Here’s a general packing list for a fencing tournament. Please modify it to suit your needs. I will share some insights with you that we have learned over the years.

A fencing weapon must be checked with the airline (you can’t carry it on). Because fencing bags can get lost on the way to a tournament, I highly recommend packing all fencing equipment with the exception of the blades in a carry-on suitcase that will not leave your possession. Imagine our panic when we arrived at a tournament with nothing, thanks to a delayed bag. If the blades are lost or delayed, you can either borrow from teammates or purchase new ones; however, finding new shoes, mask, and fencing attire is a much bigger challenge. We pack daytime clothes along with Katie’s blades in the fencing bag to check (which is free on Southwest, by the way). On the return flight, we shift things back around.

If your fencer desires, he or she may wear wild socks (white not required). They do, however, need to be knee socks.

On the packing list, you’ll see TFA Warmup Suit. If you don’t have this yet, see if you can borrow one. It makes spotting teammates much easier and generates great team spirit!

I listed some First Aid items. There is usually a medic set up on site, so this is not imperative. Probably overkill, but I like to be prepared.

Water bottles are listed on the packing sheet. From experience, don’t pack a filled reusable water bottle in the fencing bag on the way to the venue. We arrived at a tournament one time to find Katie’s whites soaking wet since the bottle was not fully closed. I spent the next hour under the hand dryer in the bathroom. Now, we take her metal water bottles empty to the venue and fill them there.

Do bring protein bars, munchies, or something to keep both you and your fencer nourished. The choices at the fencing tournaments can be slim and are often less than healthy. Again, be prepared. These tournaments often run late and last a long time.

An armory kit is on the list. If you don’t have one yet, don’t sweat it. You can use a teammate’s or simply get things checked at the venue. As you become more experienced, both you as the parent and your fencer will learn to check blades and make easy repairs on the spot. Most venues will have an armory set up to repair blades, but you may have to wait.

Make sure that you have labeled everything with a Sharpie. Blades tend to get moved around—identifying an unmarked blade can be tricky. Clothing, body cords, mask, weapons, armory kit, fencing bag, everything.

A Fencing Mom

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