Spine kit


I ended up with a ~10kg pack (including food and water). Big and heavy compared with many other people’s (my priority was comfort rather than speed) but not the biggest by any means.

Hydropel, Drymax socks, knee length SealSkinz socks, Rab Latok mid gaiters and Inov8 Roclite 286 boots.
This combination did a great job of keeping my feet dry-ish and blister free. The boots were good for grip and stability but probably didn’t have quite enough cushioning (judging by the intermittent ‘being hit with a hammer’ feeling I got for several days afterwards, just like after running the first ~30 miles of the Games 100 on tarmac in trail shoes) and the uppers have begun to split after only ~250 miles, which is a bit crap (and would be a problem for the full Spine Race).

Rab Ridge Raider bivy bag
Plenty of room for a midget like me and all my kit and a lot easier to pitch than a tent. Now I’ve got used to this my usual tent, a Terra Nova Laser Photon (got to love kit with a random physics name) is going to feel like a palace.
PHD custom made sleeping bag
Based on the Minim 400 with 100g extra down and midget length and width to give a comfort temp of -10. The race rules stipulated an extreme rating of -10, but I feel the cold.
Rab silk liner
Exped SunMat Ultralight  7 short

A bit bulkier and heavier than a Thermarest NeoAir, but a lot warmer and comfier.

This lot kept me warm when I bivied in the snow at CP1.5. A bit bulky possibly, but (for me at least) worth it for the comfort.

OMM Jirishanca 35 litre sack and OMM front pack
I’d originally bought a 32 litre OMM classic to use, but it just wouldn’t sit right, chafed my shoulders and made my back hurt. I didn’t really want to buy another sack, so used this one I already had. Bigger and heavier than most, but it was comfortable for me and the extra room meant I didn’t have to squeeze stuff into it. Front pack was pretty much essential for carrying map, GPS, snacks etc.
Black Diamond Z-poles
Lots of Ultrasil dry bags in various sizes
Trekmates flameless cooking system

Thanks to the checkpoint food and my pub meal on Sunday light, I didn’t use it, but it can get water to almost boiling point in a bivy bag.
Petzl Myo XP
Workhorse headtorch. Good compromise between  brightness, weight and battery life. Should have used lithium batteries though.
Camelbak insulated bottles
Water didn’t freeze but the squirt valves did. Probably need something better for significantly sub-zero temperatures.
UVEX Active Vario Sunglasses
Got these post Fellsman for protection against the wind in overcast conditions. Had more heavy duty glasses in my dropbag for bright Sun + snow..
Kahtoola microspikes
Used these for the crossing of the limestone pavement at Malham Cove and subsequent climb. Probably didn’t need to. YakTrax would have been much more useful, in particular for the descent off Pen y Ghent.

BeWell Expedition meals
Didn’t eat these, but their veg meals are pretty good (if they were cheaper I’d eat them at home!).
Mule bars
Got a bit hard in the cold, but I didn’t have to resort to the ‘stick them down the bra’ trick.
Hammer gels
A small number of these were good for the occasional quick boosts.
Hula Hoops
My favourite running food, just wish they weren’t so bulky.
Dominos margherita pizza
Was moving slowly enough that this went down easily, should have put some more in my drop bag for day 2.

Rab Meco baselayers
Really do live up to the ‘warm when wet’ hype.
Raidlight Stretch Raider top and microfleece jacket
Old workhorses, but they fit me and I like them.
Gore running and North Face winter tights
X-bionic Energizer Boxer Shorts

Boxer short style pants don’t fit me properly (TMI: they bunch up around my thighs and it feels like I’m wearing a nappy), but minor lack of comfort is worth it for the warmth and wicking.
Haglofs Actives Warm Q Knicker
Switched to these knee length shorts for day 2, a bit warmer and avoid the bunching problem.
Patagaonia Ultralight Down Shirt
An emergency layer bought after this year’s Fellsman. Very light and compact (but more or less useless if wet). Didn’t use it.
Marmot Womens Variant Jacket
A more robust but bulky extra layer. Didn’t use this either. Carrying this and the Patagonia was overkill.
Icebreaker 260 gloves
Love these so much I’ve bought two pairs. Fine on their own down to below zero (provided it’s not windy).
Mountain equipment Epic Glove
Bought these after seeing people use them to satisfy the UTMB ‘warm and waterproof’ requirement. Less bulky than the Sealskinz 4 seasons gloves (which I had in my drop bag). Did the job perfectly, but I might try a pair of Buffalo mitts (saw a lot of these in action).
X-bionic Bondear headband and X-tremities light hat
Kept my ears warm and my head warm and dry throughout. To my surprise didn’t need to use the thick X-tremities hat or the X-bionic balaclava I was carrying.

OMM Kamleika pants
Love these.
OMM Cypher jacket
Keeps the water out but can get a bit sweaty on the inside. In retrospect the Kamleika jacket would have been a better choice.

What I didn’t have but should have done
Something to protect my nose/top lip (short of the balaclava).