It may sound obvious to get a tent, but everyone is different. Some opted for nothing but a ground sheet as cover (would not recommend) or a canvass cover, some even had just the stand up toilet tents for an easy change, making sure it was as uncomfortable as possible. However others had the Taj Mahal of tents, there were some incredible set ups, that just produced a high level of tent envy, having that WOW factor.
Kmart and Aldi were our go to shops, our cooking set which was fantastic was and picked up from Kmart $7, it comprised of two little pots and a little frying pan. We also got up some thermos flasks from Aldi $7.99 each, one we had continuously filled with hot water and the other one with hot chicken soup, they worked really well and now get used for Daves work everyday!
The camping stove Dave found in a cupboard at his work and it was on its way out. It did what it needed to do though and then we threw it away. We now have time to invest in a descent stove that is also light weight. We purchased a set of 4 gas canisters from Coles. Initially we first thought that 4 would not be enough, but only used 1, so 1 pack is definitely enough. This of course, depends on how much time you will be spending cooking, we only used it to heat up water and had some toast.
Since Kmart was serving us so well, we picked up a couple of back up head torches @ $5 each (it didn't really matter if we lost or broke them, it was just good to have some sort of back up). We didnt end up using, so cant give a review on how they worked, but they were good for 'just in case' purposes.
At the time picking up a $5 dome light from Kmart seemed like a good idea, it would have been better to have a light that we could hang from the top of the tent (novice camping mistake - adding this to lessons learnt). The dome light will be modified and re-used next year.
Warmth was as always our biggest concern and I really do feel the cold, so we picked up a colder temp Summit sleeping bag with hood from Kmart $49, I still found myself with my thermals on, as well as a fleece blanket (Coles $10). We also used a gore-tex sleeping bag cover that the Marines use and that has accompanied us around the world (sorry no price on this one). The camping mat was to make it a little bit more comfortable especially with my back ($10 Kmart) worked well in insulating the body from the cold floor.
We picked up some 60 litre tubs (again from Kmart) $10 each (had a better seal on it) to store our event gear and dry clothes. We had already sorted the clothing into different bags for quick access (this was a tip found on the Going Long Site) and would recommend doing this again, especially if you are in a team.
We purchased a ground sheet with the idea that we can use it outside to roll out on (we didn't think about the night dew), so didn't use it too much as it was too wet. It we had thought about it, we would have pegged it above the tent just to have some extra covering.
I ended up walking around everywhere with the hot water bottle underneath my top (this is were having a thermos flask comes in really handy), just having all these little things made everything a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
Aldi had a sale on winter gear, so we also picked up some warm, thick socks $7.99. Good idea to double on socks (just to stay extra cosy). Dave wore his Aldi Ski Compression pants $16.99 throughout the whole night while he ran the course. It is worth just keeping an eye out on these types of Aldi sales, as unfortunately they had ran out of a lot of stuff for me. So I got some thermal plus pants from Katmandu $59.68 (I bought a pair for Dave too, but he didn't use them). I wore them during the night, underneath another pair of my post race comfy pants. Also happy to bring along my fake UGG boots for that extra cosiness.
We also got lucky that there was an 2XU warehouse sale happening at the town hall, were we picked up some compression socks $5 each, Tri hat $5 and a few pairs of 2XU gloves at $5 each. Having Dave's Snowboard jacket kept us warm during our change overs, it was good to have something warm too put on straight away.
I also found a 2mm rash vest $49 in the sale that I used under my wetsuit for some extra warmth. I also didnt have my wetsuits in Australia, so had to get a new one as a shortie would not have been sufficient, I also didn't want to borrow one just in case I damaged it. Fortunately I found one at DFO on sale from $348 to $100. It was a boys one, but it fitted me really well, with enough room for my compressions underneath and rash vest. It was also quite comfortable to run in too. Dave took a full spring suit and a shortie with him, he however only used the shortie with a 2mm rash vest underneath and compression pants to cover his legs.
For my birthday Dave bought me a good quality LED Lensor head torch, this would have been fantastic if it wasn't for my rookie mistake (I forgot that we had already used it for previous night events), so it ran out of battery. We also got a smilier set for Dave to have.
We didn't realise we also needed to wear a strobe light during the night too, so we picked up a couple of dog lights from ebay $3.19 each which worked all night. I just attached it to my wetsuit zip and Dave attached it to his hat.
How I wish we had invested in some of these sooner, it would have saved my shins so much pain, bumps and bruises. These are highly recommend and are really comfy to wear, you hardly noticed wearing them. Also having the extra support with the compression socks underneath allowed for some additional protection. I also think that this may have helped with minimising the amounts of cramps I usually have in my carves. Thanks goes to Clem and Alyson from the Compound for these.
We only paid a few dollars for these from Rebel Sports $2.99 and included a lanyard, I just had it around my neck underneath my wetsuit. This was also an essential True Grit requirement.
Yep we had a bag with all the essentials, from pain killers, deep heat, heat packs, KT Tape, scissors and a small first aid kit which included bandages etc. Also in there was some antiseptic powder, just in case we had a major cut and needed to get it cleaned to minimise any possibility of infections especially getting wet and muddy. Happily nothing was required!
We also had all the suggested items for your camp, even though we didn't use all of them (blister pack, band aids, vaseline). It was good to have.
- Headlamp (Between the hours of sunset & sunrise)
- Saftey Whistle (securely on your person, easy to locate and loud enough to be heard from space).
Wetsuits are allowed and strongly encouraged in order to stay warm after crossing the water obstacles at night.
Suggestions for your camp