6633 Arctic Ultra essential items to get you through the race!

Screen Shot 2019 12 24 at 09.30.03With the 6633 Arctic Ultra just around the corner, I thought I’d put together a list of my top-5 essential items, these are the items that I found really helped to get me through the race to be one of the few finishers of the 2019 race.

  1. Pulk bag: The Kakau pulk bag from Aiguille Alpine Equipment sits on your pulk poles, just behind your waist straps. This made access to all your vital pieces of equipment so much easier as you could spin round and grab your items within seconds, which proved to be a lifesaver many times during the race.
  2. Patagonia Micro Puff Gilet: The Micro Puff range is amazing and this super lightweight gilet was worn above my mid layers and below my outer Arcteryx jacket. It provided an amazing level of warmth, particularly for its size and weight. This was definitely my best clothing purchase for the 6633 Arctic Ultra.
  3. Dermatone: Skin care is vital during the 6633 Arctic Ultra and I came across this product via our medical team who swore by it. There are several products in the range but the Frostbite Protector is one we used as it provides superior protection against frostbite, wind burn and UVA and UVB rays.
  4. Firepot meals: The Firepot dehydrated meals, made in Dorset, are the tastiest expedition meals I tested before leaving for the Yukon. Hands down the best quality expedition food on the market.
  5. Stanley coffee flask: I used a small Stanley flask for coffee and hot chocolate during the race. Having it close at hand, attached to my harness, made sure I drank more fluids and acted as a little treat (especially the hot chocolate) without having to stop and break open the pulk bag and big flask again and again.

If you’re doing the 6633 Arctic Ultra, or another cold weather race, I hope you find my list of essential items helpful, however this was just my experience and the items that I found essential to get me through the race. So to get a more balanced view, I asked four other 6633 athletes what would be their one essential item that they would recommend for the 6633 Arctic Ultra race, here’s what they thought!

  • James Mowbray (6633 Arctic Ultra 120-mile finisher): “Montane Extreme Smock. Great for layering and the pouch on the front was great for easy access to drinks and snacks.”
  • Crisan Pop Vlad Adrian (winner of the 120-mile 6633 Arctic Ultra): “Food!”
  • Hayley Robinson (6633 Arctic Ultra 380-mile finisher): “Hand warmers. I'd have lost my fingers without them, life saver!”  
  • Paul Watkins (winner of the 380-mile 6633 Arctic Ultra): “A wide mouth Nalgene bottle that I had attached to my harness, in prep I made basically a trail mix and bagged it into 1000 calorie bags. Put a bag worth into the bottle and then you could shake it to break it up when it got cold, tip a mouthful in with mitts on and when it’s empty, boom, 1000 calories in the hole!”

I hope you find this short blog post helps with your planning and preparation, however, if you have any questions regarding the 6633 Arctic Ultra, the route, training, systems, kit preparation or nutritional needs, please feel feel to drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..