The Thrills of Packing

After almost a year of traveling the world, thanks to my job - you'd think I would have this packing thing down...wrong. Actually, today just thinking about all the little gadgets that need to make it into my bag for Cape Epic I basically had a panic attack. It is better to be over prepared, rather than under prepared - right?

Something that folks are constantly reminding me is that we will be in pain - geez thanks, like I forgot. So, when you are being haunted by the constant thought of aches - what else would you do except for make sure that holistically,  you are ready to herbally treat EV-REY-THING. Thanks to our good friend Mia in Chicago we are going to Africa in style with all the Chinese medicines one could dream of (and I am planning on bringing a carry-on worth of ibuprofen, which I understand is not an herbal remedy)!

For those of you interested in what type of mobile medicine cabinet we will be toting around the greater Cape Town area, this post will be your fav! If you are a fellow athlete going, just come knock on our tent door + we will get your sorted.

Arnicare: You guessed it! This stuff is made from Arnica - you don't want to get this sh*t in your eyes. Arnica is said to relieve muscle soreness + aches - it reduces swelling and can take that lovely purplebrown color out of bruises, I have a feeling I will be swimming in this stuff the morning of day-eight.

Narayan Gel: Personally, I am just a fan of how this stuff smells. Narayan gel is also a sore muscle cure. Unlike Arnicare, this topical is made from essential oils. They say it is also acts as a stress relief - like the hippie dippie version of Xanax! 

Ching Wan Hung: is one of the gifts Mia sent to us. Supposedly it smells like sesame oil + can help alleviates small blisters, and burns. These are the unfortunate things that we could encounter on our feet + palms after miles and miles of gyrating on rocks + dirt.

Pain Relieving Patches: I remember being a wee-one in Vermont and my parents using Tiger Balm. Growing up around the balm + loving the pungent smell, it has turned into something that I seldom travel without. Because we are going to be required to move around after the race finish daily (food, blog, massage, meetings, mechanic fixes, etc) I wanted to make sure that if I needed something to say affixed it would...the answer? Patches! Due to my bum wrist I am sure I will be using these a lot.

Mad Alchemy Chamois Cream: This might be the MOST important thing that we are carrying to South Africa. If you are a cyclist you know the importance of chamois cream, and how miserable your day can end up if you forget it. Mad Alchemy is a small body care product company out of Colorado - they believe is making everything pure + natural. Phew!

The Honest Company, Healing Balm: Early on I was given a tip of mixing diaper cream + chamois cream together and using on your golden parts. Thanks to the addition of babies to Adam's family I had a great idea of mixing the two together and then putting in reusable baby food pouches. Healing Balm is an assistance for dry or chaffed skin...let's be real riding a bike isn't all sparkles + unicorns. 

Bao He Wan: This is another amazing Mia gift. This is a remedy for upset stomachs - I will admit that one of my biggest concerns about this endeavor is gut rot (another glorious potential plague of this race). A lot of individuals are said not to finish due to digestive issues from the the amount of sugars + salt loss that your body goes through.

Suan Zao: Sleeping normally isn't an issue for me, just ask Adam. However, put me in a tent that could potentially be surrounded by a family of black mamba, hyenas and other safari animals - I could see nerves keeping me awake - Suan Zao is a Chinese herbal sleep remedy.

Salt Sticks: This is a product that has was invented by an athlete. Salt loss for endurance athletes can be a huge issue - Salt sticks are a quick fix to minimizing cramps, and all the other horrible junk that can come from low electrolyte levels. In the past before big 120+ mile races I chug grape flavored pedialyte like it is going out of style - however, that isn't going to be an option while we are in Africa.

This is just a handful of the stuff we are carrying over with us - as I get deeper into packing I hope to share more info with you!

Sending Love,



  1. Another great thing for soothing the aches and pains. Turmeric tea. I mix it with ground ginger, a bit of black pepper and cayenne with a dash of honey. Incredibly relaxing.

    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion! I will look into turmeric tea, I am sure they would have it at Whole Foods.

    2. Definitely cheaper to just buy bulk spices. A pound of turmeric costs $7-10. Those little spice jars end up costing something like $85/pound. And the teas are even worse. Though in this case they probably make sense. One plus of making it out of bulk spices is that one tablespoon gets you 4 or 5 cups as it is too heavy to fully dissolve in water.

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