12 Things to Pack for Your First Tough Mudder, According to Stef Bishop

By Stef Bishop | April 19, 2018


What DO you pack for your first Tough Mudder event? This is a real question: What on earth do you wear to Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet?

Before you do anything, you should check the weather. But don't just check the overall weather report. Look at the specific time of day when you expect to be out on course and check out the predicted humidity and windchill, as they will affect the course conditions. 

Then, get packing. I like to pack toe-to-head rather than head-to-toe because sneakers are the most important item and it's an easy way to check all of your gear-boxes. Check out my list of best gear for game day, plus where to get the good stuff. 

We went LIVE with 2016 World's Toughest Mudder Champ and adventure athlete Stef Bishop, who shared how to pack for your next Tough Mudder event. Watch the video below to hear what she had to say. 

Event Gear

1. Sneakers

Quantity: 1

You can't go wrong with the Merrell All Out Crush. They have a great tread, which is especially useful when you get to obstacles like Mud Mile. Plus, they drain really well, so your won’t feel like your feet are weighing you down. (Tip: Head to the Merrell tent in the festival area to try them on before your start wave.) I wear half size larger in the AOC.

2. Socks

Quantity: 1-2

You have many options for socks, but I recommend choosing a pair with wicking capabilities (i.e. not cotton). Any length will suffice (ankle, above the ankle or knee). I run in CEP compression socks that cover my ankle. I prefer the extra protection I get if I use a heel-hook to get over Berlin Walls or Skidmarked. You can also choose socks with various cushioning. If you aren't sure what you prefer, test out some different style before event day. An ill-fitting sock can cause you to lose toenails.

3. Shorts/Leggings

Quantity: 1

I prefer to run in compression leggings, unless it's very hot out. I like the extra protection when I'm crawling through obstacles. But I've also run in running shorts and spandex shorts.

4. Top

Quantity: 1

This is a weather dependent decision. But I prefer to run in a sports bra or tank top when it's nice out.

5. Costumes

If you want to run in a costume, please do. Take into consideration possible “hot spots” - places where your costume may chafe – and make sure to put some anti-chaffing cream there on that spot beforehand. (Need inspiration? Check out these 7 Outrageous Mud Run Costumes.) 

Post-Event Gear

6. Towel

Shammy towels are a great option for whisking off extra mud and water.

7. Baby Wipes

Never leave home without them.

8. Change of Clothes

If you’re trying to pack on the light-side, remember that you get a free finisher T-shirt with the every event, so just pack bottoms.

9. Sneakers or Flip Flops

I prefer flip flops to let my feet dry off after running around in the mud.

10. Trash Bag or 2.5 Gallon Storage Bag

I prefer the 2.5 gallon bags as they seal shut, so there's less room for mud-leaking in transport.

11. Sunscreen

No one wants a sunburn on or off the course.

12. Sunglasses