What to Pack for RAGBRAI
We provide this list to help everyone plan, shop, and pack for RAGBRAI; however, you should use it as a guideline and make adjustments for your particular needs. Pack early, re-pack often, and unpack half. Eliminate everything you can. In the words of one Porker, “By Tuesday, you will HATE the stuff you over-packed.”
The PBV Baggage Limit is two duffels, one for clothing and toiletries, and the second for camping stuff. You should be able to lift each bag above your head and count to three. Everything you bring should fit inside your two bags. Anything strapped to the outside will likely get lost. Plastic tubs, foot lockers, and structured suitcases don’t hold up very well on RAGBRAI. Go for a soft and sturdy duffel bag, perhaps the kind with wheels. Don’t spend much on a RAGBRAI bag. It’s going to get some wear. Try an Army surplus store. Those who set up their own tents will be wise to mark bags with colored tape for easy identification in the baggage pile. Those who fly to Iowa and are subject to airline baggage fees may consider shipping the camping duffel to us in advance via SendMyBike.com.
The Optional Pork Belly Midweek Laundry Service happens on Wednesday. You can give us dirty clothes on Tuesday afternoon/evening, and you’ll have clean clothing by late Wednesday afternoon. If you use this service, you may only need four sets of cycling shorts and jerseys. The clothes you wear in the evenings will stay cleaner than your bike clothes, so you could pack fewer and wear them more than once. Three pair of shorts and four t-shirts might do it.
If you’re wondering how much cash you’ll need, we suggest around $40 per day on average, give or take, depending on your habits/needs. You’ll eat and drink more than usual. You’ll spend more on the days when supper is not provided by PBV. If you like to have cash on hand for other expenses like massage or souvenir shirts and jerseys, then adjust accordingly. Some food venders and massage therapists will not be set up to accept credit cards. ATM machines are available in most convenience stores and grocery stores. Banks are usually open during business hours M-F and on Saturday mornings.
Afternoons/Evenings in Camp:
Your Shower and Comfort:
Other Optional Items:
Leave at home:
Select Tips from Our Veterans:
For a wallet, use a clear plastic name badge on a lanyard around your neck. (GREAT for PBV meal tickets!)
Airlines don’t allow CO2 in either checked or carry-on baggage. Ship cartridges ahead.
Pack each day's shorts, jersey, and socks in a ziplock; pack a $20-bill in each jersey.
Take bike shoes you can walk in. You’ll do some walking in the pass-through towns.
Bring one pair of sweatpants. On a cool evening, they’ll feel mighty good.
Use a toiletry bag that hangs. L.L. Bean makes one. Also, a ball cap with a lighted bill.
Hit the sample section of the drug store for mini-bottles of stuff that feels and smells good.
Use a carabiner (an oblong metal ring with a spring clip) to attach your Pork mug to your bike or belt. Or pack it at the very top of your duffel for easy access when you ride into camp thirsty.
Think about what you need to help you get the best sleep possible: ear plugs, eye mask, IPod with favorite sleepy tunes, recordings of ocean waves, your favorite pillow, a sleep aid, a battery-operated fan, an ice bag, whatever works best.
Mark your bags so you can spot them. When it rains, the bags are stacked up and covered with tarps. If you put a piece of pink yarn on the handle, you’ll never see it. Spray-painted pink polkadots all over it will help you spot it, even if it’s partly covered up.