Posted by: Bruce Duncan | March 10, 2011

Patagonia Kit – What we used in the race

Below is a list of the main pieces of kit that we used during the race.  This has been refined over the past few years, so nothing that I took wasn’t used.  Some of these pieces of kit aren’t the usual superlight items, but they are the best for this event.

OMM Backpack

Jirishanka pack

We used the OMM Jirishanka rucsac.  It is 30L and pretty heavyweight compared to the other OMM packs we use for most adventure races.  However Patagonia requires more robust equipment, and generally larger volumes as you need to carry kit and food for up to 4 days!

The Jirishanka has been perfect for the past 2 years, incredibly robust, very water resistant, we swam a river last year and no water got in (our kit was in dry bags too).  With the added frontal water bottle holders to ens

ure we don’t lose anything to the evil forest, and the elastic cords on the side pockets these packs take a heck of a beating and show very little signs of any failure, my pack has done over 250hrs of racing in Patagonia now and is starting to show signs of fatigue, but only very minor, all the major functions are as good as new.  The other great thing about the pack is the back foam, it slides out of the pack, and folds out to be a very comfy lightweight sleeping mat, which for this race is perfect.

Jirishanka Pack

adidasTERREX Jacket

adidas TERREX Jacket

The new TERREX Gore-Tex jacket got a bit of a baptism of fire, being used to protect us as we bush whacked through a very thick mangrove-esque forest, and then abrased as we climbed up over a high mountain pass before dropping to the coast in the rain.  No water even came close to coming through the jackets, and they were very comfy to run in while carrying a pack.

Salewa Krypton Helmet

Fi sporting the Salewa Krypton multissport helmet

The krypton multisport helmet is a must for any adventure race.  A comfy snug fit with enough vents to keep you cool while cycling in the heat.  With our exposure joystick mount fitting neatly onto the helmet too, it is the perfect helmet for any race.

Salewa Krypton Helmet

adidas Evil Eye glasses

all the team sporting the Evil Eye glasses

I have always worn glasses to ride in, and the Evil Eye glasses are probably the comfiest ones I have ever worn.  They are a tight fit without putting any pressure on your head as you push hard, an area where many lesser glasses cause huge headaches when your heart rate gets up.  This year they were invaluable, the first mountain bike was into gusts of 60km/h, leaving Marks glasses pockmarked by flying stones!  The amazing sunshine we experienced was very welcome, and the glasses kept the suns glare easily at bay.

Evil Eye

adidas Zero shoes

These shoes were brilliant, I had used them a lot before going out, but this was there first test in race conditions, wearing them for days at a time in very rough terrain.  They stood up very well, I suffered no sores or blisters, and the shoes stayed in good condition throughout the race.  A very comfy shoe with good grip and tight lacing system.

peronin food drink

With having to carry so much food for such long sections, we were on one trekking section for over 2 days, trying to carry as many calories as possible for as little weight as possible was crucial.  Peronin is a powdered meal replacement drink, we had both chocolate and vanilla flavour, and mixed with the lovely fresh Patagonian stream water they tasted really good.  They were very quick and simple to make up, allowing us to stop very briefly to get them made up and then drink on the move.  We chose to take the individual portion packs rather than the large tubs, as this meant we could easily carry them, and not have to worry about measuring out quantities.


Fully clad in Paramo

Paramo Kit

Paramo makes fantastic kit.  It is designed to cope with British weather, which is much the same as Patagonian weather.  Bush bashing through thick vegetation means water is pressed against the jacket and trousers constantly.  Gore-Tex doesn’t work in those conditions, but our Paramo kit kept us not only totally dry, but also warm.  We didn’t have any rips or holes appear in our kit unlike many Gore-Tex users, and the best part was putting your kit on in the morning, it was instantly cosy no matter how wet it was on the outside.  Heavier than the lightweight jackets you can get these days, but worth their weight in gold for their function.  It had many teams very jealous.

Paramo Kit

Marmot Sleeping bag and Terra Nova Sleeping bag cover

All of us in our sleeping bags and covers

Patagonia is a wet place, and no matter how hard you try, your sleeping bag will get damp at least.  We were all using the Marmot 40pounder synthetic bag with the Terra Nova Moonlite bag cover.  Our bags were kept in a fantastic state all the way through the race, and allowed us to sleep outside just on the soft ground without worry of getting soaked kit.#

Moonlite Bag Cover

Marmot Sleeping Bag

FGS Powders

For Goodness Shakes Powders

With a long non stop race, we needed to keep on top of our recovery, so FGS powders were perfect for this.  We used them in a few ways, as just a pure powder recovery drink, and then also as a cereal bomb, before the race we had put an FGS powder and some granola into a zip lock bag, then during the race added water, instant breakfast, refreshing, tasty and good for us.

For Goodness Shakes

Mark, clearly loving his Racing Ralphs

Schwalbe Tyres

We all used Schwalbe’s Racing Ralph tubeless tyres for the race.  The riding is generally on gravel tracks, so the low rolling resistance of these tyres was perfect for the race.  With tubeless tyres we also knew we would escape any punctures, and with some riding over very sharp rocks in places this was the case.

Exposure Lights

Exposure Lights - brighter than all the rest!

We used a combination of Maxx d’s and joystick on the bike, although we never got to use them as we managed to do all the cycling in the daylight.

For the trekking sections we all carried a joystick in a head strap for brilliant hands free illumination.  These torches are amazing, such huge light power for so long, and so small.  We carried a few piggy back batteries just in case, but never had to use them.  To boost our night vision and to help us plan routes from high points we had the new Diablo.  This is a phenomenal piece of kit. It beams out so much light and gives us such a huge advantage for the price of carrying very little weight.  When we were

Exposure Lights



  1. Hi

    Ok…i’m not sure of why this seems to generate heat in AR groups but i am looking for a new bike and would be keen for it to be able to stand up well to AR both shorter and longer races.

    Budget wise I have around £1500.

    Previously I had a HT so Ive been looking at HT 29ers…Im curious of the fans of the full sussers – is the comfort worth the extra weight / money? I am also nervous if i buy a carbon bike that it will have the strength etc if i was to use it for towing?

    So what is the answer!?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance


    • Hi Doug. its just the standard question, so gets a lot of laughs when ever someone asks. What bike to get is very open though, depending on where you are racing, how you ride, terrain, length of race etc… I ride a hard tail titanium bike, but i know many people on carbon HT’s which are plenty strong enough to tow. 29ers are the way to go, and full sus can be good for comfort over the longer races, but again, personal preference really.

      I hope this helps. find what is comfy, and what fits your style, and what you plan to do.

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