You might be thinking that you’ve got plenty of stuff kicking around in your cupboards that’ll see you through the Ice Run, and if you live in the Arctic that’s probably true, but since you don’t, you won’t. So preserve your digits and listen to the wise words of Ice Run veteran, your new best friend Dave Fry.
- Ice pegs - Do you want to spend half your day fruitlessly hammering pegs into solid ice? No, you bloody don’t. These little buggers are super handy when you’re knackered, you just screw them in and are good to go. Super handy for when you’re fatigued. You just wind your pegs into the ice, no hammers reqd.
- Rope - Good quality nylon rope. Non stretchy, roughly 15-20m worth. You’d rather be looking at it than looking for it.
- Ice ‘picks’ for your boots - Unless you want to be falling around like a young, drunk bambi get these, unless breaking your arm is something you want to do? Super handy for not falling on the ice and breaking your arm.
- Gas cooker - Because warm food is quite nice after freezing your collective bits off all day. You can grab these in Russia, propane is what you’ll be looking for. available in country, get a good propane one that doesn't take long to boil water.
- Ration Packs - at least 3 per day, you’ll need them when we are on the ice, less so in towns etc. They’re the easiest, most simple, way to get food into you when you’re knackered. 2015 we tried cooking our food and catering from local products. Everything froze (weird huh?), and was a real struggle to get enough grub into ourselves. 2016 - took rat pack's, job done. Decent flavour, fair variety, high calories, EASY! Give those kind fellows at Adventure Nutrition a shout, say you’re unhinged enough to be doing the Ice Run and they’ll sort you out with a cheeky little discount. Winning
- Knives, forks and all possible utensil hybrids; sporks, fopoons, knorks, spadle… and a spare cup to share your vodka with your new Russian friend Eating irons, a cup, a spare cup for when you’re blind and lose your cup.
- Get tooled up people, unless you want to be universally hated by locals and fellow riders having to constantly get you out of mechanical trouble. Sir Dave of Fry recommends the following for each bike (PER BIKE) - 1 x Leatherman or equivalent, 1 x #2 phillips screwdriver, 1 x #1 phillips, a few flat blade screwdrivers, 1 x set of spanners 8-21mm, open end and ring, 1 x each 10,12,13,14,15,16mm spanners cut in half, for tight access, 1 x spark plug wrench ( You’ll be needing it ;) ) 1 x test lamp or multimeter and a rough idea how to use it, 1 x multigrip pliers, 1x needle nose pliers, 1 x shifting spanner
- A durable bag for storing the above tools
- Spare sunnies, always got to look on point, wherever you are.
- Bulk zip ties, genuiely the greatest item ever invented, fuck you sliced bread
- Bulk gaffer tape, second greatest item ever invented
- *Optional* socket set, ¼” drive, just handy for working quickly. Buy this and you’ll be the most popular person on the ice.
- High capacity backup battery banks for charging stuff for selfies and other social media boastings. Also useful for all the bits of electronic equipment that actually keeps you safe, locatable and alive.. I’ll have a few of these, they’re really handy for GPS’, phones, and GoPro’s. It’s important to remember that cold weather sucks battery life super quickly. The solar chargers are a good idea too, pretty much anything that doesn’t strain the bikes charging system too much.
- If you’re keen on using bungie straps (not recommended but we won’t judge), make sure you get decent ones. Cheap ones will fail super quickly, resulting in your shit being spread all over the road, and hilarious delays.
- You don’t want your buttery little person paws getting chilly do you? And in fairness you’ll be wanting your fingers to crack open those victory beers upon your triumphant arrival back to Irkutsk, hand Warmers and Foot warmers (for your foot fingers). Go for the chemical type, and waterproof. Must be waterproof! They make a huge difference when fatigue sets in and hands and feet get cold. They also make the ‘boil to reset’ style ones, that work ok, but you need to boil them for quite a while to reset them. This is usually not economical time wise.
- Learn to tie a ‘Truckies hitch’ and just tie everything down with ropes. They’re more reliable than bungies, and more versatile. Also, “If you can’t tie knots, tie lots”
- TENT POLE REPAIR KIT. Even if you don’t need it, you’ll be glad you’ve got one, and they’re pretty compact.
- Baby wipes - You’ll know why you have these by the time you need them. Usually after the first week of hard graft, without the benefit of a shower. After 2 weeks, you can generate a smell that will outlive your grandkids. Baby wipes are available in Russia.
- Podcasts/Audiobooks/Best of Britney Spears album and some decent ‘in ear’ headphones. The bikes themselves can (will) generate a bit of a racket, and having a bit of aural relief never goes astray. Stock up if you like your tunes, refreshing the collection might not be an option once you’re on the road.
- Garbage bags. Industrial garbage bags can take care of dirty clothes, keep those dry things dry, and stand in for a boot liner should one try and dry ones boots extra quick, a little too close to the fire. Don’t ask how I know this.
You can pick a lot of this up in Russia but don’t be a plank, and get there with enough time to grab everything, we won’t be waiting around for you to grab your bits when there’s bikes to be ridden and Ice to be defeated.
Most of these are available in Irkutsk, although you need to weigh up the time taken to source them vs. time available and language barrier/familiarity etc. You should be able to get most of the tools, the cookers, rope etc in IKT if you give yourself some time, because nothing is easy in Russia. If it was, everyone would be there.