Stage Race Equipment Lists

Having a good equipment list is a key part of stage race preparation, whether you are running a self-supported race like MdS or one of the 4 Deserts races, or a supported one such as the Global Limits races.

I find that by far the best way to track my equipment when planning for a stage race is with a spreadsheet. Not only does it allow you to adjust the list as much as you care, but you can easily sum the weight of all your gear and figure out how much your pack is gonna weigh.

You can also do neat things like total your calories every day. In this post, I’ve shared example equipment lists for both self-supported races and supported races.

The equipment lists I’ve shared on this page are the ones I’ve developed over several races for my own use over the years, and have since shared with many friends who have used them to prepare for stage races.

Note that they are  formatted for Microsoft Excel and are unprotected, meaning you can customise them however you see fit. How To Use:

  • Download the Equipment List below.
  • Check it first against your race’s mandatory and optional equipment lists, to make sure it covers everything the race director has told you to take.
  • Check it against what you actually plan to take – this may vary depending on race conditions.  Make sure that all the clothing you plan to take is included – for example, if you’re doing a cold-weather race, you’ll need extra layers and jacket.

For more information on preparing your equipment, food and reducing pack weight, and all things Stage Races, check out the Stage Race Handbook. Stage Race Equipment Lists 1

Self-Supported Stage Race Equipment List
(Click here to download Excel file)

This equipment list was originally developed for a 4 Deserts race and has been refined to suit several subsequent self-supported 5 or 6 stage races. (Self-supported refers to stage races where you have to carry every your food and equipment with you at all times).

  • Get out your kitchen scales and weigh every piece of equipment you plan to take, then update the weights on the tracker (you can use the weights left in there, but beware: they might not be accurate for your gear)
  • Come up with a nutrition plan for the week and input every piece of food you intend to take with you.   I’ve included a summary which calculates how much your pack will weigh after each day (subtracting the food you are eating) which is a nice indicator, and also included space for calories, and a quick calorie / gram calculator for your reference.

Stage Race Equipment Lists 2

Supported Stage Race Equipment List (click here to download Excel file)

Supported races differ from self-supported races in that your daily gear bag is transported from camp to camp, meaning you only need to carry with you a small pack for daily food, maybe a waterproof layer, and any essentials that the race director insists on.

As there is minimal carrying required, I haven’t included an input section for the weight of each piece of gear in the spreadsheet.

I’ve used this equipment list on several Global Limits races and the Burgos Way of Legends race, and it has now been used by many other runners for their supported stage race.

Remember to check if any of your race is going to be catered, and if so, plan your food rations accordiingly.

Remember to check the race director’s mandatory equipment list and ensure everything is included in your own one.

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Thomas Watson is an ultra-runner, UESCA-certified running coach, and the founder of MarathonHandbook.com. His work has been featured in Runner's World, Livestrong.com, MapMyRun, and many other running publications. He likes running interesting races and playing with his two tiny kids. More at his bio.

2 thoughts on “Stage Race Equipment Lists”

  1. Hello Thomas.

    Came across your website whilst searching for a training plan for a 6 day stager. The Romania 250km.

    This would be my first multi-stager and well I’m used to structure. Would I be able to download your generic training plan please?

    Just need some idea on how to approach this, what gear I need, clothes and food.


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