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Competitors are required to have mandatory equipment items for The Last Desert. Failure to have an item will result in a time penalty or the competitor not being able to start / continue the race.

Photos and descriptions of mandatory equipment items for The Last Desert 2014 are available below. Most items are available at the RacingThePlanet Store. You can also download the full equipment list from The Last Desert 2014. An updated list for the 2016 race will be provided at a later time.
1 of 47 Backpack / Rucksack
2 of 47Waterproof Bag (60L)
3 of 47Sleeping Bag
4 of 47Sleeping Pad
5 of 47Headlamp & Back-Up Light
6 of 47Red Flashing Light
7 of 47Knife / Multi-Tool
8 of 47Whistle
9 of 47Mirror
10 of 47Survival Bivvy Bag
11 of 47Compass
12 of 47Eating Utensil
13 of 47Sunscreen
14 of 47Lip Sunscreen
15 of 47Motion Sickness Medication
16 of 47Mild Pain Medication
17 of 47Blister Kit
18 of 47Compression Bandage
19 of 47Safety Pins
20 of 47Alcohol Gel
21 of 47Toilet Tissue / Wet Wipes
22 of 47Running Shoes
23 of 47Kahtoola MICROspikes
24 of 47Gaiters
25 of 47Socks
26 of 47Liner Socks
27 of 47Running Pants / Trousers or Long Tights
28 of 47Waterproof Shell Pants / Trousers
29 of 47Light Long Sleeve Tops
30 of 47Expedition Weight Long Sleeve Tops
31 of 47Fleece / Synthetic Jacket
32 of 47Waterproof Shell Jacket with Hood
33 of 47Down Parka
34 of 47Rain Poncho
35 of 47Apparel for the Ship
36 of 47Warm Hat
37 of 47Cap with Visor
38 of 47Glacier Goggles
39 of 47Ski Goggles
40 of 47Balaclava
41 of 47Neoprene Face Mask
42 of 47Glove Liners
43 of 47Shell Mittens / Gloves
44 of 47Wool or Fleece Mittens / Gloves
45 of 47Hydration System
46 of 47Electrolytes / Salt Tablets
47 of 47Food supply

The equipment you are required to carry in your backpack / rucksack will be announced before each stage. A 25-30L backpack is optimal.

Note: There is no one backpack model that works for everyone.

The waterproof bag will be used as a drop bag and must be a minimum of 60 liters in size as it is vital to keep its contents dry. Using a combination of smaller bags does not fulfill this requirement.

The minimum requirement combination of sleeping bag plus bag liner is -9°C/15°F.

Note: See the optional equipment list below for details on Bag Liners which can add up to 6°C/10°F to the rating of your sleeping bag.

One sleeping pad is required to take onto shore in your drop bag. Two sleeping pads is recommended in case one gets wet. Select a small size to save weight or a regular size for added comfort and warmth.

Competitors are required to carry two light sources – one must be a headlamp; the second can be a headlamp or handheld torch.

The red flashing light is required in addition to your headlamp and back-up light. This is to be attached to the rear of your backpack and switched on when visibility on the course is low

A small knife / multi-tool has multiple uses during the race. Scissors does not fulfill this requirement.
A whistle can be used to attract attention in case of an emergency. Note that many backpacks include a whistle on the buckle – this is not sufficient. You must have an emergency whistle.

A mirror can be used to attract attention in case of emergency. Reflect the sun off the mirror to draw attention to your location.

The survival bivvy bag must be a closed bivvy bag (not a blanket) made of reflective material. We recommend a thick bag that you can repack easily as you may want to use it over your sleeping bag in cold or wet weather conditions.

Any model of compass is adequate; however, a compass as a part of a watch is not sufficient.

Note: There is no navigation in the race. The compass is an emergency gear item.

An eating utensil is to be used for eating food on shore. Only one is required, but two is recommended in case you lose or break one.

A minimum of 60 ml/2 fl oz of sunscreen is required. The sun is extremely strong in the Antarctic, so choose a brand with high SPF that is waterproof, sweat-proof and non-greasy. It is recommended to bring the required amount in separate containers.

Lips are easily chapped and burned in the Antarctic. One full tube of lip sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 is required. Two tubes are recommended.

Bring motion sickness medication for the outward and return journeys between Ushuaia and Antarctica. Scopolamine patches are a recommended option.

Bring an adequate 7-day supply (at least 12 pills) of mild pain medication so that you are not dependent on medication from the event medical team.

Important Note: 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.

The following list is a minimum requirement for the blister kit. You may need more supplies based on your experience and prior history of foot blisters:

Note 1: Lubricant such as Bodyglide or Loob is also highly recommended. Foot powder is recommended for feet that sweat a lot.

Note 2: You should try to anticipate the amount of supplies you will need for the entire race. If you do not bring enough supplies, you could be at risk of developing more severe blisters that could jeopardize your ability to finish.

The minimum size compression bandage requirement is 7.5 cm/3 in wide x 4.5 m/14 ft long (6 cm/2.4 inches in diameter). The compression bandage can be used for strapping an ankle / knee, slinging an arm injury, bandaging a lesion or head wound to prevent bleeding, etc.

A minimum of 10 safety pins are required for attaching your bib number and event patch and for multiple uses during the race. Heavy duty, large pins work best.

A minimum of 60 ml/2 fl oz of alcohol gel is required. Alcohol wipes cannot replace alcohol gel, but you may choose to carry both.

Toilet tissue and/or wet wipes are a must for toilet use on shore. No toilet paper is provided in the portable toilets.

Competitors must wear running shoes. Gore-Tex shoes are strongly recommended for The Last Desert as they are waterproof. One pair of trail shoes is required, but we recommended bringing 2 pairs to ensure you have a dry pair every day.

Note: Consider buying your shoes 1 to 2 sizes larger than you would normally wear to account for swelling and tape for blisters.

Kahtoola MICROspikes are the mandatory brand of shoe spikes used to provide extra traction on the course. These provide a grippy, durable, slip-on traction system.

Gaiters will help keep snow out of your shoes and your feet dry.

It is recommended to bring 10 pairs of socks to allow for a dry pair each day but only 4 pairs are compulsory. You will need thicker socks to keep warm. Seal skin socks are waterproof.

Liner socks are to be worn for extra warmth and protection. Compression socks can be used as liner socks.

At least three pairs of pants / trousers or long tights are mandatory. It is recommended to bring at least one pair that is slightly thicker for cold weather.

It is required to bring one pair of waterproof shell pants / trousers made of Gore-Tex or comparable material.

It is required to bring three light long sleeve tops made of quick dry material to be worn as base layers. It is recommended to bring more than three tops to ensure that you always have a dry option.

Three expedition weight warm shirts are required for protection against the elements. These shirts must be a minimum of Capilene 3 and have long sleeves.

One mid to heavy weight fleece or synthetic jacket is required. A full zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a full jumper.

It is required to bring one waterproof shell jacket with a hood that is made of Gore-Tex or comparable material. We highly recommend a roomy fit as you will be likely be wearing this over a number of layers.

The down parka must be expedition weight with an attached and insulated hood. The length must go below the waist.

One rain poncho is required for additional warmth and wet protection.

Bring at least one set of clothing and one pair of shoes for wearing on the expedition ship – choose comfortable items that will keep you warm.

Two warm hats are required so that you always have a dry option. The warm hats are vital for warmth while running.

The sun in Antarctica is extremely strong, so a cap with visor is required to protect your face from direct light and light reflecting from the ground. An option that also covers your neck is recommended.

One pair of glacier goggles is required. Regular sunglasses are not sufficient. Your glacier goggles must have no more than 10% light transmission and also have side covers.

Ski goggles must be dark with 100% UV & IR protection. A double lens is better as it prevents fogging.

One balaclava is required for warmth and protection.

One neoprene face mask is required. If you have a balaclava that comes with a neoprene face mask, you do not need to have this separately.

One pair of thin wool or polypropylene glove liners is required.

One pair of shell mittens / gloves with textured rubber palms and taped seams is required. Nylon shells will not keep your hands dry.

One pair of wool or fleece mittens / gloves is required.

Note: This item is only required if your shell mittens / gloves do not have a liner.

Your hydration system must be able to carry containers that can hold 1.5 liters of water at all times. The main choices are:

  • Bottles: These allow for more flexibility – they can be attached to the shoulder straps of your backpack, put in a front pack, kept in the backpack with a SmarTube or carried by hand.
  • Hydration bladders: A popular choice, but sometimes difficult to know how much fluid you have drunk; can also be difficult to fill quickly.

Maintaining your body’s electrolyte balance is critical for a safe race. It is strongly recommended to bring a mixture of electrolyte tablets and 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 minimum is 1.5 tablets per hour = 45 tablets) or
  • A combination of both, e.g. powder for 15 liters of water and tablets for 15 hours on the course.

Note: If you expect to spend more than 30 hours on the course then you should increase this accordingly. It is vital that you test your electrolyte plan during your training and follow the amounts recommended on the packets.

Meals on the ship are provided, but you are responsible for your own food while on the course. You must also bring 8 freeze-dried meals as a back-up.

Important Note: Seeds, nuts, fruit or dried chicken are not allowed on land in Antarctica, so pack snacks appropriate to IAATO regulations.
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