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TNF100 - 2012 Gear threadWhat am I going to take?


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#1 Pasty

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

So, you're running TNF 100, and not sure what to bring?  You've had a look at the TNF website and thought that your budget needs something a little less expensive?  Or you've run it before but want to shave grams off your mandatory gear pile?  Or you'r not sure which jacket/headlamp/pack to wear?

Here is the place to ask all your gear questions, and have the gearfreaks answer for you.
Before you ask, read the following:

TNF100 Mandatory Gear List
Enduro Explorer's gear list 2010
Ultra168 The Essential North Face 100 Gear List

I'll go through the Mandatory Gear List and describe the equipment I will use. Ask questions if you have them and I am sure that UCB and I (and the other gear heads out there) will answer them.

MANDATORY GEAR

Pack:  Salomon SLab 12 pack (390g)
   There are a lot of other packs out there, but none as comfortable.  There are some people who reckon they can get away with a 5L pack but I don't really think that is large enough for the mandatory gear and optional gear, water etc. My previous pack was the Salomon XA 20 which is a 20L pack, perfect for TNF and the best pack I have ever owned* (*until I got the SLab 12, that is).

Long Sleeve Thermal Top: NZ Nature Silk top (115g)
Long Leg Thermal pants: NZ Nature Silk (115g)
  The lightest I could find. Silk feels great and doesn't stink, but is not as durable as polypro. Some people question this as mandatory gear, but it was -4 degrees C with windchill at the start in 2011.  Silk also compresses MUCH smaller than polypro.  Silk does cost more though but feels great on the skin.

Waterproof Jacket with hood: Marmot Precip (389g)  
Yes, there are much lighter jackets out there. My choice is based on what I have in the cupboard.  The lightest I heard of was the OR Helium 11 or Montane Lite Speed H20 jackets which are both about 180grams.  You trade lightness for durability and also breathability.  I am after any recommendations from people who have these (or other sub 200gram) jackets.

Beanie/Balaclava/Buff: Lycra (26g)
Nothing really important here, other than keeping your head warm when it gets really cold.  Remember that for slower runners, your warm gear is more important as you are more likely to be wearing it and depending on it to keep you warm for longer.  I chose something that was not bulky and I can still wear my headlamp comfortably on top of it.

Full fingered lightweight gloves: Running gloves (26g)
Again, nothing special needed. Wool is good, polypro is good too.

High Visibility Safety Vest: You're kind of stuck here. There are much lighter running vests, but they are not AS approved. (Yes, they check). Buy it at bunnings and don't weigh it (they are heavy).  

Headlamp: Ayups
There is a lot of debate on which headlamps to use.  Choice depends on how much you are used to running at night, what you want to spend, and how heavy your headlamp is.  My second choices would be a Black Diamond Icon (lighter), or a Princeton Tec Apex (brighter).  But there are plenty of others to choose from.  Some people prefer a hand held torch, others a headlamp - there is no right or wrong.  I choose AYUPs because I have them and they rock!

Small backup Headlamp: Petzl e+Lite (lightweight)
Just because it is really lightweight and meets the criteria.

Mobile Phone: iPhone
There a much lighter phones around though.

Compass: Silva
This is always a bit debatable.  A watch compass is allowable. Anything with a needle.  Even your iphone compass would probably do. I carry a real compass because I know that anything else is rubbish.

Whistle: (part of pack, 0gms)
In case you get lost.  Nothing special needed.

Emergency Space Blanket:
General outdoor shops sell these.

Compression Bandage
FireLighter block:
Lightweight Dry Sack:
The newer siliconised nylon sacs are much lighter than the previous versions (but we are talking about saving only 5-10 grams here).

2L water bladder:
Part of the Salomon S Lab 12 pack, but it's only 1.5L.

Waterproof Map Case:

Basic First Aid Kit:

OPTIONAL GEAR (you must have this gear, but may not need to carry)
Long Leg waterproof pants:  Marmot Precip
Again, this is gear that you hope you never need, but may be required to carry.  So go as light as you can here.

100 weight Long Sleeve fleece top
I carried a MacPac windstopper fleece last year from mid-race and needed it. You may also be required to carry this gear if the conditions are inclement.

OTHER GEAR (just cause your pack is too light)

Garmin 910 XT
Helps you keep track of how far you've run. Keeps you motivated. Keeps you running to finish under 20hrs before the batteries run out.

SPOT tracker
Ok, I throw this one in so someone can please comment on whether it is worth buying for the tracking function.  I've heard good and bad about them, but want some real feedback from runners.  It would be nice for your support crew to help track you.

Hiking Poles
Common in a lot of european ultras with huge altitude gains, they are becoming more popular here.  Some like them, and some don't.  A good option if you worry about the hills and climbing out of Nellies Glen and that other climb that will remain nameless.....

Camera
Worth taking especially for the first leg or two.

Anyone got any thoughts or alternatives that they recommend for novices?

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#2 runhard

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thankyou!  this is great  :)

#3 Pasty

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:50 AM

No worries, I will update as I get more information and ideas.

#4 flyingemu

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM

I've just ordered some trekking poles - Fizan Compact. They are the lightest going around - at 158g each - but also strong. I tried some heavier poles last weekend and I didn't notice the weight, so these will be even better. And the Salomon packs have great elastic devices to attach - you don't have to take off the pack to attach or detach them.

As for a watch, I'll be wearing my new Suunto Ambit....   :)

I have the Montane H20 - but put another jacket in CP4. I figure that if it's raining before I get to Katoomba, it still wont be too cold so the Montane will do. If the weather is nasty after that, I'll swap them over and wear my other jacket - so wont care about the weight.

I use a Sugoi 260 weight merino top as my fleece, and some cheap poly thermals. I also put a fleece cycling jacket in CP4, and wore that over the top of the merino top last year. Kept me nice and warm up Kedumba.

#5 runhard

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

View Postflyingemu, on 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:


I use a Sugoi 260 weight merino top as my fleece, and some cheap poly thermals. I also put a fleece cycling jacket in CP4, and wore that over the top of the merino top last year. Kept me nice and warm up Kedumba.

Will be looking this up. Wondered what the 100 weight is?  Tried to find it in Katmandu and couldnt find it. Might add another warmer one as this seems to be the go.

RH

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:22 PM

As far as lights go I recently got myself an AYUP twin sports light kit and it is the most spectacular purchase I have made in years. Passed a fellow runner at 7 am (yes daylight) on quarry rd last Sunday he was subsequently blinded and wondered if I had somehow managed to strap a 'serious bike light' to my head!

It comes with head torch kit, bike mounting kit, helmet mounting kit and an extension cable so I can keep the battery in my pack and only have the twin bulbs on my head. The best thing about twin bulbs is having one pointing slightly up and one Slightly down, meaning i can easily see ahead and just in front of my feet with a very subtle eye movement.  It's a 10 hour lithium ion battery.

Not affiliated with them, just blown away by the level of detail on this thing these guys know their stuff and must have been refining this system for years.


#7 Michael S

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:05 PM

I've been trying to source a salomon s-lab 12 pack with no luck - seems australia won't receive supplies until June now. What was the best pack before the s-lab 12?

#8 SYC

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:51 PM

View Postpastyboy, on 22 March 2012 - 10:34 AM, said:

SPOT tracker
Ok, I throw this one in so someone can please comment on whether it is worth buying for the tracking function.  I've heard good and bad about them, but want some real feedback from runners.  It would be nice for your support crew to help track you.

Anyone got any thoughts or alternatives that they recommend for novices?

I've used SPOT for trail ultras, trekking, etc before. In my experience I think the track function is ok for interest but isn't much use for helping your crew on the day. So I use the check-in / custom message buttons and have them send a text message to your crew (and anyone else interested). Set up a schedule so they know you will press 'check in' at pre-arranged points, e.g. each CP or other places. This helps your crew know where you're up versus planned splits. I setup the custom message to be used if I had stopped running but was ok and walking to nearest CP. Clip it onto the outside of your pack and switch it on before the start. Still relies on your crew having mobile phone coverage though.  

Nice to have the "phone a helicopter" emergency button on it too...just in case.

I wouldn't get it just for TNF but if you are doing a few of these fun things, and/or out in the bush on your own a lot then its worth it.

#9 halfwaydown

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:18 PM

View PostMichael S, on 22 March 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

I've been trying to source a salomon s-lab 12 pack with no luck - seems australia won't receive supplies until June now. What was the best pack before the s-lab 12?
Salomon XA20 as Pastyboy mentions too is a great pack - perfect size for tnf mandatory gear .
BTW despite being called an XA20 - it has 14litre capacity rather than 20litre that is often assumed (and advertised on wiggle) - plenty for TNF100 though.
You need to purchase the bladder separately.  - I have a Source 3litre that fits fine.
I also have a Source 10litre backpack but couldn't quite squeeze all my gear in it

#10 BarefootBj

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:20 PM

View PostMichael S, on 22 March 2012 - 06:05 PM, said:

I've been trying to source a salomon s-lab 12 pack with no luck - seems australia won't receive supplies until June now. What was the best pack before the s-lab 12?

Hi mate,
You can always get them from the US.. Mine arrives next week.. Get them from Rei.com and set up a virtual mailbox with shipito.com.. ;) Also great for shoes I'm told.. If you're into that sort of thing.. ;)

#11 blair

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:16 AM

View Postflyingemu, on 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

I've just ordered some trekking poles

Are poles allowed? I was worried that they wouldn't be

#12 Running Angel

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:51 AM

View Postblair, on 23 March 2012 - 06:16 AM, said:

View Postflyingemu, on 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

I've just ordered some trekking poles

Are poles allowed? I was worried that they wouldn't be
They sure are Blair, I saw a fair few people with them last year. I will def be getting mine out for Nellies and Kedumba this year, prob not really necessary before that point as all the climbs are too short

:Angel:


#13 blair

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:24 AM

View PostRunning Angel, on 23 March 2012 - 06:51 AM, said:

View Postblair, on 23 March 2012 - 06:16 AM, said:

View Postflyingemu, on 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

I've just ordered some trekking poles

Are poles allowed? I was worried that they wouldn't be
They sure are Blair, I saw a fair few people with them last year. I will def be getting mine out for Nellies and Kedumba this year, prob not really necessary before that point as all the climbs are too short

Posted Image

Awesome! Time to pull out the poles and hit Coot-tha!

As for mandatory gear, can anyone recommend some good, cheap options for gear and where I can get it in Brisbane please. I thermals and waterproof jacket. I think I'm right for everything else

#14 blair

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:34 AM

I just had another look and the waterproof pants and fleecy top are compulsory. Pasty, you have listed them as optional.

I will need these too

#15 Running Angel

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:48 AM

View Postblair, on 23 March 2012 - 08:34 AM, said:

I just had another look and the waterproof pants and fleecy top are compulsory. Pasty, you have listed them as optional.

I will need these too
Yes they are compulsory but you don't have to carry them from the start unless the weather is bad. Put them in your drop bag for CP4 and the organisers will tell you then if you have to carry them for the night section. The first year we were ok but last year we had to take them. We got our w/p pants and thermals from Anaconda, they have good sales

#16 Pasty

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:07 AM

View Postblair, on 23 March 2012 - 08:34 AM, said:

I just had another look and the waterproof pants and fleecy top are compulsory. Pasty, you have listed them as optional. I will need these too
Running Angel is correct.  They are compulsory to have, but not compulsory to carry unless directed so.  Last year they were mandatory to carry from Katoomba at CP4. To be honest, you need them anyway it was that cold!  I would have taken them even if I didn't have to.  

I updated the original post to carefully reflect the requirements.

#17 Windy

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

Last year for gloves, i just used some cheap NZ merina/possum knitted gloves. They kept my hands toastie warm even when i slipped flat on my backside in the frost outside Katoomba Aquatic Centre. Although they got wet, within about 15 minutes they were all warmed up again (although i think loud cursing must also warm up your hands as well). There is something to be said about the benefit of natural thermal fibres, I also used merino for my thermal top as well. The gloves were very light weight and took up next to no room.

#18 BeerPowered

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

Another pack comment - as noted above the Salomon XA20 was considered by many to be the pack of choice before the S-Lab came along; for those on a tight budget, the XA20 can be had for about one-third the price of the S-Lab.

I keep hoping my XA20 will fall apart so I can justify upgrading but it hasn't happened yet.

#19 Pasty

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:56 PM

Yeah, the Salomon XA 20 is still an awesome pack.

#20 Broom

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:09 PM

Thanks for the post  pasty boy. Very informative. Now I have to start buying  new sets of mandatory gear. :)
Btw, would you like to share what you will have in your drop bags as well. I will probably place my fleece in the drop bag at cp3.

Edited by Broom, 24 March 2012 - 06:26 AM.


#21 Pasty

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:18 AM

Hi Broom,

Drop bag locations at CP3 (54k), CP4 (65k), and CP5 (89k).

There are 2 things you need in your drop bags: nutrition and gear.  A common mistake is too have too much food in the drop bags. Remember that there is a large selection of food at each of the checkpoints anyway.  I tend to only have food that is specific to me, such as perpetuem or coke for the last 2 CPs.  I usually have spare ayup batteries in CP5, and an extra long sleeve top and socks in case I am wet. You need more gear if it is raining or colder and think carefully about this. Sometimes it is better to keep going and stay warm than to stop and change and get cold (but dry).

Some athletes like to be fully self sufficient, and only use their food at these CPs.  Others use the supplied food (soup is always good later on) and some of their own specific stuff that is not supplied.  Everyone is different.

I bought some chill bags from a $2 shop that do the trick.  Ms Pasty and I share the same bag.  It doesn't need to be big at all.

#22 runhard

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

Does anyone know if the whistle on petzle e+lite is good enough?

#23 Ponkey

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

View Postrunhard, on 28 March 2012 - 02:09 PM, said:

Does anyone know if the whistle on petzle e+lite is good enough?

It is good enough to pass the gear check, as are most of those built into backpacks such as the TNF Ion20 and the Salomon S-LAB 5 and 12L

#24 Pasty

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:55 PM

I can check tonight but haven't used it before.
But good enough for what - to pass the gear inspection?

#25 runhard

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:49 PM

View PostPonkey, on 28 March 2012 - 02:53 PM, said:

View Postrunhard, on 28 March 2012 - 02:09 PM, said:

Does anyone know if the whistle on petzle e+lite is good enough?

It is good enough to pass the gear check, as are most of those built into backpacks such as the TNF Ion20 and the Salomon S-LAB 5 and 12L

Thanks Ponkey!  Yep pass the inspections. Also does the slab space blanket pass the inspection?

#26 Running Angel

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:17 PM

View Postrunhard, on 28 March 2012 - 05:49 PM, said:

View PostPonkey, on 28 March 2012 - 02:53 PM, said:

View Postrunhard, on 28 March 2012 - 02:09 PM, said:

Does anyone know if the whistle on petzle e+lite is good enough?

It is good enough to pass the gear check, as are most of those built into backpacks such as the TNF Ion20 and the Salomon S-LAB 5 and 12L

Thanks Ponkey!  Yep pass the inspections. Also does the slab space blanket pass the inspection?

Yes it did last year


#27 backofthepack

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

What shoes should I wear?Posted Image

#28 NickW

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 05:28 AM

View Postbackofthepack, on 28 March 2012 - 10:08 PM, said:

What shoes should I wear?Posted Image
I'm loving the Inov8 Roclites at the moment.  Shona had a great review of them (http://www.shonastep...8-and-dead.html) and I'll be wearing the 285 this year.  Great drainage (could be a wet year!) and awesome grip.

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 07:13 AM

I am wondering what other peoples pack will weigh all up with their fluid content. So dry weight.

Also for those who have done it before are you changing what your wearing much from start to CP4 or pretty much staying in one set of gear.

Train safe.

#30 halfwaydown

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:04 AM

Last year was cold - the temperature dropped at night - (got close to 0C around midnight).
Twighlight Coincided with CP4 for me so Yes I made a big change there:
Gear  CP1 - CP4:  Compression sleeveless T, Long sleeved technical T with front Zip, Running hat, bicycle shorts, calf protectors, socks. Gloves (occasionally).
Gear CP4 - Finish: Compression sleeveless T**, Thermal Top*, Running Tee, Fleece*, Woolly hat, Thermal Troos*, Running tights, calf protectors, dry socks. Gloves.

* These items were compulsary carry so decided might as well wear them to keep warm as carry them on your back - coming up out of Kedumba it felt cold even with this gear on.
**The sleeveless compression Tee was a real succes for me - double layer kept me cosy, wicks sweat away and protects your shoulders and lower back from backpack rub.

#31 NickW

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:24 AM

View PostB+, on 29 March 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:

I am wondering what other peoples pack will weigh all up with their fluid content. So dry weight.

2.7kg - full weights and costs at http://www.enduroexp...ist-tnf100.aspx

View PostB+, on 29 March 2012 - 07:13 AM, said:

Also for those who have done it before are you changing what your wearing much from start to CP4 or pretty much staying in one set of gear.

I put on a Windstopper jumper at CP4, but I was out of there early (3pm) and the jumper was probably overkill.  It really depends on the time you're leaving - if its late and you're going to be in the valley a long time, more clothes would be a good idea.  If you're still moving quick and its early, just keep going.

#32 Rico

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:06 PM

Awesome thread.  Will be giving it some attention once my focus moves on from Canberra marathon and MSU.

For some quick comments now ...

Last year I changed at CP4 from 2XU compression shorts and calf guards to 2XU tights.  Also changed underpants, socks, shirt and added the polypro top and beanie.  That was great but this year I want to spend way less time at CPs so am thinking of skipping that step, but then I will be torn by indecision over whether to start in the tights or finish in the shorts.

I have a Salomon Revo Raid pack that I got 2nd hand and is starting to fall apart, but am afraid to change because it has workes so well.  The XA20 looks similar but doesn't seem to have the side pockets I rely on for bottles (I'm not much of a bladder and hose fan).

Last year I'd never used lights and had no idea but I started at the very top with my Ay Ups and could never go back.

Like everyone else, I had no idea what 100 weight means in terms of fleece, and neither did anyone at any of the shops I went to.

Won't stand for talk of shoes with good drainage.  After B2H and 6ft I won't stand for another rain affected event.

#33 halfwaydown

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

View PostRico, on 29 March 2012 - 08:06 PM, said:

Like everyone else, I had no idea what 100 weight means in terms of fleece, and neither did anyone at any of the shops I went to.

Google "Paddy Palin" and "The North Face TKA 100 Microvelour Glacier Top" - for example of 100 weight fleece.
Essentailly a very lightweight fleece that is intended as an interlayer between t shirt and raincoat. Often called 'micro' fleece though sometimes micro's can be even lighter than 100 weight.  Double check labels as often the info is on there (even if the staff don't know).
I got mine in mountain designs in chatswood last year - maybe I was lucky but the staff member that day new straight away what I was after.

#34 Pasty

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:44 AM

The history of polar fleece is actually pretty interesting.  Specifying the fleece to be 100 weight is kind of archaic since most people either don't know the terms or don't really care when they buy a fleece top,  but originally when there were so few manufacturers that there was 100, 200, and 300 weight fleece and it was standardised.  Malden Mills was the best quality and original. There were even windstopper fleeces in early 90s called 1000 weight.  Essentially 100 weight was the lightest, 200 the medium thickness, and 300 the heaviest of the fleeces.

#35 Pasty

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:30 PM

The guys at ultra168 have a good article on The essential TNF100 gear list.

We agree on most things - such as the Salomon SLab 12 as a pack, and the Montane Lite Speed as a jacket.

I disagree with them about using the Suunto Ambit as a compass though.  It might be a cool watch and a GPS receiver, but a watch compass is next to useless for navigation.  I also reckon that there is a better (lighter) dry sack from Exped that is about half the weight of the Sea to Summit dry sacks.
And I wouldn't recommend a sandwich bag as something to keep your map dry.  Either fully contact it, or use a map bag.

Besides that, it's a good summary of what you would choose if choosing everything from scratch.

#36 Quack

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:49 PM

Has anybody tried the Ultimate Direction Wasp Pack?
I am interested in any feedback on this pack and if it is big enough for TNF100.
Thanks

#37 Pasty

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

View PostQuack, on 03 April 2012 - 03:49 PM, said:

Has anybody tried the Ultimate Direction Wasp Pack?
I am interested in any feedback on this pack and if it is big enough for TNF100.
Thanks
There is a review of the Ultimate Direction Wasp here.
It is 6.9 litres storage with 1.9 litres of fluid capacity.  It will depend on the gear you are carrying - how compressible is your shell, how compressible are your thermals? How bulky is your safety vest?  

If you have bulky gear then you may be squeezed to get it all in.  If you have chosen gear with a view to minimizing weight and volume, you may be able to get it all in.

#38 Quack

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

Exactly what i was thinking - not sure it will be big enough for me - I don't expect to be the most efficient packer - it's my first TNF and I will probably have a few extra bits of nutrition, first aid etc.

Might sell the Wasp -  I have a Salomon XT wings 10+3 vest pack - should be big enough

#39 Running Angel

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

The best way to compress your thermals is to roll them really tightly, put them in a sealable /ziplock and then suck all the air out, effectively creating a vacuum. Amazing how small they will go :)

:Angel:

#40 djbleakman

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:06 AM

View PostPasty, on 03 April 2012 - 03:30 PM, said:

The guys at ultra168 have a good article on The essential TNF100 gear list.

We agree on most things - such as the Salomon SLab 12 as a pack, and the Montane Lite Speed as a jacket.

I disagree with them about using the Suunto Ambit as a compass though.  It might be a cool watch and a GPS receiver, but a watch compass is next to useless for navigation.  I also reckon that there is a better (lighter) dry sack from Exped that is about half the weight of the Sea to Summit dry sacks.
And I wouldn't recommend a sandwich bag as something to keep your map dry.  Either fully contact it, or use a map bag.

Besides that, it's a good summary of what you would choose if choosing everything from scratch.

Thanks for posting that Pasty - in regards to the Suunto Ambit as a compass, my comments were a little tongue in cheek about using it. A plain old Silva compass is the way forward for North Face Posted Image As always, gear choice is a very personal thing, and we'd encourage people to let us know what they're using as well as there's always room for improvement in finding the latest and greatest gear.

I've also updated the backpack section as we realise that the slab 12l are very hard to come by, so alternatives are needed. Much of our choices are born out of the fact that we have personally run 1000s of kms with the gear that we have chosen, its tried and tested and works well - in our own little humble opinions.

Edited by djbleakman, 04 April 2012 - 09:08 AM.


#41 tucks

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:10 AM

I'm thinking of getting the Montane Lite Speed, is the sizing pretty standard or is there anything unusual in the fit?

Thanks for all of the info.

#42 MrUniqueName

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

Okay this might be a bit of a dumb question, but the mandatory gear list says you need either a beanie, balaclava or buff. Does this mean that earwarmers such as this aren't good enough?

#43 gogirl

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

I dont know if that would be acceptable MUN. The idea of the beanie buff or balaclava is that is covers the whole head and keeps it warm. I guess have a backup beanie or similar and take both to the gear check.

#44 MrUniqueName

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:50 AM

View Postgogirl, on 04 April 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

I dont know if that would be acceptable MUN. The idea of the beanie buff or balaclava is that is covers the whole head and keeps it warm. I guess have a backup beanie or similar and take both to the gear check.

Thanks GG. I was just hoping to avoid having to buy another piece of gear! Then again, judging from the race reports, I'll probably be glad to have a beanie...

#45 Whippet Man

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:14 PM

I would strongly doubt those ear-warmers would pass muster.

#46 Windy

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 12:32 PM

I found that ziplock bags tend to slowly allow the air to enter back into the bag and tightly compressed garments ended up inflated again. What i found last year that was much better, is those tough plastic vacuum storage bags, the type that you press all the air out of, not the ones that you need to use a vacuum cleaner on. They are nearly as good a a dry bag and compress a lot more. They are really tough and i am going to use the one i used last year again. I think you can get them from somewhere like the reject shop or target (not sure where my wife got them). The smallest one must be about 5 litres which was about perfect.

If i had to open it and take something out, the bag was easy to seal and compress again. I think my only problem in the end was that they compressed so much that i wish I had a smaller pack as 12 litres was too largePosted Image.

#47 runhard

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:39 PM

View Posttucks, on 04 April 2012 - 10:10 AM, said:

I'm thinking of getting the Montane Lite Speed, is the sizing pretty standard or is there anything unusual in the fit? Thanks for all of the info.

I got mine using the sizing from their site!  excellent fit.

#48 Pasty

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

View Postdjbleakman, on 04 April 2012 - 09:06 AM, said:

Thanks for posting that Pasty - in regards to the Suunto Ambit as a compass, my comments were a little tongue in cheek about using it. A plain old Silva compass is the way forward for North Face Posted Image As always, gear choice is a very personal thing, and we'd encourage people to let us know what they're using as well as there's always room for improvement in finding the latest and greatest gear.

I've also updated the backpack section as we realise that the slab 12l are very hard to come by, so alternatives are needed. Much of our choices are born out of the fact that we have personally run 1000s of kms with the gear that we have chosen, its tried and tested and works well - in our own little humble opinions.
No worries.  Yeah agree that a Silva is the best choice of compasses.  Personally the Salomon XA 20 is still an awesome pack and what I would buy if I didn't have the SLab 12 already.

Keep up the good work on the reviews...

#49 slowmo

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

I'm experienced with bushwalking in remote areas and winter conditions but a complete newbie to ultra-trail events, so I appreciate this thread. Many thanks to Pasty and others.

I'm slow and expect to be out on the course for a long time, so my gear choices pay little heed to weight and bulk and instead concentrate on comfort and confidence. Since this is different to the requirements and preferences of faster and more experienced folk here, I thought I'd add my present gear thoughts to the thread:

Jacket: Snow Leopard hard-shell Gore-tex
I feel much more confident with a substantial jacket despite it being heavy and bulky compared to other options discussed here and on the ultra168 page. I bought this one recently as a replacement for my old, much loved Lowe jacket. It is well cut and finished, and included a good quality polar-fleece which zips into the jacket as a liner or can be worn separately. It also bestows good karma on the wearer.

Pack:
Osprey Manta 25 with a 3L bladder. Despite the name, the usable space is about 15 litres in the main compartment, plus it has several extra small pockets. I bought mine some time ago based on the enthusiastic recommendation of a fellow I met during a race who was wearing one. It's well made, comfy, and has a particularly nifty magnetic clip for the bite valve. But most of all, it's big enough to fit all the crap in that I'll be taking.

Gloves and beanie:
Thin, fingerless woollen gloves plus polypro over-gloves.
My favourite Black Yak beanie (tempted to also throw in my ultra-warm alpaca beanie).

Thermals:
I used to wear polypro thermals which were reasonably comfy and provided an entertaining light show at night when (if) you took them off. However, I need new ones and plan to follow the ultra168 recommendation of merino fabric. The Wilderness Wear products look good, though the credit card is starting to melt.

Lights:
Cheap and cheerful Alpkit Gamma headlamp plus a Spark SD-6 (flood beam) lamp mounted on pack strap.

Footwear:
I'm in a quandary about this. I haven't run in normal shoes for more than four years, having worn sandals (huaraches) for all my trail runs (though nothing over 35km), with the same or vibrams for road races. I know that Runbare and others have successfully completed TNF in vibrams. On the other hand, I've been told by experienced mountain runners that wearing anything other than shoes with adequate rock plates would be stupid. Ah - the difficulties of being a freaky-footed running luddite...

slowmo

Edited by slowmo, 04 April 2012 - 05:20 PM.


#50 Brick

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:22 AM

View Postslowmo, on 04 April 2012 - 05:18 PM, said:

Footwear:
I'm in a quandary about this. I haven't run in normal shoes for more than four years, having worn sandals (huaraches) for all my trail runs (though nothing over 35km), with the same or vibrams for road races. I know that Runbare and others have successfully completed TNF in vibrams. On the other hand, I've been told by experienced mountain runners that wearing anything other than shoes with adequate rock plates would be stupid. Ah - the difficulties of being a freaky-footed running luddite...
You could try a minimal shoe I used Inov-8 195s last year and had no problems.
Very soft upper and nice wide foor foot but with enough protection for rocky sections.
Work perfectly on road and trail.

Also used them for Glasshouse 100 miler so good for longer distances as well.