When I started, I spent quite a bit of money on buying “all of the things”. Coming from a systems background, I also soon realised more moving parts (read: gear) means more that can and will break. These days I’m leaning towards minimal everything, with safety gear like emergency blanket, breathable jacket, mobile phone, a good headlamp with extra batteries being par for the course. Items I like:
- Backpack: ADV SKIN S-LAB HYDRO 12 SET
- I stopped using “camelback” water containers and prefer a bottle or soft flask in the front on either side as it’s easier to regulate liquid intake and refill at aid stations. For some races water capacity of 1.5L is required, in which case I’d take a small reserve in the backpack to comply with regulations.
- I like BUFFs a lot – they’re versatile and can even double up as an ankle brace.
- The North Face Better than Naked Shorts without underwear, naturally.
- Tops pretty much depend on the weather conditions. I like short sleeve / tank tops with arm sleeves – easy to swap out when it gets cold or hot.
- I’m not a fan of compression gear, but used them in the past. It’s really important to have feedback or data points of how you’re limbs are really doing, but not getting into that can of worms …
- Good socks are crucial. If your feet are gone, you’re, excuse my French, pretty f%$ked in any context …
- I change shoes a lot – it’s good to mix things up and lately have been into Haglöfs Gram Comp
- MP3 player, yes and no. Depends on the distance, scenery and social environment of a given race.
- Sometimes I’d use Overstims gels – the only ones thus far that don’t turn your stomach into a washing machine
- Vaseline. On all the right places. Always fun having to visit a pharmacy the day prior for Vaseline, Immodium (worst case) and Voltaren(day after)