The Cold Person’s Kit List for Legs 7&8

The Clipper Race made me realise that I’m DEFINITELY one of those people who feels the cold. It also made me realise that there is a wide spectrum of temperature tolerance between crew: whilst I was in full foulies, sometimes my friend Emily would be in a frickin’ bikini! (A different way to deal with rain I suppose).
Below is what I took sailing that covers Leg 7&8 – a real hot leg and a chilly leg. I’ve also put together a week-by-week packing list depending on the temperature of the leg, so if you’re doing just a hot leg or just a cold leg, you can adjust your kit quantities as required.
THE ESSENTIALS
Clothing
  • 2 X merino t shirts
  • 2 X merino long sleeve tops
  • 2 X merino wool leggings
  • 1 X medium fleece: not too massive as this has got to fit under your midlayers & foulies.
  • 1 X Henri Lloyd midlayer jacket (aka “Duvet suit”: the BEST piece of kit I invested in!)
  • 1 X Henri Lloyd midlayer salopette: ditto the above
  • 1 x black/dark outdoor trousers: for leaving port photos, mild days.
  • 1 x shorts: for hot days. Underwear alone is not appropriate ever.
  • 1 X Lightweight Musto Gilet: for those sunny days with a bit of a nippy breeze.
  • 2 X Sealskin socks: ideally longer ones. The longer they are, the further up your leg the water has to get before it floods them!
  • 1 x Pair of Sailing boots: Dubarry ones seem to be pretty good. Don’t buy Musto HPX – mine leaked very early into the race.
  • 1 X Sailing shoes: either leather deck shoes or “Old lady walking sandals”. I went for Teva sandals which were great for the heat and also for anything more adventurous on land.
  • 1 x Foulies: Clipper provide these on your Level 4.
  • Lots x Pants: enough for 1 pair per week on the boat plus some for shore of course. Yes, 1 pair per week. Standards really slip.
  • 4 x Sports bras: not crazy supportive anti-bounce ones though – even if you’re larger up top. They’re very restrictive and you want something you can live in for a week at a time. Get these in advance and wear them in.
Toiletries
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth brush protector
  • Tooth paste
  • Exfoliating face wipes: I learnt via trial & error that the exfoliating bit is very important to get the salt & suncream out.
  • Anti-spot moisturiser: again, another thing needed to combat the effects of suncream + salt. The race does not treat your pores kindly. I used Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish moisturiser. The salicylic acid in it seemed to work a treat.
  •  Talcum powder: this is an absolute essential! Brilliant for getting that last bit of dampness off you when you’ve had wet feet or have been sweating.
  • Sudocream: another essential to combine with Talcum powder in the fight against nappy rash. 
  • Wet Wipes: your only form of shower. I used these huge thick ones from EQUIP which were awesome.
  • Roll-On deodorant: do not take spray as this will gas everyone out on the boat. It’s also a fire hazard.
  • Small hairbrush: tangle teezer good as effective & compact.
  • Hair bands
  • Exfoliating body cloth/exfoliating mitt: great for getting rid of salt & grime if you shower on deck during hot legs. Even better for that first shower in port.
  • Panty liners x 1000: the secret to being able to wear just 1 pair of pants per week.
  • Shampoo & conditioner: You may not get to use them on colder legs, but they’re the first thing you’ll want when you land in port.
  • Contact lenses: I usually wear glasses, but found these were a real pain on training – they quickly get smeary on deck. For the race, I went for contacts that I could wear for a week at a time. I think they’re called Acuvue Oasis. These worked brilliantly. It means you can generally wait for calmer weather to change them rather than trying to change them every day.
  • 2 x bottles Contact lens solution: this was plenty for 12 weeks away from home for weekly contact lenses.
  • Glasses
Accessories
  • Merino wool buff: dries fast, doesn’t smell, stops foulies from making your face disgusting.
  • Waterproof woolly hat
  • Hat clip: to keep your woolly hat on your head. I lost 2 hats by not using this.
  • 2 x UV-protective sunglasses: you can get some really good cheap ones in Sainsbury’s.
  • 2 x Head torches: go cheap. Both of mine eventually died, but my expensive one died before my cheap one did.
  • Big dry -bag for travelling: I bought this one from Lomo which did the job. It MUST be waterproof though to survive on the boat.
  • Waterproof rucksack for travelling: Because your big bag won’t be enough. Also needs to be waterproof to survive on the boat. Again, I went to Lomo for this.
  • Lots of little dry bags: think mine were around 6l for each week. Ideally with a window so you see what’s in them.
  • Quick-drying Micro-fibre towel
  • Sleeping bag: I used a Gauss one, but fisherman’s sleeping bags are pretty much the same, less bulky & cheaper.
  • Pillow: I got a Gauss waterproof pillow and it was incredible. You’re potentially going to be sleeping in your bunk for 4 weeks straight so make sure you get a good pillow. A little luxury I couldn’t have lived without.
  •  Sailing knife
  • Sailing gloves: I didn’t wear mine often in the end, but they were good for trimming the kite. Again, Lomo is great for cheap & effective versions.
  • Rehydration salts: essential for dealing with heat & sea sickness.
  • Water bottle: get one that can be hung up with a karabiner. I used a Camelbak Chute 750ml bottle which was great.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Aka: things that definitely make life on the boat easier!
  • Elasticated Bed Sheet: makes sharing a bunk slightly more pleasant. We ended up buying a job-load of these and shared them out amongst the crew across legs.
  • Long Bungee: to go by your bunk and hang stuff on
  • Small Karabiner clips: to go in your kit to hang on the bungee.
  • Pair of Crocs: great for going to the loo or moving about below decks as they’re so easy to put on. Some wore these on deck too.
  • Small bottle of mouth wash: great for when you simply can’t face brushing your teeth in rough weather.
Optional Extras for dealing with the heat
  • 2 x Wide-brimmed hats: one for you, one as a sacrifice to the sea. The most likely thing you own to go overboard.
  • 2 x pair of shorts
  • 2 x Bikini sets: great to swim in, but also great to sleep in as they dry so quickly. Make sure you’re happy for them to be chucked afterwards though.
  • USB Fan: lots of people on our boat curled up clutching one of these when trying to sleep in the heat.
  • USB Battery Pack: to power said USB fan and also charge your phone/tablet.
  • Plant spritzer: nice to spritz water on your face
Optional Extras for dealing with cold
  • A small Hot Water bottle (used in July on leg 8! SO COLD)
  • Heat holder socks (they warm your feet back up quickly in your sleeping bag)
Stuff I took and didn’t use
  • Merino pants: oh god, please don’t buy these, the slightest bit of sweat or dampness and these are a nightmare for nappy rash! I used synthetic pants in the end which were so much more comfortable.
  • Synthetic Tshirts/Gym tops:  in contrast to the pants, these are terrible for sweatiness and heat rash in the heat vs Merino tops. Trying to pry a sweaty synthetic top off your hot sweaty body? I don’t ever want to re-live that experience.
PACKING FOR THE RACE
I didn’t have a clue how to pack for the race until I arrived in Seattle for Leg 7. There, I was shown the dark art of dry bag organisation. After all, up until this point, I’d only ever spent a max. of 1 week at sea.
I stored all of my kit in individual dry bags from Lomo, a dry bag packed with clothing for each week. I also didn’t buy anything white as everything gets dirty pretty quickly. Toiletries & electronics I kept in separate dry bags. Things I needed quickly (eg head torch, hats, buffs & midlayers) I clipped onto a bungee by my bunk using karabiners.
Bag for CHILLY week (Eg. Week 1 of Leg 7, most of Leg 8 or autumn/spring training in the UK):
  • 1 x Pants & Bra: sounds grim but get used to it!
  • 1x Merino Tshirt
  • 1x Long sleeved merino top
  • 1x Long sleeved merino leggings
  • 1x Fleece
  • 1x Midlayer Henri Lloyd salopettes
  • 1x Midlayer Henri Llloyd jacket
Bag for TRANSITION WEEK CHILLY NIGHTS – WARM DAYS (Eg. 2nd week of Leg 7 or 1st week of Leg 8 or Summer training )
  • 1 x Pants & Bra
  • 1x Merino Tshirt
  • 1x Long sleeved merino top
  • 1x Long sleeved merino leggings
  • 1x Midlayer Henri Lloyd salopettes
  • 1x Midlayer Henri Llloyd jacket
  • 1 X shorts
Bag for HOT HOT HOT Week (Eg. Week 2/3 of Leg 7 onwards)
  • 1 x Pants & Bra
  • 1 x shorts
  • 1 x Bikini
  •  1 x Merino Tshirt: I only packed 1 as I wore my bikini top/sports bra most of the time rather than a tshirt.
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