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Competitors must carry certain "mandatory" equipment which is required to be with a competitor at all times during the event. Failure to have all the mandatory items at Competitor Check-In may result in a time penalty or the competitor not being able to start the event.

Review the photos of each item below to make sure you know what is required. You can see recommended products available in RacingThePlanet, The Outdoor Store. You can also download the full equipment list.
1 of 32Backpack / Rucksack
Capable of carrying all of the Mandatory and Optional Equipment you choose. Approximately 30L backpack is optimal. Note: There is no one backpack model that works for everyone.
2 of 32Sleeping Bag
The minimum requirement combination of sleeping bag plus bag liner is 0°C/32°F. Note: See the optional equipment list for details on Bag Liners which can add up to 6°C/10°F to the rating of your sleeping bag. Note that synthetic sleeping bags keep dryer in wet weather conditions than down sleeping bags. Make sure your sleeping bag stays dry.
Competitors are required to carry both a headlamp and a back-up light source during the event. The back-up light must be of equal strength to the primary headlamp - it can be either another headlamp or a handheld torch.
4 of 32Compass
Any model will be adequate. Note: There is no navigation in the event; this is to be carried as part of your emergency gear.
5 of 32Safety Pins
Used for attaching your bib number and event patch to your clothing and backpack, as well as during the event for other uses. Heavy duty, large safety pins are best.
6 of 32Knife / Multi-tool
A small knife or multi-tool has multiple uses during the event. A pair of scissors is not a multi-tool.
7 of 32Whistle
To attract attention in case of an emergency. Note that many backpacks include a whistle on the buckle – this is NOT sufficient for this item of equipment. You must have an emergency whistle. If you do not have one of the brands below then it must be equivalent.
8 of 32Mirror
To attract attention in case of emergency. Reflect the sun of the mirror to draw attention to yourself.
Must be made of reflective material and a closed bag (not a blanket). You should have a thicker bivvy bag that you can repack easily as you may want to use it over your sleeping bag in wet weather conditions.
30 ml / 1 fl oz minimum
Choose a high SPF brand which is waterproof, sweat proof and non-greasy. It is recommended to bring the required amount in two separate containers in case one is lost or difficult to find.
11 of 32Lip Sunscreen
12 of 32Blister Kit
The following is a minimum requirement, but you may need more supplies based on your experience and prior history of foot blisters. You should try to anticipate the amount of supplies you might need. Note that if you do not bring enough supplies, you could be at risk of developing more severe blisters that could jeopardise your ability to finish the race.
  • 10 alcohol wipes
  • 2 hypodermic needles or safety pins
  • 1 roll of paper tape (i.e., micorpore)
  • 1 roll of elastic tape (i.e., Elastikon)
  • 5 second skin or Compede pads
Note: Hydropel is also highly recommended. Foot powder is also recommended for feet that sweat a lot.
13 of 32Medication
You should seek advice from your doctor about any medication that you plan to take during the race, including any form of painkillers. If you take painkillers, Tylenol / Paracetamol / Acetaminophen are preferred over anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen / Neurofen / Advil / Motrin / Naprosyn and others. It is NOT advised to take anti-inflammatory medication on the course. Please read the expert article called Painkillers Used during Ultramarathons, for more details.
Bring enough so that you are not dependent on medication from the event medical team. Note that using other competitor’s medication and consuming heavy quantities of painkillers can be extremely dangerous.
14 of 32ALCOHOL GEL 60 ml / 2 fl oz minimum
Alcohol wipes CANNOT replace alcohol gel, but you may choose to carry both.
Any brand will work (at least 1 pack per day). A must for toilet use. No tissues will be provided by Event Staff.
16 of 32Red Flashing Light
This red flashing light is required IN ADDITION to your headlamp and back-up light. This is to be worn on the rear of your backpack and to be switched on when you are on the course in the dark.
17 of 32
This forms part of your emergency equipment. It must be carried at all times on the course.
18 of 32WATERPROOF JACKET Men’s Jackets Women’s Jackets
Must be fully waterproof to keep you dry if it rains. Jacket with breathable material and with a hood is recommended.
19 of 32Shorts / Tights
One pair of shorts, tights or pants is required. It is recommended to bring at least one pair of long tights or pants as it can get cold. Lighter colours reduce heat absorption.
20 of 32T-Shirts, Long / Short Sleeves
Shirts are to be used for sun and sweat protection. They should be made of a quick dry material and have sleeves. Wear long sleeves if you are sensitive to the sun.
21 of 32Shoes
You must wear trail or running shoes.
Note: Buy your shoes 1-2 sizes larger than you normally wear to account for swelling and tape for blisters.
22 of 32Socks
We recommend bringing 6-7 pairs to allow for a fresh pair every day, but only 2 pairs are required.
23 of 32Headgear / Caps
It is required that you wear a cap with a neck cover such as legionnaire design. Light colour head wear is recommended.
24 of 32Sunglasses
Any pair of UV protection sunglasses. Only 1 pair is mandatory but it is recommended to take 2 pairs as they are often lost or broken.
25 of 32Nationality Patches
You must wear nationality patches on both sleeves of all tops (including jackets) throughout the event. These are in addition to the 4 Deserts patches which are provided by RacingThePlanet
26 of 32RacingThePlanet Patches
You must wear RacingThePlanet patches on both sleeves of all tops (including jackets) throughout the event. RacingThePlanet will send you these patches approximately 6 weeks before the event.
27 of 327-Day Food Supply
You are responsible for your own food for the entire event. You need a dried meal for the night before the race, as well as a minimum of 2000 calories/day during the race (7 days) for a minimum of 14,000 calories.
28 of 32Eating Utensil
Ideally bring more than one fork/spoon in case you lose one. Titanium products are the lightest option but are more expensive.
29 of 32Electrolytes / Salt Tablets
Bring enough fluid replacement electrolytes for 7 days on the course. It is recommended that you test these supplements during your training and follow the recommended amounts. It is strongly recommended to bring tablets in addition to electrolyte drink powders. You must bring a minimum of:
  • enough powder to make a minimum of 30 liters of drink, or
  • enough salt tablets / Endurolytes for 30 hours on the course (usually, the minimum is 1.5 tablets per hour = 45 tablets), or
  • a combo of both (e.g., powder for 15 liters of water and tablets for 15 hours on the course)
If you expect to spend more than 30 hours on the course then you should increase this accordingly.
30 of 32Hydration System
You must be able to carry 2.5 litres of water at one time. Use a combination of hydration bladder and water bottles. Bottles allow for more flexibility, as bladder can be hard to refill at checkpoints.
31 of 32Warm Hat
A fleece or other warm hat is required for warmth.
32 of 32Gloves
A pair of gloves is required for warmth.

Inov-8 Race Elite 32 An elite, functional lightweight hydration-compatible pack.
Inov-8 Race Elite 25 An extreme lightweight pack ideal for mountain marathons and longer runs.
Inov-8 Racepac 25 An elite, functional lightweight hydration-compatible pack.
OMM Jirishanca 35RL MSC Lightweight, tough and rugged pack with plenty of room
OMM Classic Marathon 32L The definitive lightweight pack for those who want to carry more equipment.
OMM Classic Marathon 25L The definitive lightweight pack for those who want to travel super light.
Osprey Exos 34 Pack Lightweight, functional backpack
Osprey Hornet 32 A super light highly ventilated hydration-compatible pack for those who carry more.
Osprey Talon 33 A lightweight but hardcore backpack.
RaidLight Runner R-Light – 30L Ultra-light & multifunctional. 30 litres (backpack) + 1 bottle.
Pack Accessories
Osprey Hi-Vis Raincover Waterproof material that protects the contents of a backpack from the front side.
Inov-8 Racepac 2 Compact chest pouch adds versatility and additional storage options
OMM Waist Pouch 3L Use with a pack with shorter back; Adventure Light or Classic 25.
RaidLight Endurance Pouch Small zipped independent pouch
RaidLight Equilibre Front-Pack 4L Enhances gear accessibility and balance.
Raidlight Trail Front Pack Compact pack mostly made of mesh for a complete breathability.
Salomon Custom Front Pocket Customizable chest bag system with two water bottle holders.
Salomon Custom Zipped Pocket Customizable waist belt bag system.
WATER PROOF BAG (25 liter) There is a high chance of rain. It is vital that you keep the contents of your backpack, in particular your sleeping bag and your camp clothes, dry. 25 liter minimum is the minimum size recommended.
Coghlan's Lightweight Dry Bag Made from a high quality Rip-Stop material with fully taped sealed seams to keep moisture out.
Pacific Outdoor Equipment Gobi Durable, abrasion resistant 420D Thermal Welded Nylon with easy fastening Duraflex buckles.
Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack The fully seam taped silnyl fabric keeps the weight down and helps protect your gear.
Outdoor Research Durable Dry Sack Antron nylon with a durable, waterproof Hydroseal® coating.
Sea-To-Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Dry Sack Ultra-lightweight dry sack with handy release buckle and a thinner roll top closure.
Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack The new Sea-to-Summit Ultra-Sil™ Dry Sacks are more than 50% lighter than most Dry Sacks.

Marmot Plasma Marmot Plasma (40F/4C & 30F/-1C models) Incredibly lightweight Pertex fabric that is water-resistant and breathable. Temperature rated down to -1°C/30°F.
Marmot Arroyo Light-weight goose down sleeping bag with temperature rating of -1°C/30°F.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 (women’s specific available) Light, warm, & compact. Offers versatility.
Temperature rated down to 0°C/32°F.
Mountain Hardwear Women's Lamina 20 Sleeping Bag Comfortable, roomy, mummy cut bag. Excellent choice for damp, cold conditions. Comfort rating of -5°C/23°F.
Western Mountaineering Summerlite Light-weight, fully-baffled bag with a full zipper and insulation. Temperature rated down to 0°C/32°F.
Western Mountaineering Highlight Light-weight and low bulk. Temperature rated down to 2°C/35°F.
Big Agnes Pitchpine with Air Core Mummy Pad (regular and long available) Light-weight, high-thread count and mummy-shaped bag down to 5°C/40°F. Integrated pad sleeve.
Marmot Atom Light-weight with high-quality down. Temperature rated
Marmot Axiom 45 Sleeping Bag Synthetic Thermal R high loft insulation provides durable warmth. Temperature rated down to 7°C/45°F.
Marmot NanoWave Sleeping Bag DWR-treated polyester taffeta fabric sheds moisture. Temperature rated down to 7°C/45°F.

Black Diamond Spot LED A great primary light source. Shines for 34-70 meters.
Black Diamond Cosmo LED A primary light source that shines up to 28 meters.
Black Diamond Gizmo LED A quality back-up light source. Shines for 25 meters but has a low number of lumens.
Princeton Tec EOS Headlamp A great primary light source with 50 lumens and light distance of 50 meters.
Princeton Tec Scout Headlamp A quality back-up light source with 10 lumens and light distance of 8-15 meters.
Petzl Tikka 2 Plus A great primary light source. Shines for 13-35 meters.
Petzl Tikka 2 A great primary light source. Shines for 13-29 meters.
Petzl e+LITE Headlamp Should only be considered as a back-up light source. Shines for 11-19 meters but has a low number of lumens.

Silva 40 Watch Compass Fits nicely on a watch strap.
Silva Thermometer Compass A handy compass with integrated thermometer.
Silva 1 Explorer Compass 1S360 Luminous points for night navigation.
Silva Compass Carabiner 9 A handy compass with integrated carabiner.

Coghlan’s Safety Whistle Four features in one compact package.
Jetscream Safety Whistle Flat enough to fit in your pocket.
Coghlan's Featherweight Mirror Made of strong, unbreakable acrylic material

Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy Ultralight, ultra-warm full protection shelter. 105 grams / 3.7 ounces.
Adventure Medical Kits ThermoLite Provides warmth. 195 grams / 6.9 ounces bivvy sack.
Space Brand Emergency Bag Protection in a lightweight, compact bag.

Dermatone Sunblock Lotion with Z-Cote - SPF 36 Waterproof & moisturizing. Z-cote adds essential protection against UVA rays.
Dermatone No-Touch Sunblock Lotion - SPF 30 Fragrance free, waterproof and sweat proof.
Dermatone Sun & Bug Combo, SPF 25 with Insect Repellent Insect repellent for 3 hours, UVA & UVB protection; water proof and sweat proof.
SmartShield SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion with Avobenzone A light, oil-free formula that is waterproof and sweat proof.
Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Sport Cream SPF 30 Breathable and non-greasy. Free of PABA, fragrances, wheat, gluten, glycol and nut oils.
Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Titanium Dioxide SPF 50 Moisturizing and non-greasy with titanium dioxide. Free of PABA, fragrance, wheat, gluten, glycol and nut oils.
Bushman Plus Dry Gel Sunscreen plus lasting protection from bloodseeking insects.

Dermatone Medicated Lip Balm Protects and conditions lips.
Dermatone Spot Protection Stick Protects lips against sun, wind and cold.
Dermatone Lip ‘n Face Protection Crème with Z-Cote, SPF 30 Great for skin that is super sensitive to the sun. (Highly recommended by dermatologists to prevent skin cancer.)
Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF30 PABA free and contains aloe vera and Vitamin B

RacingThePlanet® Blister Kit (highly recommended) Basic Kit or Kit with Hydropel. Includes an instruction sheet.
Blist-o-Ban Highly recommended. Prevent blisters from forming, because the easiest way to treat blisters is to not get them in the first place.
Spenco 2nd Skin Jar 48 - 3 Circles (non-sterile)

Wet Ones Moist Towelette with Vitamin E & Aloe Clean-up anytime. Thick and soft.
Kleenex Deluxe Tissues Pockets Pack Soft, gentle Kleenex® tissues.
4 Deserts Tablet Towels Durable and full-sized 10" x 10”. Nine towels per pack. Compacted in a convenient tablet size; add water to use.

Flashing LED Safety Light Flashing LED Safety Light

Flashing LED Safety Light Flashing LED Safety Light

2XU X Lite Membrane Jacket
Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket,
Marmot Silverton Jacket, Zion Jacket, Speed Light Jacket, Super Mica Jacket, Nano
Montane Minimus Jacket
Mountain Hardware Quark Jacket Men, Epic Jacket, Typhoon Jacket
Orca Men's Lite Jacket
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket, Mentor Jacket, Alibi Jacket
Columbia Mission Air II Shell
OMM Kamleika Race Jacket
Patagonia Torrentshell Jacket

CW-X Tights and Shorts (Stabilyx, Pro, Expert, Ventilator) Compression gear that provides support to key muscle groups and joints.
SKINS Tights and Shorts (Sport, She, or ICE Series) Body-moulded compression gear aimed at providing support and muscle alignment.
Orca Tights and Shorts Performance compression tights.
2XU Tights and Shorts Performance compression tights.
Montane Sonic Shorts Lightweight multi-activity shorts.
Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Tights (men), Solano Shorts (women), Canyon Shorts (men).
Salomon Shorts and compression tights including Exo II Wings TW Short, Exo IV 3/4 Collant, Exo IV 3/4 Tight W, XR Short W

Orca Natural merino wool
Capilene® Patagonia's signature base-layer fabric.
CoolMax® Performance shirts by INVISTA.
DriClime® & UpCycle® Marmot performance shirts.
Koolknit™ Mountain Hardware’s moisture wicking shirts that keep you dry and cool.
Icebreaker Bodyfit Offers light and breathable protection.
Skins Sport and She Tops Compression shirts which improve circulation and muscle support.
Salomon XR 1/2 Zip Tech Tee, XT softshell LS 1/2 Zip Tee (male)

Montrail (trail) Durable, lightweight trail running shoes.
Salomon (trail) Versatile, lightweight trail running shoes.
Inov-8 (trail) Lightweight and with great grip.
Columbia (trail) Lightweight and durable trail running shoes.
Vasque Low profile anatomically-moulded midsole that uses contouring and smart cushioning to get runners physically closer to the trail.
New Balance Versatile, lightweight trail running shoes.
Asics Lightweight and with great GEL cushioning system

Skins Sport Powersox Compression socks increase circulation to the calves, increasing performance and facilitating faster recovery.
CW-X Compression Socks  
2XU Recovery Sock / Calf Guard  
Injinji Crew Toe Toe-fit socks, superb performance.
Injinji Mini-Crew Toe Toe-fit socks, superb performance.
Toe Toe Socks Thin-Liner toe socks are finely knitted with Coolmax material.
SmartWool Adrenalin Mini Crew Durable, sweat-wicking socks.
SmartWool Adrenaline Light Crew Durable, sweat-wicking socks.
DryMax Run Crew Socks Padded socks designed with a Dual Layer Moisture Removal System.
DryMax Trail Run ¼ Crew High Socks Comes with extra foot protection for the trails and an anti-blister system.
Teko Socks Lightweight, quick-drying comfort.
Highly recommended by numerous 4 Deserts competitors.

Sea-To-Summit The Mullet Cap With a multi-position, removable neck flap.
Outdoor Research Helios Sun Cap 50+ UPF rating with a brim.
Outdoor Research Swift Cap Quick-drying cap with a mesh liner.
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Cap A breathable, lightweight soft shell cap.
Inov-8 Hot Peak 60 Breathable stretch mesh, fast wicking.
RacingThePlanet Cap A baseball-style cap.
4 Deserts Cap A baseball-style cap.
Columbia Freezer Ball Cap A baseball-style cap with Omni-Freeze® technology to keep your head cool.
2XU Run Cap Quick-drying cap with a mesh liner.

Numa Sport Optics  
Smith Optics  

Dried Meals We recommend using dried meals as your main food source. Hot water will be available at all campsites.
Expedition Foods (Freeze dried) High calorie (800 per meal) and freeze dried meals. Note: “Freeze dried” is typically better tasting than “dried mix” meals.
Mountain House (Freeze dried) Numerous freeze dried dinner and breakfast meals. Note: “freeze dried” is typically better tasting than “dried mix” meals
Backpacker?s Pantry (Dried mix) Numerous dried mix dinner and breakfast meals.
Back Country (Dried mix) Numerous dried mix dinner and breakfast meals.
Energy Bars / Gels
Clif Bar Whole, all-natural and organic ingredients.
PowerBar C2MAX carb mix contains a special ratio.
PowerGel Delivers a fast energy boost.
Hammer Bars Easy to digest and gluten-free.
Hammer Gels Perfect for a quick energy boost.
Jelly Belly Sport Beans Contains carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins.
GU Delivers high-quality, easily-digested and long-lasting energy for athletes.
Nutrition Supplements These nutrition products were recommended by those who have completed the 4 Deserts series.
PowerBar Recovery Take after the stage for muscle recovery.
PowerBar Energize Take during the stage for energy.
Perpetuem by Hammer Take during the stage to fuel your body.
Recoverite by Hammer Take after the stage to aid muscle recover.
Sustained Energy by Hammer Endurance fuel; reduces muscle fatigue.
HEED by Hammer Sports drink; prevents cramps.
Race Caps Supreme Enhances energy and endurance.
Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem Solids Consistent, stable energy.
Whey Protein supplement; helps repair muscles.
Premium Insurance Caps Daily supplement, overall health support.
Other drink mixes Bring your favourite drink mixes for mornings and nights around camp.
Coffee or Tea  
Hot Chocolate  
Snacks An important part of your food supply. We recommended bringing a good variety of your favourite snacks.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal Individual packets offer a quick and nutritious breakfast or afternoon snack.
Cup Noodles Quick, easy and light.
Beef Jerky An essential snack with much-needed protein. Slim Jims are a quality brand.
Potato Chips High in calories and taste; recommended to crush them up and carry in a zip-lock bag.
Parmesan Cheese High in calories and easy to pack.

Sea-To-Summit AlphaLight Spork Durable and ultra lightweight.
Light My Fire Spork Polycarbonate and titanium versions.
Snow Peak Titanium Spork Short Durable, lightweight and compact.
Snow Peak Titanium Spork Durable and lightweight.

Endurolytes by Hammer Nutrition Provides superior cramp prevention.
Nuun (no sugar) Light flavour drink enhancement.
Saltstick Caps Minimises cramping and fatigue.
Hammer Endurolyte Fizz Superior full-spectrum electrolyte support.

RaidLight Bretelle Bottle-Holder Attaches to shoulder of backpack.
RaidLight Dual Chamber Take along for water and energy drink.
Raidlight Bottle with Flexible Valve A soft plastic bottle with a screw top and flexible valve.
SmarTube (for 1.5L bottle) Convenient water bottle adapter.
SmarTube Cap (for 63mm bottle) For wide-mouth bottles.
Hydrapak GelBot Bottle Delivers two performance essentials - fluid and gel - in one bottle.
Hydrapak Reversible Reservoir II Hydration System 3L bladder that is backpack compatible.
Platypus SoftBottle with Closure Cap Ultra-reusable, light-weight and flexible. Rolls up when not being used.
Nathan Hydration Bottle Soft, squeezable and low-density.
Nathan Nutrition Flask (pack of 3) This bottle can be used to hold energy replenishing gel.
Inov-8 Bottle  

Icebreaker Pocket 200 Soft and comfortable (for men and women)
Mountain Hardwear Micro Dome Lightweight and snug (for men and women)
Patagonia Alpine Beanie Lightweight, stretchy, and quick-drying.

Icebreaker Glove Liner Soft and lightweight (for men and women)
Patagonia Lightweight Glove Wicks moisture from skin to keep hands dry