Why Do I Need That?

Clearly not my bag – it’s not large enough

What’s in your gym bag? Please tell me you read that line in the Capital One commercial voice. The must haves. The essentials. The stuff. Ugh. All the stuff. Do you really need anything in your bag? Do you need a bag at all? In short, yes, but there’s much more to it.

An often overlooked first tip is finding the right gym bag. Breathable materials allow odors to mix with fresh air preventing the mildew-y smell of nightmares. And if your bag is washable then problem solved! Manager tip: place a few dryer sheets in the bottom of your bag to keep it smelling nice. Adjustable shoulder straps, as well as number of pockets, are also good to examine.

Basic gym bag essentials range from the common…hello, deodorant….to the indulgent…roller ball, anyone? I’m not judging. There were times in the Navy when I had to choose between sleep or a shower. It seemed my division was much more cooperative when I’d slept so that should answer your question. Here’s a rundown of the most useful items to bring to the gym –

  • Flip Flops – do I really have to explain why shower shoes are necessary?
  • Dry Shampoo – because a Hollywood shower in a gym bathroom is rude
  • Hand Sanitizer – did you know your hands harbor more bacteria than a public toilet seat?
  • Hair Thingies – this is a scientific term, trust me
  • Deodorant – travel size is available, but regular size is cheaper
  • Face Wipes – an effective substitute for a shower
  • Socks – for some reason, dry feet have the power to make or break your entire day
  • Snacks – munchkin will be 25 yrs old, moved out, and have her own family and I’ll still carry around snacks because you just never know
  • Water Bottle – ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! Go green, people. You’re always telling me you recycle, so why do I keep finding plastic bottles in the regular trashcans versus the blue recycling container? Hmmmm

Obviously this is a short list. SHORT?! It can be as extravagant or as minimal as you desire.

This is my bag!

As you can see in the photo above, I have many of the items from the list. There’s also unmentionables and random sticky notes for stuff I was trying to remember. You just never know when a good idea will hit!

I think of a gym bag much like a diaper bag. There will be times when it’s not necessary. Then there will be other times when you wish there was a department store inside it. I envision a Mary Poppins-style scenario. Umbrella, anyone?


I ask you –

What’s in your bag?

Name one thing at the gym you can’t live without.

Advice for a gym bag carrier?

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