The Sierras are some of the greatest mountains around! With my big mountain objective in sight I've been spending the majority of my time running in them. Training to go up hill and up hill and up hill. Every run I feel like I learn something new! So this is my current gear list and tips I've learned. (My objective involves many miles of mostly unsupported running deep in the mountains.)

Black Diamond blaze pack- at first you may think that's huge how can anyone run in that!? It's true it is big and awkward but it gets the job done and fits everything I need. My tips for running with a large pack like this is to wear it loosely. At first you may want to strap it down as tight as possible fight this urge. It will cause lots of chaffing and bruising of the back. Which brings me to my next point to always wear a tight technical shirt. This allows for the pack to slide back and forth on the shirt and not on your skin were it will chaff (I've chaffed alot) why do you need such a big bag well for this objective you'll want all the food and water and layers you can get. Another tip is to always run with the pack on your training runs! You'll never get good at moving fast with a large pack unless you practice practice practice. Every run from 6 to 40 always wear it. Trust me it gets easier.

1.5 liter osprey bladder - this fits nicely in the blaze pack bladder pouch and fits right in the hose clip. My tip for this is to make sure the clip to the hose is low on the backpack straps during fast down hills. Otherwise you will continually get pistol whipped in the face by the hose which hurts and is a bit demoralizing. It is nice to have a bladder so you don't have to continually take off your pack to get to the water and slow you down. And hopefully you will hydrate enough and not become dehydrated. This also frees up your hands for my next item.

Ultra distance black diamond running poles - for this objective they are a necessity. A objective with lots of elevation gain over lots and lots of miles it will be nice to have your arms helping out the legs. I have found that it's alot easier to store the poles in your pack on the down hills then have them out. I find I move slower with my poles out on the down hills trying to place and having them get stuck in rocks. For short down hills and rolling parts of the trail I'll just carry them horizontal in my hands. Similar to the pack make sure you take them on all your runs from any distance. The only way to get better at moving fast with poles is to use them and practice.

1 liter platypus - I pack along another water container for an electrolyte drink. This is stored in pack and I tend to only get it out on summits. I like to use nuun tablets. Something a little extra to give a burst and replenish salt.

Gels and baby food! - anything and everything you can never have too much food! I like to stick a couple gels in the side pockets of the backpack so I don't forget to fuel and so I don't have to take the pack off.

Extra clothing - I always pack a jacket (patagonia nano puff), a rain jacket, a pair of rain pants, a buff, gloves, and extra socks. Things that could become essentially if the weather turns in the mountains or once it gets dark.

Lighting - I bring a headlamp and a hand held flash light. You can't have too much light if it is going to be an all night run.

Shoes - I'm currently running in a pair of water proof salomon shoes. This means that baby powder is your bestfriend. Dry feet mean less blisters and in water proof shoes dry feet is not always the case with all the sweating.

I'm sure I have more to say but I can't think about it right now. I'll report back after/during my trip to CO.

Time to train in the real mountains!

-Naomi and Lopi