How to Pack Your Gym Bag for an Outdoor Workout

It’s a lot easier to get up and go if you pack your gym bag for an outdoor workout ahead of time – but you need to know what to bring and how to pack it. It all starts with a great workout backpack. Here’s what to look for when buying a bag to carry all your outdoor workout gear:

  • Adjustable-height sternum strap
  • External compression straps
  • Glove-friendly pull tabs
  • Hydration pocket or built-in hydration kit
  • MOLLE or 5.11 SlickStick® web platform
  • Multiple individual compartments to keep your gear separated
  • Roomy main storage area

What to Pack in a Gym Bag for Outdoor Workouts

Some of the things you carry in your workout bag are non-negotiable in any environment, including shoes, essential toiletries and a water bottle. But when you’re gearing up for an outdoor workout, there are no storage lockers or weight racks. You carry everything you need for a full workout and cooldown with you:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Jump rope
  • Resistance bands
  • Weights or a weighted plate carrier
  • Fitness mat
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties
  • Body wipes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Headphones
  • Armband for your phone
  • Pre- and post-workout snacks

Knowing what to carry in a gym bag also hinges on the type of workout you’re doing. If you’re headed to goat yoga at the petting farm, you’ll need your mat, but if you’re doing circuit training in the park, you’ll need hand sanitizer and wipes – you get the drill.

How to Organize Your Outdoor Workout Bag

Your workout bag is more useful when you pack it right. Stashing different gear in different pockets – an easy feat with bags like the RUSH12™ Backpack 24L or RUSH24™ Backpack 37L – is a necessity. Specialized compartments keep everything neat and easy to find so you won’t have to stand there rummaging through your bag to dig out your jump rope.

Use these tips to pack your workout bag efficiently:

  • Put heavy items at the bottom for the safest weight distribution, especially if you’re using a backpack.
  • Choose a bag with plenty of room inside, like the NBT Duffle Mike, so you can switch things up and leave some things packed in between workouts.
  • Stash a variety of high-powered post-workout snacks in your bag so you don’t waste those gains by stuffing your face with something you’ll regret when you’re out of the woods (or park, or track).
  • Pack a spare set of clothes in a mesh bag in case you need to change on the fly – mesh is a great way to store and ventilate the dirty clothes you change out of, too
  • Keep extra waterproof or plastic bags in your gym bag, just in case.

Storage Hack: If your bag doesn’t have enough multiple interior pockets, keep your gear organized in those clear plastic bags instead.

Properly packing your gym bag for an outdoor workout is a matter of personal preference, but these essentials will get you through most basic routines with everything you need.

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