Looking back on this gear is interesting as it's an opportunity to see how my choices evolved from the Atacama Crossing in 2012 and to think about what I would use now if I was doing a stage race. The big change from the previous year was taking a sleeping mat and using the race 1.5l bottles instead of carrying bottles and refilling them in the aid stations - these were both excellent choices.
In retrospect, I know that my nutrition choices changed significantly in future stage races and I'm certain that the food shown here is not what I would take now even though it worked at the time! I also lost my small soft flask with nutrition on the first stage so I would be very careful about ensuring that my race food would be safe in future races. Finally, I used Brooks Launch shoes - a road shoe - and it worked great, but I think perhaps now I would use different shoes.
If you're interested in seeing the next iteration of my gear after the lessons from this race then you read (and watch) my gear choices from KAEM 2013.
Last year I did my first multi-stage desert race. It was a fantastic race and also a learning experience for me. I think that I did well with my gear and I recorded what worked and what didn't for future reference.
This year I have a refined approach and also some assistance (from Lafuma and Compressport) to ensure that my gear options are the best possible to meet the demands of a desert race. I have spent time in the last four months testing my new clothing and equipment, removing anything unnecessary and learning exactly what works for me.
The end result is the gear that follows.
|Clothing that I'll be wearing.|
My clothing for the race is bright orange and will be clearly visible this year! This gear includes:
- Lafuma shirt
- Lafuma cap
- Compressport Tri-short
- Compressport R2 calf-sleeves
- Oakley sunglasses
- Polar heart rate monitor
|Mandatory safety gear.|
All the mandatory safety gear and personal items packed as small and as tightly as possible:
- Blister kit
- Compression bandage
- Toilet paper
- Red flashing light
- Safety pins
- Emergency blanket
- Salt tabs
- Alcohol gel
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
|Food and water bottles.|
14,000 calories of food and my water bottles for the race. Food is the heaviest component in my backpack at just under 4kg. The food is composed of:
- Energy gels
- Ensure powder
- Rehydration solution
- Olive oil
|Sleeping mat, spare clothes and sleeping bag.|
Sleeping mat, spare clothes and sleeping bag all in ziploc bags to keep them dry from sweat and/or rain!
|Everything all laid out.|
Here is everything laid out to show what it all looks like. Incredible how little is required for 7 days in the desert.
|Bag packed and ready to go.|
Together my packed backpack and front pouch are about 20l of space and a little over 6kg. Everything fits quite well and as the race progresses the weight and space requirements will fall as I eat my food supplies.
I love to read what other people use and have scoured the internet for blogs and resources to learn from. I have also had a few emails from competitors in this year's racing saying that the information I posted last year helped them. I'm more than happy to get into more details or answer any questions in the comments.
You might also like:
1. What I used last year: Gear for a 7-day, 250km desert race
2. My review of the gear I took last year: gear that worked and gear that didn't