I’m already starting to think about my kit for the MDS. It might seem a bit early but I know that one of the key things I’ll need to do to prepare for such an unfamiliar type of event is give myself plenty of time to train with every single bit of clothing, equipment and nutrition so that I can get used to it and iron out any problems with plenty of time to spare.
With a self-supported race like this, weight is obviously a massive issue. The mandatory weight is at least 6.5kg and no more than 15kg, not including water, and I am sure that in future posts I will think more about where within that range I want to fall, and the trade-offs that will involve, but for now let’s just look at the mandatory items I have to take with me, and their likely weights:
• Backpack MDS or equivalent – I have an idea for this but, bearing in mind what it needs to carry, this won’t be super lightweight. approx 1kg
• Sleeping bag – probably going for the OMM mountain raid 1.6, which weighs 450g
• Head torch with spare batteries – I’ve gone for the Petzl Tikka+, which has decent brightness in a lightweight package and gives me red light, which means I can use it at work as well. 84g
• 10 safety pins – Negligable weight
• Compass, with 1° or 2° precision – about 50g
• Lighter – a bic lighter is about 22g
• A whistle – The bag I’m likely to use, like a lot of higher-end running packs, incorporates a whistle in the chest clip so I can probably get away without a seperate one for now.
• Knife with metal blade – the smallest Swiss Army knife ought to be fine for this, and is just 21g
• Topical disinfectant – Iodine or similar. 30ml should be just over 30g
• Anti-venom pump – the one I have comes in a box with the suction caps and various other accessories, weighing 108g. If I remove the instructions, razor blade, plasters etc, it’s just 85g. If I put it in a plastic bag with just the necessary attachments, should go as low as 32g
• A signalling mirror – haven’t found one yet tbh
• One aluminium survival sheet – 45g though maybe I can find a lighter one somewhere?
• One tube of sun cream – maybe 300g depending on how much I take
• 200 euros or equivalent in foreign currency.
So, it’s looking to be just over 1kg for the kit (half that is the sleeping bag, of course) and another 1kg for the bag itself. Not horrendous, but already chiseling into the weight I want to carry. The next big question will be how much will my food weigh. And that will be another blog post…