By Kenny Stocker
Johnny P makes some suggestions on lightweight kit suitable for the OMM
October always gets one's mind racing about many things; where did the summer go, proximity to Christmas, clocks changing and of course the OMM, (or the KIMM as it was known to those from way back when).
"Founded in 1968 the OMM is the originator of the 2 day mountain marathon type event and is for teams of 2, carrying all clothing, equipment, tent, sleeping bag, food for 36 hours, navigating one's own route and including an overnight camp."
Whilst not intended to be a guide to the event, here are a few Alpkit ideas.
In a nutshell, it's all about navigating one's way round an undisclosed route (until the start) course, to various checkpoints, located somewhere in the mountains/moorlands/wild places of the British Isles, with the added bonus of an overnight camp, where one gets to rest/relax/recharge, before doing a 2nd days running, back to where one started, (although not via the same route).
This mantra is very true, after all one does have to carry everything. However, unless you're up there pushing the elite ranks, where every gram/second counts, there is a very, very fine line between lightness and usefulness, in other words, if one cuts too many corners, then your first day and overnight camp, will be so wretchedly uncomfortable, that you will start day II, dreading another day of running in the mountains!
Food and drink do need to be considered into the overall weight of one's pack, if you get dehydrated/crash/bonk/burn, no amount of lightweight space age technology will get one round.
The weather is a HUGE factor, keeping an eye on the forecast does become an obsession on the week leading up to the event.
There is not enough room in this article to get heavily involved in the World of uber-lightweight kit, but here are a few tried and tested bits of Alpkit gear that will do the job very nicely indeed.
It may mean taking a good look at what you want/need to carry, but it is possible to squeeze all your gear into the extremely versatile Gourdon. The mesh side pockets are useful for water bottles/on-the-run fodder.
Sleep in: PipeDream 400. 750g in weight, 400g fill weight, 750+ fill power. A quality, lightweight down bag that will mean that you actually appreciate that extra hour in bed.
Sleep on: Airo 120. At just under 400g, the Airo 120 packs small, light and means that you won't spend the night tossing and turning on your rapidly deflating bubble wrap! (For less than 200g extra you could go for the longer length Airo 180).
Possible bad weather extra? "There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather", or "the wrong clothes!" If the weekend is forecast to be an absolute shocker (i.e. Lakes OMM 2008, Howling Howgills KIMM '98), a bivvy bag, such as the Hunka (388g) can be worth more than it's weight in gold, as well as being a lot more breathable than an orange plastic bivvy bag.
Cook in: Food never, ever tasted better than at the midway camp. Either the 750ml Mytimug (110g), for those counting the grams, or the larger capacity 1350ml Mytipot (172g). Or one can cook your supernoodles/cup-a-soup/porridge in the Mytipot and eat them out of the Mytimug. No need to take a full canteen of cutlery, a Tifoon (18g) will do the job nicely.
So, there you have a few ideas for the OMM, future 2-day mountain marathons, or fast and light jaunts into the hills. Enjoy!
This year's OMM takes place from the 30th - 31st October in Devon.