Mandatory Kit

This race is a bit different than most other races in that you really do need to be self-reliant and prepared for anything. You’ll only have access to your dropbag once, in the middle of the race, and the distances and length of time you are likely to be out on the course means you’ll encounter all kinds of weather. It may be a summer event but you should wear or carry full body cover. Don’t underestimate how cold it will feel in the middle of the night on the high fells especially if it is wet and blowy.

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Warm layer
  • Long sleeve top or base layer
  • Hat, one buff is not a hat
  • Gloves
  • A torch with sufficient spare batteries to reach your drop bag, or spare torch.
  • A phone with sufficient battery life to reach your drop bag.
  • A bivvy bag or survival bag.
  • A shelter for sleeping – this may be a bivvy bag, a hooped bivvi bag or light weight tent.
  • Map and compass.
  • Whistle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food and drink to reach the next re-supply point. (You may use shops and pubs on the route – but don’t rely on them).

Recommended Kit

There’s bound to be lots of discussion and even argument regarding this list. Our overriding concern is your safety and well being, not just while you are running but when you’re stopped and perhaps in distress. This may be a summer event but believe me the high fells can be wild and cold places even in our best of British summers.

The trick is to balance weight and effectiveness for ‘you’ not someone else’s capabilities and strategy.  Too many spares of this or that item could be detrimental from a weight point of view but not having spare batteries or a torch could mean the difference of finishing or lost on the fell tops with hypothermia.

As race organisers, the team has lots of experience which we’re willing to share but there’s no substitute for practice and experience.

  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Spare clothes – especially socks
  • Spare phone
  • Extra food


The phone should be a workable solution for when you are in an emergency. It should NOT be a smart phone, or if it is all navigation and communications features should be turned off to conserve battery life. You may carry and additional GPS device, but using a phone for this purpose is not allowed, it plays havoc with battery life. Do not rely on charging facilities – pack a portable charger. Network coverage across many parts of the Pennine Way is patchy and some networks are unavailable (especially 3 and O2). A cheap dumb phone with a multi network PAYG SIM is much the preferred item.

Your Drop Bag

Your bag should be a simple waterproof duffel bag, or drybag and must not weigh more than 15Kg. It may be left in an open field for several hours and therefore must really be waterproof, a Ortlieb drybag is recommended. Turning up at the midpoint expecting fresh dry kit only to find that the rain has blown through the zip on your nice new duffel bag is not recommended.

Remember you’re only going to see your drop bag once in the middle of the race and you need to pack accordingly.  This bag will be transported onto the finish once you have passed through.

Your Finish Bag

Competitors have the option of including a finish bag, this will be taken to the finish at Kirk Yetholm and should normally contain your travelling gear and a change of clothes etc. Again for the sake of our staff and volunteers this should not weigh more than 15Kg. A standard duffel bag or rucksack will be sufficient. Any bags not collected at the end of the event can be returned using courier services at the the participants expense.