The ultra runners tool kit

I thought it might be beneficial to have a thread to share tips on equipment. 


  • That's a good idea - especially as I intended to put some gear on my Christmas list. image Have only done marathon distance and intend to move up to Ultra next year, so I'd love some tips on what's good to get.
  • I will give a few of my thoughts:

    The main difference between marathon and ultra, is that you will need to carry your own water on most ultras.  Whether you use a camel back or a rig with two bottles, it had better be a good one.  You should pay as much attention to the fit of a camel back as you would to a pair of running shoes. 

    If your ultra caries over into the hours of darkness, then your head torch becomes your visible universe.  Make sure it is light, robust, and above all powerful.  Make sure that you like the controls, which you may have to use instinctively. 

    All distance runners lubricate themselves, but in an ultra a problem can crop up somewhere you did not expect it.  I carry one of those tiny tubs of petroleum gel lip balm, because they are light and can be used to perform emergency lubrications.

    Duct tape can be used to repair any piece of kit, including the human foot.  It is waterproof and strong, yet you can tear it with your bare fingers.  The problem is finding a roll that is small and light. 

    I have had maps disintegrate in the rain.  You can use a map case, but laminating them saves weight. 

    You must have protection against the elements if you roll your ankle in the middle of nowhere.  Carry a survival blanket or most ultras.  Preferably the silver one that absorbs heat from the sun even in cold weather. 

  • Ben, this is a good idea to have a list as there are a few more things to think about once on ultra distancesimage
  • cragchick,im 5ft nothing and very small- i have that problem too with beltsimage. i had to hack abt 10inch of the strap off so it wasnt flapping everywhere, and still at its tightest it just bounces around until it lands on my right hip..then i feel uneven..sounds odd i know but i dnt like feeling uneven weights on one side. i have a eurohike pack which is small and the  strap that clips upacross shoulders does up across my ribs lol , whcih is fine because it doesnt bounce then.itll be fine for short ultras in moderate weather but i dnt think it has enough storage facility for extra clothes/gels/food etc so if anyone can reccommend a good one  for storage/and ample fluids but not so its going to drown me(im a size 4/6)image...then please do!image
  • Oo, a jolly interesting thread about being comfortable...
  • Dustboy  wrote (see)
    Oo, a jolly interesting thread about being comfortable... chafed bits wanted hereimage...
  • I forgot he most important thing.

    Put your mobile phone in a sealable sandwich bag. 

    Then it will actually work after a downpour!

  • So, has anyone EVER slept on the mattress (waffer thin bit of foam) that comes with an OMM ruckie?

    And is your back still attached to the rest of you?
  • I sat on mine once to change my socks...................
  • Mine has never been out of the sac!

    One peice of kit I really like (Well, its pretty close to being kit) is Elete electrolyte. Tiny bottle, weighs next to nothing. One tiny bottle makes about 10 litres of drink. Much prefer it to tablets or sachets.

  • Wetter is Better! wrote (see)

    Mine has never been out of the sac!

    One peice of kit I really like (Well, its pretty close to being kit) is Elete electrolyte. Tiny bottle, weighs next to nothing. One tiny bottle makes about 10 litres of drink. Much prefer it to tablets or sachets.

    where from WIBetter?image 
  • This is the stuff :

    Can get it other places as well although haven't seen it stocked in many shops, only really seen it online.

  • thank you cragchaick..i will let you know if i come across any kit suitable for our size!...i have heard a couple of ladies-and i think chili too told me at a recent event- that childrens rucksacks can be handy if you are petite. i did look at these in the costwold outdoor shop. they are fine for space for small clothing items/socks/plasters etc but if on a long ultra where bladder required for large fluid amounts then its a problem. i suppose i could try waist belt that holds a few bottles and thn just use a small rucksack ie kids for the kit/food etcimage

    i have had a couple of my prezzies early cragchick as i really wanted them before the cold got here. i got 2XUs..and they are fab..some proper run gloves that are waterproof,(i used to just have some woolly ones), aand a jacket by marmot..i got it from a website reduced as the only sizes were small and XS. Its a brilliant fit and shape..folds into its own pocket and even with XS i still have room to wear base layer and a 2 layers underneath should i need to.image..there are still some in stock! reduced from £40 i think to £19.99

    thanks WIbetter..i will have a look at thatimage

  • Loula, I guess it's trying out what works best for you. The tiny kids back-pack that I sometimes use I have only run with for short distances (i.e. school run, or short 5 miles) when i needed to drop something off somewhere on the way. I have the same hydrapack as you and that is very comfortable, but as you say, will only fit the water, a phone and a gel or two - it's not big enough for clothing too.

    I think I'm going to have to find a running shop that sells backpacks and go try a few on.

    I have a head torch that I use with my bike so i think I'll give that a go on the next night run I do.

    Interesting about gaffer tape! Will look out for a small roll.

  • ...dont bother with fancy pants sports drinks just use diaroltye in your camelback. Much cheaper.

  • I notice that we have some petite ladies who are having trouble finding a well fitted rucksack. 

    Perhaps a belt pack, something like the Osprey talon 8 might be better?

    I also don't bother with sports drinks, simply adding nun tablets to my water, and obtaining additional electrolytes from gels and food. 

  • i have plenty of that at work Nick!
  • Well I find that i get my 'fuel' from food, and fluid/salts via the dialoryte. If you have any short dated loula...!

    A very small friend of mine used this back pack - it is fairly roomy (10litres) but she is a size XS and it suited her frame.

    Deuter Lite Speed 10

  • i would also really recommend alcohol free beer - very refreshing on long runs. I ran half of the Thames path last year, and drank quite a lot of it at various pubs
  • One piece of very important kit on a long run which I don't think has been mentionned yet is a few bits of toilet paper - not available at most running shops but can generally get on ebay!!
  • Whats wrong with a dock leaf?

  • nick, thank you, i remmber a while back someone mentioned deuter backpacks to me..will have a look at thm and try them on...yes, i agree cragchick, pubcrawl indeedimage...
  • i like the idea of alcohol free beer - good call
  • Mizuno make a 5L running backpack - got room for a water bladder, zipped pocket outside and one inside, side mesh pockets which would take the 330 mL Lucozade bottles (you'd need someone else to take them out/put them in without taking the pack off), elastic cords so you could shove a lightweight jacket on the outside if you wanted - AND it goes small enough to fit me (I'm a small-framed 5 ft 2) so it should fit just about anyone small - oh, and the chest strap can be placed high enough to allow for the female anatomy (which some backpacks I've looked at cannot).

  • thanks Debs, will look at tht one eurohike is a good size and fits well, just wont have room for clothes etc as well...image..i dnt need to worry abt the straps going 'around ' things in the wayimage...mine will go straight across! lol..
  • the aboce mizuno sounds good except for needing another person to get the bottles in and out! i dont want to have to depend on anyone else to do that except me-and a right pain if training by yourself and have to stop and take pack off, and put back on ...i hate faffing!image
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