Just thought I’d muse about the gear I bring to the field. And then ask my readers, whoever you might be, “What’s in your Ultimate bag”? This is your chance to open the lines of communication and engage in some asynchronous dialogue. Or not?
Whenever I go to Ultimate, I always have my bright yellow EMS Trekker PL 2600 Day Pack (circa 1998) with me. I’ve been using it since high school and will have it with me until it falls apart… completely. I have taken it to College in Upstate NY, grad school in Scandinavia and everywhere in between. Over the years it has become my default Ultimate bag, carrying everything I need for a practice or tournament.
Footwear – I usually wear running shoes (usually New Balance) to practice and then bring my cleats strapped to my bag. If it is a low key day, I sometimes don’t put on the cleats, staying in the sneakers. However, the majority of the time I do gear up. Currently, my cleats are Diadora Stile LT 10 K MG 14. I also added Vibram Five Finger TrekSports to my footwear collection and have worn them to practice, sometimes during.
Discs – The lack of this item in any Ultimate player’s bag baffles me. I know a lot of players that will show up to practice and not bring a disc. You are going to Ultimate, you’ll need a plastic object to toss. I guess if you are coming with a friend only one of you really needs a disc, but at least one of you should bring it.
In the past I’ve been both a captain and coach and would carry about 10 discs, but as a player I usual carry two, sometimes a third Flashflight disc. I’ve always been a Discraft guy, so don’t expect to see Wham-O or Daredevil discs in my bag. If I’m going to an overnight tournament, I’ll bring a mini disc as well to play with in the hotel or while waiting for a flight.
Hydration – I recently recycled my Nalgene water bottle. It was quite old, so it was time to retire it. Instead of buying a new one, I’ve been reusing old 2L juice bottles. If I am going to practice a full bottle will usually carry me through it. Think Green, right?
For a tournament I’ll bring water and Gatorade or Naked Juice.
Extra Shirts – A dark and a Light is a must. I always bring a dark and a light shirt to practice or pick-up. I have moved away from cotton, but occasionally I’ll retire an old white undershirt and it’ll become my light. I added a white Five Ultimate Team USA jersey to the rotation this year and I love it. Sure, I may never be on Team USA, but it doesn’t mean I can’t rock the awesome gear.
Cones – I’ve coached, so I usually bring cones to practice or pick-up. If the captain is running late or another field needs to be set up, it is nice to have cones at the ready rather than the odd shoe or bag for field markers. I like SportCraft’s low profile cones because they do not take up much room in my bag, but I also bring a few standard sized cones, too.
Med Kit – I always have one in my bag. Maybe it is the scout in me, but I like to be prepared. I don’t have a store bought, professional looking one, just a Zip Lock bag with: alcohol wipes, Ace wraps, sports tape, Vitamin I (Advil), Bandages, Sunscreen, Carmax, gauze, tissues, etc. You never know what you’ll need.
Nail Clippers – I know it sounds goofy, but I’ve broken or chipped my nails so many times playing Ultimate, that having a set of nail clippers in my bag is great. Or if I forget to clip my fingers before a practice I can take care of it over a trash can.
Layers – If the weather is questionable, I’ll usually have an extra layer of Under Armour or a long sleeve shirt.
Extra Socks – Having an extra set of athletic socks always in your bag can save you or a friend from forgetfulness during the summer when sporting sandals or flip-flops to the field . Also, when you are playing back to back games at a tournament a fresh pair of socks can really feel great, especially if it is a wet day.
Food – Energy Bars, trail mix and/or fruit are usually included in my bag. It just makes sense to have something healthy to snack on.
Additional Storage – Plastic bags that are large enough to cover my bag if there is a bit of rain are very helpful.
Notation – I always have a small notepad with a few pens to keep score, or write down whatever might need writing down. You never know.
Money, Money, Money! – Some spare change or small bills can buy that Good Humor bar from the Ice Cream truck roaming the park or pay for a slice of pizza after a long practice.
SO, WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?