My Gobi Desert Kit …………
I learnt a lot during the Marathon Des Sable and I aim to use the knowledge to make my Gobi race a little easier,my first test was to look at my kit and how I utilised it in the MDS , I did really well back in April for my first desert race , I had my pack at 9.8kilos on Day 1 which for even the experienced guys is very acceptable , many of my fellow runners started with 12-13 kilo packs. Back then I had never ran across a desert before , fortunately though, over the years I had spent a lot of time in various difficult expedition environments so I wasnt exactly a virgin to fast and light travel but there was room for improvement , definitely . My Post MDS kit opinion
So when planning for the Gobi , I have tried to be Ultra-light , one big tip for races where you have to carry everything on your back is that any weight saving you can make , no matter how small will help , a LOT !! It is very uncomfortable and stamina sapping to run with a loaded ruck-sack !
I am now using a lightened Inov8 Racepro 22 and front pac which I love to bits ,I really cant see past Inov8 packs for running , they fit me like a glove and with the new front pac are unbeatable. I will use Camelback Podium bottles 710ml and add Performance lids again , I’ve shaved a few extra grammes AND added some comfort by using a Klymit X-frame mat , a genius sleeping pad that I just reviewed , my sleeping bag is still my Marmot Atom down bag which is small and very lightweight and has been fine for both Scottish summer camping and Sahara Desert nights , my cooking pot , spork and stove are lightweight titanium , I use a Victorinox SD1 knife , its adequate and has scissors , I carry an Ultralight Medical kit 5 , NO specific blister kit except for a scalpel blade and some Eosine. one spare pair of socks , I will wash them every night , I use a petzl tikka head torch and I have no spare clothes … , I will wear Skins A400 short sleeve top and half shorts under a loose wicking T-shirt and vent shorts , this will ensure no chafe and I will stink and scruff it for a week no problems , its liberating !! last but not least are my Grivel running poles , there are lighter alternatives but these poles are top-notch , bomber gear !! you don’t need them but they were very helpful when I was in the Saharan dunes , very !!
On my feet will be a pair of Sauchony Peregrines , they are lightweight and are the trail version of the Kinvaras that I have been using to do most of my road running in lately , they are sandproof and very light , I will match them to a pair of Inov8 socks and Inov8 debris gaiters , this will give me a very lightweight and breathable combination , I’ve tested these on the beach and I was more than happy with the results ….. fingers crossed for the desert .. to be honest sand getting in your shoes is not the problem people make it out to be , there’s nothing like as much loose sand in these desert runs as people assume there is , and it’s only when you ignore it and don’t do anything about it that the problems will start …..
My food choice however has changed drastically , over the past few months I have slowly transformed to very Au Natural eating habits , and I intend to take this to the desert , my calories are made up of oats , Cous Cous , Quinoa , nuts and dried fruit , this has drastically saved me a lot of weight , it’s all easy to cook , Cous Cous just needs hot water and it will do the rest itself , throw in some spice and its beautiful , It has all the useable carbohydrate and protein that one of those god awful fat bloated dehydrated cardboard Expedition meal has .. all calories are not equal !! , My new choice of Calorie weighs less and takes up a lot less room , Quinoa also has some amazing properties to it , the protein content and the full range of amino acids makes it an awesome natural recovery food , I have given myself a little treat though in the shape of a couple of Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles .. just incase I crave something unhealthy , I’m not a saint you know !! During the stages I have favoured Honey Stingers 100% organic honey based chews with added electrolytes , and I have added a sachet of Peronin for every stage so I’m going as organic as I possibly can without unnecessary risk to my performance , I will write up a fully dedicated post to all this when I get back.
The combination of all these little savings in weight has resulted in a pack that weighs only 7.9 kilos , now this is something to be very proud of especially as I havent scrimped on comfort , I have a full length sleeping mat and a front pack in this set up and even racing poles , all the mod cons !! so I consider it my own personal benchmark in a fast and light one week self sufficient pack .
I have included a full kit list below :
Inov8 Racepro 22 pack with Racepac and bottle holders , Camelbak Podium bottle 710ml with Performance bottle lids
Marmot Atom sleeping bag , Klymit X-frame Sleeping mat
Wemmi wipes and pack soap ..
1 pair spare socks
Julbo Glacier SunGlasses
Cooking …..Esbit titanium stove with my Optimus 0.6L cook pot will boil the water ..Titanium Spork
EMERGENCY KIT list to include ..
High 5 electrolyte tablets
Tikka head torch
spare batteries long life extra set
Zince oxide tape
2 x Knee bandage
MEDICAL KIT to include:
Factor 50 sun block
Lip Balm SPF 20
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