Final preparations for Big Alps Run - Kit

So, here we go... It's just a couple of weeks till I set off now, so I'll be writing a few "final preparations" blogs, talking about kit, shoes, and route. Today, what am I going to carry?

For the majority of the challenge I will be unsupported and camping, so I'll have a fair bit of kit to carry. Most of it is currently spread out in the spare room:

(click for larger version)
Most of it is, I guess, pretty obvious. There are a few things which are to be added (Shoes being a major one!), but some things are just not there because I'm not taking them... Spare clothes fall into that category. I'd rather stink than carry any more! The total pack weight, with water and having just bought a couple of days' food, will be about 9kg.

So, a quick description of the main stuff...

Camping kit:
Tent - Coleman Rigel X2, single skin tiny wee tent. Weighs about 800g, quick to put up, and stays upright if the wind blows! I could take a Laser or Sup Air, but experience tells me these fall down on the last two points.
Sleeping Bag - Very thin one. I'm taking the thinnest lightest bag I own. If it's cold I'll wear the down gillet, and any other clothes as necessary.
Cooking stuff - MSR Pocket rocket, an aluminium mug to cook in and a spork. The only issue here is that I'll have to find places to buy gas as needed, or eat cold food when I run out!

Using the tent during the British Isles Challenge
On the trail:
Shoes & Socks - There will be a seperate blog on these later, but I'll be wearing Injinji toe socks inside New Balance 101s. Thanks to both for their generous support.
Clothes - Skins 3/4s or normal running shorts, with tights over the top if necessary. On top, depending on the weather either a vest, t-shirt, long sleeved base layer, or all three!
Extras - Leki trekking poles and Kahtoola Microspikes, I'm expecting to encounter snow higher up and these will hopefully allow me to keep going without slowing down too much.

Food and Drink:
Water - I'm taking four water bottles, one of which has a built in purification filter, so I can use this one if I have to drink dirty hill water. I'd probably normally risk it in the Alps, but having this should avoid any problems.
Food - I'll be buying food as I go. The route descends into a town or village roughly once every 3 days, so I intend to stock up and carry food for a few days. I'll also carry a few things with me all the way, such as Xero tablets, and some sachets of coffee (luxury item!)

Other stuff:
Camera, mobile phone and GPS - I'm still undecided about the GPS as I don't anticipate needing it all the time, and battery charging will be an issue. The video camera will mean I can take stills and a video "blog" as I go, and the phone is useful in an emergency as well as to keep you all up to date with my progress...
Battery Charger - I'm taking a solar powered battery charger, which will be strapped onto my pack during the day, then can be used to charge the camera and phone at night.

Personal Hygiene & Grooming:
Erm... I'm thinking of taking a toothbrush!

So, that's basically what I'm going to carry for a month. The next final preparation blog will be... Shoes and socks! Don't touch that dial...


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