As a future MDS competitor, if there’s one thing you mustn’t get wrong, it’s choosing your backpack. In the space of 30 years, equipment has changed enormously and we’ve seen the worst and the best, but rarely the perfect item to take you through MARATHON DES SABLES.
So, a few years ago, we got together WAA Ultra Equipment to design the special MDS series backpack. Constantly improved, it uses the lightest, most resistant materials. Each year, we integrate feedback from hundreds of runners to adapt it even further to the race awaiting you.
Flashback to the 1980s…. Patrick Bauer crossed the desert with a huge backpack and transported jerrycans of water by hand. The first few competitors carried their equipment in the same way. It was really heavy, and archive images show the leading runners transporting enormous rucksacks on their backs: the kind that people use to climb Mount Everest.
And so the years went by. One edition followed the next, and the marathon runners learned from their experience. The desert foxes started to hone their strategy several weeks, sometimes months in advance, with a focus on running light. Food was unpacked then packed again in vacuum bags; clothing was reduced to the bare minimum. There was no cutting back on security, including a relatively bulky distress flare, but for the rest, the runners’ bags were a great deal lighter.
The backpack designed by the MARATHON DES SABLES organization is the result of over 30 years’ experience of the desert and the constraints of a self-sufficient race. The five keywords: light, solid, modular, ergonomic and accessible.
In an upcoming edition of this newsletter we will show you how to adjust and then fill it, and how to good the most out of all the details listed above.