Ultra Gear List - TNF100 

Posted by Nick Wednesday, May 11, 2011 8:26:00 AM

In the first few years, the most talked about aspect of TNF100 was the mandatory gear list.  There seemed to be two primary reasons for all the talk -

  • many first-time ultra participants are used to seeing magazine photos of runners in some of the major US ultras like Leadville and Western States carrying nothing but a hand-held in events that are unquestionably tougher than TNF100, and;
  • the marketing-driven encouragement (which is understandable given the sponsor) to use mandatory equipment that is top-of-the-line hiking gear that is bulky and heavy.

As the TNF100 matures and competitors learn from the mistakes of past years, there seems to be a lot less excitement and comment on the mandatory gear list this year.  After a lot of time in contemplation and research, I've whittled the gear I'm carrying (excluding hydration and food that I plan to consume) down to about 2.7kg, which is a fairly minimal load and fits well in my pack of choice.  The complete gear I'm carrying is:

Item Weight(g) Cost
Camelbak Mule 670 78
Nathan Elite V2 Waist Belt 240 50
High Visibility Safety Vest 40 15
Petzl e-lite 28 30
Nike Running Gloves 40 15
Waterproof pants 150 30
Bandage 35 5
Whistle 5 2
Compass 10 5
Space Blanket 58 10
Thermal top 130 25
Thermal pants 145 20
Waterproof Jacket (Inov8 MistLite 210) 230 16
Beanie 40 20
Gore Windstopper Jumper 270 120 
Avaya Lights 180  264
 Zip-lock Bags 10   .1
 Food 150  5
 Phone 150  0
 Day-time torch  16  1

Total cost is around $800.

Other than the linked items which I have selected with a fair amount of care, generic items like the whistle and thermals are the cheapest/ lightest ones I can find at outdoor store sales.  Short of a significant injury that required me to stop running and wait for rescue, I've got not intention of wearing most of the gear, so cheap and light are priorities.

The Nathan waist-belt is to allow quick re-fills at CP1 and CP2, and I'll be ditching it at CP3 and going with the Camelbak internal bladder.  I'm starting with 2 litres - 1 litre in the Nathan bottles, and 1 litre reserve in the Camelbak.

I'll be running up to CP4 with the small Petzl light and a small eBay special pen-light, and switching to the Avaya lights at CP4, with sunset in the Jamison Valley (post CP4) being the time I anticipate needing a good light. The Avaya lights are the ones I use on my regular Wednesday pre-dawn trail run, and I'm comfortable with the extra weight they bring in exchange for a massive boost in light output.

The shoes will be XT Wings 2 with Linebreaker Compression Shorts and a technical t-shirt on top. The compression-short only option is probably a little less photogenic, but signicantly reduces the chance of shorts bunching under the waist belt and wearing through the skin.

After much testing, I'm confident this gear-list is the right option for a great race.

re: Ultra Gear List - TNF100

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 11:09:53 AM Brett Sammut

Hi Nick.

Thanks for this mate. Gives a newbie a great start where to look for gear. At least I have 11 months to save up for the gear.


re: Ultra Gear List - TNF100

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 1:58:57 PM Andy Bowen

Hey Nick, 

Love the optimism of a Sunset in the Jamison Valley - if we get one it will mean it's bloody cold and frost will be upon us. That being the case I may have to get some of the extra kit out which has been in my pack for 3 years without an airing!

Similar running gear to me, including LineBreak compression shorts and Calf Guards. Linebreak are supporting my 33 Marathons run later this year, and have a 40% discount code for you if you're getting any more gear from them.

Rest well this week and I hope to see you up there,


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