Last week, we shared some walking hacks for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and if you thought those were good, wait until you see what tricks are up our sleeves for making your Komen 3-Day camp experience easier and better than you imagined it could be.
1. Everyone’s bags tend to look alike when you go to claim them at camp. Make yours stand out by tying on a colorful scarf or marking it with vibrant duct tape.
We might suggest a color other than pink; not that we don’t love pink, but if everyone uses the same color, it kind of defeats the purpose.
2. Pack each day’s clothes (including socks and underwear) in a separate 2 gallon Ziploc bag.
This makes it easy to find the day’s clothes in the morning darkness of your tent, and gives you a bag to put your dirty clothes in, keeping them separated from everything else in your bag. Pack your lounge wear for camp, PJs and extra undies in bags too, and bring a couple extras.
3. Instead of taking up space in your luggage with a pillow, just bring a pillow case filled with clean clothes you’re going to wear.
4. A yoga mat makes a great sleeping pad.
It also takes up less room (in your luggage and in your tent) than an air mattress.
5. Bring single servings of toiletries in straws. This hack takes a bit of work (see the how-to here), but every little bit of luggage space and weight counts!
6. Worried about travel-size shampoos and lotions leaking in your bag? Put some plastic wrap over the opening then screw the cap back on.
7. If you use the 3-Day towel service, instead of pitching your towels into the bin immediately after you use them, take them back to your tent and use one as a doormat.
Save the other to put on the floor of the shower stall tomorrow for a makeshift bath mat. Then put it in the bin.
8. If your feet/legs hurt at the end of your day of walking, you can use your duffle bag as a foot rest to keep your tootsies elevated during the night.
(This method works well if you’re sleeping on a flat camp roll or yoga mat…not so well on an air mattress.)
9. 1-inch binder clips are the perfect size to clip around the cross-poles of your tent.
Use them to secure the rain flaps open, to fasten a tarp or plastic sheeting over the top, or to attach tent decorations.
10. If you dread the thought of disrobing from your PJs in the cold morning air, get dressed in the next day’s clothes before you go to sleep. You’ll wake up toasty warm, and may even snag 5 extra minutes of shut-eye because you’re already dressed!
Got any good 3-Day camping hacks? Let us know in the comments
(Thank you to first time San Diego walker Kenzie D. for modeling these hacks! Oh, and here’s what happens when you leave your camera unattended with your teenage model… )
Every year, the Komen 3-Day Crew puts up tents, picks up trash, hangs route signage, sets up pit stops, cheers on tired walkers, soothes stinging blisters, serves hot meals and much, much more. Being a part of the 3-Day® Crew means giving up your time in selfless service to help end breast cancer. Whether you’re a ten-time crew member, brand new to the Crew or an interested participant, we wanted to share the ABC’s of the 3-Day Crew – 26 Crew-related people, places and things you’ll encounter on the 3-Day. We invite you to share ideas for each letter here or on Facebook, and to share these images with your family and friends. (To see the 3-Day walker version of the ABC’s, click here!)
On the Thursday before every 3-Day event, all crew members get together to prepare for an amazing 3 days. The All-Crew Kick-Off is a chance to reunite with crew friends from past events and meet the newest members of our crew community. There’s music, games and other activities to build camaraderie and the 3-Day spirit. Crew members also learn how to set up event tents and canopies, use a walkie-talkie and maybe even drive a big truck. Attendance at the All-Crew Kick-Off is required for all crew members.
Sometimes walkers have to call it quits for the day and be transported back to camp, and often, this decision is an emotional one. Thank goodness for the sensitive and supportive Bus Liaison crew team. These folks are there to lift walkers’ spirits and keep them company while in transit.
The 3-Day simply would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the all-volunteer Crew. Crew members and volunteers work throughout the entire 3-Day experience, serving as the backbone of the event, bringing it to life and becoming the support system for the walkers every step of the way. You can read descriptions of the different types of crew members here (or in playful poetic form here).
Being part of the 3-Day Crew is a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean there’s no play! What’s a great way to encourage and motivate tired walkers to keep going? Dancing! You’ll see many of our spirited crew members groovin’ and movin’ along the route, at stops and at camp, with tunes or without. Join them and put an extra spring in your step!
Event Support is a special team of crew members with three or more years of experience on the 3-Day Crew who are ready to step in wherever needed. They are essentially jacks-of-all-trades, lending pit stop support, assisting with Ceremonies, helping to manage bus transport, assisting with a relocation and serving as extra route safety.
See also: Experience of a lifetime (Walker, Crew, or Volunteer: you’ll have it on the 3-Day!)
What other Crew terms can you think of for letters A,B,C,D and E? How about for letters F,G,H,I and J? Stay tuned for Part 2 of the ABC’s of the 3-Day Crew next week!
Walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® can take a toll on you physically, and the most commonly affected body part is sure to be your feet. Blisters are one of the most frequently treated medical issues on the Komen 3-Day, and a bad blister (or two, or ten…) can sideline an otherwise healthy walker.
The good news is you don’t have to resign yourself to living with blisters. There are steps you can take to stop a blister before it starts and further actions you can take to deal with a blister if you do get one.
What is a blister? – The type of blisters that most 3-Day® walkers experience are friction blisters (as opposed to, say, a blister from a burn or an insect bite). When part of your foot rubs up against something—your sock or shoe or another body part, such as toes rubbing against toes—repeatedly, the top layer of skin will separate from the underlying layer. The separation will fill with fluid, causing a painful blister.
Stay Dry – Moisture can exacerbate the friction that causes blisters, so it’s important to keep your feet as dry as possible. If you’re prone to excessive sweating, consider using foot powder to minimize the moisture. It’s also a good idea to change your socks midway through a long walk (calculate the halfway point of a 10+ mile training walk and stop there, or swap socks at the lunch stop on the 3-Day).
Socks – Speaking of socks, choosing the right ones can mean the difference between blister-free tootsies and a painful walk. Stay away from 100% cotton socks and opt instead for socks made with some sort of moisture-wicking material (look for names like Coolmax® or Dri-Fit on the packaging), which will draw moisture away from your skin. Also, make sure your socks fit snugly and don’t bunch up inside your shoes or around your toes; folds in fabric are a common cause of friction blisters.
Shoes – Good shoes might well be the most important gear for 3-Day walkers, so take the time to get yourself fitted with shoes that are right for your feet. We recommend that you buy shoes from an outfitter who is knowledgeable about athletic footwear, as they will be able to see how you walk and put you in shoes that are right for your particular stride. Consider shopping at a store that specializes in running/walking shoes, as opposed to a “big box” sporting goods store. Taking the time to find the right shoes could ultimately make the difference in whether you get blisters or not.
Preventive Treatments – Aside from the foot powder mentioned above, there are other pre-walk treatments you can apply to prevent blisters before they start. I’ve had great success with the “foot lube” method. Lubricating products such as SportSlick™, HikeGooBodyGlide® or even regular old petroleum jelly can be applied directly to the skin; slab it on your heels, the balls of your feet, between all your toes and anywhere else that’s prone to friction on your own feet. Put your clean, dry socks on over your gelled-up feet, and you’re good to go (and of course, you’ll repeat the process when you change your socks at the halfway point of your walk). You’ll feel like you’re walking through Jell-O for the first few steps, but before long you won’t even notice it. Meanwhile, the lubricant will keep a slick layer between your skin and your socks, never letting enough friction build up to form a blister. I’ve been using this method for over 10 years and have not gotten a single blister in that time.
Ouch! – What if, in spite of your best prevention efforts, you still find yourself feeling pain in a particular spot on your foot? We use the term “hot spot” to define these pre-blister points, because it will literally feel like a little area of localized heat or irritation on your skin. This is not a full-blown blister yet, so as soon as you start to feel a hot spot coming on, stop walking and treat it by applying more powder or lubricant, or bandaging the spot to protect it from further friction. Many walkers prefer bandaging products like moleskin or molefoam over other adhesive bandages, but as with all of your 3-Day gear and products, you should try them out during your months of training to discover what works best for you personally.