South Downs

2022 Adventure Race

Kit List

Wondering what kit to bring to the 2022 South Downs Adventure Race? This page lists what you need together with other items that you may find useful to bring if you have them.

Click on the information icon by each item listed below to read the full details.

What you NEED to bring (per person)...

A certified helmet for riding a bicycle, that is in good condition and fits your head.

Mountain bikes (with front suspension) are recommended. Other types of bikes (e.g. cyclocross bikes) may not be as suitable and may restrict your progress depending on the conditions. But you may use other bikes that are designed for off-road riding if you wish to do so. They must have appropriate tyres for off road use (slick tyres are not allowed). Any participant using an e-bike must declare this before they start and will be non-competitive (i.e. not eligible for a race winners prize). Check your bike beforehand to make sure it’s in a good condition!

If you wish to hire a mountain bike for this event, and haven’t already booked one, you need to book it now. Do not leave it until the last minute as there might be none available!

Or other type of functional rucksack / large running vest. Big enough to carry everything you need for the whole race with you, including your trail running shoes (if different from your mountain biking footwear).

The Trail Run begins and ends at a remote transition points which you will cycle to/from. You will therefore need to carry anything you need for the Trail Run (excluding water) with you on your bike.

Once you start the race, you will not return to the event base again until you finish the race (some 5/6 hours later).

You will need sufficient capacity to carry all the water you need for 2-3 hours of running / biking. A bottle or vessel where you don’t need to touch the mouth piece (i.e. with dirty hands) is advisable.

Drinking water will be available at the transition points (i.e. Kayak Transition and Run Transition) for you to top up during the race.

You will need to bring sufficient food with you to consume during the race. Eating a little and often is the best approach for many. Energy bars and gels are great for carrying with you and doing this. Items that you can eat from the packaging without touching the food itself are a good idea, as your hands may not always be that clean. In addition you’ll want to have something a little more substantial for when you transition – five/six hours is a long time!

Dropping / leaving of litter is not acceptable under any circumstance. Please make sure all wrappers and packaging are disposed of in the bins provided at transition or taken home with you.

Parts of the course are particularly susceptible to the wind (e.g. up on the hills). If you get wet (from rain or kayaking), the wind-chill effect could be considerable, even at this time of year. It is therefore important that you carry a windproof layer with you as a minimum.

What you NEED to bring (per team/solo participant)...

Sufficient tools to keep your bike on the road. As a minimum you should carry enough to fix multiple punctures e.g. pump, tyre levers, spare inner tubes and a puncture repair kit. If you have a mechanical problem you will need to fix it yourself and/or make your own way back to the event base. We will only pick you up in exceptional circumstances, which will result in the end of your race.

Sufficient to deal with all your medical needs and any minor injuries both during and after the race. You need to bring one small first aid kit to carry with you at all times during the race. In addition we recommend you bring a larger more comprehensive first aid kit (with plentiful supplies in) and leave this in your vehicle for use post-race if required.

Or survival bag, to keep you (or a casualty) warm in an emergency.

Teams should carry a minimum of two of these because if you should capsize (unlikely but it has happened before), then two of you may end up in the water. And one foil blanket between two of you won’t be enough!

To summon help in an emergency. Should be easily accessible e.g. worn around your neck or attached to your rucksack (and not buried inside it).

The mobile phone – the number of which is specified as your Team Mobile Number on your entry – to carry with you in case of an emergency.

It’s a good idea to download and install the OS Locate app on any phones that you will be carrying with you during the race. This app can be used to let us / the emergency services know your exact location in an emergency. The what3words app can also be used to do this but it is not quite as good.

Thin permanent marker pen to write information down on your map (which is printed on waterproof paper). Available to purchase (cash only) on the day if needed.

In addition, you may wish to bring a highlighter pen to highlight certain routes on your map before you start.

A watch or other timing device that you can record your race time on so you know how long you have been going for (and hence how long you have left).

A watch worn on your wrist that you can start/stop and view easily is preferable to using a smart phone.

What we ADVISE you to bring...

We recommend you bring your water bottle(s) full to the event (so you don’t have to fill up before you start), and bring some for after you finish too. Drinking water will be available at the transition points for you to top up your water bottle during the race as and when you need to.

Most people wear gloves (either fingerless or full finger) when mountain biking. And you may wish to wear gloves when kayaking. These could be the same gloves you wear mountain biking or different ones.

Some of the trails are narrow with vegetation encroaching from both sides. You may therefore wish to cover your arms to protect them from the odd stray nettle / bramble. 

Whilst most of the trails are clear of vegetation, you may come across one or two where the vegetation encroaches from either side. You may therefore wish to wear long calf-length socks or wear/carry full leg cover just in case you should come across a patch of stray nettles.

One person in each team will wear an electronic timing/score card around their wrist (attached securely by a tyvek wristband). It’s a good idea to bring and wear a wristband (or a buff and wrap it round your wrist) over the top of the tyvek wristband. This will prevent the electronic score card bouncing around and from rotating around your wrist (as well as protecting it).

Something to protect your head from the sun’s UV rays – yep even if it’s cloudy!

Something to protect your skin from harmful UV rays – yep even if it’s cloudy!

Lightweight footwear with a mild off-road/trail running tread is recommended. Something with a bit of cushioning is recommended as the ground is very hard and dry at the moment (you can leave the aggressive tread/winter soled trail running shoes at home). 

Useful to carry one with you and have it handy just in case. It’s easy to become disorientated in the woods!

A4 map holder / clear plastic wallet to put the map and checkpoint descriptions in.

Map board to go on the handle bars of your bike. Available to purchase (cash only) on the day at registration if needed.

Or pouch / case for your mobile phone (especially when kayaking)

A small bottle (50-100 ml) of anti bacterial hand gel (with 50% minimum alcohol content) to carry with you during the race, so you can regularly sanitise your hands. For example, before eating (and drinking if necessary), and after kayaking.

You may wish to bring a face covering to wear when inside any enclosed space. For example, when inside the hall, using the toilet facilities or if you need to be rescued i.e. put in a support vehicle.

A dry bag to leave in transition during the race, with all your things in. The transition area is not covered, so if it’s wet you’ll want to make sure any spare clothes are left inside a waterproof bag. Alternatively you can leave things in the hall (at your own risk), and you will need to remove SPD’s/dirty footwear before entering.

To let others know that you are approaching them. Some trails are very popular with other users (walkers, cyclists & horse riders) especially if the weather is nice.

A lock to slip round your bike at the event base when you are not using it (i.e. before you start and/or after you finish).

The course is such that you will run to the kayak transition (2 km minimum) and back again. If you are not able to run/walk this distance (e.g. for medical reasons) then you can cycle to the kayak transition but you will need to carry a lock with you to secure your bike whilst you are kayaking. Why? Everyone else will leave their bikes at the run transition when they are kayaking so this is where our marshals (that’ll be keeping an eye on the bikes) will be. There won’t be any marshals at the kayak transition to keep an eye on bikes (they will be supervising the kayaking).

Additional Notes...

GPS devices may be carried with you to record your route for post-race analysis. In fact, it’s a good idea to do this as a back-up in the unlikely event that there are any discrepancies with the data from your electronic score card. GPS enabled devices should not be used for any navigational purpose or to view your position during the race (except in case of an emergency).

It’s also a good idea to download and install the OS Locate app on the phone that you will carry with you. This can be used to pinpoint your exact location in an emergency. The what3words app can also be used for this but the OS Locate app is slightly better. It does not require a mobile signal to function and it has a digital compass.

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