Swim Bag Treasures – What’s in The Bag?

swim-bags
Photo Courtesy: Taylor Byers

By Isabelle Robuck, Swimming World College Intern. 

Almost all of us have our very own trusty swim bag that goes everywhere we do. With a unique variety of items and gadgets gathered by you, it seems very possible for us to practically live out of our swim bags. It has become one of our most prized possessions as we become extremely protective over it. After years of wear and tear, even massive rips and growing mold spots can’t convince us enough to get a replacement!

So, what makes our swim bags so near and dear to our hearts? It most likely comes from the unforgettable memories and ever-so-personalized touches that make up our sacred swim bags.

Without further ado, let’s take a look inside – what’s in the bag?

Endless caps and goggles.

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Photo Courtesy: Taylor Byers

Some broken and some not, there’s always an endless supply of various caps and goggles… You never know when you’re going to need a back-up!

Lotion and various moisturizers.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

A swimmer’s best friend post practice. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of sand-paper dry skin, so quickly combating it with a rich lather of shea butter and coconut oil is an absolute must! Plus, scented lotion can quickly replace the lingering smell of chlorine.

Pain Medication.

Man with hurt shoulder

Photo Courtesy: (c) Stockbyte

Most swimmers have some sort of pain medication in their bags for various reasons. It’s pretty normal to get a headache after a hypoxic set. So, what do you do? Grab some Advil and get back in the pool. Muscles extra sore from weights yesterday? Advil. Casual shoulder pain? That’s right, Advil. Truth is, there isn’t a lot that pain meds can’t help with!

Nose plugs.

nose-plugs

Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

For all of my fellow backstrokers out there, nose plugs can be serious life savers! Sometimes, it becomes a game to see exactly how many we can collect. Because they’re so small, it’s easy to lose your nose plug, but it’s also easy to come across new ones on the bottle of the pool or lying around the pool deck. Nonetheless, a nose plug is a nose plug; there isn’t much of a variety between them. For our superstitious swimmers, their nose plug is like a lucky rabbit’s foot – if they don’t have it, then they won’t swim well… So be extra careful not to take not to take theirs!

Uneven bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

This is most relatable for female swimmers – and yes, we all can relate to the uneven bottles of shampoo and conditioner. For some reason, it takes double the amount of conditioner as shampoo to make our hair soft and silky after a two-hour practice… As a result, our conditioner levels quickly dwindle down to nothing, and then we’re left with half a bottle of shampoo, which just won’t do. We must have conditioner… So, we go and buy more, but we end up buying a value pack that contains both shampoo and conditioner. So then, we replace both of the bottles and hide the half-used shampoo at the bottom of our drawer, only to rediscover it later among others at a later time. It’s a vicious and endless cycle.

Hair ties on hair ties on hair ties.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

Again, this one usually tailors to my fellow female swimmers. That’s right, we always have an extra hair tie or two somewhere in our bag for the days your trusty rubber band finally snaps. And if your supply has finally shrunk down after a year, one of our wonderful teammates always has our backs and grants us a new one. Here’s a shout out to them – you guys rock!

Sunscreen.

lotion-sunblock

Photo Courtesy: rawpixel.com

Outside swimmers, this one’s for you! It’s not uncommon to find multiple types of sunscreen for all of our needs; this is extremely common for swimmers on training trips. That special breed of water-being who wears tanning lotion because they don’t burn are nothing short of extraordinary. We all wish we didn’t burn at the slightest touch of sun, but sunscreen sure does help protect our skin from hurting too badly!

Food and water bottles.

swim-bag-with-snacks

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Byers

Of course, there’s always a wide array of water bottles and food in our swim bags. With long travels for distance meets, what better place is there to store our favorite snacks? Not to mention as high-intensity athletes, we tend to get hungry a lot quicker than the average Joe, so digging deep to discover a granola bar after a long practice almost seems like Christmas!

Random clothing items.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

Most of us could probably live out of our swim bags. Because they go almost everywhere we go, chances are you can always find that extra pair of socks that you left in there from last week. You could easily empty out your bag and send all of your miscellaneous clothing items through the wash, but that can become quite the hassle. Besides, you never know when you’re going to need that sweat shirt from that football game you went to!

Headphones and phone chargers.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

A must-have in our generation today. On a scale from one to 10, how lost are you without your headphones on meet day? Chances are, pretty lost. Most people use music as an incentive to swim fast and get ready for a tough race. There’s nothing better than a good pump up song! On the other hand, some use music to zone out any unnecessary distractions. Whether you use your headphones to get pumped up or relax, they can always come in handy.

Technique and drill equipment.

athletic-foodie-swim-equipment

Photo Courtesy: Garrett Weber-Gale

As our sport demands, we’re bound to have some sort of swimming equipment in our bags. From tempo trainers to fins, kick boards to paddles, there’s always something relatively similar.

Swim suits.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

No surprise here. The most obvious of all items found in our swim bags – you guessed it: swim suits. Most of us own doubles, if not triples, of our favorite suit. And again, you never know when you or your teammate will forget theirs and need an extra!

Miscellaneous items.

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Photo Courtesy: Isabelle Robuck

Like icing on a cake, topping off all of the perfection that is our swim bag – the miscellaneous items and treasures that are so random but so useful. Oddities such as extra goggle parts and bungee cords, a pair of sunglasses, Chapstick, nail polish, the list could go on and on… Hidden gems that carry a funny little story that only you and your teammates understand are what make our swim bags our best friends and most prized possessions.

So that’s what makes our swim bags so special. Now, it’s time to go check your swim bag and see what memories and knick knacks you come up with. Happy searching!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

7 comments

  1. Anne GB

    Very good article. Quaint but oh so relevant to every swimmer.

  2. Cheryl Cichocki

    Things that should have been eaten years ago

  3. Julie Austin

    I don’t even want to look, especially in Tyler’s bag! 🤢🤢🤢

  4. WestCoastSwimMom

    Leftover smushed muffins and other food items from the last swim meet (from who knows how long ago).

  5. Heidi Ho

    Bella Scala-Palladino