What to Bring / Equipment
Clothing: For first-time participants, we recommend comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the season and what you’d wear if you were going on a hike or a trail run. For intermediate and advanced athletes, you’ll find that your course will mostly be off-trail, so you’ll want to wear long pants (or tights) in combination with gaiters and a long-sleeve shirt. This will help protect you from vegetation and hazards that are unkind to skin, including mosquitoes, nettles, thorns, poison ivy, and buckthorn. You’re also likely to encounter water and/or mud during your adventures, so trail shoes that dry out quickly are recommended.
Compass: For beginner courses, a compass might not be necessary (though is still recommended). Our clubs rents out standard ‘base-plate’ compasses (clear plastic, no lids nor mirrors) for only $1, so feel free to grab one of these the day of the event. For intermediate/advanced courses, a compass is required. And you’ll find that advanced athletes typically use a ‘thumb’ compass, which as the name suggests, is a compass that is worn on the thumb. This allows it to be more easily held while running and “thumbing” the map (following along on the map with the compass and thumb) and also has a more stable needle and quicker ‘time-to-north’.
Watch: We encourage all participants to wear a watch. This not only allows you keep track of how long you’ve been on the course, but will also give you a heads-up so you can make sure you’re back before the course closes. For advanced athletes, a GPS-enabled watch can be a nice addition as you can analyze your course afterwards. Or you may want to use a phone with a tracking app in a runner’s arm sleeve, to keep track of time as well as to track yourself.
Eye protection: For beginners, we recommend eye protection (e.g. sunglasses) based on the weather. For advanced participants, clear eye protection is recommended as you’ll be running through the woods and may encounter the occasional tree branch.
Gaiters: Depending on the terrain, gaiters are a great way to help protect your pants/shins from thorns and brush.
Hydration Packs: Hydration packs are great way to stay hydrated for longer events. Most packs also have pockets for food/gels.
Whistle: Safety whistles are recommended and are available to buy at the event for $1.
Control description holders: Advanced athletes may find that wrist-worn control description holders are an advantage. This allows you to quickly find the control description information without having to unfold your map.
Map: Maps are provided at the event and are included with your registration fee.
E-Punches: E-punches are the “electronic scorecards” which track your progress and time from one checkpoint to another. Their rental fee is included with your registration, but they need to be returned when the event ends. You may use your own if you have one.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Always a good idea to have this when outside all day.
We strive to have legends on all our maps, but it is still a good idea to print and bring a copy of the legend/control description sheet to all the meets. You can download and print it here. We also recommend laminating this sheet.