Required Gear

Gear is essential for winter ultras. The right gear can mean the difference between finishing strong and needing to be rescued from a bad situation. Therefore, there is a minimum level of gear that all participants need to carry/pull. This list is the minimum gear needed. It’s highly recommended that you bring as much clothing and protective gear as you feel you need to be successful for up to 20 hours in potentially extremely cold temps.

We understand that gear is a big investment. We recommend reaching out to friends and other winter ultra vets to borrow gear for test runs. This will help ensure you find something that works well for you.

Participants must have the following gear at check-in, start AND finish:

  • Sleeping bag (Zero F degree or lower)
    • Bag must be labeled with its rating, or have other documentation/proof of bag rating at gear check.
  • Bivy sack
    • Must be a permanent bivy, not a rescue one that you cannot reuse. Must close on at least 3 sides.
  • Sleeping pad
  • Stove
  • Fuel
    • Must finish with at least 4 oz. of fuel left
  • Pot or container
    • 1 pint minimum
  • Firestarter (matches or lighter)
  • Headlamp/bike light
    • Must carry backup batteries/lamps to last 20 hours
  • 3 individual flashing red LED lights (2 in back, 1 in front)
    • Must carry backup batteries/lamps to last 20 hours
    • NOTE: Small clip-on lights (such as Nathan-brand) are NOT sufficient for this event. These are not bright enough to be seen by speeding snowmobilers or in inclement weather. Road-legal cycling lights are appropriate for this event, for all participants.
    • Additional advice and recommendations here
  • At least 20 square inches of reflective material, 10 front and 10 back
  • 3000 ready-to-eat emergency calories
    • Must finish with 3000 ready-to-eat calories
  • Insulated water containers
    • Minimum of 75 oz. of water capacity between containers and bladders. You don’t need to carry 75oz of water, but just need to have the capacity for 75oz.

Race directors AND their volunteers have the discretion to implement and interpret the gear requirements as they see fit at check-in and during the race. The race directors’ decision is final.

  • Helmet strongly recommended for bikers
  • Extra red blinking lights/batteries
  • Extreme condition gear: mittens, head gear, and outerwear, including waterproof items
  • Down/synthetic sweater, spare undershirt/socks etc.
  • Over-boots, gaiters
  • Duct tape, Vaseline, lip-balm, moleskin, ibuprofen, etc.
  • Lots of food that is easily edible below zero
  • Sleds or backpacks for runners and skiers

Be aware that you will be outside – overnight – in a very cold environment. Plan for emergencies, and consider how you would survive until rescue. It’s better to over-pack/plan than end up in a bad situation.

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