Required Gear

Required Per Person

  • Emergency/space/mylar blanket -full size, metallic style, at Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus or other outdoor/camping store. Meijer often has as well. Buy early local (or online).

suunto-a-10-compass 150w

Required Per Team

  • Compass (base plate or sighting)
  • Pen/sharpie that works in cold weather
  • Mobile phone – fully charged, powered off and sealed in waterproof or double-ziplocked bag
  • Water/fluids – we won’t be setting a minimum amount
  • *$5 for the charity challenge (only required if you want help with a challenge)

Snowshoes will be provided for the short loop. You may bring your own (but not recommended for the entire course due to logs and brush on the off-trail sections). If there’s not enough snow, we’ll remove this challenge or make it a running loop.

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

Race gear and clothing really depends on temperature, wind, and snow cover of course, whether you value comfort or performance more, and how fast you will be moving. The general rule of thumb is to dress in layers and as if the temperature is 20 degrees warmer than the “feels like” temperature (factoring in wind chill). Adventure races have more stoppage time than a running race and stopping creates more sweat so keep that in mind if you are a winter runner; you may need an extra layer, at least in your pack. We recommend Gazelle Sports and Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus for all of this gear.

  • Camelbak-type hydration system (per person). Tips to keep water from freezing: Buy an insulating sleeve, remember to blow water back into tube to keep it from freezing, keep tube tucked inside jacket and start with hot water or just water bottles instead.
  • Waterproof map case or doubled-up ziplock baggies
  • Contact paper or clear tape to waterproof your instruction sheet and map (at Meijer in household goods)
  • Shoes: your normal running shoe, assuming it doesn’t have a light mesh upper. A trail shoe that offers more protection and traction would be ideal. Shoes with Gore-Tex or similar water-resistant membranes are worth looking into if you do a lot of wet or cold-weather running. You could wear a warmer light hiker if you are okay with the added weight and stiffness. We suggest avoiding heavy boots.
  • Traction: IceSpikes ( – a race sponsor – or similar traction. $25 at Gazelle Sports. YakTrax work fine for some people but others don’t like the feel or how they change the shape of their shoes.
  • Socks: Whatever you have trained in during cold weather. Wool socks (e.g., SmartWool) do a good job of keeping the cold out while wicking away sweat but too thick can cause problems if you aren’t used to running in them.
  • Gaiters: Depends on snow level of course. Recommended for people who get cold feet as they keep snow out. Some racers just rely on a wool sock and shoe that resists moisture.
  • Lower half: winter running tights or running pants. Running pants or hiking pants (pockets are nice) over the tights if conditions demand it, but it would have to be very cold and windy for warm-blooded types. Wind briefs or lycra-type running shorts on bottom if necessary.
  • Upper half: layers: wicking inner layer, wicking shirt for middle layer, fairly lightweight jacket that’s wind resistant for outer layer (adjust number of layers or thickness based on conditions). Unzip front and/or under arms (if it has pit zips) as needed.
  • Gloves: lightweight. Windproof shell gloves or mittens over it if conditions demand it.
  • Hat: lightweight. Start with warmer hat if conditions demand or headband under hat. Balaclava in extreme conditions.
  • Buff/neck gaiter: Great for quick on or off to regulate temperature.
  • Sunglasses: Especially valuable in sunny, windy and bushwhacking conditions. Clear lenses usually best. Wear sunblock on sunny day as the snow reflects the sun back up into your face.
  • First aid kit
  • Sunblock
  • Food (energy gel, bars, etc.; you shouldn’t need a lot though – focus more on fluids)

Prohibited Gear

  • GPS that allows you to determine your location on a map is not allowed. A GPS watch is ok, but only to check your route after the race.
  • Maps other than those provided by the race organization
  • Communication devices other than mobile phone
  • Motorized/mechanized means of transport
  • Sherpas, yetis, llamas or other living transport option