I found that packing for a running adventure was a whole different kettle of fish to other trips I’ve been on before, especially as I’m going through some rather chilly winter months. As soon as weight/pack size start to be a priority, there’s a lot of research to be done and sadly things do get more expensive! I also had to try hard to find running kit that wouldn’t be too awful when I couldn’t wash it for a few days. Cheap running kit is great when you can chuck it in the washing machine straight after your run but, in my experience, doesn’t cope so well when you need to wear it day after day. I could almost definitely be carrying less but, given the length of this trip, certain things were worth their weight to not be completely miserable, whether that be in terms of comfort, convenience or entertainment.
• Osprey Tempest 30 pack
• Osprey Hi-Vis Raincover
This is the women’s fit version of the Osprey Talon. I love this pack so far. No nasty chafing, adjustable straps everywhere and lots of handy pockets. Everything fits perfectly at the moment but annoyingly I may have to upgrade to the 40l size when I get up to the Highlands and have to start carrying my own food for a few days at a time.
• Karrimor Dry Bag 2l and 15l
As useful for organisation as for keeping things dry.
• Nike Dri-Fit vest
• Adidas Climacool t shirt
For long-term backpack running I strongly recommend layering two fitted tops to reduce chafing. Both of these were picked for softness. Go to a sports shop and feel the material of everything before you buy! The Nike vest is particularly dreamily soft.
• Skins A200 Compression tights
I bought these because I liked the pattern, not for the all the claims of science and compression wizardry. However, I have to say that my legs have not ached once so far, except for the day that I didn’t wear these. Take from that what you will.
• Panache Sport bra
If you’re a female, especially a female with a larger sized chest, you should probably try this sports bra. It actually works. Nothing wobbles, you don’t feel like you’re in a straight jacket and they’re even quite attractive. It’s a dream come true.
• Hilly Cushioned Anklet socks
• SealSkinz Thin Socklet
I wear the former to run in and the latter in the evenings to make putting wet trainers back on slightly less miserable. No blisters yet and I’m usually very blister-prone.
• Under Armour ColdGear Infrared tights
• Nike Dri-Fit t shirt
• IceBreaker Oasis Merino base layer
My number one adventure tip is to be strict about having clean clothes and dirty clothes. These are my clean clothes. No matter how tempting it is to start the day in your clean, warm clothes, power through, put the dirty ones back on and save these for the end of the day.
• New Balance 880v5 trainers
I started in the trainers that I was already running in to avoid any immediate foot problems. I will be transitioning into La Sportiva trail shoes over the next few weeks.
• Patagonia R1 Full Zip fleece
I bought this heavily reduced in a sale and I probably wouldn’t spend the full £95 on a fleece. That being said, I really like it. Very soft inside, still warm when wet and dries extremely quickly. Great for both running and as a cosy evening layer.
• Rab Microlight Alpine down jacket
• Berghaus Gore-Tex Active waterproof jacket
In combination I’ve been warm and dry the whole time, which is all you can ask for really! I’ve mostly chosen to just get wet in the rain whilst actually running so far rather than have the sticky raincoat feeling.
• Lowe Alpine fleece hat
• Aldi running gloves
Warm extremities sponsored by my family. I was mid-adventure shopping when my Dad said “don’t worry about a hat – we’ve got loads”. Saving £7 suddenly felt like a huge deal so I took him on the offer. My friends have told me that this hat makes me look like a poor Smurf but it keeps my head warm and makes me laugh/think of my Dad every time I wear it, so I’m kind of okay with that. Genuine 1990 adventure vintage. My brother bought these gloves from Aldi but they were too small for him so I inherited them. Several years later, they’re still going strong.
• Say Yes More Buff
I never really ‘got’ the Buff thing until this trip but I now realise it’s hug for your head and you should never underestimate the importance of warm ears.
Camping and Cooking
• Nordisk Telemark Ultra Light tent
• Thermarest Neoair Xlite sleeping mat
• Mountain Equipment Xero 300 sleeping bag
As you’ll know if you read my last post, I haven’t actually camped yet, but this is my set up for when I do. Sleeping bag research took over my life but I found this Mountain Equipment one was a very affordable option given its warmth:weight ratio, compared to other brands.
• Jetboil Minimo cooker
• Sea to Summit cutlery set
• Mountain Warehouse enamel mug
Electronics, Optometrics and Entertainment
• iPad Mini tablet
• Logitech Ultrathin keyboard
• Powertraveller Powermonkey Explorer solar charger
• Spot Gen 3 tracker
• iPhone 6
• Lifeproof Fre waterproof phone case
• E-Case waterproof tablet case
I trade this in at charity shops whenever I finish one. Carrying a book absolutely breaks any lightweight rules but the happiness gains are completely worth the weight gains.
• First aid kit (Thanks Steve!)
• SPF moisturiser
• Toothpaste and toothbrush
• Shower scrunchie
Don’t worry, I have been washing too, I just pinch shower gel/shampoo/conditioner as I go.
Blimey, it looks like a lot once it’s all written down! This all fits happily in my pack and on my back though and, despite occasional moments of longing for my hair straighteners, over all I’m happy as larry living life barefaced with just two outfit options.
Quick note: Panache Sport are kindly supplying my sports bras for the trip – but I would be wearing them regardless! Everything else I either already owned, borrowed from friends (big thanks to Dave for lending me the tent!) or bought myself and is unsponsored.