What's In My Gym Bag?

Every day I lug around a huge amount of stuff. Last time I went to the dentist he even asked whether I was off camping. Unfortunately fitness means lots of stuff. A busy life and a corresponding desperate need for flexibility in my fitness schedule means hauling around even more stuff. I used to carry a normal handbag and then transport my kit in a huge Sweaty Betty tote (the ones you get as shopping bags). This quickly became ruinous for my shoulders and sore on the hands. 

Luckily, in March Blacks kindly kitted me out with a North Face Jester rucksack as part of our collaboration on the British Military Fitness Major Series obstacle runs (I'll be doing the Scottish event in Port of Menteith, Stirlingshire on 4th June). Since I received the Jester I have used this bag almost every single day. It's ideal for my lifestyle- allowing me to carry around all my fitness gear for various sports, plus my laptop for work, plus tupperware lunches... All this and it still looks relatively stylist as a city backpack, not like I'm about to run off into the hills.

I carry my Nalgene water bottle everywhere- they are near indestructible, BPA-free, and a good size (I bought mine on Amazon, here). I also rarely exercise without my Sudio headphones and iPod (music is a crutch, I know, but still). I often run at lunch so I'm lucky to have showers available at my work. I use a gorgeous-smelling Green People Quinoa & Calendula shower gel, a lush Seanik shampoo bar (great for getting chlorine out of hair) which comes in a super-handy carry tin, and conditioner from Tresemme (I don't love this, but need to use it up). I wash my face with Lush Fresh Farmacy (here, not pictured). Deodorant, a hairbrush, and dry shampoo are also obvious essentials. I'm thinking of changing to a natural deodorant, any recommendations?

They say that you only need shoes to run, but kit has a way of amassing... I like wearing fun running clothes in bright colours, although functionality and comfort has to come first. The outfit is composed of a Sweaty Betty track jacket and Athlete vest, and Nike Rival shorts (which I bought for a fiver, score). The jacket packs away into a handy bumbag if not needed. I also wear Shock Absorber Ultimate Run bras, often carry a Buff, and am never, ever without my Garmin Forerunner 110. If I'm running trails or hills I'm currently wearing the Adidas Agravic Boost, also sent to me by Blacks. I really like the aggressive lugs and can't wait for some time on the summer hills wearing these guys. If I'm running road I wear Brooks Ravenna 7s (or Brooks Pure Cadence 3s for shorter distances, not pictured). 

Yoga is the only sport that I really don't carry a lot of gear for. A comfortable top with a relevant mantra from Sweaty Betty, cosy and properly opaque leggings from Green Lamb, a F21 sports bra, and some Sweaty Betty barre socks+ (not pictured). The socks really add grip on my mat. The mat itself was a TKMaxx bargain, I think it's officially Elle Sport? I'm not a huge yogi but it does the job. I also use a resistance band℅ which came from my Spark and Gusto box and really helps with leg stretches (not pictured).

Climbing has the most official kit. If you want to climb you need rock shoes (although all centres will hire them out to you too). These are Scarpa Reflex- I've enjoyed them for over a year now and I have no complaints. Chalk is essential for climbing, as is tape. I carry my chalk in this Mammut Rider. My harness is the Black Diamond Primrose, the belay device is also Black Diamond and the carabiner is DMM. It doesn't matter which company you buy this stuff from as long as all of it is safety certified and the harness is comfortable and well fit with enough gear loops for you. I wear nice loose vests whilst bouldering, like the Nike Elastika. I love these mountain leggings from Reebok- so comfy and flexible, although they massively fall down when running. I bring a jumper and a hat to the bouldering wall because it's often freezing. I wear my yoga bra to climb. There are climbers with brushes, finger training devices, and numerous other pieces of gear but since I'm a relative beginner I don't use any of these things!

I love that the North Face Jester has space for all this gear and more. I also love the padded back that stops any of these things jabbing me, and the comfortable shoulder pads that distribute the weight well. The rucksack has lots of interior pockets, including a laptop pocket- once I thought I had lost my keys because I had put them in a pocket that I forgot existed. I've been using the bag non-stop for months and, aside from some chalk marks, it looks as good as new. It's ideal for everyday living and also performs well for day hikes. 


What do you carry in your gym bag? 

Whats the most unusual thing you've ever carried in your gym bag? I used to use a rubber limb for neuroscience experiments and had to lug that around. It scared a lot of people across the year or so the experiment was running.

The North Face Jester and pair of Adidas Agravic Boost were gifted to me by Blacks in return for my participation in the BMF Major Series and a review of the race and of the gear. As always my opinions are honest - I do truly take this bag everywhere. Interview my friends and family and they will tell you!

Products marked  were gifted to me by various companies. No companies other than Blacks were involved in this post. All items that appear in this post are here because I genuinely use and like them. Products marked + were given to me at an event, the event was open to anyone and everyone who attended received a free item. The item was not gifted because of my position as a blogger. Any items without a mark were bought by myself. 

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 07/05/16


  1. Haha, I have the same backpack and trail shoes and love them! Bex and I did the major series mud run a few weeks back and I just posted a vlog... check it out to see what’s in store for you! It was SO much fun! http://twinsintrainers.com/bmf-major-series-mud-run-vlog/

    1. It looks WET. The backpack is totally awesome.

  2. I still can't figure out dry shampoo. It's like putting flour into your hair :|

    I don't have anything usual in my gym bag, maybe just pouches of baby food for quick carbs.

    1. I like it! I like the Herbal Essences one better, but that one broke (was leaking all over stuff). To be honest as a teen I did used to just use talc, and I'm fairly sure flour would work too!

      Baby food?! I've never heard of using that but it makes sense :)

  3. I think the pattern leggings are super comfortable, movement was not restricted, and best of all, it wasn't see through when I bent over. I use the for ranch work and horseback riding, I imagine they'll be great for lounging and winter running as well.