Bataan Memorial Death March: The Gear (And the Food!)

Tomorrow, Team Relentless is going on a 14-mile hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt. It’s a 7-mile out-and-back with our turn-around point at the top of the Hill of Life. Seems appropriate.

We have two goals for the hike:

1. Test out what it’s like to walk for a really long time.
2. Test our equipment and food plans to make sure they’re comfortable and up to the task.

Dave and I have wondered a few times if we’re over-thinking our preparation, but, frankly, that’s kind of what we do. We like research. We like being prepared. Plus, fun things are more likely to happen when the mundane details are covered. It just frees you up to have more of an adventure.

And that’s why we now have all of the stuff below to try out tomorrow. First, the food!

This is a portion of our stash: Sesame Snaps (sesame seeds & honey), dried salami, a book of questions to keep the team entertained, Maple Almond Butter, Sunbutter, Larabars (for me), and Clif Mojo Bars (for Dave).

We were concerned we didn’t have enough protein, so today we loaded up on these Wellshire Farms Turkey Snack Sticks. They pack 8g of protein per stick, they don’t need to be refrigerated, and they’re tasty. Score!

Last night, I made a triple batch of this Primal Salty-Sweet Trail Mix from a recipe I found on Mark’s Daily Apple. I’ve had the devil of a time keeping Dave from eating it all before we even hit the trail. I’m telling you, people, this stuff is Dangerously Delicious™. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apricots, and cranberries flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, honey, and salt. Rated DD.

I have to admit: I’m excited about the prospect of eating for a whole day without once worrying about staying within my protein, fat, and carbohydrate guidelines. Tomorrow I eat purely for energy. Love it!

Now, on to the gear.

One of the things that’s so nice about running is that once you’ve got a good pair of shoes and maybe a hat, you’re off and, well… running.

But since we’re going to be in the desert. At altitude. In changing weather. For eight to 10 hours… we need a lot of gear – all of which is mostly foreign to me. Despite my desire to be an action hero, I’m not exactly an outdoorsy kind of girl. HATE camping. HATE. Camping.

But I am now the proud owner of…

This lightweight backpack for carrying the previously mentioned food, plus extra socks, sunscreen, blister treatments, and the rest of the gear below.

A one-liter platypus collapsible water bottle – with drinking hose!

A depressingly un-stylish, but ultra lightweight, sun-protecting, moisture-wicking, all-around badass (except it’s ugly) shirt. We ALL got them. All seven of us. Is it a nurse’s scrub? A finger painting smock? A chef’s shirt? A uniform for an inmate who works in the laundry service of the penitentiary? I don’t know… but I do know, it’s perfectly hideous, and perfect for the desert.

Wrightsocks. Double-layered for blister prevention.

A mag lite. On the recommendation of the Bataan Memorial Death March organizers… because it will be dark when we arrive for the start of the March at 4:30 a.m. In the high desert. In the dark. In the high desert. Did I mention the dark? And the desert?

Gaiters to keep the sand out of our shoes. We ladies selected the tall version, hoping they’d look kind of like boots when we wear them. Our hopes were in vain.

And the pièce de résistance: the Sahara Cadet Cap Hat. Need I say more?

So, yeah. Our outfits are going to give “suffer for fashion” a whole new meaning.

Tomorrow, we take to the trail! Stay tuned for photos of Team Relentless decked out in our new gear. And try not to be too jealous of our sexy new look.

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  • Dave says:

    wow…really prepared…have a good time…that's what it is all about…think I am going long tonight…maybe try to get in 18 miles…we'll see…the 1/2 marathon last week really torched me.

  • Erin Clare says:

    I have those exact socks! How exciting… especially bringing along the book. So what shoes are you going to be using for the hike?

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Erin, I LOVE those socks. I might start wearing them every day — so silky inside.

    These are my trail shoes:

    They did a great job on the 14-miler on Saturday.

  • Erin Clare says:

    Pink and Silver!! I can't wait to see you in full gear, all spruced up, pumped up and fired up on the day of. I need go find a pair to try out. "Good for high-arches". My trail runners are in need of replacing.

    Yeah–I'm addicted to Wrightsocks and Smartwool socks. Incidentally, Whole Earth Provisions will give you a Smartwool purchase card for socks. Buy 10 socks get 1 free pair. I've recieved two.