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Discussion: Beginner Question

in: Adventure Racing; Gear & Toys

Apr 19, 2016 12:52 PM # 

I'm real new to adventure racing and was just curious about what kind of packs people use. Would it be wise to bring multiple (1 for run, 1 for mtn bike etc.)

A buddy and I are just doing the Storm the Trent in Ontario in a couple weeks and I just wanted to get some advice. I have the clothes, just curious about the best way to carry around accessory gear.

Apr 19, 2016 1:23 PM # 
Welcome aboard! :)

For most races, you won't want to take time to change packs between disciplines. Your mandatory gear is in there so if you switch packs, you either have to remember to move it or bring a second set. You may have a rain jacket that you take on and off during the day. So it's better just to keep one pack with you all day. I will often bring a lightweight dry bag and put my pack inside it for the paddle.

For STORM the Trent, you usually can't leave gear behind at bike/trek transitions so that makes the decision really easy! You can leave paddle gear with your boat so that is the one place where you could drop or pick up gear.

Because there are no water stations, I usually carry at least a 2L bladder in my pack, plus I keep extra water on my bike and put a bladder on the back of my PFD. This means you can't go with a super small pack even though the mandatory gear list is relatively short.

I'm going to use an older 10-15 litre Salomon pack with front waist pockets to hold my snacks. I'll also put a Bento box on my bike with more snacks.

STORM is often designed so that you ride to different areas where you drop your bike and run around looking for checkpoints. So think about ways to transition quickly between bike/trek and trek/bike.

Which race distance are you doing?
Apr 19, 2016 2:02 PM # 
Hey Bash, thanks for the reply, awesome that you know the Trent, really helpful!
We're going for the Long Trek distance.

I have a couple pack options that sound like they might work, I just don't want to waste energy lugging around anything too big.

Some of the mandatory gear does sound a bit cumbersome but we'll be alright.

Apr 19, 2016 2:47 PM # 
Mistake I used to make when racing was to load everything into a pack 'just in case' it was needed.

Use a pack that takes a bladder, has a compartment to store mandatory gear to the back and either hip pouches or a front pack to take food, store compass etc where you need to be able to get at it.

Keep the pack as small as possible and you get creative about attaching loops and holders to carry stuff where you need it.
Apr 19, 2016 5:33 PM # 
Good advice, Sean!

I just realized my comment above about bike/trek transitions could be misinterpreted. As mentioned, a typical STORM the Trent course involves biking to different places where you drop your bike, go trekking and return to your bike. You *can* leave gear with your bike while you trek, as long as you carry your mandatory gear and some water. However, when you get back on your bike to leave the transition area for good, you are usually required to take everything with you.

The mandatory gear for STORM doesn't take up much space. I recommend putting it all into a ziploc bag in case of rain or an accidental swim. Unless we have an unusually cold day, your pack space will mostly be devoted to water and food.

You'll have a great time. STORM events are super well-organized.
Apr 22, 2016 1:26 PM # 
One more idea - make sure the pack you use has a waist belt. Some of the small mountain biking type camelbacks don't, and will bounce around while you are on the trek!

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