Required Gear

Required Per Person

  • Bicycle. Standard mountain, gravel/cyclocross, fat-tire, or hybrid bike. Traditional skinny tire road bikes not allowed EXCEPT by teams that elect to skip the singletrack trails. E-bikes not allowed unless battery removed. Tires should generally be at least 38mm width, ideally 42 mm or 2″ wide to handle dirt trails and occasional sand, mud, and/or loose gravel, which may or may not be significant depending on weather prior to race. If you are not sure about your bike, bring it in to a local bike shop and ask if it’s safe for riding on dirt “mountain bike” trails.
  • Bike helmet
  • Rear bike light – increases safety even more than a helmet
  • Emergency/space/mylar blanket – full size, metallic style, $2-$3 each at Meijer, outdoor/camping store or online. Buy in advance; local supplies often run out.
  • Whistle. Often built into hydration pack.
  • Water-resistant jacket. Anything that keeps the water off you and keeps you from getting hypothermic is acceptable. We may drop this from the required list depending on weather.

Required Per Team (including solos)

  • (No Paddling) Canoe/kayak, PFD, and paddles (you may rent or bring a canoe(s) or kayak(s) in any combination for your team; no tandem kayaks available for rent)
  • Mobile phone, fully charged, powered off and sealed in waterproof or double-ziplocked bag
  • Compass, must be base plate or sighting type (must have a straight edge so you can line up where you are with where you’re going)
  • Waterproof protection for maps (zip lock bag, map case, page protector, or contact paper)
  • 4 x 25 mg Benadryl/ diphenhydramine (epi-pen if prescribed) in case of life-threatening reaction
  • 4 feet (approx.) of compression bandage
  • Hydration pack or water bottles, filled
  • Tire repair supplies (relevant to your team’s tires)

Other Gear That May Be Helpful (But Not Required by Race)

  • Water filtration (for longer and hot races). Lifestraw, Sawyer Micro Squeeze and Steripen are good options. Note that iodine tables generally take 1-4 hours to purify water so they are not a great option for a race.
  • First aid kit (gauze pads, band-aids, medical tape, etc.). There’s nothing in a typical first aid kit that will safe your life so it’s not mandatory, except what’s listed above. It’s still a smart idea to carry the basics.
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Synthetic, wicking t-shirt
  • $5-10 cash for emergency purchases at gas stations, convenience stores, etc.
  • Trail running shoes
  • Outdoor/athletic socks
  • Food (energy gel, bars, etc.)
  • Spare tubes
  • Tire pump and/or CO2 cartridges
  • Chain repair tool
  • Tire levers
  • Allen key set
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Bug spray
  • Zip ties, duct tape
  • Bike shorts
  • Bike gloves
  • Bike computer (non-GPS)

We recommend Gazelle Sports, Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus, and West Michigan Bike & Fitness for the items above. Not every store has every product so call ahead if you aren’t sure. They sponsor many of our races so please thank them when you stop in.

Bill & Paul’s is offering a 10% discount up until the day of the race on the following with proof of registration: hydration products, trail footwear and socks, compasses and navigation tools, fitness watches (except Freestyle or Timex), headlights, nutrition, and paddlesport clothing.

Prohibited Gear

  • All navigation must be done without the help of technology/GPS. If you have a watch with GPS, GPS travel logger, Spot Tracker, etc., you can carry it for post-race analysis. A bike computer/speedometer to measure distance is the only permissible technology and only during the bike sections. See our standard AR rules here if you are not familiar.
  • Motorized anything.
  • See the Rules page for additional details.