NEWS, OMM Academy, The OMM, Uncategorized

Packing a Mountain Marathon Bag

Tired of a lumpy pack digging into your back?
Can never find your jacket when it starts raining or keep losing that crucial chocolate bar when you need it most?

Never fear! Rebecca from PEAK CONFIDENCE is here to show you how to pack a MM bag for comfort and efficiency.

LIGHTWEIGHT…

First you need to decide what is your goal? Do you want to travel as fast and light as possible or have some comfort?

This will dictate things such as whether you actually pack a roll mat which surprisingly isn’t mandatory kit – if you don’t and have an OMM bag then this will include a small foam mat folded away as a back protector. Alternatives include bubble wrap, dubious balloon beds, or using your map as insulation.

You can also cut down on the size of your sleeping bag. OMM have a half size one designed to pair with a down jacket to keep you warm at night. Just don’t do what my friend did at the last Langdale OMM – buy a half size one because it packed up small, not realising it wasn’t a full length one.

It resulted in a cold night for him, however seeing as he replaced the space in his bag that wasn’t used for sleeping bag with snacks – he was very popular at the overnight camp.

Start by collecting all your kit together
Then begin packing all the stuff you won't need until the overnight, i.e. tent and sleep system
OR COMFORT…

Those of us who aren’t planning a super-light attempt on the Elite course might choose to pack a little more, and actually stay warm overnight. Some small extras can include

  • Entertainment overnight, maybe a pack of cards, or download some podcasts or a Kindle app on your phone
  • A hip flask of your favourite tipple
  • Actual thermal sleeping mat
  • A change of socks, leggings, tshirt
  • An extra layer to keep you cosy
  • And don’t forget the key item – sandwich bags for keeping your feet dry whilst wearing wet shoes in camp!
PACKING

Next you need to decide how to pack it. I (a small female) have always done the OMM with other women of similar size, so we have always shared the kit out between us.

This includes separating the tent and poles and stove components and weighing everything to make sure it’s shared equally. This year I’m running with a super fast fell runner twice my size.

Followed by layers and accessories such as hat and gloves closer to hand. Note the first aid kit has only just gone in, meaning it remains accessible in an emergency
Use external storage such as the mesh panels for the stuff you'll need during the day. Or you could use these to store your partner's kit, keeping it accessible to them; they in turn can carry yours.

As he needs a bit of slowing down he will be carrying all the team kit and I will only have to carry my individual kit.

  • When packing you’ll want to put the stuff you need for the overnight camp in first, making sure you’ve kept the sleeping bag dry in a dry bag or bin bag. Then pack everything in super tight so it doesn’t move around while you run.
  • Then pack your change of clothes and emergency kit (headtorch, first aid etc) in another dry bag.
  • Then pack your waterproofs and spare layer somewhere you can easily reach – this could be in a top or outside pocket.
  • Then fill all your easy to reach pockets with all your snacks for the day.
  • Finally loop your compass onto your bag strap so you don’t drop it. This can go into a pocket when you’re not using it but at least you know you’re not going to leave it in a bog.
FOOD

You’re going to be wanting light weight, high calorie food here. With up to 1000 calories worth of snacks to eat during the day as you won’t be having the time to sit down for a picnic. Think flapjacks, cheese, Soreen and bananas.

Then a nice hearty meal for dinner, whether its a shop bought meal or your own recipe. I strongly recommend a pudding to get those extra calories in (maybe some angel delight).

And don’t forget a super high calorie breakfast – there’s nothing better than some hot porridge after a cold night in a tent to set you up for day two.

Make sure your pack has plenty of capacity for lots of snacks, map, compass and anything else you need up front and on the move.

Thanks to Rebecca for saving us all from protruding stoves and buried Mars Bars!

Peak Confidence is born out of a vision that the mountains needn’t solely be the playground of bearded men and grizzled mountain guides. Our aim is for people of all backgrounds and experience levels to be able to learn new skills and to enjoy the hills with newfound confidence in their abilities. We run courses in the beautiful Lake District with our supportive guides on hand to show you all the best hidden spots.


Head over to www.peakconfidence.co.uk to find out more about what they do!

Photo courtesy of Danielle Ledbury: @whywe_run

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