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:
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.