Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Gear for a 7-day, 250km desert race

Tomorrow I fly to Calama and then take a bus to San Pedro for the race which starts on Sunday. I have almost all the required gear and I'll be collecting the last few items today. I've aimed to keep my gear to the minimum weight possible and to try and fit everything into a small 16l pack.

The only items I'm taking above the mandatory gear is a spare pair of shorts (bringing my total to 2!), slops to walk around camp, a pair of arm warmers, my iPod, and a toothbrush. So not exactly moving into the luxurious side of camping.

In total my pack will weigh about 6.5kg and hopefully a little less with some careful trimming of unneeded packaging. I already removed all unnecessary straps and zippers from my pack and while it only saved 33g that's more than my "optional" slops at 27g. Every little thing added to my gear slowly adds up, but equally every little thing removed also adds up.


Backpack, waterproof liner, 2l hydration pack and two bottles.

Clothes for a week!

Food for a week!

Mandatory gear including sleeping bag, blister kit, lights, toiletries.

Pack fully loaded and clothes for running outside my pack.

4 comments:

  1. How did all the gear work? You got there ran and used it as an how you had to. What would you change if anything, what are you ideas on the various options you had before to chose what you did and why did you chose that gear?

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    1. Great question! Generally I was really happy with my gear although there are a few tweaks and improvements that I think could be made. I'll write a full post to answer this question more thoroughly and give you the detail you're looking for.

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  2. The food? Dehydrated dry freeze stuff it all looks like? What did it taste like and what food stuffs did you like? Food stuffs like, roast beef and veg flavour or vegetarian chicken, you choice flavours? Did you vary it or stick to the same the whole way through?

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    1. My food was the most simple and light options I could come up with. I took a strawberry-watermelon protein shake in the morning before the stage. Another strawberry-watermelon protein shake and a chocolate protein shake immediately after the stage. And I ate an Expedition Foods High Calorie meal each night. During the stage I had a few gels, salt tabs and powdered energy drinks. I was close to the minimum calorie limit for the race and still half my pack weight was food.

      I liked the taste of everything I took. The Expedition Foods meals were shepherd's pie, mince and rice and beef and potato hotpot. The protein shakes were also great flavours. However, towards the end of the week the flavours became a little boring. In the next multi-day race I do I will definitely bring a little more variety and perhaps some luxuries like parmesan cheese and serrano ham to look forward to each day.

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I'd love to hear from you and get your perspective on my stories, thoughts and training. Please feel free to comment.