Required Gear

Required Per Person

  • Bicycle. Standard mountain, gravel/cyclocross, or hybrid bike recommended BUT road bikes are acceptable. If you do the full loop on either the 5 or 8 hour race, you will encounter up to 400 meters of rough, dirt two tracks and up to a mile of smooth dirt roads. Checkpoints on this section of road are optional (but count toward your toward). Ideally, tires should be at least 30c width. No singletrack mountain bike trails. 5-hour racers not interested in biking MAY skip the bicycle section (or go on foot to a trekking section that most will bike to) and in that case would not need the bicycle, helmet or red tail light.
  • Bicycle helmet. Buckled. Always on when your on your bike.
  • Red tail light. Fully powered and preferably flashing; required during day also – greatly increases visibility with drivers.
  • Emergency/space/mylar blanket – full size, metallic style, $2-$3 each at Meijer, outdoor/camping store or online. Buy early, 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)

  • See below for canoe/kayak options
  • 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

Canoe (or kayak for 8-hour solos in Muskegon race), certified PFD, and canoe/kayak paddles are required. Personal PFD must be Type I, II, or III and USCG-approved, wearable, and of the proper size for each person. Options:

  1. Rent a canoe through us (or on your own is fine but you must transport of course) when you register for the race or later on under the Purchase Event Items section. If you are on a 3-person team, note that there isn’t a seat in the middle but we will have extra cushions. Or, you can drop off a seat of some sort before the race (not too tall or your canoe will be unstable).
  2. Bring your own canoe, solo kayaks, tandem kayaks in any combination. No pedal or motorized power, only paddles. Inflatable is okay, but it will be slower and won’t track as straight.

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

  • Water filter (for longer races or very hot weather)
    • Great lightweight option is the Sawyer Micro Squeeze (check Bill & Paul’s in Grand Rapids). Lifestraw and Steripen are other options. Note that iodine tables generally take 1-4 hours to purify water so they are not a great option for a race.
  • Electrolyte tables or drinks
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Synthetic, wicking t-shirt
  • First aid kit (gauze pads, band-aids, medical tape, etc.)
  • $5-10 cash for emergency purchases
  • 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.