Run Annapurna kit list

Two days to go until I get on a plane and fly to Nepal for my biggest adventure yet, running the Annapurna Circuit, a 220km trek in the Nepalese Himalayas. The kit I take on this is going to be crucial to the success of the run; too heavy and I will be slowed down, too light and I risk the dangers of exposure at high altitude. I am proud to share that I am teaming up with Haglofs for clothing, Powertraveller for solar power, and LED Lenser for lighting on this adventure.

All the gear.. but do I have an idea?

All the gear.. but do I have an idea?

What is the plan

Before deciding what kit is necessary for this adventure, I should really tell you a little more about the plan I have. The trek raises to 5,416m so proper acclimatisation is crucial to not just the success of the run but also my safety. To acclimatise properly, I am going to trek the circuit first over 12 days. This will give me plenty of time to take in the views, practice running at those heights, and get my body used to the thin air.

After a rest day in Pokhara, a nearby town, I will then head back to the start, raring to go, and set off on my attempt to run the route in a single push. Yikes!

By starting with the trek then going onto the run, I need to plan my gear to make both sections as comfortable as possible. Thankfully, I will be able to leave a lot of my trekking kit in Pokhara when I go for the run, thus lightening my load.

Kit for trekking the Annapurna Circuit

The ultra light L.I.M down sleeping bag

The ultra light L.I.M down sleeping bag

The wonderful thing about the Annapurna Circuit is the fact it is a tea-house trek, this means that there are Nepalese tea houses along the whole route. Though this takes away an element of adventure and self-sufficiency, it also means I get a bed every night. I like that. I can go a lot lighter, not needing to carry a tent, stove, or all my food for two weeks! I will, however, be taking the L.I.M down sleeping bag with me, at only 473g and rated down to an amazing -13˚C extreme temperature, it will be invaluable.

The most important piece of kit for anything in the hills is almost always what is on your feet. The wrong footwear can make even the most beautiful surroundings feel like hell and so I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I’m going to do here. Do I have a pair of trekking boots and carry my trail shoes or do I just go for my trail shoes? Well, I’ve decided I’m going to do the whole trip just in my trail shoes, the Haglofs Gram Comp though I have been advised to take a pair of flip flops for pottering around tea houses in. One slight worry is the snow up high and so I am going to be taking some running gaiters from Salomon, they are extremely light but will offer that little extra protection.

Running in the rain, testing the L.I.M gear

Running in the rain, testing the L.I.M gear

My next big worry has been the weather. I am going to be there right at the end of winter and at the beginning of the spring trekking season which means there are still chances of snow and afternoon rain. I’m going to be trying out the new L.I.M Proof Jacket and Proof Pants – these are part of Haglofs Less Is More range and are pretty amazing. They pack down to almost nothing but offer great protection from the elements. In training, I’ve found them to be breathable enough when you’ve got a good sweat on but, once you stop, keep you warm and safe from the elements. Also, check out the colours. Awesome!

The evenings are meant to get pretty cold and so I want to be ready for that. I’m still not 100% set on this and will likely only make my mind up when I’m walking out the door. I am taking the Bungy II fleece, a polartec fleece hoodie, as well as the Essen II down hoodie, a light down jacket. This has been plenty for me in the Alps down to pretty low temperatures but I am still toying with the idea of taking my Jottnar Fjörm jacket, a big down belay jacket that packs down surprisingly small..

The Powermonkey Extreme

The Powermonkey Extreme

I want to capture as much of this epic adventure as possible so am taking my Canon SX700 as well as a GoPro and my iPhone. However, all these electronics are a little useless if they run out of juice. Powertraveller have very kindly sent me their Powermonkey Extreme solar kit, a lightweight solar panel and battery that I can strap to my bag while walking to keep the electricity running, I am very excited about this!

Finally, the last piece of key equipment I want to mention is my notebook. Although I am going to have my mobile phone with me, and that there is GPRS signal on most of the route, I’m going to be using this time to disconnect and focus on some of the questions I’ve been facing recently about my future, desires, and passions. Writing that down and keeping a diary of this amazing adventure is going to allow me to look back in years to come and remember exactly how I felt on it.

A full kit list for the trek is:

  • Gram Comp trail shoes
  • 4 pairs low cut compression socks
  • 2 pairs mid-weight trekking socks
  • Salomon snow gaiters
  • Skarn trekking trousers
  • 2 merino long sleeve baselayers
  • 2 short sleeve running t-shirts
  • Bungy II fleece hoodie
  • L.I.M Shell jacket and pants
  • Essen II down jacket
  • Sun hat
  • Beanie
  • Two pairs of sunglasses, one rated Cat 4
  • Gloves
  • Buff
  • Headband
  • Suncream
  • Whistle and compass
  • Headtorch
  • Spare batteries
  • GPS Watch
  • Trekking poles
  • Water reservoir
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • GoPro
  • Mobile phone
  • Emergency blanket
  • Medical Kit
  • Tissues
  • Towel
  • Recovery socks
  • Powermonkey Solar kit
  • Flip flops
  • L.I.M down sleeping bag
  • Maps

Kit for the run

Loving these Outdoor Research gloves

Loving these Outdoor Research gloves

The aim of the run is to keep moving and complete it in a single push. However, at over 200km, it is likely I will need to stop for a few short rests on the way. With the tea houses, again, this means that I can go lighter and use their beds en route. I will be taking some kit that is very specific for the run, however.

In the past I have had problems with my fingers getting cold – I managed to get frost nip in Duforspitze in the summer which has now made me extra cautious – and constantly worry about my hands. I’ve managed to find some great looking running gloves by Outdoor Research that have an extra light shell layer that tucks into the wrist. These, coupled with some mid-weight fleece gloves and then some heavier gloves for when I’m really cold is probably overkill but I’m not willing to take the risk.

Led Lenser in action

Led Lenser in action

With the expected time being up to 72 hours, I’m going to be spending half of my time running in the dark. Lighting is going to be critical and I’ve teamed up with Led Lenser who make a fantastic range of lighting equipment. I’m going to be using some of their lighterweight gear, which is the H7.2 headtorch as well as taking an SEO5 headtorch as back up.

The final bit of kit specifically for the run will be the ultra light Gram Comp 25 litre backpack from Haglofs. It is incredibly lightweight but surprisingly roomy and made of some pretty tough ripstop fabric. The waist and chest straps mean it’ll be held in place and, with a dry sac to keep off any rain, will be ideal for this challenge.

My full run kit list will be subject to last minute panic buys and changes but..:

  • Gram Comp trail shoes
  • Salomon snow gaiters
  • 2 pairs low cut compression socks
  • 1 pair of compression tights
  • Shorts
  • 1 long sleeve baselayers with hood and chest zip
  • Bungy II fleece hoodie
  • L.I.M Shell jacket and pants
  • Essen II down jacket
  • Sun hat
  • Beanie
  • Cat 4 sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Buff
  • Headband
  • Suncream
  • Whistle and compass
  • Headtorches
  • Spare batteries
  • GPS Watch
  • Trekking poles
  • Water reservoir
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • GoPro
  • Mobile phone
  • Emergency blanket
  • Medical Kit
  • Tissues
  • Powermonkey battery
  • L.I.M down sleeping bag

Nutrition and Hydration

So far I’ve been talking about kit but what about nutrition and hydration, I hear you ask? Well.. For the trek I am going to be eating in the tea houses meaning I’ll mostly be eating Dal Bhat, a vegetable and lentil curry with rice. On the run, I am going to be taking some things with me. Recently, Sophie and I have been loving 9 Bars as well as Bounce energy balls so I am going to be taking a decent stash of these with me. I won’t be able to carry enough, however, and so will be topping snacks up en route with whatever is available.

For drinking, I need to keep taking on electrolytes and so will be taking Nuun tablets with me to add to the water I drink. Besides that, I am going to rely on what I can pick up on the way but feel confident that, for a few days at least, I can survive.

Fast approaching

As the challenge approaches, I’m getting more and more nervous. I feel strong; mentally, physically, and emotionally, and feel ready to set off on this adventure however there is a lot of unknown coming my way. I normally vent this by panic buying extra kit so the above is subject to a few minor alterations.

 

by Charley Radcliffe

10 Responses to “Run Annapurna kit list”

  1. Stuart

    This Chamonix guy’s got the blues,
    Bright kit in so many hues,
    He’s gone for a run,
    To Nepal in the sun,
    In his wonderfully bright blue shoes.

    (Not sure if there will be sun, but “grey and cold rain or snow” didn’t work!)

    Reply
  2. Nadine

    Are you sure about the notebook? If you really want to get disconnected and get a true keepsake in the process take a small paper booklet, with pencil doodles and spaces left for some printed pics to insert later it will become a gem to keep and pull out of the bookshelf in years to come. If you need it electronic type it up afterwards.

    Reply
  3. Poul Brix

    Hey Charley,
    Quite a run you set up for yourself, I’m not a runner but understand the need to test yourself every now and again 😉
    How much is does the kits weigh and what backpacks are you using?
    Fair winds.
    Poul

    Reply
    • Charley Radcliffe

      Hi Poul,

      The trekking pack comes in at about 10kgs with water and fits in a 30l pack (Haglofs Hard Roc pack, my day to day climbing pack). For the run, I’m using the Haglofs Comp 25l pack, this will weigh on at about 6kgs I’m hoping but haven’t weighed it yet..!

      Thank you for your support!

      Reply
  4. Tim

    I really enjoy reading your blog Charley, thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences. Have a great Adventure in Nepal.

    Reply
  5. Bryan Hutton

    Fieldnotesbrand.com Do some nice notepads/books. Also what about Scratchlabs for making your own bounce balls.. Don’t know about immigration and taking food in to country. But recipes are awesome and I use them for eating on the bike. Kit looks great always better to have more kit that you can shed than have none to put on to warm up.
    Look forward to more of the blog

    Reply
    • Charley Radcliffe

      Thank you Bryan. Yes, Sophie and I have been experimenting a lot with making our own nutrition bars and balls, will share once I’m back but it’s another piece I’ve been planning to write for a while!

      Reply

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