With the upcoming OMM Festival providing loads of opportunities for people to get involved in the outdoors we thought this would be the perfect time to try and help out. The OMM Festival is being held at Cannock Chase in 2019 with a range of running and bike events planned.
Within our team here at Ultralight we have staff that have competed in the OMM Lite and the OMM – Original Mountain Marathon so we thought it might be worthwhile giving some advice on kit. The OMM Lite is a great way to get involved in events like the full OMM as it is ideal to test your skills and ability on a more relaxed event.
In the OMM – Original Mountain Marathon you pick your course (according to your ability) and it involves running with all your kit to be fully self sufficient for the full event. This means shelter, sleeping, food and cooking kit is required. This is a big step to take if you are just starting out so the OMM Lite give you the chance to do the same type of course but stay at the HQ where you can bring your family along, stay in a big tent or campervan, get your meals (and beer) at the event tent making it a lot easier and more enjoyable for a first outing.
The kit requirements are obviously very different as you do not need any overnight equipment. You need a full outfit for running in remote areas along with emergency kit so we’ve put together an example of a kit list you can use. Obviously the weather plays a big part in events like this so you may need more or less layers/spares/water etc. closer to the time.
Waterproofs are some of the most important items on the kit list and can be literally lifesaving. But keep it light because, fingers crossed, you might not end up using them at all.
We've gone for the OMM Halo Jacket & Pants. As a set the Mens & Womens Jacket & Pants weigh 186g & 180g respectively.
Shorts are the way to go for legwear as you'll be moving fast & getting sweaty. A good baselayer, ideally with odour control treatment like the OMM Trail Tee. A lightweight midlayer if you are moving more slowly, maybe when you're close to finding a really tough marker but you just can't quite see it. And of course, your favourite pair of outdoor socks.
You're going to need a warm layer for when you stop for food etc. Sometimes taking 5 or 10 minutes to get your bearings and work out some routes is just what you need, if it's not nice out, you might need your warm layer to hand.
For a hat the race organisers allow Buffs to be used and for gloves you can take something warm or something waterproof depending on the weather.
A Compass is essential, you won't make it far without one. A whistle is the minimum level of emergency equipment that you need.
There are no details given for what needs to be in your first aid kit. But we think the AMK #3 Ultralight & Watertight is exactly what the organisers are looking for.
One of those things that they ask for but you will rarely use it. We think this is in case you make it to a marker and your dibber (technical term) doesn't work, you can make a note of the code on the marker itself in order to prove you made it there.
Again, an emergency item, but these are very lightweight and not too expensive.
For food you'll need your lunch and then some snacks. Some race organisers say you need to have at least one more energy bar than you are planning on eating, which shows that you are somewhat prepared for an emergency.
There won't be any water stops on the OMM Lite so try to carry what you think you'll need for the day. You'll most likely cross some streams etc. during the day but we wouldn't recommend taking your full water filtration kit, it's just going to be too heavy.
OMM go on to say:
"This list should be seen as a minimum requirement only. Check the weather forecast, your previous experience and use sound judgement for the kit you should be wearing and carrying. The organisers reserve the right to disqualify any competitors who, in their opinion, do not have the necessary kit to survive in an emergency situation.
Any decisions to reduce the amount of kit you need to carry (e.g. in exceptionally warm weather) will be posted at Registration and on the information board on Saturday morning.
You do not need to bring all your kit to registration for checking, however random kit checks may be carried out at any point during the event."