What gear to bring to a march

How smart protesters can stay warm, stay dry, and stay sane.

No matter your rallying cry, you’re going to need some gear to make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Here, the best items to keep you in step and upbeat.

MGgear Clear Transparent PVC Multi-pockets Backpack

First of all, you’ll need a reliable bag. Amazon

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This clear, plastic backpack by MGgear is comfortable and has enough pockets to fit your gear—water bottle, snacks, energy drinks that taste like poison, etc.

ORORO Heated Jacket Kit with Detachable Hood

Some other things to help you stay warm: gloves for texting, thermal long underwear, and a Bluetooth-enabled beanie. Amazon

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You don’t want to abandon your post due to cold. In the pricy but effective file, find the heated jacket kit by Ororo, which is water resistant, wind resistant, and lined with a lightweight, breathable polar fleece. It’s got four different heat settings, and the portable rechargeable battery will keep you toasty for up to eight hours.

Better Than Coffee Health Energy Bars

Some extra energy for the day. Amazon

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Everyone’s gotta eat, and Better Than Coffee bars have the added benefit of a mild stimulant. They’re also good for intense workouts, tedious lectures, and what feel like never-ending car rides.

Sof Sole Orthotic Insole

Since you’ll probably be on your feet most of the day, keep them comfortable. Amazon

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No shame in trying to stay comfortable while taking a stand. Sof Sole Orthotic Insoles have a nylon plate in the arch for support and a jelly-like layer to absorb impact. If you’re planning to move on your feet for more than a few hours, you’ll be very happy you got these.

Charles River Apparel Pacific Poncho

Stay safe from the rain. Amazon

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Weather is unpredictable, but no one wants to be stuck carrying around a rain jacket or umbrella on a sunny day. Take a note from moms riding Splash Mountain and bring a good old-fashioned poncho. These are cheap and will fit in any bag. You won’t be winning any personal style awards, but, hey, anybody caught in a downpour without one will think you’re a genius.

The North Face HyperAir GTX Rain Jacke

Keeps out the rain and helps regulate your body temperature.

If you wouldn’t be caught dead in a rain poncho, go for the North Face Hyperair GTX Jacket. It’s made of an ultra light waterproof material, which keeps out the rain, regulates body temperature, and is easily storable. It even made our annual Best of What’s New list.

Sharpie Pro King Size Permanent Markers

Write your message loud, clear, and permanently. Amazon

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Ever stood in a crowd of people and, like a bolt from Zeus, a zinger about the opposition comes to mind? Consider bringing some cardboard and markers to the next march. Large-tipped Sharpies are a classic for a reason: the felt chisel tip precise, and the ink flow is steady. If you’re protesting in very cold weather, though, you should opt for something with a plastic body. Sharpie’s aluminum gets cold on frigid days.

Protest Stencil Toolkit

We don’t all have the best handwriting. Amazon

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If you have handwriting as bad as mine, consider this Protest Stencil Toolkit. You get a full typeface plus 46 stencils of recognizable protest imagery, like a recycling icon, a closed fist, and currency symbols.

TECHO Universal Professional HD Camera Lens Kit for iPhone

Remember to document the march. Amazon

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You’ll want photos for your Instagram and to spread awareness for your cause. To up your game, opt for the TECHO Universal Camera Lens Kit for your iPhone, which includes a super wide-angle lens to capture larger scenes (like crowds of thousands of people) and a super macro lens to zoom in on the details.

Simple Modern Vacuum Insulated Wave Bottle

Stay hydrated Amazon

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No matter the weather, if you’re outside all day, you’ll need to stay hydrated. The double-walled, vacuum-insulated, stainless steel bottle from Simple Modern keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, and hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours.

AAA 85 Piece Commuter First Aid Kit

And, not to sound too much like your parents, but you gotta stay safe. Amazon

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Just in case there is an accident along the route, it’s best to be prepared. People don’t always see eye to eye. Marches and protests are prime locations for disagreements, and injuries are possible. A well-stocked first aid kit can come in handy for you or a fellow marcher. Plus: nothing kills enthusiasm like a gnarly blister. Band-Aids can seriously save your day.

Marbles Pin-On-Compass

Know where to go even if there’s no cell service. Amazon

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Sometimes you find yourself stuck in a crowd of people with no cell service. If you don’t feel like asking any of thousands of people around you which way is North, this brass-bodied Marbles Pin-On-Compass will do the trick.

Monistat Complete Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Stay comfortable throughout the entire march. Amazon

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There are lot glamorous competitors, but this stuff by Monistat is hands-down the cheapest and most effective way to keep chafing to a minimum. We couldn’t write a story about marching all day without mentioning it.

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Billy Cadden
Billy Cadden

Billy Cadden is the Director of Commerce for the Camden Media tech group. He was part of NYC indie rock band The Postelles, and currently releases solo music under his name. His latest work is available on all streaming platforms. Contact the author here.