Friday, April 26, 2013

MdS Kit List

It will take a long time to write about the MdS itself so I thought I'd do kit first

So here I am, fully laden on Day 1, and looking remarkably clean!

My pack weight was probably between 6.5 and 7kg before water (1.5kg). Given the minimal 'legal' weight was 6.5kg, I was really pleased with this. At 66kg wet through, I needed my pack to be as light as possible so I did have to make some sacrifices

In general, I was really happy with my kit selection. I didn't particularly miss the kit I left out, but food was a major issue for me.

Now here's all my kit after the race, somewhat dirtier!

Hat: Raidlight Sahara Sunhat

Pretty standard ware for the MdS. Functioned well, very light and unnoticeable to wear. Very popular, so made it difficult to spot people!

Shirt: X-Bionic Fennec
Had my doubts about this before I went as it felt very warm, almost like a light weight woolly shirt!
However, it performed absolute brilliantly. Great wicking and my upper body never got too hot.

Expensive, yes, but would wear it again

Compression shorts: 2XU
My trusty shorts, never go anywhere without them.

Purely for decency!

Calf Guards: 2XU

I've always found calf guards too tight or too long for my stumpy legs. After reading  about my gaiters leaking sand over the top, I got these as an extra layer of protection. They were great and have been using them since returning

Socks: Hilly Mono Trail X-Static for first 3 stages then X Socks Speed Metal for last 2. Logic here was that the latter are a bit thinner and my feet would be swelling by then.

Gaiters: Raidlight
Choice seemed to be between these, Sandbaggers and Racekit. They all seemed to rip/tear by the end. I was happy with these; no sand in when brand new but did get very ripped at the front and some sand did get in.

Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 
Love 'em! Good grip on softer stuff and uneven terrain. Normally a size 8, I went for a 9, but in hindsight, this was too big as I got a few small blisters on my ends of 4 toes on day 1; fortunately these didn't cause a major problem.

I definitely wouldn't recommend road shoes; I know some do but I wouldn't. The rocks are very sharp!

Check out the shredded tread but they did their job. In a retirement home now!

The whole caboodle.
I don't think I'll get it clean again.

Sleeping bag: Marmot Plasma 40
I was really pleased with this.  It's a fairly narrow fit which is good for a man of my diminuitive build and kept me nice and cosy. Lightweight at 530g
Not cheap but did its job.

Evening/night layers: Rab Aeon and Patagonia Merino 2
The Rab is an very lightweight base layer and was perfect for the evenings and early night. The Patagonia is a great bit of kit and perfect for later at night when it got cooler and pre-race in the mornings.
My alternative would have been just my Montane Fireball smock, which is a touch lighter than the 2 shirts, but this would have given me less flexibility.

Rucksack: Inov-8 Race Pac 25
I love the Race Pac range of ruck sacs and used the 32L version (with front pack) for the Spine. They are very comfortable and hold their shape well. Also lightish at 620g. It's the only rucksack that I can comfortably get my water bottles in and out of.

People commented on my large pack size but couldn't believe the weight. The Race Pac tends to pack long and thin. The 25L size (as opposed to 20L that many had) also meant I had no space issues.
I also noticed that most rucksacks have a tendency for a lot of lateral movement. The only two that don't are this one and the MdS bag.
Thoroughly recommend. If I did the MdS again, I might add some water bottle holders on the straps.

Obviously, I had all the usual obligatory kit plus a small first aid kit, a few toiletries, and a tooth brush and tooth paste! I wish I'd discovered Wemmi-wipes before the race - I had a much heavier pack of 8 normal wipes!

So what were my major weight-linked sacrifices. Essentially no mat and no cooking apparatus. After a dismal first night, I got used to my hard and lumpy bed. I also discovered that it was possible to double fold the carpet at one end of the tent which mad a big difference. Tepid porridge for breakfast was perfectly palatable, and if I left my dinner to brew in the sun, it was actually quite warm. Didn't really miss tea/coffee for a few days. Would probably omit both again.

Food. Well, I should have put a lot more thought in this, but quite frankly I was completely apathetic and lacking any motivation prior to going and just threw some calories together. My daily food was basically a 800Kcal breakfast, a 300Kcal gel and 200Kcal energy bar for the run, and a 800 Kcal dinner, with a small bag of haribo's before bed time. 2100Kcal/day which I thought I could survive on; I couldn't and I had to beg for some freebies. Thanks to all those who donated rations to a starving person! However, I had no problem with my Extreme Adventure & a couple of Mountain House meals; they were all reasonably edible. 
On hindsight, I would have broken the calories down a bit more and at most taken1 small gel/day. I would have taken some pepperoni's and beef jerky (or similar), and definitely recovery drinks. I should have looked into maximal calories for weight a bit more (a bit more than not at all!)

So there it is; my kit review. 

Kit excellent, food rubbish. 


Brian from Guernsey said... [Reply to comment]


The kit list sounds well sorted. The Raidlight Gaitors, were they stitched to your trainers or attached in some other way?


Richard Lendon said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks Brian. The gaiters are attached to velcro which is sewn onto the shoes. A lot of us used a place in Doncaster. £40 from memory

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