Essential Items

You should carry with you everything that you need to keep safe and comfortable during the event (with the exception of water, food, and for 50-100km challengers a “half way” bag). There are no indoor or undercover resting areas during the event, (only at the start and finish), so you need to prepare to be outdoors for the entire event.

The list below has been prepared following the advice from the International Trail Running Association, the Fell Running Association of the UK, and qualified event staff. Our only motivation in designing this list is your safety; there is nothing unnecessary on it. The amount of kit is neither excessively heavy, nor expensive. Going without all of this kit increases your risks whilst taking part in the event.

Each participant must be equipped with:

  • Waterproof jacket with taped seams and hood. Softshell or “coated” products are not suitable.
  • Waterproof trousers with taped seams.
  • Walking boots or shoes with a good tread and ideally with high ankle support.
  • An extra, spare warm jumper/fleece/primaloftnot worn at the start (not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event.) Real down not sufficient
  • Any personal medication you need, eg Inhaler, Epipen.
  • A headtorch per person (Compulsory, for all challenges except Copper. Strongly recommended for Copper). A good quality headtorch will make a big difference to your speed and safety overnight, and we’d particularly recommend the Petzl Nao and Myo headtorches. Expensive, but really worth it. Sunset on 19 September 2020 is at 7.11pm.  
  • Drink bottle (can be refilled at all checkpoints) and personal snacks (you can top-up with food every 2-3 hours).  (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)
  • Hat and gloves

Each self-navigating team (including teams of 1) must also carry:

  • Waterproofed physical maps of the Peak District eg British Mountaineering Council Dark Peak, or both Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Dark Peak (known as “OL1”) and White Peak (“OL24”). Electronic mapping and the route guide we provide are not sufficient on their own.
  • Minor first aid kit including blister and wound dressings. This can be self-assembled or shop-bought.
  • A spare headtorch and adequate spare batteries, including for Copper and solo challengers.
  • Separate, spare emergency food, not intended for consumption. (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)
  • Whistle
  • Compass, for all teams except Copper Challengers. We strongly recommend a “reputable” brand of compass (eg Silva)– in our experience, with compasses, you really do get what you pay for.
  • Charged and waterproofed mobile phone (such as this 53g option). (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)
  • Emergency shelter large enough for the whole team as below:
 Solo entrantsTeams of 2+
Bronze and Copper Challengersa) Survival Bag or
b) SOL Emergency Bivi
a) Survival bag each or
b) SOL Emergency Bivi each or
c) Group bothy bag
Silver and Gold Challengersa) Survival Bag with Sleeping Bag or
b) Emergency personal shelter providing significant thermal protection: eg 3-layer Blizzard Bag, or SOL Escape Bivvy, or SOL Escape Lite Bivvy.

NB: SOL Emergency Bivi, or lightweight “2 layer” Blizzard Bags are not acceptable; Nor are any other bag not pre-authorised prior to registration.
a) A “Solo” shelter as listed in the left column, for EVERY member of your party, or
b) One bothy bag large enough for your whole team AND one “Solo” shelter as listed in the left column (for an injured member of your team.)
Back Before Dark 10km ChallengersStrongly recommended, but not compulsory are:
a) Survival Bag or
b) SOL Emergency Bivi
Strongly recommended, but not compulsory are:
a) Survival Bag or
b) SOL Emergency Bivi

Also consider

Bearing in mind that minimising weight will maximise your speed and comfort:

  • A pair of walking poles
  • Lightweight camera
  • How much water is appropriate, based on the conditions on the day (You’ll be able to refill at refreshment checkpoints).
  • Suncream and sunglasses.
  • Dry socks and a change of shoes (Only on 50-100km distances, we can drop these off for you at a “half way” checkpoint if you bag them up and clearly label them. There is no facility for “half way” bags to meet you on 10-25km routes).
  • Lightweight travel cup, to reduce our usage of single-use compostable cups and mitigate the event’s environmental impact.
  • Powerbank for your phone if you won’t be keeping it turned off.