Before I ever traveled overseas for a triathlon, I found a short and simple triathlon packing list somewhere online. I printed it out and taped it to the inside of a cabinet where I store most of my triathlon kit. I referred to that a few times before races, but inevitably would forget something.

So I opened up Excel and wrote up my own packing list. I realized I would need different equipment for different events. Half Ironman lists were different than full Ironman lists. Visits to cooler climates had different gear that races in the tropics. So I saved versions of each of those lists and I reuse them race after race.

I check each item off once it’s packed and in the bag. And once everything is packed, I don’t unpack it.

But the key difference between my Excel packing list and the one I found online years a few years ago is that mine is customized to my exact needs. You can’t rely on somebody else’s needs to cover all of yours.

Download my list template and edit it to suit your needs.