Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gear Box Inventory

Well, spring is just around the corner and I will be spending many hours on the trails in the months ahead. Last night I thought it would be a good idea to take an inventory of the gear currently in my possession to determine if I have everything I need for the many long weekend runs I'll make as I prepare for a fall 50 miler. You can never have enough gear and by looking at what I have I was hoping I would think of something else I still needed.

After reviewing my inventory, please feel free to comment on anything you think could be a useful item that I am lacking. REI is just down the block from where I work and any excuse to visit is fine with me!

One bottle Fuel Belt - good for runs up to one hour. The zippered rear pocket is small but can carry your car keys and a packet of gel. Fine for short runs

GoLite Gazelle Waist Pack - with two 20 oz bottles it's good for runs up to two hours. Large and small rear pouches provide plenty of room for a cell phone, camera, trail map and other essentials. The two side pockets on the belt are small but can hold gels and energy bars, etc. This pack gets the most use from me

CamelBak Octane XC - With a 70 oz fluid capacity this is my hydration pack of choice for runs up to four hours long. It has one compartment on the back of the pack near the fill hole. It's great for carrying a cell phone, car keys and your wallet. There are two small zippered side pockets that can hold gels, bars , TP and other small items but overall there's not a lot of storage. I use the Octane mainly as a hydration pack and carry my food items in the pockets of my Race Ready shorts. This pack is good for long races because it is light, fits snug to the body and doesn't bounce around.

CamelBak M.U.L.E. - This is the largest of my hydration packs. A 100 oz bladder and 600 cubic inches of storage for long, unsupported runs. There's plenty of room to food, gels, a headlamp, medical kit, multi-tool, a light jacket, and the kitchen sink! You can never have too many hydration packs, can you?

Petzl Headlamp - The Tikka Plus is light-weight with an adjustable lamp so you can aim the beam down at your feet or out ahead of you. The 4 LEDs have a maximum output of 35 lumen that can reach out to 32 meters. There are 3 light settings and a strobe function. The battery life is a very long 100 hours. Although this is a good product I'm not crazy about the light provided by headlamps in general. It's too diffuse and never quite bright enough for me.

Princeton Tec Flashlight - The Amp 3 is a small, light and rugged flashlight that has a high and low beam. The battery life is 60 hours at a max output of 40 lumen. The beam of light is focused and concentrated and provides much better lighting than my headlamp. I often like to use the flashlight and the headlamp together. I can keep the headlamp focused on what's in front of me while I use the flashlight to scan from side to side so I don't miss any turns in the dark. Plus it helps to scare away the lions, tiger and bears, oh my!

Kool Tie - This is my hot weather lifesaver! If I were Superman, heat and humidity would be my kryptonite. A Kool Tie is a fabric tubular scarf that contains tiny polymer crystals. When soaked in cold water, these crystals expand and absorb more than 400 times their original weight creating a tube-like scarf. When tied around the neck it cools the blood passing through the carotid artery through the natural process of evaporation which in turn lowers your body temperature . This cooling effect is continuous and will last for 2-3 days before a re-soaking is needed. Bring on the heat!

Zensah Compression Sleeves - The Calf/Shin recovery sleeves are made with gradient compression which provides wide ribbing in the front for shin support, and tight ribbing in the back for calf support. This isn't something I run in but since I came accross them I thought I would fill you in why I have them. I purchased the sleeves after speaking with a triathlete/adventure racer/ultra runner about treatments for plantar fasciitis. She worn the sleeves at night during her bout with PF as a means of increasing blood flow to the lower leg muscles which helps keep them loose. Tight calf muscles are a contributing factor in the development of PF. Although my PF has not gone away, my calf muscles are more flexible in the morning when wearing the sleeves overnight. And don't you agree they're sexy too!

Gator Bait Gaiters - these purring kittens are great for keeping dirt, twigs and small stones out of your shoes and socks. A shoe full of trail debris is not only uncomfortable, it's also a major cause of blisters on long runs. Very useful during the summer months when the trails are dry and 'junk' is easily kicked up when running.

REI Mini Multi-Tool - This little gadget is made with tough stainless-steel components and has an anodized aluminum handle. It is compact enough to fit in your pocket and light enough (around 2 oz) to carry on your trail runs. Hey, you never know what you'll encounter out there that may require the use of one of these handy tools. This little wonder has a pliers, wire cutter, a straight-edge blade and saw, a phillips screwdriver, standard screwdriver, bottle opener, wire stripper, file and scissors.

This compact pocket foot care kit is designed for blister repair on the run. All the items fit in a zip-lock bag and it's small enough to fit in your pocket. The kit ncludes blister patches and other essential items, Benzoin ampules (2) Alcohol preps (6) Antibiotic ointment (2) Spenco Blister ads (2) Blist-O-Ban Blister Pad (1) Sterile lancets (2) 3" x 5" baggies (2) BlisterShield Powder, packet (1) Engo Performance Patch (2). I don't carry this much anymore but it's still nice to have. Since I starting wearing Injinji socks, blister are a thing of the past.

Adventure Medical Kit - I have to admit I didn't even think about safety until a recent accident on a trail run convinced me to take this matter seriously. I picked up this kit at REI. I like it because it only weighs 3.5 oz and is small enough to fit in my GoLite waist pack. The kit includes Bandage materials: eight 2x2 sterile dressings, two butterfly closure bandages, five 1x3 adhesive bandages, Plus: three knuckle adhesive bandages and 0.5-inch x 10 yards tape. Medications include: four ibuprofen (200mg), two antihistamines and two After Bite® Sting Relief. Wound management includes: three After Cuts and Scrapes® towelettes and two antibiotic ointments, Plus: Moleskin® for blister treatment and two safety pins. I have also added a roll of self-adhesive compression wrap, good for treating sprains or stabilizing fractures.

Nathan Quick Change - This bag was designed for triathletes and adventure racers but I think it also works very well for trail and ultra runners. You can pack just about everything for a race in here and this bag is great for organization and easy access to your gear. The combination handles/shoulder straps make for easy carrying. There is a mesh bottle holster on one side, a waterproof internal compartment, a ventilated shoe pocket, several nutrition and organizer pockets, and felt-lined pockes for sunglasses, camera, etc. There is also a fold-out transition pad for making quick changes on the go. I use the external helmet carrier to hold my trail shoes. This is the best bag I have ever owned.

Time to go shopping....


  1. Dan,

    What about the following items:

    1. Sunglasses with changable lenses
    2. Hat with side flaps
    3. Wind proof Jacket
    4. Beer

  2. have so much stuff...things I haven't really contemplated for running...I do have a lot of gadgets but a lot of it is old stuff I replaced with new stuff.....but somehow didn't throw a away the old....why is that?

  3. Scotty,

    Great ideas but I think you have them listed in reverse order order of importance!!

  4. OMG, Dan, so much gear! I'll be well taken care of when running with you - I am particularly fond of you "blister care kit", although I think looking at my blisters during a run would scare me too much to continue running...
    Nice collection! Can't think of anything else to add! Ana


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