Get your gear organised early.
This means you can train with what you’re going to use over the next few months, and will save you running around like a mad woman at the last minute before the event. Take a look at the compulsory gear list for your event on the Spring Challenge website – scroll about halfway down to find the Gear and Equipment Required.
The compulsory gear list is your Bible and each item has been listed for a good reason. Here I’ve included examples of the gear from this list that I like to use. You don’t necessarily need to go out and buy anything new as you can often make do with what you already own. Just make sure you train with the equipment you intend to use on race day.
A full length wetsuit is recommended for the raft stage. If you don’t own or can’t borrow a full wetsuit, try a short sleeve wetsuit with thermal layers underneath, and maybe a jacket over top if you really feel the cold.
Your bike should be in good working order and be comfortable to ride for 1-4 hours at a time (depending on which event you’ve entered). Getting a proper bike fit and finding a saddle that’s comfortable for you will go a long way in achieving long ride comfort. Also don’t forget a decent helmet to protect your precious noggin.
A pair of shoes that you’re happy to walk/jog/run a reasonable distance in and that are still comfortable when you get wet and muddy. I wear Inov8 X-Talon trail running shoes and I like them because they’re grippy in both dry and wet conditions, and they’re relatively light when wet.
A daypack with about 8 – 20L capacity, depending on how much stuff you like to carry, will do the trick for Spring Challenge. Ideally it will have a hydration bladder so you have easy access to water on the move. It should be large enough to carry all the compulsory gear during the event as well as the gear you take on training adventures. I generally use an Osprey Raptor 10 for day mountain bike rides and an Osprey Tempest 20 for day hikes. I’ll normally carry a waterproof jacket, jersey, additional merino layers for top and bottom, a personal first aid kit, and plenty of food