My gear choices for KAEM13

It's almost race time so that means it's time to put together my race pack and food. I love this side of the preparation process and it's always fun for me to think about and optimize my gear. I feel very confident that I have a great set of gear that is both light, functional and sufficient to support a good race.

This is my third multi-stage race so it has been easier to decide what to take based on my previous experiences and the testing that I did in my blocks. To see the evolution of my gear you can go through my previous posts showing what I took with me in the Atacama Crossing in 2012 and 2013.

First up, a look at my race clothing and the non-food contents of my pack.

My race clothing is shown in the photo below and followed by a list with all the details of what I'll be wearing. Anything with an "(R)" after it means that the item is included on the mandatory required gear list.

My clothing for when I'm running each day.
  • BV Sport socks
  • Raidlight gaiters
  • Hoka One One Mafate 2 shoes
  • Compression shorts
  • Lafuma SpeedTrail tee shirt T Zip
  • Garmin 310Xt, Heart Rate Strap, Footpod
  • Desert hat (R)
  • Oakley Pro-M Sunglasses (R)

In my pack is the following gear. A lot of it is shown compressed into ziploc bags to keep it clean and small for packing.

My pack and the non-food contents.
  • PHDesign Sleeping bag (R)
  • Thermarest NeoAir sleeping mat
  • Overnight clothing (R) - Lafuma Speedtrail Tee, Shorts, Compression socks
  • Buff (R)
  • Earplugs
  • Raidlight Olmo 20l pack (R)
  • Waterbottles of at least 1.5l capacity (R)
  • Blister kit (R) - elastic tape, paper tape, needles, alcohol wipes
  • Spoon (R)
  • Toilet paper (R)
  • Wet wipes 
  • Alcohol gel
  • Cooking pot (R)
  • Jacket (R) - Lafuma SpeedTrail JKT
  • Emergency gear (R) - mirror, whistle, space blanket, spare batteries
  • Headlamp (R)
  • Sunscreen (R)

Here's my food for the race. It's not all packaged for the race as this video is before I travel, but there aren't too many changes needed. The Ensure will go into ziplocs, my bars will be wrapped individually and I'll look to see if there is any other trimming or repacking I can do to reduce weight and volume. The race requirement is for a minimum of 2,000 kCal a day for a total of 14,000kCal during the race.

My food is about 3.6kg and close to 15,000 kCal for the week. It's made up of the following items.

Food for seven days in the desert.

My pack weight will be a little over 6kg (before water) when everything is packed and ready for the race. I'm pleased with that weight as it is close to what I took to the Atacama Crossing this year, yet I managed to include a greater total number of calories. My pack comes close to 10-12% of my body weight which is the general guideline for seven-day multi-stage race packs.

If you have any questions or want any additional detail, please feel free to ask in the comments.


Whatisgoingonlama said...

Great stuff, just want to ask are you going vegetarian just for races?

Daniel Rowland said...

I didn't even realize that the race meal plan was vegetarian!! That's a coincidence more than anything else. In the past I've carried chorizo which is a delicious spanish ham and I really enjoyed that, but I didn't think I'd be able to travel with chorizo. I would also love biltong in a race. However, I can't get biltong where I live so if I haven't used it in training I won't use it in the race. The result is meals that are accessible in my training and also that I could travel with internationally- which as you pointed out are vegetarian. I still have significant protein in the protein bars, parmesan cheese and quinoa.

Edward Chapman said...

Amazed at how light your pack is. One technical point, Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian as it has to be made with animal rennet to be called parmesan under European law.

Daniel Rowland said...

Hi Ed - thanks for the clarification. As I mentioned to Waldo, I'm not choosing to go vegetarian as a specific race plan, the almost-vegetarian food is more of a coincidence. Are you carrying only vegetarian food?

Pablo said...

Hi, i'm not familiar with tgis kind of races but are you supposed to carry all this stuff with you all the time or you have a crew with you to help?

Daniel Rowland said...

Hi Pablo, the race is self-sufficient so you have to carry everything that you will need for the week (food, sleeping equipment and clothing). The race only provides water and a tent to sleep in every night. Thanks for following.

Pablo said...

Thanks for the reply. Have a safe run and hope to meet you in santiago when you are back

Unknown said...

Go Dan go! We will be avidly watching your every step and are behind you all the way.

Unknown said...

Go Dan go! We're behind you all the way:)

Matt said...

Hi Daniel,
Great post with lots of helpful info for some one like myself looking at preparing for a multistage race. One question though, you mention that you'll cooking quinoa on the rest day. What cooking equipment do you have? Or are cooking facilities provided in this race?
I'm looking to do MDS and cooking equipment is required kit.

Daniel Rowland said...

Hi Matt

It's a pleasure - I'm glad that you found the post useful.

I took my own cooking pot and used the gas cooker that was provided by the race to prepare my quinoa. That made it quite easy and I didn't have to carry any cooking equipment. If the race didn't provide something to cook with I wouldn't have taken the quinoa as all my other meals didn't need cooking and the quinoa was more of a treat than a necessity.

I believe that one of the lightest options for cooking is Esbit stoves which come with solid fuel tablets. Maybe you can look into that? [it seems they're available at and]

Also quinoa requires cooking and simmering for it to be ready to eat which would means more cooking time and fuel. I would suggest looking at couscous or freeze-dried meals which only require hot water to reconstitute the meal so it's faster and easier.

Let me know what you decide to take.
All the best

FlandriaRuns said...

Hi Daniel,

Do you measure your leg cadence (turnover) via footpad and analyze for training? What is the reason for a footpad?

Great information on your site. I am training towards my first stage race.


Daniel Rowland said...

Hi FlandriaRuns

I use the footpod with my Garmin 310XT during stage races to measure distance instead of using the GPS on the watch. It's not quite as accurate as GPS, but the battery life of the watch will last for longer than the races if I do this. I don't really look at cadence much other than an occasional check to see what my turnover rate is (~180/min).

Good luck for your first stage race!


Meisie said...

Hi Daniel,
No freeze dried food? Did you miss not having this?

Daniel Rowland said...

Hi Meisie

I've used freeze-dried food in the past, both commercial and homemade, and I found that after a few days I really didn't like the flavour or consistency which meant I didn't want to eat. I've seen other racers have the same experience (particularly with freeze-dried breakfast options) so I chose to try something else that seemed a little more natural.

The ProBars, almonds and honey gels seemed to work well for me. In a race now, I would probably take a combination of bars (from my sponsor 32Gi) and one or two freeze-dried meals for variety. I know that there are much better freeze-dried meals available now compared to the ones I tested so it would be worth exploring those.