Pack It Up, Pack It In, Let Me Begin…

The House of Pain, also known as the Pangea Atomic 30-hour Adventure Race, is quickly approaching and we are not ready.  I haven’t trained as well as I would have liked.  We haven’t canoed down any Class II rapids.  I haven’t practiced nighttime navigation and we haven’t decided on the gear we need to pack.  But, I did get an awesome pack–the AS-2 from Out There USA.  After the Atomic, I’ll do a write up on the pack.  I think it is a little too big for the Atomic but I wanted something that I could use for the 2015 Sea 2 Sea in February.  That’s right Ana, we’re doing the Sea 2 Sea 🙂

So, here is a pic of what I’ve decided on to date not including food, gels, and fluids.


The longest race we’ve done so far has been 10 hours so we are jumping in pretty deep to do the Atomic.  The thing is, we don’t know how to pack for a race of this duration.  In an attempt to  adhere to the Adventure Racing Manifesto:

If you’re not hungry, you’re carrying too much food. If you’re not thirsty, you’re carrying to much water. If you are warm, you have too many clothes. If you’re not wet, scratched, and bruised, you took the long way. If you are not frightened, you have too much gear. If you are not tired, you’re going too slowly. If you are not drop-down sleepy, you’re getting too much rest. And if you finish the race on schedule, it was too easy anyway.

We’re trying to pack as light as we can, but not stupid light.  The race is in Blue Ridge Georgia and the average weather is High 80F, Low 50F  with a record high of 94F and a record low of 29F.  The average monthly rainfall is 5 inches but the recorded rainfall to date is almost 0 inches, so I’ll bet my chafing ass that all 5 inches will be coming down the weekend of the race.

I’ve looked online for packing lists to get an idea of what to bring and here are a few links worth checking out:

Pangea Mandatory Gear

USARA National Championship Gear List

ARGear Weekend Race Gear List

Eaglin Adventure Racing Guide

Team YogaSlackers Gear List

With all of those sources, I put together my list of what I think will work for us.  My biggest concern is hypothermia.  I was stationed at Eglin AFB when 4 Army Ranger candidates died due to hypothermia.  According to the Associated Press, “the water temperature was 52 degrees, just above the 50-degree threshold set in 1977 after two soldiers died from hypothermia during Ranger training. The air temperature was in the 60’s after several days of chilly weather.”  In other words, it wasn’t frigidly cold.  Wet clothes, little food, fatigue and exposure and hypothermia becomes a real threat.

So, with all that in mind, here is our evolving gear list:

Packing list

If you have any suggestions, please leave us a comment.  We’d love to hear from others, especially if you’ve done the Atomic.  One thing I’m going to try that I’m not sure about is, rather than getting a large dry bag for my backpack, I plan to pack all of my extra clothes in a small dry bag that I’ll leave in my pack.  The rest of the contents can get wet without damage.  I know some racers shove their entire pack in a dry bag during the canoe portions.  I’ll have to think more on that.

I’d like to thank Hien from the Canyoneros and also Emily Korsch for their gear suggestions.

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