How to pack for an ultra marathon
Posted on March 02 2018
How do you pack your gear for races?
For multi day stage races it depends on what and where I am going. My favourite brand is The North Face and I use their backpacks. This fits me perfectly and does up nicely over the chest with a velcro section so no matter your size it sits snugly. Its also great for women as it protects the breast and stop unwanted movement there. I also love that it has a pockets around the wide waist belt so you can always reach your snacks and electrolyte tablets which is crucial. If it’s in your backpack you won’t eat regularly enough.
I organise the separate groups of items into separate zip lock bags and then back them in.
I have a North Face sleeping bag which is super light and warm. I don’t carry a sleeping mat as for me weight is absolute crucial. I have a bad back so I can’t afford any luxuries and the bare minimum in food and equipment.
I break all my food rations down into daily packs.
I even cut my toothbrush in half that is how pedantic I get about weight. Every extra gram out there can be a real drag literally. So go over and over with your packing and use your full gear at least a half a dozen times when training to iron out any problems.
What top 3 things do you always bring besides the common stuff everybody bring?
Strangest thing – in the Marathon des Sables a 240km race in Morrocco I saw some strange sights. A guy running in a full rhino suit to bring attention to the plight of Rhinos. Try doing that in 40 plus degrees. Another dressed as a Waiter in a suit with a tray he carried the whole way with a coke bottle on it and two children with cerebral palsy being carried on these contraptions by 8 runners at a time. They carried them the entire way, alternating teams in order to give these kids the experience of a lifetime. It was amazing.
I have sometimes bought paper underwear that you can toss away. It’s too heavy to carry say 7 pairs of normal underwear and I wouldn’t go without sterilizing hand gels as the loos can get pretty disgusting on a multi day and the bugs get passed around throughout camp so easily when you aren’t able to wash.
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