11 days to go till the Original Mountain Marathon (http://theomm.com) so the kit list that I publish here is going to be pretty close to event-ready! Some kit didn’t make the race bag but I thought I would share what I’ve learnt with you.
Full-length compression tights (2XU)
These compress well and should server me well regardless of the weather. Be forewarned that they leave little to the imagination!
Full length wicking top, half-zip (Helly Hansen Pace ~£50.00 from Helly Hansen)
Tight-fitting with long sleeves and a half-length zip to make core temperature adjustments easily.My only niggle is that the length of the top is on the short side even for a large, so I’m a bit concerned about it riding up my back for two days. You may consider cutting the back pocket zipper off to avoid it being pressed into your back for two days by your pack.
Underwear (erm, clean ones?)
Need I say more?
Socks (x-socks run speed one £11.75 a pair from Running Bear)
Socks are important. I have not used these for long but they are well ventilated and dry fast. Teko light cushion minicrew socks also passed the test, but I’m favour of the lighter X-sock for the OMM.
Gloves (Rab Power Stretch gloves £16 from Joe Brown)
These will be used on Denali too next year, else I would have just gone for something as cheap as possible.
Hat (winter buff)
Tried and tested, this will keep me warm and will double up as a neck gaiter.
Waterproof taped seam jacket with hood (Marmot Essence [large, green] $199.99 down to 139.99 from Out There in Calgary, AB, Canada)
Nice piece of kit that’s meant ot be waterproof and breathable. Packs down small, suitable to wear to work 🙂 That shop I bought this from ROCKS!
Waterproof trousers (OMM Kamleika Race Pant, [large, black] £99.99 from Nevisport)
I’ve not used these in anger, but I sized them for a casual fit and they have a good range of movement. Folk seem split on the OMM between something like this or the cheap and cheerful £5 army suplus kit you can buy just to meet the race requirements. Personally I would rather have this in the bag… it’s central Scotland after all!
Emergency bivvy (SOL Emergency Bivvy £15.50 from Joe Browns)
Weighing in at 108g, this is a nice piece of kit to have on the mountain and will provide more protection that just a bag. If my team mate goes down, I want to be able to rest him in this and not have to worry about him getting hypothermic too, but it’s down to personal choice.
Gaiters (Inov-8 Debri Gaitors, £12.00 from Joe Browns)
These did not make the cut. An interesting concept to keep crap like thorns and stones out of your shoes, but you lose the ability to adjust your shoelaces mid-run, which I often do (probably psychological, like my tendency to dip my hand into the chalk bag before a crux move when climbing).
Shoes (Inov-8 Mudclaw 333 from Wiggle)
Best. Off-road. Shoes. Ever. The grip on these shoes is exceptional and the pattern is so aggressive, these are perfect for an OMM in Scotland where there are less paths. You could consider something lighter like the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 but with little time before the event, I want to stick with what I know. I’m looking forward to experimenting with new Inov-8 and Walsh shoes after these wear down a bit more. Unfortunately the pay-off of uber-grippy soles is that a lot gets left behind on the road, so they wear down quick if you abuse them on the roads/paths like I did… Oops.
First aid kit (assembled myself)
This is compulsory, so make it something you will want in an emergency. I went with the bare minimum:
- adhesive wound dressing x 2
- wound dressing x 2
- crepe bandage
- triangular calico bandage
I also added
- Zinc oxide tape (5cm wide)- if I twist my ankle again I’m going to use this to hold my foot in place.
- Compeed blister pack.
- Imodium. In case I drink dodgy water.
- Anti-histamines. Never know if you’ll bump into something you’re allergic to.
- Painkillers. Because the OMM will hurt you.
Tent (Terra Nova Laser Photon 2 from Nevisport)
“The world’s first sub-900g two person double-wall shelter” says the brochure. “Wicked piece of kit” says me. Note that there’s not a lot of privacy in this- it’s practically see-through and you’re going to be cosy with your tent mate.
A friend has kindly offered me their PH Design sleeping bag. Not sure which model it is, possibly a Minim 400, weighing in at a measly ~650g. Thanks Stu! I’ll be lining it with a silk lining, not least because it’s not my bag and I’ll be in a filthy state by nightfall! Choose a bag for the event- I chose to borrow one because I don’t need a lightweight bag in that temperature range.
Compass (Silva 6 Jet Spectra)
I chose a thumb compass because, once you get used to the concept, they’re incredibly easy to use and fast to consult.
Camelback hydration bladder failed after it leaked at a seam in my training bag on the way to a training session, all over my clothes in the bag. Rather it happened then than on race day! Currently awaiting delivery of a Science in Sport 800ml water bottle with a straw attachment. I drink a lot on the move so this will let me run, sip and run some more. Also, I’m taking a plastic cup to scoop up water from streams. And a 5 litre resealable bag to collect water at overnight camp. Should save me repeat trips to the watering hole/stream.
Pack (OMM 32 litre Classic, £64.99 from Nevisport)
This is a good pack and the right size for a beginner. I had to adjust the chest strap to stop it suffocating me round my neck once I had adjusted the shoulder straps, then it was fine.
Sleeping matt (Thermarest Prolite small, 310g, ~£85 from the Cotswolds)
I went light and I went small just to keep my back off the ground. I have used this in numerous environments and it has served me well. I will be using the OMM duo mat that is built into the OMM pack as an underlayer. The only other alternative that I would consider for the OMM event is the X Lite sleeping frame, but I have not yet had the pleasure of trying one out, and it would be a bit too event-specific.
I’m Borrowing a friend’s MSR Pocket Rocket and hopefully borrowing some titanium cookware and buying a gas canister. I’ll pack firelighting kit aka matches and flint plus an emergency couple of hex blocks (that means I can bin the gas canister after the Saturday night and still have emergency lightweight fuel). I’m going to cover food in another post about nutrition. If you haven’t considered what you’re going to eat yet for this year’s OMM, maybe avoid getting to adventurous, as you don’t want to shock your stomach during/after a hard day.
- My Fenix PD30 (R4?) mounted on a Nite Ize head torch attachment. It’s not light but it’s good kit.
- Chinagraph pencil.
- PH Designs down gilet.
- The North Face Summit Series Primaloft jacket (taking this plus gilet because I get cold when tired).
- Sea to Summit eVent stuff sac to keep my down kit dry
- Earplugs for the tent
Stuff in the car
- Science in Sports Rego
- Energy Bars
- Caffeinated drink to keep me awake till the hotel
- Big warm hoody
- Clean trainers
- Warm socks
- Full water bottles
- Over trousers (to wear if I’m just too tired to change!)
- T-shirt, shorts, underwear
I’ve had most of this kit for a while now so I can visualise where everything goes in my bag, what it looks like and how to take care of it. If I have missed out any other kit, I’m sure it’s just because I have forgotten about it whilst writing, not because it is not required!
If you’re doing the OMM this year, or in future years, feel free to post comments, feedback and ideas here.