How Much Gear Do You Take?

Exactly how much gear does one take to a  race?  Sure you have shoes and some sort of body covering (unless it’s a naked mile), but how much gear does one really need? Marathons and Ultras aside (where food and hydration factor in), do I really need to pack the kitchen sink when I leave the house for a few hours?  My “problem” is that I’m a bit of a boyscout, I pack a tonne of stuff that should cover any and every possibility but more often than not doesn’t get used.

Below is a pic of everything I took to Saturday’s trail race (minus my coat, a banana and a coffee), did I go overboard?  Some think so, but let me give you a little background information before you make your decision:  The weather was calling for 20-40% isolated showers, an afternoon high of 8C but an overnight low of -2C; possibly wet, possibly dry, possibly cold, possibly warm….essentially a crap shoot.

1.) Running Shorts
2.) Ruez Compression Boxer Briefs
3.) Nike Running Pants
4.) Clif Builder Bar
5.) Clif Bar – Peanut Butter
6.) MP3 Player
7.) Deodorant
8.) Nike Running Gloves
9.) Micro-Fleece Running Gloves (heavier)
10.) Long-Sleeved Tech T
11.) Short-Sleeve Tech T (MEC)
12.) Skins Calf Compression Sleeves
13.) New Balance MT101
14.) Asics Running Socks
15.) Brooks Running Hat
16.) Brooks Toque
17.) Bandana
18.) Light-Weight Running Toque
19.) Easy Reading
20.) Sun Glasses
21.) Garmin Forerunner 305
22.) Tensor Bandage
23.) Back Pack

Let’s see:

  • A set of long clothes for cold weather, a set of short clothes for warm weather, and the right combination that I could mix and match as necessary (long sleeves and shorts anyone?)
  • And what about hats & gloves?  Without them you are freezing but if they are too heavy then you have to carry around extra unnecessary gear.  I honestly didn’t think I’d need the winter hat & gloves but the lighter set definitely came in handy.
  • Calf sleeves? Since I was planning on running the next day, I put these puppies on as soon as I got back to my vehicle.
  • What about food?  A Clif Builder’s bar, for post race recovery and an extra pre-race Clif bar in case I got hungry.  I don’t see the problem.  Yes races provide post-race food, but you can’t always be guaranteed to like what they have so I (almost always) carry extra food.  Plus some people gave me dirty looks when I dove face first into the chocolate chip cookies, but that was only once …(maybe twice).
  • MP3 player and a book.  Last year’s RSP race was delayed when some douchnozzles moved course markers overnight.  You don’t have to use these to pass the time, but it’s nice to have them if you’d like to.
  • Tensor bandage and a bandana.  Stuff happens, so…you know…just in case.

In the end I went with the long pants and shirt with a t-shirt overtop, and light gloves/hat but shed these by the 3km mark (thank you pants with zip pockets!).  By the end I was pretty warm, but within minutes of finishing I was back in my hat and jumping into my heavy jacket and could have easily been in the heavier hat/gloves had it been a few degrees colder.

Sure it takes extra planning and effort to pack all that crap, but there’s nothing worse  (for me) than needing something  and knowing that I simply didn’t take the time to prepare.

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About 51feetunder

Running & Fitness, Rock Climbing & Outdoor Activities, Photography & Rock & Roll.

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Equipment, Race, Trails and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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