10 Things to Always Bring to a Mud Run.

For any mud run you do, you will always get a checklist of things to bring, but that checklist is very basic and half the items they require are just things like your signed registration form.

They don’t really get into the kind of important details of what’s good to have ON the actual race, but we’ll cover that. Typically, there are 10 things which are very important to have, especially for the most difficult races. 

Here they are: Mud running gear you need to have with you:

1) The right clothing. Although this is one type of thing to have, there’s different kinds of clothes you should be wearing for mud runs and here is a list of them all.

2) Hydration pack. A hydration pack is a great tool to have to store water and essential supplies while being on the race and the next few essentials you’ll see are great to be used for storage inside this bag just in case something goes wrong and medical attention doesn’t get there in time…

3) Band aid. Although being fully clothed with athletic gear is great for skin protection, some places are always going to be exposed such as your head and probably your hands as well as feet if you’re wearing shorts and that exposure makes it likely to get cut if you slip somewhere or mishandle an obstacle. 

Not all mud runs have all the necessary first aid gear and if the event you’re on does not have band aids, it would definitely serve you and your team to keep them around. You don’t need to have a whole box of a 100, just a small box that carries about 10-20. 

4) A small bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a couple of alcohol pads. Just as the band aid was necessary to cover up cuts, these will be important to disinfect any cuts you get (would have been handy when I did MudmanX!).

Although cuts themselves won’t often happen if you wear gloves, people do slip and since many of these events are also in the woods, it’s not uncommon to crash into a tree or bushes with thorns, making cuts a constant possibility. 

Luckily both hydrogen peroxide and alcohol pads (could be a bottle) can be found in small bottles in pharmacies.

5) Snacks (recommended for longer runs). You should never carry a large snack like a sandwich for these races, but here’s a couple of helpful energy boosting foods that will help you in the more difficult runs. 

For normal 5k races, you really won’t need to eat anything because it’ll go by quickly, but it is recommended to have them for any race that is above 5k in length and difficulty.

6) A plastic bag. Keep 1 or 2 handy in case you have to put a phone or something else that is electronic or very important that cannot get wet. 

Typically you should not be carrying a phone or anything that is very expensive and has a risk of getting destroyed and if you go with people who will spectate you on race day, leave those things with them.

But if you’re going alone of the people you’re with are all participating, leave all that important stuff in your car/s or use the bag to keep them in there.

Lots of mud runs have watery/dirty areas where even when wearing a hydration pack may still pose a risk of that stuff getting in and damaging your things. In the worst case, even if it happens, that extra protection from a regular plastic bag inside a great hydration pack like a Camelbak Rogue is going to protect your most important belongings even better.

7) A camera like a GoPro. Lots of people LOVE documenting their adventures on mud runs and you’ll often see them running around with cameras on their heads. Most of the cameras I have seen them use and will personally be using in my next race is a GoPro (Mine is a Hero Black). 

While this is a very expensive accessory, it is better to have this than a smartphone to take pictures and videos on your mud run experience because they are designed for that. They also come with protective covers so you can dive into water with them and record most of the other things you’ll do.

8) Regular water. People often fill up their hydration packs with things like Gatorade or other energy drinks. It isn’t bad to carry a small bottle of this with you, but for the big bladder which can fit several liters of liquid, it is better to fill it with water.

Usually this is the best thing to drink on these races and also by only using it, it makes cleaning the bladder much easier later on than having it be sticky and more difficult to clean out. 

If you are more advanced, you can forgo the water and just drink it at a water station, which are available on every mud run I’ve done personally. And if you have a hydration pack, you can use those water stations to refill it there.

9) A buffered salt tablet. This is used if to prevent or stop cramps. Keep them for LONG races. Also another good thing is tonic water.

10) A change of clothes. Sometimes people really do forget that they’re actually going to get very dirty and most of their clothes aren’t going to be salvaged and after all that, sitting back in your clean car is the last thing you’ll want to do.

Always keep a second pair of everything handy when you finish your race (underwear, pants, shorts, shirt, jacket, socks, ect…) and keep it in your car (do NOT take it on the race). 

Tip: As long as you have a hydration pack, most of the “carry on” supplies you’ll need on the race (3-8) can all be stored there.

Just about every good hydration pack has more than enough space to carry the important things: A plastic bag, water, medical supplies, ect… 

Even if you wear clothing on the race that has pockets, I don’t recommend keeping those things there or worse holding onto them. There’s a big chance they can fall out and keeping them inside your pack is the safest way to make sure they don’t get lost or broken (or spill out). 

While good mud running clothing is going to protect you from most outside elements, having a backup in case you get hurt or thirsty is going to help you prevent worse injuries. Safely making sure both your clothing and emergency gear is in place will make you have a much safer experience when mud running. 


9 thoughts on “10 Things to Always Bring to a Mud Run.”

  1. First off let me say I love the idea of your site. I always wanted to try a mud run. I used to do Hashes, years ago and loved them. Though I think I was more into the end of the run when the drinking began. But hey back to the topic at hand. I like the list of things to bring to a mud run especially the note about buffered salt. This can be a life saver to any long run.
    Thanks again.

  2. Thank you for your insight into mud runs. What is common sense to some often eludes others? Your list serves as a helpful reminder of the reality of a mud run.

    I grew up a tomboy and have always had the desire to do one of these races. I’m in my 50’s and doing one before I’m 60 might just have to become a goal. My children have run them a couple of times and are encouraging me to do it.

  3. Thank you for sharing your list of essentials for mud runs. The list works great for color runs as well. My sister entered the family in a 5K Thanksgiving Day Color Run and having never been in it, I was not prepared with an extra pair of clothing. Oh, I looked like a rainbow smurf when the race was complete, had lots of fun, but was stuck in a conundrum when faced with driving back home, my car interior was cream and I did not particularly want it to resemble hippie-style swag after the race. Luckily, there was a very kind gentleman that offered a black plastic lawn bag that we used as a make-shirt seat cover. Had I read this post, ran in a previous run, the drive home would have been a lot better.

    Color catastrophe averted, all-in-all it was a fantastic experience.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your site, and feel some afinity, having for many years participated in Cross Country runs in the UK, which are often a mud bath owing to rain. The site is a really good idea, simple yet effective.

  5. Super helpful top 10! All the things you need to keep on going and finish the race! Any idea how much a loaded hydration pack is going to weigh? And do you recommend training with the loaded pack?

    My wife and I are thinking about doing our first run later this year. I got to thinking that to this point, we’ve been training with nothing more that a bottle of water. I think it would probably be a good idea to start wearing a back that weighs as much (maybe even a little heavier) than what we are going to carry during the race. What do you think?

    • A weighted hydration pack like the one I use is about 5-6 pounds and that includes the other things I bring inside it including the filled up bladder. I would not recommend walking around it for training often though, maybe once in awhile but it also depends on what kind of mud run you’ll be doing. 

      For regular 5K mud runs, I don’t even think you’ll need to carry a backpack and there will be enough water stations throughout the course to keep you hydrated, but for more tougher/longer ones, yeah definitely get on.

  6. Mud runs sound like so much fun, I’m guessing it is a summer sport? I never really thought of the different gear you may need when participating in these types of events such as cameras, dry bags, clothing, even shoe types. I didn’t realize they made mud type shoes. I guess there will be a lot of water so your shoes and gear must be waterproof, and I’m guessing the grip on the shoes would have to be a special tread also! I will look into this sport more for it sounds fun!

    • Mud runs happen year round Kris, but I would recommend partaking in them during the spring or fall seasons as the weather isn’t too hot and unless you’re ready for facing extreme conditions, those 2 seasons will help you complete each race. And there are a lot of accessories surrounding this industry, as it’s not just meant for mud runs, but for trail running, hiking, camping, surviving, all of whose main accessories such as clothing also apply just as well to mud runs.


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