are key to a less painful day!” —Suellen P. T.
- “Be in the moment—it’s not a race. The fun and memorable moments are in the thick of the pack of walkers!” —Elizabeth S.
Veteran walkers, what did we forget? Share in the comments!