Sunday, 18 March 2012

Getting ready

This weekend, I've been preparing my kit for the Trail de Paris next Saturday.  With the advice I've had from the others and the odd hard learning experience (like last weekend), I've had plenty of time to obsess over the kit I'm actually going to take with me.

This is my first semi-autonomous race as well as being by far the longest run I've ever committed to.  There's an official equipment list including quite a few mandatory items.  Lists like these are a godsend.  Partly because I'm a bloke and we love to check things off lists but mostly because I can see what they think we really must take with us.

The hydration pack I bought last spring (Decathlon's finest, naturally) is well-used and comfortable.  The trick lies in packing everything I need to take with the twin goals of actually getting it in and having the most needful stuff accessible first.

I didn't just start to look at this but it's the first time I've really sat down and assembled what I'm going to take.  I thought it was all going to be really easy but then I remembered:  Food!  So off to the fridge to get my Home Made Energy Bars and a couple of other goodies.  My only failure was getting a survival blanket, so its space is currently occupied by the disposable poncho I got from the Semi de Paris a couple of weeks ago.

Not on their list but firmly on mine are headphones, a battery pack for the GPS watch, sticking plasters and toilet paper.  Also, a few strategic plastic bags to keep rain and sweat out of places they shouldn't be.  Actually, I rarely listen to music on an actual event but it can be a very welcome distraction if things take a turn for the worst.  That said, I was so addled last week that I completely forgot I had them with me...

Everything goes in.  Just.  Some of the zips and fasteners aren't happy.  And there's a couple of things I really hope I won't need in a hurry.

With the whole set assembled, I discover the bag has changed shape a little so it's off for today's run in full mufti.  Not going far but it should let me iron out any obvious issues.