Packing List

Suggested Packing List

The following list provides suggestions for gear and food. There are counless options for everything listed below and it's best that you take what works for your needs (and not try to make something that works others work for your race). For example, just because a certain pair of shoes work for another competitor, it doesn't necessarily mean that that brand/model will fit you properly. Or, if someone is going to only carry energy gel for their daily calories, that menu might make your stomach do backflips. 

Do your own research/testing and try to figure out what will meet your requirements. That said, we feel it is best to try to use the lightest gear possible, as long as it is functional and practical for the event. 

Compulsory Items

 

You will be penalized if you are unable to present the following items at race check-in and/or during random searches over the course of the event.

 
Backpack
There are many great choices, but it's best to find one that fits comfortably and go from there.  Most competitors can fit all of the gear into a 25L or smaller pack.  Some options: OMM Classic Marathon (25L); WAA MDS Pack; UltrApire Fastpack; Inov8 Race Elite 20L or 25L; Six Moon Designs, etc.
 
2 x 750-800ml. water bottles
Some participants prefer to just carry the 1.5L water bottle provided at each checkpoint  Others like to use a 2 bottle system that attaches to the front straps on the pack.  A bladder system can be difficult to use since it requires pack removal at each checkpoint. 
 
Sleeping bag
Western Mountaineering - Highlite; PHD Minim Ultra; Yeti Passion one ; OMM 1.6 bag
 
Flashlight-Headlamp
Petzl Zipka + OR Petzl Zipka plus 2; Black Diamond Spot
 
Xtra batteries for light
Go for the lithium  - they are lighter and last longer.
 
10 saftey pins
1 medium; 1 small… 8 xtra small
 
Compass
With at least 2 degrees of precision!
 
Lighter
Smallest one you can find - (no longer allowed as 'carry-on' items aboard aircraft but easily found in Morocco)
 
Knife
I use the Classic SD Swiss army knife b/c is also has scissors which can be used to cut tape
 
Topical disinfectant
Alcohol pads will suffice
 
Anti-venom pump
A "snake bite kit." Options from Sawyer and Coghlans are most commpon.  I use the Sawyer versio, which looks like a syringe - I carry the pump & one attachment
 
Whistle
Very small, lightweight plastic; many are built into the buckle of the pack's sternum strap
 
Signaling Mirror
I only use a small round mirror, about the size of a large coin (US quarter)
 
Survival sheet
Like the emergency blankets handed out at marathon finish lines
 
Food for duration of race
You must have a minimum of 2000 calories per day, Check the race Regulations for details.
 
SPOT Tracker
**provided by AOI
 
Salt tablets
**provided by AOI
 
Light Stick for 50 mile stage
**provided by AOI
 
EKG - dated within 30 days of event
***must have original copy signed and stamped by a doctor!!
 
  200 Euro (or equivalent) NEW REQUIREMENT: Every competitor must carry this during the event.    

 

For the Medical Form

VERY IMPORTANT!  Your Doctor should note any medications you might be using before or during the event (especially asthma medication). There is random ‘doping’ control at the MDS because prize money is awarded to the top finishers, so you could receive a penalty if something shows up in their tests. The EKG must be dated no more than 30 days prior to the start of the race.

Suggested Food List

Remember that a good mix of food will keep you happy over the seven days. Eating the same meal or snacks everyday gets old quickly and you will need to eat to get through the event. Also, while the race takes place over seven days, you will not need a dinner after the last stage – after crossing the finish line, everyone will be given a box lunch, then board busses and return to the hotel for dinner.

**You might wish to bring along some extra food to eat before the race. While the organizers do provide meals at the bivouac, you might not like what is being served. So, it is a good idea to pack some extra freeze dried meals, tuna packs, peanut butter and jelly, etc.

**You should also include extra drink mix to consume while at the bivouac. You will be there for almost two days before the start of the race, and it will be HOT, so you will need to be hydrating.

  7 -Breakfasts I take a variety of things - bars, oatmeal, pop-tarts, instant noodles, etc
  6- 7 During the stage (Lunch) usually just gels, nuts, pretzels, chips, jerky, peanut butter packets, ginger chews, Clif Bloks, bars, etc. ... and eat on the run. Go with what works best for you.
  6 - Dinners freeze dried meals… a good variety... you won't need one for the last day... I let them cook in the sun
  Electolyte drink mix enough for each day… it helps to bring a variety so you don't get sick of one flavor
  Recovery drink mix - one for after each stage Hammer Recoverite or First Endurance Ultragen are good choices.
  Salt Stick or Suceed Caps (salt pills) for each stage I live on these… 2-6 per hour, or as needed at the onset of cramping
  Tea bags & Bouillion Cubes nice to have something like this to add flavor to the water

 

Suggested Personal Items

Following is our Suggested Packing List. There may be additional items that you wish to bring along but don't appear on our list, so you should use this only as a guide. Please note that some of the items on the list are only "suggestions" while others are essential (like running shoes). Please don't hesitate to ask us about other items that you are considering to bring along.

 
Painkillers**
Tylenol 8 hour, Alleve, etc.- **Be careful and do your research on the side effects of taking pain meds during exercise, especially in extreme heat! It's best to avoid these!
 
Sleeping pills (optinoal)
Some people use these to get through the night. Consult a physician and be careful when taking any prescription meds, especially in this harsh environment
 
One pair of shorts
I use compression shorts as they tend to chafe less (and keep the sand out)
 
One race shirt
Smartwool microweight, Under Armor Heat Gear, Columbia OmniFreeze, etc.
 
Buff
Great to use a neck gaiter, washcloth, headwarmer at night, etc.
 
Sunglasses and/or Goggles
A must have - try a pair Light Adjusting lenses (like Julbo) that have a foam seal around the eyes to keep out the sand
 
1 hand-held water bottle
optional, if you don't want to attach bottles to shoulder straps or carry the 1.5L provided at each water stop.
 
Earplugs
Should be on the compulsory gear list!
 
Hat
I use a breathable running hat from Headsweats… some use one with a flap on the back to protect the neck from the sun
 
Extra shirt for after each stage (optional)
I typically bring a long-sleeve silk or wool shirt
 
1-4 pairs of socks
I use Smartwool… some folks love Injinji toe-socks and DryMax warm weather socks. Can get by with 1-2 pairs
 
Windbreaker (e.g. Montbell Tachyon) or Tyvec Suit
weighs only a few grams/ounces and can keep you a bit warmer at night
 
Flipflops or lightweigt slippers (optional)
If using, as lightweight & cheap as possible… toss them on the last morning.
 
Running shoes WITH Gaiters
Good options available from Hoka, Altra, Brooks, etc. -  with a custom sewn gaiter
 
Sunscreen
I like the Kinesys SPF 30 spray
 
Babywipes
1-2 per day for a daily bath - air dry ahead of time (to save weight) and rehydrate with water when needed
 
Lip balm (w. SPF)
One tube is enough
 
Toiletpaper
Better to have a little extra!
 
Hand sanitizer
Important to have enough for the week… especially as your body breaks down!
 
Extra needle for popping blisters
Nice to have if you wish to take care of your feet on your own. Can also use one of the mandatory safety pins
 
Blister remedies - for helping with/preventing or covering blisters (optional)
Options include: Blister Shield Powder, Trail Toes, Sport Slick, New Skin - Great stuff to help prevent and/or protect/heals blisters
 
Alcohol pads
Can be same as disinfectant in compulsory list (above)
 
Tiny toothbrush
As small as possible
 
Tiny tube of toothpaste
Again, as small as possible - squeeze some out to reduce weight
 
Q-tips (optional)
One for each day to remove sand from ears
 
Deodorant (optional)
A small, travel tube (not mandatory, but it does help)
 
Blister Kit (optional)
Personal preference (as above)
 
Medical tape (optional)
Budget enough to get you through the week
 
Anti-inflammatory pills
Again, be careful with these...use only if needed
 
Antacid (optional)
If needed.
 
Multi-purpose soap (optional)
For bathing, cleaning utensils and clothing
 
Vitamins (optional)
I use Pharmanex, First Endurance or Hammer Nutrition
 
Small comb (optional)
To look pretty for the camera
 
Camera (optional)
A weatherproof digital versions is best- fyi… the sand is unforgiving and you can't recharge batteries
 
Spork
don't skimp on this… if yours breaks, you'll be begging others to use theirs!
 
iPod or MP3 Player (optional)
Sometimes helps the miles pass a bit faster
 
Extra batteries
Again, lithium are best
 
Pencil & notebook (optional)
If you want to keep a journal - can also make notes in the provided RoadBook
 
Book (optional)
You can rip out the pages as you go along… or work it out to share with another competitor.
 
Sleeping pad (optional)
Lightweight foam… discard on last day; keeps some of the rocks from digging into your back/hips and can make the nights pass a bit quicker as you'll be warmer.

**Pre-Race Check-in & Registration: Your bag with the extra clothing and gear that you will not use during the race MUST be brought with you to the pre-race check-in during your alloted time. You will find it is easier if you bring only ONE extra bag with you (in addition to your race pack). It can be quite a long walk from your tent to the check-in tents with all that gear. You also might want to bring along a lock for the bag you’ll be checking… chances are nothing will happen, but it is better to be safe, especially if you plan on storing a wallet, airline tickets, etc. in that bag.

**Please note... we highly recommend that you plan on taking all of your necessary race gear as "carry-on" luggage. That is, from our experience, we think it's wise to pack all of your actual race gear in one bag that is small enough to carry on board the airplane with you for the trip to Morocco. You do not want to take a chance of the airline misplacing your luggage before the event. (This happened to a good friend of ours and his lugguage was returned to him... in July!)

**You will neeed to carry your passport with you during the actual race (just in case you need to depart for the race ends) and present at race check-in at the bivouac.