Monday, 5 September 2011

Mountain Marathon Kit List

So here it is. The promised post on what I feel is a good selection of kit for anyone planning a multi-day mountain marathon adventure. This doesn’t have to be a race event. It can simply be a personal adventure, a group challenge or whatever you want it to be.

The kit listed in this post is only my personal opinion drawn from limited experience running and camping. If you are planning this sort of event you should work out what is best for you by TRYING BEFORE THE EVENT!!! Also, those of you competing in organised events; be aware that the event usually has a strict kit list that must be met or risk disqualification, so have a check before turning up unprepared.

Remember the 7 P’s......

Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents P**s Poor Performance

Anyway, this is the kit I took, with some help in how to pack like I did to make it all fit. More serious minimalists may take less, lighter gear. Someone looking for more comfort may take more. It’s up to you. Remember, if you aint got it with you, you can’t use it, but do you really need it??.....


Survival blanket

Trekker 1st Aid sealed in dry sack/zip fresh bag

Mobile phone in zip fresh bag fully charged

Plasters/swiss card in top pocket

Petzl head torch with fresh batteries in zip fresh bag in top section of bag

Whistle already on bag strap

Compass tucked into side pocket with isotonic drink (see below)

Explorer waterproof map in same section as hydration pack (see below)

Readymade trekker meal in foil packaging around edge of sleeping bag (see below)

2x isotonic drinks in outside side pockets

2L hydration pack in designated pocket

Cereal bars in hip pockets

Energy gels in shoulder pockets

Super noodles (main section)

Coffee sachets

Money (notes) in zip fresh bag with cereal bars in hip pocket

Osprey Talon 33 rucksack

Cut down foam roll mat (neck to groin, lining inside of rucksack to protect gear inside)

Marmot Never Winter sleeping bag compressed in dry sack (crucial to keep dry) at the bottom of the rucksacks main section

GSI Hallulite Minimalist cook pot with following inside (pack down next to sleeping bag)

-          100g gas cannister

-          Coleman F1 lite stove

-          Spork

Tent poles down side of roll mat

Tent pegs in zip pocket under bag lid

Penknife in with pegs (Victorinox Soldier)

Lighter in zip fresh bag with pegs and knife

Force 10 Helium 100 tent (by Vango) wrapped around gear in main section of bag

Micro fleece and long sleeve compression layer in dry sack

Minute toothbrush/paste, disposable contact lenses in zip fresh bag in front stretch pocket

Trek towel in compression sack/zip fresh bag (top pocket)

Car key in small zip pocket in lid of bag

Chlorine tablets in zip bag in case need more water from unsafe sources

Warm socks for in the tent in zip bag

Hat and gloves in zip bag in front of bag stretch pocket


Trail shoes (I wear Merrell Trail Gloves or VFF speeds/KSO)

Tights (full length)

Trail shorts

Base layer (long/short sleeve weather dependant)

¼ zip long sleeve run top (I like the North Face ones)

Windproof layer; lightweight (I like Montane Featherlite Jacket)

Watch (alarms and timer for hydration or energy replenishment is better)


GPS (especially if travelling alone on unknown terrain)

Lightweight poncho such as festival ones in case of heavy rain/injury

Lightweight hiking poles for steep ascents or longer runs

When soaking wet:

It helps to have a plan when things turn wet and nasty as they did when I was in the Peaks. Here is my plan to help stay safe, get dry and warm.

·         Bag off and tent out. Door away from weather direction to stay dryer

·         Tent up

·         Mat down in tent and unload dry sacks into tent. Towel at the ready

·         Clothes off and get in tent ASAP. Close the door

·         Dry yourself and put on socks and any warm dry clothes

·         Sleeping bag out. Get into it

·         Put rest of wet kit into doorway of tent

·         Get warm

·         Cook warm food and eat/drink/refuel

I hope this helps anyone interested in running in the mountains and hills. You don’t need all the kit I took, but if it’s not a race you will enjoy the extra couple of comforts believe me!!!

Happy running, happy exploring!



  1. hi CavemanClarke, Great write up and full of useful information. Quick question re Rucksack. Will 33l be enough for a multiday run? I was looking at an OMM Rucksack the Jirishanca (sp) but wasn't sure whether 35L would be enough to carry my Tent and Sleeping bag! Any info appreciated as I have an MM planned for May.



    1. Although I just use mine for running weekends away, I find my 33L Osprey Talon 33 absolutely fine. In fact, there is always room left in it when packed well. It all depends on the pack size of the gear going into it. If your sleeping bag is down-filled and up to three seasons, made by a decent company it should pack down small. As for tent, mine goes in but it is a one man tent (F10 Helium 100). With such a small pack you will be sacrificing a little comfort but it is possible to do, including a little food and drink.

      My advice is to buy the kit first and then get the rucksack last so you can try fitting it all in in the shop!