Packing list for a 24h march13.07.2020
Before the march, we thought a lot about what mega-marchers take with them on their long way. Nevertheless, it is well known that people are always smarter in retrospect, which is why we are happy to report and share our experiences with you. Which items are indispensable and what turned out to be ballast that can stay at home? On the way, we tested among other things drinking bubbles, headlamps and power banks. You can find out which ones are the best for your march in the linked test reports.
While packing you will notice how the weight in your backpack adds up very quickly. A tip: If your rucksack is already VERY heavy at the beginning, you'd better leave something behind. During the course of the hike, every gram will feel twice as heavy.
We have divided the things we had with us into categories for you and commented on our experiences.
- Starter pack
- Fanny pack
- Identity card
- Health insurance card
Some things you should not forget. A fanny pack is not for everyone, but it's great for the things you want to have at hand, like your smartphone, camera & the next snack. Remember that every time you take your backpack off, it takes not only strength but also a lot of time. Your speed decreases with time, so every minute counts.
- Function shirt
- Softshell jacket
- Fleece sweater/sweatshirt
- Warm sweatpants
- (Cap, gloves)
- (Function towel)
- (Change shirt)
- (Rain jacket/cape)
With regard to the choice of clothes, I can say in retrospect that we made the right choice. You won't go wrong with leggings and functional shirt, because they fit like a second skin. It doesn't chafe, it is super comfortable and simple at the same time.
Warm clothing should not be missing during the march, as it can get very cold at night. In addition, the lack of sleep makes you more sensitive to cold. Armed with jogging pants, sweatshirt and softshell jacket, we were able to brave the night well. It is best to check the weather forecast in advance and then decide which clothes are most adequate. We were lucky that there was no rain that day, so we didn't need a rain jacket or a cape. Depending on how cold it gets or how sensitive you are, hat and gloves are not wrong.
If you have the opportunity, ask friends or acquaintances to bring you warm clothes, as you can save a lot of ballast.
If you sweat a lot, you can pack a change shirt and a functional towel (normal towels take up too much storage space). Personally I have to admit that we were mentally absent a few hours after the night had started (by the way, not the worst strategy), so the change of clothes was already the worst thing we could do. I think most people feel the same way. So if you can agree with yourself and put your personal hygiene on the back burner for a day, then leave the spare clothes at home and be content with a cat wash if necessary. But that does not apply to your feet!
And what should you choose for your feet?
- 3x Hiking socks
- Running/walking shoes
Now to the most important thing: What should I wear on my feet so that they don't give up the ghost after 20 km?
Many mega-marchers say: Without hiking boots nothing works! For the running, sports shoe fraction they have only mocking looks left or simply consider them naive. Others rely on military boots. But not everyone has hiking boots at home and not everyone has been in the Bundeswehr. Of the three of us, only one has hiking boots. Those of us who (actually) do not count hiking as one of our hobbies, do not necessarily want to buy hiking boots for a single event. After all, they have to be broken in, are not cheap and are usually not an eye-catcher. By the way, many swear by barefoot shoes!
We have asked ourselves the question, whether a 100 km hiking tour can be mastered also with normal sports shoes. Most people avoid normal running shoes but nevertheless there are some who have mastered the march also with shoes from Nike, Adidas and Co.
I have bought a pair of new running shoes from Nike, which are a little bigger than my usual shoes (1-2 sizes). Since the feet swell a lot, it is advisable that the shoes are not too small. By the way, we all wore running shoes during the march. Whether it is the best choice I cannot say, because I have no comparison, but we can say in advance that we passed some supply stations with these shoes. In the end our feet were ruined, but who says it would be different in hiking shoes? So I would say, who wants to try it with running shoes, does not need to be insecure. As long as they are comfortable and the size is right. We would advise against a second pair. They are too much ballast, take too much storage space and even changing shoes can be very painful for the feet.
But what is just as important as the right shoes are the right socks! So-called Wrightsocks are perfect for hiking. They are double-layered and thus prevent blisters from forming, as the rubbing occurs mainly between the inner and outer sock. I believe that without Wrightsocks we would never have made it this far. On the way, we tested three different pairs of socks and all of them survived the march well. We took the brands , and the original into our verses.
The taping of the feet has also turned out to be very important for us, so we are already in the next category.
Drugstore, hygiene and first aid
- Bubble Patch
- Deer Sebum Cream
- Emergency blanket
- Disinfection wipes
What you should not forget are the Bubble Patch and the Tape! When your feet slowly give up the ghost and the first blisters appear, these 2 things can take you a few more miles! For the blister plasters, we have chosen a mix pack because they can (and will) appear anywhere. On the day of the hike, we did without the deer sebum cream, although many people recommend it. However, weeks before the hike we applied cream diligently to prepare our feet for the march. During the march, it is important that the feet are kept dry! One of the reasons for us not to cream before the hike. Also, the tape does not hold when the feet are creamed. It is best to tape your feet before the hike to protect them. When training, pay attention to where your feet rub first and tape especially these areas.
By the way, the rescue blanket is compulsory for the Mega March, so remember it.
Handkerchiefs are also very important because the toilet situation is really not optimal during the march. At the aid stations, there are the much longed for construction site toilets, but on the way, one rarely meets this "luxury". As most of the food comes directly in contact with the hands, it is worthwhile to take some disinfecting tissues with you.
- Charging cable
Capturing the mega-march on camera not only ensures that your experience and your ordeal will remain unforgettable but also provides fun, motivation and extra motivation to continue. On the way, you see the strangest things and that is what makes it so unforgettable. People who cheer you on without ever having heard of the mega-march before, hikers at the end of their tether, waiting for their rescuers under a rescue blanket, participants who are in high spirits after 80 km and much more. Recording all this makes sure that you keep up and spend less time on your aching feet. So pack a selfie-stick, your GoPro or Gimbal so you have something to tell later.
Some of us like to track our achievements. Whether you use a Smartwatch, a fitness tracker or your smartphone, remember to charge the device and if necessary take a Powerbank and a charging cable with you. A small power bank should be enough because in our experience you are thinking most of the time. If you have a lot on your mind or share the power bank you can also use a 20.000 mAh Powerbank.
Also important is a headlamp, which makes your night walk much easier. There are places on the route that are completely unlit. Especially if the path is uneven, you will be very grateful for a Headlamp . I know there are more attractive gadgets, but don't worry 1. you won't be the only one with a lamp on your head and 2. you won't care what the rest of the world thinks about you after 50 km. Also, think about the batteries for the lamp.
- Drinking Bubble
- Protein bars
- Banana bread
- Energy balls
- Homemade muesli bars
- Bread / Rolls
- Protein bars
- Powertabs isotonic beverage
Hydration is the be-all and end-all of the Megamarsh. We advise you to use a Drinking Bubble because this will automatically make you drink a lot more. With a bottle, you have to put the backpack down every time to get it out or ask someone to do it. The later the evening gets, the more sluggish you get and this will affect your drinking behaviour. So make sure you drink enough and use a water bladder that allows you to take a sip of water at any time. Think about Vitamin/Salt Tablets which will help your body go to extremes. Dissolve them directly in your drink (also works in the drinking bladder). We have used the Isostar Power tabs, which also convinced us in taste. How much water you pack is up to you. Remember that you will pass supermarkets and there is also enough water at the stations. By the way, there are no drinks at the start!
We really had a lot of food with us, most of which we also ate. So don't be shy. You burn a lot of calories on the march. You can hardly eat as much as you burn. Since you should try to eat small meals to avoid getting lethargic, we decided to eat high-calorie snacks. Fruits are comparatively heavy and can be found at the stations, so we didn't pack any. What else you should pay attention to while eating you can read in our blog post "How you prepare for the march of your life". At the stations, you will find mostly sweet things that you will soon no longer feel like eating. It's best to take a portion of your favourite hearty food with you. Make sure that it is not too heavy. This is not only the weight but also the digestion. The same applies to sweets: calorie-wise you will burn it, but sugar makes you sluggish! Take only small amounts with you, which are intended to keep you happy.
When it became tomorrow, we didn't feel like eating anymore. Really nothing! Unfortunately, the body demands food at the same time when you've been on your feet for hours and the last snack was a long time ago. This may be noticeable by dizziness. Then you absolutely have to eat something! Dextrose has helped me there. It gets into your bloodstream quickly and helps you regain your strength quickly.
At the food stations, you can get water, tea, coffee and broth. Food was bananas, apples, milk rolls, salt sticks, cabanossi, gherkins, Russian bread, muesli bars and energy cakes, chocolate and meatballs (not everything at every station).
There was also a food stand at kilometre 50 with drinks in the flavours of coffee, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate, which provided you with energy and vitamins. At kilometre 33 you can stop at the Krombacher Alkoholfrei stand, which provided us with a delicious bike. But you should keep in mind that each food station will plan the food approximately on the number of marchers and therefore you should not pack so much so that the runners get something from each one after you.