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10 Essential Items to Pack for Competition Day



It’s cheer competition season—that time of year that is jam-packed with excitement, nerves, and non-stop practices. You’re focused on making sure your routine follows all rules, that you’ve picked the perfect music, and that your squad knows every move.


But there’s another essential factor to competition prep that shouldn’t be overlooked—your packing list. What do you need to pack for competition day to make sure you’re entirely prepared for a successful day?


Your packing list should be carefully planned. You want to keep your day as stress-free as you can, and forgetting essential items will quickly derail a good day.


That’s why we’ve put together ten essential items that you should pack for your important day.


1. A Bag

This one may seem obvious, but many people put little thought into the bag they bring. Whether your competition is at your home gym or far away, you need to get a bag that makes your life just that much easier. Use a bag that is easy to spot, whether it’s a bright color or you attach a bag tag that stands out. It’s also wise to use a bag with side pockets where you can easily access items you need in a hurry.


2. Uniform

Again, this one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget the most essential item—their uniform! Also, don’t forget all the pieces that make up your uniform. This includes your cheer bow, socks, cheer shoes, sports bra, and more! Before walking out of the house, double-check your bag to make sure you have all the essential pieces that make up your uniform.


3. Makeup and Accessories

We all know that stage lights can easily wash out a complexion. Packing some makeup, such as blush, lipstick, and mascara will give you a fresh glow that will compliment your entire look. Be prepared for a few touchups throughout the day since the stage lights can get hot and may cause you to sweat. Makeup is essential, but so are your hair accessories. Remember to pack a brush, curling iron, hair ties, hairspray, and anything else that will get your hair competition day ready. Throw in a compact mirror with dimmable LED lights so that you can quickly get ready anytime, anywhere.


4. Change of Clothes

Some teams will wear their warmups before a competition, but it’s also a good idea to bring an extra pair of clothes. You may want to change into something comfortable—like sweats or leggings—after competition. And don’t forget a regular pair of shoes. You don’t want to wear your cheer shoes all day so you can avoid getting them dirty.


5. Snacks and Water

Staying hydrated and fueled is crucial for maintaining energy throughout the day. Make sure you pack a water bottle (or two) and lots of nutritional snacks that you can quickly grab. Read Cheer Competition Nutrition Tips to get a complete list of healthy snack ideas.


6. Toiletries

Even if you’re not traveling overnight, it’s wise to bring a few toiletries. After a long day of performing, you can quickly freshen up with toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant, your favorite fragrance, a comb or brush, and moisturizer. Here’s an extra tip—bring makeup wipes so that you can quickly and easily remove the makeup when your competition is done.


7. Medical/Athletic Supplies

Although you hope it never happens, an injury could occur. Bring a first aid kit or grab a few medical supplies such as bandages, athletic tape, or braces. If you do fall upon a bit of bad luck and sprain your ankle or get scratched up, you’ll be prepared to take care of yourself and get back to the competition.


8. Money

Don’t forget some extra cash. Even though you’re carefully packing your bag with all the essential items, you still may need to buy something—such as competition swag or snacks—while away.


9. Phone and Phone Charger

Your day will be long, and your phone will help you connect with those you love most. Plus, you know you’ll want to snap pictures to remember this important day. Even if you bring your phone, it could quickly lose battery. Make sure you grab your charger so that you’re not left without a usable phone. An extra tip: bring a portable phone charger. That way, you won’t have to seek out an outlet and can charge your phone wherever you are.


10. Deck of Cards

You’ll likely experience some downtime between routines. A deck of cards—or other compact games—is a great way to kill time while connecting with your teammates.


Here’s one more tip. Don’t pack your bag last minute. Instead, try to pack it at least a full day before competition. That way, you’ll have all day to add items to the bag that may have slipped your mind earlier. Rushing is not your friend. If you set aside time to prepare for competition, you’re only setting yourself up for success.


Key Takeaways

  • Following a packing list will help you make sure you’re entirely prepared for competition

  • Set your competition day up for success by packing a bag, uniform, makeup and accessories, extra clothes, snacks and water, toiletries, medical supplies, money, phone and charger, and games.

  • Pack ahead of time to avoid missing any critical items

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