Tournament Packing- Game Day

I really enjoy going to tournaments and spending time with all of my soccer friends and watching my girls play. Packing for those tournaments has become an art form in itself and I realized that I need a really good list to make sure I don’t forget anything. Seems like I change strategies every year, but this year my goal is to streamline and reduce the amount of stuff that I’m bringing as well as making it easier to carry.


I keep a roomy tote bag (cute of course- my current one is from Stella and Dot) stocked with sunscreen and a separate bag inside filled with all the soccer “necessities.” (Isn’t the London bag cute?? It was a gift from my sweet British sister in law) I throw my wallet, keys, sunglasses and phone inside the tote and I’m ready to go! Sometimes I also bring my big camera and that fits in my bag too. I always carry Benadryl in my wallet after all our bee sting adventures last summer so that goes everywhere with me, but having my little soccer bag packed really makes my life easier. Everyone teases me about having all this stuff, but who do you think they go to when they need anything?!?

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Muscle Aches | Bengay and Icy Hot | First Aid | Neosporin, Bandaids and Cortisone |

Pain | Advil and Traumeel

Hygiene | wet ones, tissue, hand sanitizer| Misc. | scissors, hair ties, lotion, blistex, laundry detergent pods

Lots of sunscreen | spray, face and the stick


Ok, now here’s the ground breaking part of my system. (Ha- Ha!) I know everyone has a Rolling Cooler, but mine has a secret… I load up the bottom with ice packs, bags of ice, drinks and fruit. I also add washcloths to the ice and a spray bottle if it’s going to be really hot. Then I put a “special waterproof layer” (ok, it’s just a reusable shopping bag or a small tarp to sit on) and then I pile on the rest of the stuff I have to carry (manager bags with cards etc…, other food, sweatshirts, etc) Yes it’s a pain sometimes to get to the drinks, but it really helps carry everything. I can also loop my tote across the handles (or even stick it inside) and then I’m all set! You can also sit on it if needed (I know, I know, it says not to) or use it as a table.

Drinks | water bottles, Gatorade, diet coke (for me!) 

Food | watermelon/grapes/strawberries, Uncrustables/PB & J, granola bars, sun chips


Mine isn’t as fancy as this one, but a light chair is always a plus. I like the shade this Quik Shade Folding Chair  provides, but it makes the chair heavier. Sometimes the walk from the car to the field is really long and it’s just not worth it to carry a heavy chair! If I have my hubby with me we often bring an E-Z UP or Sports Umbrella as well.


My girls keep their soccer backpacks stocked with the following…

Small Inside Pocket | phone, sunscreen stick, lip balm, Traumeel, advil, Benadryl, cash 

Large Pocket | two pairs of socks, jerseys in a zip lock bag, shin guards, cleats, sweatshirt, flip flops

Zip Lock inside | pre wrap, scissors, sports tape, shin guard wraps

Small Tupperware Inside (both my girls wear contacts) | extra contacts, eye drops, hand sanitizer

Outside Pockets– soccer ball, water bottle

I like them to be self sufficient in case they go with a friend (or with Dad!) which happens more frequently as they get older.


We’ve gone old school and ditched our metal water bottles for the Coleman water bottle with a handle. It’s easy for the girls to carry and they hold a lot of water and ice. We still use the metal ones for practice, but you can’t beat these for long days. Don’t forget to write your player’s name in sharpie!


If you don’t want to use the rolling cooler idea, or just have too much stuff, a sports wagon is amazing to haul stuff around and can even serve as a bed/playpen for a little one.  Make sure you get one labeled “sports” or “beach” wagon so that it will have wheels large enough to navigate the grass (and mud!)

Any other suggestions or packing strategies? Please share!

If you’re interested, I created a little packing chart for myself. Click here for the PDF.



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6 thoughts on “Tournament Packing- Game Day

  1. Awesome!! I’ve got 24 hours to pull this together! This first time mom so appreciates this list. Thanks.

    1. Thanks Melanie!! You don’t need everything…it takes time to gather it all. Just remember that you’re not in outer Mongolia and there’s always a Rite Aid near by- ha-ha!

  2. I also include in my back pack Gatorade Energy chews, but recently I’ve discovered a healthier alternative. Their called Icer’s, their only 30 calories with half the sugar. They look like Jello shots, kinda taste like Jello shots but without the booze, you just freeze them and swallow. They also hydrate the body. I can’t seem to find the email I received from them, I will have to call them and post information. Be back soon

    1. Awesome! Maybe an adult version as well? It would be great if you find the link :). Thanks for the comment

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