The ultra runners tool kit

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30/10/2011 at 21:28
I thought it might be beneficial to have a thread to share tips on equipment. 
30/10/2011 at 21:34
That's a good idea - especially as I intended to put some gear on my Christmas list. Have only done marathon distance and intend to move up to Ultra next year, so I'd love some tips on what's good to get.
30/10/2011 at 22:01

I will give a few of my thoughts:

The main difference between marathon and ultra, is that you will need to carry your own water on most ultras.  Whether you use a camel back or a rig with two bottles, it had better be a good one.  You should pay as much attention to the fit of a camel back as you would to a pair of running shoes. 

If your ultra caries over into the hours of darkness, then your head torch becomes your visible universe.  Make sure it is light, robust, and above all powerful.  Make sure that you like the controls, which you may have to use instinctively. 

All distance runners lubricate themselves, but in an ultra a problem can crop up somewhere you did not expect it.  I carry one of those tiny tubs of petroleum gel lip balm, because they are light and can be used to perform emergency lubrications.

Duct tape can be used to repair any piece of kit, including the human foot.  It is waterproof and strong, yet you can tear it with your bare fingers.  The problem is finding a roll that is small and light. 

I have had maps disintegrate in the rain.  You can use a map case, but laminating them saves weight. 

You must have protection against the elements if you roll your ankle in the middle of nowhere.  Carry a survival blanket or most ultras.  Preferably the silver one that absorbs heat from the sun even in cold weather. 

30/10/2011 at 22:20
Ben, this is a good idea to have a list as there are a few more things to think about once on ultra distances
30/10/2011 at 22:39

I'm not a fan of lamination as I've still found it leaks (my laminated map sheets on the Northumberland ultra were almost totally anialated (sp?) by the weather), but am a big fan of resealable food bags!!  And Sealine map cases are brilliant - bombproof.

Duct tape is a wonder piece of kit

Buffs are the most amazing items - even used mine to stem the flow of deep gash in my hand on one ultra.  I usually carry several.

Would be interested in female recommendations for backcarriers/waist packs. I am just under 5ft 3 and small framed and struggle to find something that sits just right. Currently have an OMM Ultra 15 which is fab size for self-sufficient ultras with challenging weather/routes that require quantity of kit to carry but the reality is that I have to pull all the straps into the minimum to make it fit and unless it's fully loaded it jostles around.

30/10/2011 at 22:52
cragchick,im 5ft nothing and very small- i have that problem too with belts. i had to hack abt 10inch of the strap off so it wasnt flapping everywhere, and still at its tightest it just bounces around until it lands on my right hip..then i feel uneven..sounds odd i know but i dnt like feeling uneven weights on one side. i have a eurohike pack which is small and the  strap that clips upacross shoulders does up across my ribs lol , whcih is fine because it doesnt bounce then.itll be fine for short ultras in moderate weather but i dnt think it has enough storage facility for extra clothes/gels/food etc so if anyone can reccommend a good one  for storage/and ample fluids but not so its going to drown me(im a size 4/6)...then please do!
Dustboy    pirate
30/10/2011 at 23:22
Oo, a jolly interesting thread about being comfortable...
30/10/2011 at 23:23
Dustboy  wrote (see)
Oo, a jolly interesting thread about being comfortable... chafed bits wanted here...
30/10/2011 at 23:32

I forgot he most important thing.

Put your mobile phone in a sealable sandwich bag. 

Then it will actually work after a downpour!

Dustboy    pirate
31/10/2011 at 00:02
So, has anyone EVER slept on the mattress (waffer thin bit of foam) that comes with an OMM ruckie?

And is your back still attached to the rest of you?
31/10/2011 at 05:38
I sat on mine once to change my socks...................
31/10/2011 at 09:02

Mine has never been out of the sac!

One peice of kit I really like (Well, its pretty close to being kit) is Elete electrolyte. Tiny bottle, weighs next to nothing. One tiny bottle makes about 10 litres of drink. Much prefer it to tablets or sachets.

31/10/2011 at 14:50
Wetter is Better! wrote (see)

Mine has never been out of the sac!

One peice of kit I really like (Well, its pretty close to being kit) is Elete electrolyte. Tiny bottle, weighs next to nothing. One tiny bottle makes about 10 litres of drink. Much prefer it to tablets or sachets.

where from WIBetter? 
31/10/2011 at 14:54

This is the stuff :

Can get it other places as well although haven't seen it stocked in many shops, only really seen it online.

31/10/2011 at 16:31

that sounds good - the electrolyte, will have to look that out.

Will keep you posted on any pack ideas I come across Loulabell. Ironically the best fitting thing I have is something my dad picked up from Tchibo but is too small for carrying more than a a gel or two and liquid. Quite like the idea of a waistpack with bottles - know what you mean about feeling out of balance.

Have never used the bit of foam for sleeping on - I cheat and take my 3/4 length thermarest on mountain marathons instead - far more comfortable!

My list for father christmas needs to include: Montane wind smock (although why they only do the smock for the boys and girls have to have a zipped up the front one I don't understand) and matched trousers, and some 3/4 length compression tights.

31/10/2011 at 16:53

thank you cragchaick..i will let you know if i come across any kit suitable for our size!...i have heard a couple of ladies-and i think chili too told me at a recent event- that childrens rucksacks can be handy if you are petite. i did look at these in the costwold outdoor shop. they are fine for space for small clothing items/socks/plasters etc but if on a long ultra where bladder required for large fluid amounts then its a problem. i suppose i could try waist belt that holds a few bottles and thn just use a small rucksack ie kids for the kit/food etc

i have had a couple of my prezzies early cragchick as i really wanted them before the cold got here. i got 2XUs..and they are fab..some proper run gloves that are waterproof,(i used to just have some woolly ones), aand a jacket by marmot..i got it from a website reduced as the only sizes were small and XS. Its a brilliant fit and shape..folds into its own pocket and even with XS i still have room to wear base layer and a 2 layers underneath should i need to...there are still some in stock! reduced from £40 i think to £19.99

thanks WIbetter..i will have a look at that

31/10/2011 at 20:24

Loula, I guess it's trying out what works best for you. The tiny kids back-pack that I sometimes use I have only run with for short distances (i.e. school run, or short 5 miles) when i needed to drop something off somewhere on the way. I have the same hydrapack as you and that is very comfortable, but as you say, will only fit the water, a phone and a gel or two - it's not big enough for clothing too.

I think I'm going to have to find a running shop that sells backpacks and go try a few on.

I have a head torch that I use with my bike so i think I'll give that a go on the next night run I do.

Interesting about gaffer tape! Will look out for a small roll.

31/10/2011 at 20:58

wow £19.99, that's a top bargain Loula - can you remember which site? I have a marmot waterproof which packs down mega small (hood zips off too) but really want a wind top that will just shove in a little bum bag if necessary. 2XUs sound good.

Where I live we are a bit limited on decent running shops but a big go outdoors has just opened in Inverness so need a trip into the 'big smoke'! to investigate what they've got. I mainly rely on internet purchases as it's easier but some stuff you really need to see.

Chilibean - often big outdoor stores have as good a range as running stores, either that or my local running stores (when I lived down South) just didn't have good stock.

I've also found some great stuff in Lidls!!! Winter running tights etc although sizes are a bit hit and miss and you have to be quick off the mark to get the XS

31/10/2011 at 21:39

...dont bother with fancy pants sports drinks just use diaroltye in your camelback. Much cheaper.

31/10/2011 at 21:57

I notice that we have some petite ladies who are having trouble finding a well fitted rucksack. 

Perhaps a belt pack, something like the Osprey talon 8 might be better?

I also don't bother with sports drinks, simply adding nun tablets to my water, and obtaining additional electrolytes from gels and food. 

Edited: 31/10/2011 at 21:59
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