Gear Suggestions

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COMPULSORY ITEMS

You will be penalized if you are unable to present the following items at race check-in and/or during random searches over the course of the event.

Backpack
There are many great choices, but it’s best to find one that fits comfortably and go from there.  Most competitors can fit all of the gear into a 25L or smaller pack. Look for options from: Raid Light; Ultimate Direction; OMM Classic 25L; Official MDS Pack (available through the race website); WAA MDS Pack; UltrAspire Fastpack; Hyperlite Packs; Six Moon Designs; Red Hawk Packs; etc.
2 x 750-800ml. water bottles
Some participants prefer to just carry the 1.5L water bottle provided at each checkpoint. Others like to transfer the water from that 1.5 L bottle into 2 standard “bike” bottles and carry them in pouches attached to the front straps on the pack.  Note: a bladder system can be difficult to use since it requires pack removal at each checkpoint.
Sleeping bag
Western Mountaineering – Highlite; PHD Minim Ultra; Yeti Passion One; OMM 1.6 bag; etc.
Flashlight-Headlamp
Petzl Bindi; Petzl Actik Core; Petzl Zipka + OR Petzl Zipka Plus 2; Black Diamond Spot; etc.
Extra batteries for light
Go for the lithium  – they are lighter and last longer.
10 safety pins
1 medium; 1 small… 8 extra small
Compass
With at least 2 degrees of precision! Go with the lightest option!
Lighter
Smallest one you can find – (no longer allowed as ‘carry-on’ items aboard aircraft but easily found in Morocco)
Knife
I use the Classic SD Swiss army knife b/c it includes scissors, which can be used to cut tape, trim labels, etc.
Topical disinfectant
Alcohol pads will suffice
Anti-venom pump
A “snake bite kit.” Options from Sawyer and Coghlans are most commpon.  I use the Sawyer version, which looks like a syringe – I carry the pump & one attachment (no need to carry the entire case).
Whistle
Very small, lightweight plastic; many whistles are built into the buckle of the pack’s sternum strap
Signaling Mirror
I only use a small round mirror, about the size of a large coin (US quarter)
Survival sheet
Like the emergency blankets handed out at marathon finish lines
Food for duration of race
You must have a minimum of 2000 calories per day, Check the race Regulations for details.
SPOT Tracker
**provided by AOI
Salt tablets
**provided by AOI
Light Stick for 50 mile stage
**provided by AOI
EKG – dated within 30 days of event
**must have original copy signed and stamped by a doctor!!
200 Euros (or equivalent) **Must be carried in your pack for the duration of the race.

FOR THE MEDICAL FORM & ECG

VERY IMPORTANT!  Your Doctor should note any medications you might be using before or during the event (especially asthma medication). There is random ‘doping’ control at the MDS because prize money is awarded to the top finishers, so you could receive a penalty if something shows up in their tests. The ECG must be dated no more than 30 days prior to the start of the race – make sure the original copy is signed and dated by your doctor.

SUGGESTED FOOD LIST

Remember that a good mix of food will keep you happy over the seven days. Eating the same meal or snacks everyday gets old quickly and you will need to eat to get through the event. Also, while the race takes place over seven days, you will not need a dinner after the last stage – after crossing the finish line, everyone will be given a box lunch, then board busses and return to the hotel for dinner.

**You might wish to bring along some extra food to eat before the race. While the organizers do provide meals at the bivouac, you might not like what is being served. So, it is a good idea to pack some extra freeze dried meals, tuna packs, peanut butter and jelly, etc.

**You should also include extra drink mix to consume while at the bivouac. You will be there for almost two days before the start of the race, and it will be HOT, so you will need to be hydrating.

7 -Breakfasts I take a variety of things – bars, oatmeal, pop-tarts, instant noodles, etc
6- 7 During the stage (Lunch) usually just gels, nuts, pretzels, chips, jerky, peanut butter packets, ginger chews, Clif Bloks, bars, etc. … and eat on the run. Go with what works best for you.
6 – Dinners freeze dried meals… a good variety… you won’t need one for the last day… I let them cook in the sun
Electrolyte drink mix enough for each day… it helps to bring a variety so you don’t get sick of one flavor
Recovery drink mix – one for after each stage GU Recovery Mix or First Endurance Ultragen are good choices.
Salt Stick or GU Salt Tabs (salt pills) for each stage I bring my own (instead of relying on those provided by the organizers): 2-4 per hour, depending on what else you are taking on board through other food/drink options.
Tea bags & Bouillon Cubes Nice to have something like this to add flavor to the water

SUGGESTED PERSONAL ITEMS

Following is our Suggested Packing List. There may be additional items that you wish to bring along but don’t appear on our list, so you should use this only as a guide. Please note that some of the items on the list are only “suggestions” while others are essential (like running shoes). Please don’t hesitate to ask us about other items that you are considering to bring along.

Painkillers**
Tylenol 8 hour, Aleve, etc.- **IMPORTANT: Be careful and make sure to do your research on the side effects of taking pain meds during exercise, especially in extreme heat! It’s best to avoid these!
Sleeping pills (optional)
Some people use these to get through the night. Consult a physician and be careful when taking any prescription meds, especially in this harsh environment
One pair of shorts
I use compression shorts as they tend to chafe less (and keep the sand out)
One race shirt
Numerous options to consider, but go with something that works for you: Smartwool microweight, Under Armor Heat Gear, Columbia OmniFreeze, etc.
Buff
Great piece of gear: can be used as a neck gaiter, washcloth, head warmer at night, etc.
Sunglasses and/or Goggles
A must have – try a pair Light Adjusting lenses (like Julbo) that have a foam seal around the eyes to keep out the sand
1 hand-held water bottle
optional, if you don’t want to attach bottles to shoulder straps or carry the 1.5L provided at each water stop.
Earplugs
Should be on the compulsory gear list!
Hat
I use a breathable running hat from Headsweats… some use one with a flap on the back to protect the neck from the sun
Extra shirt for after each stage (optional)
I typically bring a long-sleeve silk or wool shirt
1-4 pairs of socks
I use Smartwool… some folks prefer Injinji toe-socks and DryMax warm weather socks. Many people get by with 1-2 pairs
Windbreaker (e.g. Montbell Tachyon) or Tyvec Suit
Weighs only a few grams/ounces and can keep you a bit warmer at night
Flipflops or lightweight slippers (optional)
If using, as lightweight & cheap as possible… toss them on the last morning.
Running shoes WITH Gaiters
Good options available from Hoka, Altra, Brooks, Salomon, etc. The gaiter must cover the entire shoe; most attach with Velcro, sewn (not glued) onto the shoe where the upper meets the outsole. Look for gaiter options from Raid Light, Rough Country, My Race Kit, etc.
Sunscreen
I carry a small spray bottle and a Dermatone SPF50 stick
Baby Wipes
1-2 per day for a daily bath – air dry ahead of time (to save weight) and rehydrate with water when needed
Lip balm (w. SPF)
One tube is enough
Toilet paper
Better to have a little extra!
Hand sanitizer
Important to have enough for the week… especially as your body breaks down!
Extra needle for popping blisters
Nice to have if you wish to take care of your feet on your own. Can also use one of the mandatory safety pins
Blister remedies – for helping with/preventing or covering blisters (optional)
Options include: Blister Shield Powder, Trail Toes, Sport Slick, New Skin – Great stuff to help prevent and/or protect/heals blisters
Alcohol pads
Can be same as disinfectant in compulsory list (above)
Tiny toothbrush
As small as possible
Tiny tube of toothpaste
Again, as small as possible – squeeze some out to reduce weight
Q-tips (optional)
One for each day to remove sand from ears
Deodorant (optional)
A small, travel tube (not mandatory, but it does help)
Blister Kit (optional)
Personal preference (as above)
Medical tape (optional)
Budget enough to get you through the week
Anti-inflammatory pills
Again, be extremely careful with these…use only if needed and try to avoid!
Antacid (optional)
If needed.
Multi-purpose soap (optional)
For bathing, cleaning utensils and clothing
Vitamins (optional)
Not required, but if you take them regularly at home, could be helpful
Small brush/comb (optional)
To look pretty for the camera
Camera (optional)
A weatherproof digital versions is best- fyi… the sand is unforgiving and you can’t recharge batteries
Spork
don’t skimp on this… if yours breaks, you’ll be begging others to use theirs!
Music Player (optional)
Sometimes helps the miles pass a bit faster
Extra batteries
Again, lithium are best
Pencil & notebook (optional)
If you want to keep a journal – can also make notes in the provided Road Book
Book (optional)
You can rip out the pages as you go along… or work it out to share with another competitor.
Sleeping pad (optional)
Lightweight foam… discard on last day; keeps some of the rocks from digging into your back/hips and can make the nights pass a bit quicker as you’ll be warmer.

**Pre-Race Check-in & Registration: Your bag with the extra clothing and gear that you will not use during the race MUST be brought with you to the pre-race check-in during your allotted time. You will find it is easier if you bring only ONE extra bag with you (in addition to your race pack). It can be quite a long walk from your tent to the check-in tents with all that gear. You also might want to bring along a lock for the bag you’ll be checking… chances are nothing will happen, but it is better to be safe, especially if you plan on storing a wallet, airline tickets, etc. in that bag.

**Please note… we highly recommend that you plan on taking all of your necessary race gear as “carry-on” luggage. That is, from our experience, we think it’s wise to pack all of your actual race gear in one bag that is small enough to carry on board the airplane with you for the trip to Morocco. You do not want to take a chance of the airline misplacing your luggage before the event. (This happened to a good friend of ours and his luggage was returned to him… in July!)

**You will need to carry your passport with you during the actual race (just in case you need to depart for the race ends) and present at race check-in at the bivouac.