A kit list, that’s a bit boring isn’t it?! I’m going to try to make it as interesting as possible, as well as hoping it might be useful for anyone hoping to have a similar running adventure in the future.
As soon as we decided to run the length of Estonia in just one week, carrying all our own kit, we had to start thinking about our kit. It’s taken over six months of planning but finally, we’re there!
Getting started with the kit list
Firstly, let me tell you, I am a procrastinator when it comes to buying things. I will research for hours, choose, change my mind, try to find the best price, try to find a better price, put item in basket…decide to think about it for another day.
A lot of this comes from the way I choose to live. I choose to not work full time (although that doesn’t always quite work!) and have flexible hours, in order to get the most from life. This makes me richer in time than money. So I’m always wary of spending without being certain.
For this trip Vinted has been a godsend! We’re carrying all our kit for Run Estonia, therefore it’s essential everything is as lightweight as possible. And I’ve found that to get less you need to pay more! Therefore much of my kit is second hand and I’ve had some proper bargains from Vinted.
I also had quite a bit of kit already, and a good idea of what I’d need, from attempting to run across Iceland a few years ago.
So, let’s dive in! I’ve broken the list down into sections and I’ll also add a full list at some point.
Anyone who has holidayed with me will tell you I am not a light packer. If I can squeeze some more clothes and an extra pair of heels in the case I will. Packing for this type of trip is the total opposite. If you can take anything out you do!
- Running shorts – I wanted a pair of shorts which were a bit wild and made me smile. These also have a fab, wide waistband and great side pockets. I got them from Be Your Happy Place. They are a Welsh company, which also makes me happy!
- Running top – Has to have enough shoulder and neck cover to protect me from backpack chaffing. But this RAB top also has very short sleeves (less tan lines!) and a funky back. Purchased from Vinted.
- Leggings – to wear at night. My lightest 3/4 length pair.
- Long sleeved top – to wear at night. Layer 8. Charity shop purchase.
- 2 pairs of running socks – one to wear, the other pair to be drying on my pack as we run.
- 2 pairs of pants – as above. One pair of Runderwear, one pair from Decathlon.
- Running bra – has to be seamless and unpadded to stop chaffing. I got a brand new M&S one on Vinted.
- Warm jacket – Helly Hansen Primaloft. Purchased from Vinted.
- Waterproof jacket – RAB Spark. Super lightweight. Purchased from Vinted
- Flip flops – to wear when travelling and at the campsite at night. Jolene sourced us some lightweight ones in Primark.
- Dress – to wear when travelling and in Latvia after we finish. I bought the lightest one I could on Vinted. Mountain Warehouse backpackers dress.
- Bikini – to wear as underwear when travelling, for washing in the evening (in rivers and lakes) and for relaxing by the pool in Latvia when we finish.
- Trainers – I needed a pair which had loads of toe box room. I have wide feet already but they will swell a lot throughout the run. These Icebug ones are designed for long distance on trails and tracks.
- Hat – in case it’s cold at night
- Buff – to keep me warm. To keep me cool (soaked in water). To blow my nose into. To wipe away tears when it all gets too much.
We’re camping all the way, which means carrying camping gear. Jolene has very kindly purchased a very light weight tent, which uses running poles to hold it up. How am I going to keep warm and keep things lightweight camping wise I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you:
Sleeping bag – the Highlander Trekker was the lightest, affordable sleeping bag I could find. Costing less than £50 and weighing in at less than 600 grams. Plus it has an integrated mosquito net to cover your head.
- Sleeping bag liner – I’m using the Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme liner which I bought for Iceland.
- Sleeping mat – Jolene has lent me an Alpkit Cloud Base inflatable mat. My Alpkit Numo, again bought for Iceland, seems to have a puncture which I can’t find!
- Towel – This Sea to Summit Airlite towel (large size) comes in at just under 70 grams and promises to absorb more than three times it’s weight, as well as packing down tiny.
- Mosquito Head Net – Everyone talks about the mosquitos in Estonia!
- Poo trowel! – There won’t be many toilets along the route, not even all the campsites have them. It’s important to leave no trace when travelling like this. So we’ll be digging little holes and burying our poo. Luxury travel at its best!
Fuelling is a huge part of whether we succeed in our mission to run the length of Estonia. Carry too little and we won’t have the energy to complete the task. Carry too much and we won’t have the energy to complete the task!
I don’t eat meat or dairy but that hasn’t been a problem at all when planning my menu.
- Breakfast – Homemade; a mixture of oats, freeze dried apple pieces, a sprinkle of nutmeg, teaspoon of sugar, tablespoon of protein shake and a tablespoon of powdered oat milk. Each breakfast weighs around 100 grams. The ziplock bags they are in will then be used for rubbish/waste.
- Lunch – a Tailwind Recovery Mix shake each day. On our trial run in Norfolk we had dehydrated meals for lunch but they didn’t sit well, so I had a change of plan to these shakes. Vegan and packed with carbs, protein and electrolytes.
- Dinner – A dehydrated meal. Mostly I’m taking Firepot Food meals. They had a good range of vegan options. I’ll be having another Tailwind Recovery Shake for pudding.
- Snacks – Vegan sweets; once I’ve been running for hours my body will often reject anything other than pure sugar to keep it going.
- Peanuts – a small bag for each day.
- A Clif Nut Butter bar each day.
- I’ll probably add a couple of flapjack bars in for emergencies. I found a website (I Wonder What’s Next) where they sell end/out of date food and bulk purchased from there.
- Drink – Tailwind again. I’ll have a sachet of their Endurance Fuel each day in my water. As well as some extra electrolyte tablets.
Altogether my food weighs just under 5kg and water will be 1.5-2kg. I’m looking forward to the pack feeling lighter as I eat my way through my stash!
Luckily I had my cooking kit from Iceland, so this bit was easy. Less easy was hydration pouches. Having had two puncture while training I was seriously worried about the same happening again during the trip. A good friend was kind enough to buy me a 2l Platypus hydration reservoir for the trip. Lightweight and tough; it’s perfect!
I shall have to buy gas from a camping shop before we start running. I bought lightweight cutlery from Decathlon – shaving precious grams off from my previous set! Also pictured are the chlorine tablets I’ll be using to purify my water each day.
First Aid and Repair
I don’t have all our first aid kit pictured as Jolene has much of it.
- Range of painkillers. Mix and match!
- Various plasters, bandages and dressings
- Inadine patches – given by another lovely friend. These should help massively with any minor cuts, abrasions, blisters, chafing.
- CPR aid and surgical gloves
- Foil blanket
- Mosquito repellent
- Cable ties
- Neoprene glue and patches – for waterproof repairs
- Small sewing kit
Hygiene and Self care
We are taking a solid shampoo and some soap leaves for washing ourselves, clothes and eating utensils. Sharing a natural deodorant and a tiny hairbrush. I have spare contact lenses and fluid. My toothbrush! I researched and discovered that a child’s bamboo toothbrush was my lightest option – so that’s what I have! We are sharing toothpaste tablets.
Looking great is not a priority on the trip. But that’s not to say we don’t want some little luxuries! I have bought a mini waterproof mascara for us both to share. Jolene and I both absolutely love See Greene Skincare Rose and Vetiver Facial Balm – I swear my skin can’t be without it. Happily, the tiniest dab around the eyes is all I need each day, so a teeny pot is on the kit list.
A little love and luck
Two tiny items are making their way into my pack. A crystal angel, given to me in thanks by someone special, to watch over me. I always carry this in my small running pack but she’s transferring to my big pack for Estonia.
A little St Christopher, given to me by Jolene’s mother in law. A touching gesture by someone I have never met.
All that kit has to squeeze in somewhere! Choosing a pack took me forever. Simply, there aren’t packs designed for running with this much kit. Having thought and researched for many hours, I decided a mountaineering pack was the way forward for me. I got a brand new Deuter Alpine Mountain 42l women’s fit pack on Vinted for £80. I have loved running with it on all our pack runs. My only complaint is not enough outer pockets – but that’s because it’s compact and body hugging.
I have some lightweight Black Diamond running poles from my Iceland trip. When you’ve got so much weight on your back it’s so important to be able to go ‘four wheel drive’. The extra power and balance the poles give me is amazing.
We won’t have access to electricity throughout our run so we’re relying on solar panels, attached to our packs, charging battery packs as we run.
These in turn will charge our phones and Garmin watches at night. We will be following the route on our watches, so it’s important we can keep them charged.
That’s quite a kit list!
Considering how little we are taking it feels like that’s a long list. I’m proud of all the planning we’ve put into this. No doubt we’ll come back a lot wiser as to what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be sure to update you!
If you’ve got any questions about the kit we’re taking please do comment below or on social media.
Watch this space!
I will be posting plenty about our Run Estonia adventure in the coming weeks and hopefully keeping you updated as we go along too. You can subscribe below to be notified when I post on the blog. But also follow my adventures on Instagram and Facebook.