My first ultramarathon was the 9Bar9x9 81Km Trail race in October 2015. The 9Bar race was based around a 9km loop and did not have a mandatory kit list, recommending only wearing trail shoes, carrying a charged mobile phone and having a torch if expecting to finish after dusk.
Mandatory kit lists are common for ultramarathons, particularly for the longer distance races, where the terrain is difficult or the weather is expected to be bad.
If you’ve read some of my other ultrarunning posts you will know I like having plenty of gear so I thought I would explore what makes up the typical ultramarathon mandatory kit list a little more.
Mandatory Kit Lists
I searched around the Internet and through the trail running and ultramarathon books and magazines I have and found one site that stood out from the others. Centurion Running organise runner orientated ultra distance trail races in the UK. Their races are typically over distances of 50 or 100 miles and are very popular.
Centurion have a mandatory kit list for each of their races and not only describe this in detail on their website but also have a really helpful video that shows one of their team fitting all of the necessary equipment into a 3 litre Salomon vest. I strongly recommend you visit the Centurion Running Site for more information.
Below is a list of the items I have most often found in mandatory kit lists for ultramarathons. The actual contents varies depending on the type and distance of the event. The time of year will also make a difference. I have included links to some of the items I currently use myself.
- Waterproof jacket with taped seams
- Waterproof trousers with taped seams
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Mobile phone
- Map of the route
- Water bottles or bladder
- Spare base layer long sleeve top
- Emergency food
- Emergency foil blanket
- First aid kit
- Something to carry the above in!
What’s In Your Kit List
I hope this post is useful to you. Are there any items you think I’ve missed? Perhaps there is an item that does not appear on mandatory kit lists but that you always carry? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.