I was fortunate enough to be invited to work on the inaugural OMM Training weekend, held at the national mountain centre for England & Wales, Plas Y Brenin.
With partner Keith, on day 2 of OMM 2007, Lowther Hills.
I ran two of the workshops this year, a practical on-the-hill navigation session and another focussing on Mountain Marathon Kit and ideas on how to travel lighter and faster.
My notes are suited to someone competing towards the higher-end classes, dont take it at face value, the idea is to get you thinking about the weight of everything – only by being aware of the weight of absolutely everything in your pack and being focussed on why you are carrying it, can you hope to get the weight of your pack down to an absolute minimum.
Going light and fast: the sub-5 kilo race pack
1. To be entirely self-sufficient, moving as quickly as possible and as easily as possible
A lighter pack means you can move more efficiently.
Greater efficiency = greater enjoyment and / or greater speed
2. To manage risk
Having adequate clothing & equipment appropriate to the time of year and potential conditions.
To be able to deal with likely emergency
3. To work within the OMM rules & guidelines
Rules & Guidelines are there for your safety
Rules are not there to be broken but are open to a little interpretation – what we individually deem as ‘adequate’ for example will differ.
Compulsory Personal Kit (Correct as of September 2010)
Taped waterproof jacket with hood.
Taped waterproof trousers.
Additional full leg cover
Base layer top
Additional warm layer top
Footwear with suitable grip for off trail fell conditions
Head torch capable of giving useable light for a minimum or 12 hours
Map (as supplied)
Adequate first aid equipment
Pen/pencil and paper capable of being used in wet conditions
Compulsory Team Kit
Tent with sewn in groundsheet
Food for the duration of the event
Cooking equipment including stove with sufficient fuel for duration of the race, with some spare for emergency use.
Achieving the sub-5 kilo race pack:
Specialist lightweight kit is required
Be ruthless, most things are heavier than they need to be
A lot of weight can be saved WITHOUT spending a penny
Think sensibly – don’t shave grams in one area to add them in another
You can spend hundreds of pounds to achieve the same weight saving that leaving 300ml of water at home could do for free!
As part of this I hope to also include the weight charts showing a typical lightweight MM pack, just as soon as I can format it correctly!