Ultra Trail 50 2019 Checklist
Author: Alice Chong Date Posted: 2 February 2019
The Ultra Trail 50km race is the younger sibling of UTA100, set in the same Blue Mountains National Park of Australia from 16-19th May, with the same standard entries closing date of 8th February.
Competitors should now be checking if they have all the mandatory gear they need to carry with them at all times, as there will be random spot checks throughout the race. UTA50 demands you be prepared for all sorts of weather, hot or cold, rain or even snow. You should be training with the gear you plan on taking where possible so you can be prepared for the real thing.
UTA50, being a shorter race, has less requirements than UTA100. We've compiled a list of mandatory gear here for you, but if you're thinking about going for the longer race, be sure you've got the longer list of gear on our 2019 Ultra Trail 100 Checklist instead.
Clothing and Wearable Safety Items
- Long sleeve thermal top. Clothes must be made out of either synthetics like polypropylene, which do not hold moisture and quickly dry out with your body heat, or wool, which remains warm even when wet. The following are NOT suitable: cotton, Coolmax, Lycra, compression garments, and thermal compression garments.
Wildfire carries the following brands of thermal undergarments: XTM, Smartwool, Sportztrek, and Le Bent. For this event, we recommend the XTM polypro thermal top, or the Sportztrek polypro thermal top.
- Waterproof, breathable jacket with fully-taped waterproof seams and hood. The material itself must be breathable; large mesh panels are not permitted. Do NOT bring plastic rain ponchos, wind jackets, or water-resistant jackets. A premium jacket would have a waterproof rating of over 15,000mm hydrostatic head and a breathability MVTR rating of 20,000g/m²/25hrs, but lower is acceptable.
Investing in a good jacket can save you a lot of weight. The Salomon Bonatti is a good choice, though it falls short of the premium ratings described by UTA. The Ultimate Direction Ultra V2 Jacket is pricier, but meets the premium ratings and weighs in at just 172g.
- Beanie, balaclava or head sock (Buff). Wildfire carries a wide range of Buff Headwear, which can also be worn as scarves, headbands, or even scrunchies. A light, warm option for this event could be the Lightweight Merino Wool Buff.
- High-visibility safety vest. This must be a workplace vest that complies with Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602:1999 - D/N class for day and night time wear, made with a combo of retroreflective and fluorescent materials; make sure it has the silver reflective stripes. You must have a vest big enough to wear over your whole torso AND backpack. We suggest you come in with your pack to try on our safety vests and make sure they'll fit right.
- Headlamp. The Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp is a good rechargeable option for a main light. Waistlamps are not allowed. Test your headlamp on bush tracks at night to make sure you can see both the track and course markings, and double-check you have spare batteries or that the battery capacity will last you the whole race.
- Mobile phone with fully charged battery. UTA recommends Telstra, and notes that Optus only works on roughly 50% of the course, and Vodafone, 30%. One month before the event, the Competitor Briefing document made available will have more details on phone coverage.
- Whistle. Coghlans Wilderness Signal Whistle comes with a bright lanyard for extra visibility.
- Compass. Used only in the very unlikely event that you get lost. The Silva Ranger Plate Compass is an economical and practical choice. A waterproof GPS enabled watch with compass function is allowed as long as you can calibrate it, know how to use it, and the battery will last for the whole race. A smartphone compass is NOT allowed.
- Emergency space blanket, or light bivvy sack equivalent. The Survive Outdoors Longer Emergency Bivvy Heat Blanket packs down into just 108g. The Salomon Advanced Skin packs also come with emergency whistles and space blankets.
- Compression bandage, minimum 7.5cm wide and 2.3m long unstretched. Used for treating sprains or snake bites. The wrapping should list "heavy weight cotton crepe/cotton elastic/elastic support", and are usually pink-coloured. Self-adhesive kinds are particularly handy, like these Supra-Grip bandages.
- Waterproof map case. The Sea to Summit Waterproof Map Case comes in both small and large sizes and can be folded to fit into a pocket.
- Lightweight dry sack. UTA recommends the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sacks for keeping all compulsory clothing clean and dry; they come in sizes of 1L, 2L, 4L and higher up to 35L. Consider the View versions, featuring a clear window, so you don't have to unpack everything for mandatory checks.
- Water bottles or bladders, 2L capacity. Water bottles tend to have smaller volumes, and may weigh more empty than bladders or reservoirs do. Consider what race pack or vest you'll be using before deciding how to meet this requirement. Some examples include the Osprey Hydraulics 2L Reservoir, the UltrAspire 2L Hydration Bladder, and the Nathan Sports 2L Hydration Bladder. Have a browse through our Hydration section for more options.
- Food bars/portions. You must start each leg with 2 food portions, and can eat them during the leg. A Clif Energy Bar or Ems Power Bite can go a long way towards keeping your energy levels up. You'll need more than just one, so consider buying a cost-efficient pack. Check out our Nutrition section for more options.
- Ziploc bag for personal rubbish. Remember the golden rule: whatever you take in, you take out!
- Toilet kit (optional but strongly recommended). UTA and the Blue Mountains National Park have previously had trouble with toilet paper and faeces left visibly on the track, ruining the pristine environment. UTA recommends the Go Anywhere Toilet Kit, which collects solid and liquid waste and turns it into a hygienic, odourless, biodegradable substance that can then be disposed of at the next checkpoint's waste bin. There's also the Shewee Survival Kit for liquid waste, which can be sold in a pack with the Shewee Extreme for women to urinate while standing.
You don't need to have these in your kit for UTA inspections, but they could make your race much easier and much more comfortable.
- 100-weight (minimum) long sleeve synthetic fleece top. Consider this especially if you think you'll take more than 8 hours to complete the course. The Salomon Discovery jacket is light, breathable, and most importantly, UTA-compliant! Pick a top with a full zip so you can get it on and off easily.
- Long thermal pants and full-fingered lightweight thermal gloves. Follow the same requirements as the thermal top. Again, best for if you'll take more than 8 hours to complete the course. For this event, we recommend the XTM polypro thermal pants, or the Sportztrek polypro thermal pants. For gloves, we recommend the XTM Merino Unisex Gloves.
- Collapsible cup. Important for if you want to take soup, tea or coffee at checkpoints. Wildfire offers the Sea to Summit X-Cup (250mL) or the larger X-Mug (480mL).
- Anti-chafe body lubricant. Chafe will ruin anyone's race, so take steps to prevent it. BodyGlide and Chamois Butt'r are both body lubricant brands; stock up to avoid uncomfortable friction where your packs and clothing meet your skin.
- Race belt. Using a race belt will let you keep your number visible over your outermost item of clothing. Wildfire offers a number of race belts for you to choose from.
- Cap or sun hat. A good hat will go a long way towards keeping the sun or rain off your face without trapping heat in hot weather. Browse our Hats & Headbands section for caps designed for racers.
- Sunscreen. The Australian sun's UV rays can be just as harmful even in winter, so take care of yourself on your race! Premax Sports Sunscreen comes in a little 50ml tube so you can reapply on the go while minimising weight.
- Spare socks. Injinji Trail 2.0 Toesocks are a popular option with maximum cushioning and breathable CoolMax fabric. If toesocks aren't your style, look through our Trek & Trail Socks section for something that will keep you warm, comfortable and dry throughout your trail run.
- Spare batteries and/or spare small headlamp. UTA recommends the Petzl Tikkina as a backup headlamp.
- External battery charger for your phone.
- Waterproof phone case. Keep your phone safe from water, dust, and dirt with one of our phone cases. We recommend the Aquapac Classic PlusPlus Size, but be sure to pick a case that fits your phone size.
- More substantial first aid kit. Look through our First Aid & Safety section for a first aid kit that contains sterile dressings, strapping tape, blister care, and antiseptic wipes, like the Adventure Medical Ultralight and Watertight kit. Don't forget to pack any personal medication you might need. Balance what you might need versus how much it will weigh when you're carrying it over 50kms.