Well done, you’ve arrived at the overnight…

…now’s when the old dogs will start to show the young ‘uns what this challenge is really about… but here is a bit of a hand from us.

The results board and finding your friends can wait, if it’s been anything like a normal Saturday at the OMM, you are quite tired, mudded to the waist and riding the line between sodden dog and marine mammal in dampness and smell.  Best pull on your full waterproof layers if they are not already on to reduce windchill and get out your warm jacket (on the outside if it’s not raining – ha, unlikely!).  Now let’s get cracking.

Here are a few things you can do to enhance your overnight experience and, more specifically, boost the performance of your sleep system.

1// Find a spot

It will probably rain so stay out of the dips and away from streams. If you spot a flattish area grab it as these are in high demand.  This is an OMM though, some 1000 tents will be popping up everywhere, don’t worry about getting close to the neighbours – it will get cosy.

2// Sweep the ground for rocks and you may as well get rid of the sheep poo too – a moment now will save you some smelly scrubbing later.


3// Get your tent up

Hopefully it’s not its first time out of the bag so you’ll know what to do.  If the ground is soft and your pegs are small then it’s worth taking a look for some stones to help hold the pegs down. Spare a thought when putting out your guy ropes as nobody enjoys lifting their legs over a minefield of trip wires on the way to the loo.
Pay attention to your pitching  – a well stretched fly will not just get you the admiration of your fellow OMMers but will also be much quieter in the wind and stand a better chance of surviving the night.

4// Get your kit off.

Then get your dry kit on, all of it.

Pop your insulated layer on too.
Coldest runner first whilst the warmer runner fetches water and gets a brew on

5// Get your sleep mat & bag out and allow to loft.

6// Think about what is under your sleeping bag.

Is your mat full length? If not, use your pack to extend the length and tuck it under where your legs will be or else put your feet inside your rucksack as a mini-bivi bag.

7// You are also carrying a foil bag which just happens to be the perfect size to unroll and fit under your sleeping bag.

This will reflect heat back up, instead of losing it to the ground and will also act as vapour barrier between you and the groundsheet.

Alternatively, get in it! Yesterday’s map can also be used as an extra layer between you and the ground.

8// Get your stove on, boiling water

9// Spread your wet gear out, pull the insoles out of your shoes and leave in the porch of the tent or outside if its not raining.

Sadly, the only way to really dry yourkit is to walk around in it but…

if you don’t fancy that then simply erase the knowledge that you will be putting it back on again in 12 hours & enjoy your dry gear!

10// Get in your sleeping bag

11// If you’re using a rehydrated meal pouch, once you’ve put the hot water in and sealed it,  you could tuck it into your sleeping bag.

This acts as a hot water bottle and insulates the pouch, making sure your meal stays warm for longer.

*However*, this means dealing with boiling water in close proximity to your sleeping bag and body. Use caution when handling the pouch

(Author’s Note: I did this then promptly sat on my sleeping bag and exploded scalding bean curry all over my bag and mat).

12// Your meal isn’t the only thing that needs rehydrating, whilst you’re waiting for your dinner, boil more water for a brew (even if you haven’t brought a teabag or coffee etc, drinking hot water will warm you from the inside out).

13// Carry a couple of large sandwich or carrier bags.

Put your dry socks on & stick your feet in the bags. Now put your wet shoes on and… presto! You can now kill more time by wandering aimlessly around the campsite without getting your dry socks wet.

14// Don’t forget to look after your partner, make them a brew, help them with layers, especially if they are looking cold.

Learn to recognise the signs of hypothermia, if unsure, read this

15// Before going to sleep, prep your breakfast stuff, even if its just a couple of bars, ready for the morning.

16// Make sure you have water ready for the morning, either to make breakfast or to take on board before setting off.

17// Make sure your headtorch is close to hand, all this drinking will ensure a few night-time trips to the portaloos.

Make a note of where your tent is, it can be surprisingly hard to find again!

18// You’re already wearing as much as you can that is dry, anything else is your pillow.

If, by some miracle of overpacking, you manage to get your tent too warm then open the door and ventilate before the condensation you generate turns your tent into a Swedish steamroom.

21// Try and drink another hot drink in the morning, then maybe another.

Not only does it warm you up but also fools your brain into thinking it is in its normal morning routine (if a hot drink is part of your morning routine).

19// Go to bed.

There’s no such thing as too early and a bit of pillow talk with your partner in the warm is far better than mooching around outside shivering.

20// You survived the night, well done!

We know you’ll want an extra lie in. Just a few more minutes to enjoy the inner tent whacking you in the face one more time. Don’t worry, if you are struggling to get up then at 6am we’ll be providing a gentle request to get up and start preparing yourself for another day.

22// Before you head to the start line…

We know you can’t wait to put those soaking near freezing shoes back on but here’s a tip:  Wear your dry socks and plastic bags right up to the start line. Just before you start, pull the plastic bags upwards to split them at the toe and stash them in your pack.

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