Kit updates and recommendations: Backpacks, Shoes, Jacket and Caps

There are plenty of posts about how great different gear is. I change my stuff from time to time, as I experiment with new equipment or decide that, in hindsight, after use – some of the gear I have used is not so great after all. 

What don’t I use anymore?

  • More Mile Pro Strikes – they don’t suit my foot. I think my right foot is wider than the other and so it rubs a great big hole after about 200 miles. So, I don’t use those any more.
  • Garmin 305 – simply does not last long enough for the ultras that I do. The battery dies at 8 hours and while it is possible to charge using a USB battery charger, on longer ultras the brain gets frazzled and it is easy to forget, or one gets stroppy about getting tangled in cables. So, I don’t recommend anymore.

What I still recommend?

Shoes

  • For Mud – More Mile cheviot 2 – these are perfect for muddy runs – I have worn them up to 50 miles. They are brilliant. They do tend only to last about 300 miles but then they are only £25.
  • For Trail – Kalenji Kapteren Discover – these are brilliant trail shoes from Decathlon and only cost £12.99. They are comfortable and I wore them box fresh for the South Downs Way 100 miler
  • For Road – Kalenji Ekiden 50 – these are great for road

Running hydration packs

  • If you need to carry 2litres of water in a bladder and more kit – http://www.decathlon.co.uk/ultra-trail-bag-id_8216075.html Not often available in store. So look out for these. They are a bargain £25. If you can’t get it then the alternative which is more widely available is this one – http://www.kalenji-running.com/en-GB/mens-trail-bag-8312245  again it is similar price.
  • If you can get away with less water / less kit – then this one is good £16.99 http://www.decathlon.co.uk/trail-bag-small-id_8312248.html  The only draw back is the speed of delivery from the bladder. It is too much effort.

Jacket

  • For where waterproofing is important and you need protection – (don’t wear unless cold – because it is very very warm!)  Often around £140 – but I got a cheapish one for £80 – Montane Minimus Jacket
  • For every day use or where you want something more lightweight – one from moremile is perfect – and a bargain £15. More Mile Reflective Run Jacket.

Headwear

  • Cap – I don’t often wear caps – I find them too hot. BUT, on hot days, a cap can be a lifesaver – and especially when you get one that protects your neck from the sun, and gives a nice breeze – These are from Decathlon – and are £8.99 – Saharienne Running Cap (has a bit of fabric that hangs down at the back – flaps about and creates a lovely breeze around your neck.
  • Buff – Alternatively – any kind of “buff” – Whatever is cheapest. They can be had for £2.99 from More mile (for example) and are great as a protection for your forehead from your headtorch.

So, what are your kit choices? Do you stick with tried and tested stuff or do you continually experiment?

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