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For your convenience, I’ve put all the gear I used in a LighterPack:
Below I’ll go over in more detail on the majority of the gear I used. Anything not covered below is listed in the LighterPack, and/or described in the video above:
Being September and with a cold front moving in at the time I was to run, it was starting to get chilly up high, so I packed enough clothes to be reasonably comfortable at 14,000’+ in the middle of the night. This meant some actual wool baselayers, and a 1000 fill insulated jacket – gear choices I usually don’t make, except I was also planning on napping without the use of a sleeping bag + pad.
- REI/Novara cycling casquette
- Misc. warm cap
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks – Men’s L x2
- La Sportiva Slipstream Tank M Large
- Ultimate Direciton Jason Schlarb Merino Tee Large
- ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh 2.0 Medium
- Pearl Izumi Arm Warmers
- La Sportiva Ultra Distance Short Mens Large
- Icebreaker Men’s Merino 175 Everyday Long Sleeve Half Zip Thermal Top Large
- Icebreaker Men’s Merino 200 Oasis Leggings with Fly Medium
- Rab Men’s Kinetic Ultra Waterproof Jacket Large
- La Sportiva Triumph Pant M Medium
- Ultimate Direction Ultra Pants Medium (rain pants)
- Rab Power Stretch Contact Grip Glove XL
- OR waterproof glove liners
- Rab Men’s Zero G Down Jacket
Can’t say enough good things about these glasses – perfect for high alpine sunny days. Pricey, but I find the absolute protection from too much sun exposure/glare is a huge benefit for multi-day trips.
Pack – Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30
I used the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30 on this trip. I’ve done Nolan’s 14 unsupported run with a small UD FKT vest, a Fastpack 20, and a Fastpack 40 – the pack I bring just depends on the style I’ve wanted to go for at the time. For this run, I brought nothing for my sleep system except a bivy and some supplemental clothes. Along with three days of food, not a lot of pack storage was really needed and I had room to spare, which makes sorting through the pack looking for items easier.
Poles – Camp Xenon Trek
These broke immediately, so I will not be using them in the future.
Sleep System – Rab Survival Zone Light Bivi
I only brought a simple and light nylon bivy: the Rab Survival Zone Light Bivi. I wasn’t planning on sleeping all that much – only enough to ward off the sleep monsters that force my eyelids closed. The plan was to just put on all the clothes I brought – including the 1000 fill Rab Zero G Down Jacket and nap until I was too cold.
Footwear – La Sportiva Mutant
La Sportiva Mutants, of course. See my video/post on some of the mods I do before taking them on long distance, off-trail adventures. Not strictly necessary, but many of these tweaks prolong the useful life of the shoe.
I generally brought just enough to track my run, play some music, light my way in the dark, and power everything else (with a little bit of fudge room on that front)
- iPhone SE 2020
- iPhone QI Wireless Charging Battery Case 8000 mAh (not a great product)
- JLab GO Air Pop True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
- Misc. charging cables x3
- Fenix Light HM65R Headlamp
- 18650 Batteries for Headlamp x3
- myCharge Hub Max 10050mAh/2.4A Output Power Bank with Integrated Charging Cables(cables break easily)
Water Carrying/Filtration System
I kept things simple, and brought along one cycling water bottle, 2x Katadyn 1L water filters, and an additional 1L soft Flask. Water is plentiful on the route.
For this run, I distilled all the experience of fueling my summer’s trips into the Sawatch and Sangres to come up with a pretty simple spread of nutrition:
Scratch Labs Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix (neé SuperFuel)
Most of my calories were from this product. It mixes with water, has a fairly neutral flavor, packs a lot of carbs that aren’t simple sugars, is something I can handle for a few days, and doesn’t upset my stomach. It allows me to take in a lot of calories, without having to actually think about eating: it’s just in my water.
This product doesn’t mix as well as other fructose/sucrose-based products when the water you use is very cold. I usually mix it pretty richly – almost as a slurry, and have some plain water at hand when I want something to drink without calories.
The biggest downside of this product is its cost. One bag of 2800 calories is around $40. It’s too much for someone like me (essentially: not rich) to use as an every day product, and I only use it for special trips, like Nolan’s 14. Is the cost worth the product’s stated benefits from the manufacturer? If you’re suffering from GI distress on long trips like this, or don’t want to ingest so much sugar, think about experimenting with this product yourself.
I packed ~1870 calories of Super High-Carb Sport Drink Mix per day.
Power Crunch Protein Bars
I find a good amount of protein- even on a fast-and-light trip like this, is worth bringing along. I enjoy the mouth feel of the Power Crunch Bars, as well as the taste, although they do become a bit crumbly after a short while. There’s many different protein bars out there – these are just ones I currently prefer after trial and error.
I brought four of these bars, totaling 880 calories, 52 grams of protein.
To up the protein and fat of my nutrition, I brought some nut butters in individual packets. I find the packets are the cleanest way to bring along nut butters, although it does increase the price substantially. I brought four packets of assorted types (peanut, almond, sunflower seed, Nutella-like) for a total of ~840 calories, 28 grams of protein.
I brought three types of dried fruit I grabbed from Trader Joe’s – one of them being crystalized ginger, as it’s known to help with upset stomach. I don’t have absolute calorie numbers, as each package varied slightly, but it’s around 800 calories, all sugar.
That comes up to around 4390 calories/day and I brought three days of food. 4400 calories is not a small load of food and came to 3,789 grams/8.35lbs! This is the majority of the weight of my entire gear selection. You may need more/less food yourself, but for a 5’11”, 190lb man that’s planning on moving 23 hours/day for three days, that’s what I calculated needing.
For personal items, see the video.