T184: kit

Overall my plan was to try to not carry too much weight, while taking enough clothes and sleeping equipment to avoid getting too cold. (I get cold fairly easily, especially on multi-day events if I’m moving slowly). I wasn’t completely successful on the later count, but would have struggled to run with a heavier pack.

I’m a bit of a gear junkie, so already had all of the kit apart from the lightweight sleeping bag and the front pack.


3 x Drymax socks
Brooks Cascadia shoes (in a half size larger than usual)
Dirty Girl hot purple gaiters

My feet did blister, but not too badly. Given the distance, pack weight and wet grass, avoiding blisters was difficult (unless your feet are bomb proof). My feet get sweaty, so in hot weather SealSkinz create more problems than they solve.

Terra Nova Discovery light bivy bag
A lightweight hoop-less bivy. Got cheap (significantly less than RRP at least) from Field and Trek. Not a good option in hot wet weather (as I found out in July...): you’ve got a choice between getting drenched by rain or drenched by condensation. But it was fine for this years T184 weather. You can only lie out flat in it if you’re short though.

PHD racer down sleeping bag, short
This was one of PHD’s Summer Special’s. The temperatures at night were in the single digits and this (+ the liner below) wasn’t warm enough for me. It became apparent a couple of days before that it was going to be cold at night, for late August at least. So I should have taken my RAB neutrino 400 instead. A lightweight synthetic bag (if such a thing exists...) might be a better choice if the weather is very wet, and you’re not carrying a tent or hooped bivy.

Sea to summit reactor plus thermolite liner-compact plus
A last minute addition, to try and cope with the low overnight temperatures. See above.

I didn’t bother with a sleeping mat. I don’t mind sleeping on hard/rough surfaces and in August the ground temperature is high enough that heat loss in that direction isn’t a problem. And my rucksack had one built in if I’d needed it.

I had difficulty sleeping. But (apart from the sleeping bag temperature issue) the problem was my head not my kit.


OMM Adventure Light 20 litre sack and Salomon Custom Front Pocket
An old pack that I used to use for events with long kit lists (e.g. Fellsman and UTMB) in the days pre race vests. Was comfy and had a little bit of room to spare. The one plus side of having broad shoulders is that unisex packs fit me OK. The only problem was that it was on its last legs, which I only noticed as I was on my way down to London. Thankfully my last minute bodge job repairs with super glue and duck tape held...
A front pack is really useful for carrying snacks, phone, maps etc. In the past I’ve used a OMM front pack with a larger OMM Jirishanca sack. But that bounced around too much with the smaller sack, so I got a Salomon one, and sewed/glued the connecting bits to my sack. The side pockets were useful for additional water carrying capacity for stage 1, and the top strap handy for stashing the maps.

Petzl Myo RXP
Workhorse headtorch. Good compromise between brightness, weight and battery life. A decent head torch is useful for spotting signs.

Petzl e-lite

2 x Camelbak 750ml bottle

2 x Ultimate Direction 420ml Body Bottle
For extra capacity during stage 1 (when water sources were sparse).

UVEX Active Vario Sunglasses

Got these after the epic 2012 Fellsman. Protect against the wind in overcast conditions, as well as the Sun.

Harvey’s Thames Path map
Took this as a backup to the official maps, in case I lost them or needed to look up a grid reference. In retrospect 1:25 000 scale OS maps would have been useful for the start and finish.
Didn’t take a GPS. I did get lost once, but the time I lost then was probably off-set by the weight saved and the time I’d have wasted checking a GPS unnecessarily if I’d had one.

Blister kit
Swiss credit card, moleskin, k-tape, wound dressing, zinc oxide tape, plasters, wipes, bandage (the last 3 were just to satisfy the compulsory kit).

Suunto Ambit
On 1 minute recording (which gave ~60 hours battery life), so I knew roughly how far I’d gone and could check my position if necessary. Unfortunately the one time it was necessary was after the battery had run out...

Nokia ‘numpty’ phone
Cheap, robust and long battery life, so no need to carry a charger.

One big (rucksack sized) Ultrasil dry bag, and lots of small ones

Three: one with podcasts, one with happy music and one with angry music. Only used the happy music one (I was still spectacularly miserable/bad tempered for a lot of the final 24 hours...).


6 x Mule bars (summer berry & mango tango)

6 x Mars bars
I don’t usually like them (far too sweet) but I crave them on multi-day events.

12 x caffeinated Gu gels

6 x Bounce balls

6 x Ritz crackers

9 x Hula Hoops
My favourite running food, unfortunately a bit bulky. I had the cunning idea to chop them up and put them in zip-lock bags to reduce the volume. Unfortunately they went a bit stale by day 3 and I didn’t manage to eat them all, despite being really hungry.

1 large Dominos margherita pizza

S Caps, salt tablets

I’m never particularly fussed about hot food, and struggle to eat big meals when running. So I didn’t take a stove and instead ate roughly 100 calories an hour of sweet and savoury snacks, plus (to everyone else’s bemusement...) cold pizza at the checkpoints. To minimise weight I took the minimum number of calories allowed, knowing that if it took longer than 3 days (which it did, just) I’d go hungry. This worked fairly well, apart from the chopped up Hula Hoops. If I was doing it again I’d take ~500 calories more of sweet stuff (which is great for an instant energy boost when sleep-deprived).


Patagonia bra & Odlo pants (+ lashings of sudocrem)
No chafing.

North face thin long sleeved top & Raidlight stretch raider long sleeved top
Had planned to save weight by wearing a thin long-sleeved top on the first day and then just putting layers on top of it. But the 1st day was hot enough that I drenched it with sweat and had to switch to the Raidlight top that night. It dried off stuffed in the bungy cord on the back of my rucksack on day 2 and I used it again on day 3.

2XU 3/4 tights and Gore running full length tights

RAB Vapour-rise lite jacket
Wore at checkpoints and over night. In retrospect an OMM Rotor smock (+ possibly a lightweight windproof) would have been better.

Icebreaker liner gloves
Love these. Very lightweight and fairly warm even when wet.

X-bionic Bondear headband and Rab meco hat
Hadn’t initially planned to take these. But wore them through the 2nd and 3rd nights.

Buff & 2XU cap


OMM Kamleika pants
OMM Kamleika jacket
I’d original planned to take lighter Montane minimus waterproofs, but switched to heavier weight ones because of the weather forecast. Very glad I did. This was the first time I’d worn this particular pair of over-trousers (my old pair died on the Spine race after 4 years of heavy use). The new cut was different, and I got annoyed by how baggy they were. I’ve since given them to the OH and got another pair a size smaller which seem to be OK.

Total weight (with 1.5l water): ~8kg