Ounce-Saving Gear for Stage Races - Page 4
Weight and warmth are key! The desert can be surprisingly chilly at night, especially when your body is depleted from high exertion and lack of calories, so check your gear list for the required minimum temperature rating. My favorite is the supremely light Marmot Atom which weighs in at just 21 ounces, but feels like a luxury at the end of a hard day with its premium goose down.
Bonus Tip: You’ll be sharing a tent with up to eight people, so privacy is hard to come by. A bag with a mummy style face muff is a must when you need to shut out the world and get some much-needed rest. Light sleeper? Stash a set of earplugs in your bag for added insurance.
When pack space is at a premium, it’s tempting to forgo the sleeping mat—but, remember, you’ll likely end up spending some nights on rock fields where a little inflated air will become a real back-saver. I opt for the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad, which self-inflates quickly and offers sturdy support for my key skeletal range (shoulders to hips only). This mini-pad (in size XS) weighs eight ounces and doesn’t hog pack space. For just a shaving more, you can have full-body comfort with the Klymit Inertia X Frame Camping Mattress, at 9.1 ounces, which feels almost as good as your real bed at home.
Bonus Tip: Still debating whether to bring a mat? Stage-racing veteran Howard Cohen trims a piece of foam padding to a small rectangle that he uses to line his pack during the day for extra back support and then sleeps on at night—double the function for just a few ounces.