Marathon des Sables, List of Equipment
Self sufficiency is the rule
There is a list of compulsory survival equipment every runner is required to have to be allowed to start. For example a small backpack, sleeping bag, compass, anti-venom pump, signalling mirror, distress flare, salt tablets etc.
All this should weigh no less then 6.5kg and no more then 15kg. Additional weight to carry will be the daily water allocation given out by the race organisors at the start line of each stage and during the race at each check point.
Each competitor must start this race with a minimum of 14,000 calories (this is 2,000 calories per day) of food.
Every day, each runner receives approximately nine litres of water which is given out at departure[1.5lt], check-points [1.5 to 3lt at a time] and the end of each stage bivovuac [4.5lt]. The water has to be managed from the starting line of one stage to the starting line of the following stage. This means a morning meal needs to be taken with the water from the previous day.
The equipment mentioned above is checked prior to the start of the competition and during spot-checks during the race. Failing to provide any of the compulsory equipment, or the necessary energy value of food, at any of this checks will result in time penalties!
The organisors have very strict rules, not only regarding individual runner's food and equipment, but also to protect the environment from littering. Rubbish or water bottles (marked with runners' names) found along the race route result in severe penalties for that competitor.
Clothes and shoes
1 pair of compression-shorts, 1 coolmax shirt, 1 windbreaker, Buff, broad brimed hathat, 1 shirt for the evenings, 2 pairs of socks, flip-flops [end of stage comfort], running shoes, sand gaiters (the velcro is stitched to shoes - the glue melts in the desert!), sunglasses, goggles, white painters suit (very light and warm at night).
25-litre backpack, shoulder straps for 2 bottles, ultra-light sleeping bag, thermal liner, headlight, spare batteries, waterbottle holders, 20 safety pins, compass, lighter, Swiss Army Knife, whistle, signaling mirror, survival sheet, distress flare (!), luminous-light stick, roadbook (maps), handheld waterbottle, Velcro straps, watch, light weight spork..
7 breakfasts , PowerBars and sports drink during the run, 6 dinners (i.e. freeze-dried meals, noodles), electrolyte drink mix, recovery drink mix, milk powder..
Pain killers, alcohol pads, blister kit, anti-inflammatories, salt tablets, diarrhoea tablets, antacid, Leukoplast, Band-aids, tropical disinfectant and an anti-venom pump.
Notebook, pencil, small digital camera, ear plugs, needles, thread, plastic ziplock bags, sunscreen, lip balm, baby wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitiser, tiny toothbrush, tiny toothpaste.
Happy to answer any questions, like “why?”