BEAR Essentials
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The BEAR Essentials

-- the equipment needed 

Your Team must provide the Mandatory Equipment on this page -- (and may also want to include some of our Recommended Equipment listed farther down this page)

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MANDATORY EQUIPMENT for each Participant -- note that "Mandatory at all times" means that you need to have these items with you all the way through The BEAR:

bulletWATERPROOF DOCUMENT CASES -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one per Team for maps, instructions, etc. -- Important. Hefty bags and Zip-Loc type bags have proven too weak and will not be sufficient.
bulletCopy of The BEAR Rules -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one copy per Team
bulletCopy of this Mandatory Equipment list -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one copy per Team
bulletAny Passport or map issued by The BEAR Adventure Race Officials. Teams should also print these maps - click here
bulletBIKE -- mountain or all-terrain  -- MANDATORY for Bike Stages
bulletBIKE HELMET -- MANDATORY at all times! (Helmets must accompany racers at all times and must be worn in situations when activities warrant this protection, such as climbing and biking. Helmets must be worn at all times when moving or riding bikes during Bike Stages. Any Team without a helmet on each member during the Bike leg will be disqualified; no refunds will be considered.)
bulletKAYAKS or CANOES -- MANDATORY for Paddling Stages-- You need to bring your own kayaks (singles or doubles) or canoes on race day with paddles that would be awaiting your team at the transition to the Paddle Section of the BEAR Course. Since some parts of The BEAR may take place on the shore of the ocean, kayaks are recommended, though you may choose to use a canoe, if desired by your Team. The choice is up to your Team.  If you need a kayak,  see below for Kayak Rentals and sales.
bulletUSCG-approved Life jacket for each team member -- MANDATORY -- Automatic or manually-inflatable personal flotation devices (PFDs) are not allowed for The BEAR race. (The life jackets you are to bring are in addition to any that could be provided by The BEAR race management as part of the mystery events -- Teams must bring their own Life Jackets with their kayaks/canoes, and paddles for check-in on Race Day.)  Life jackets must be worn and secured (zipped, buckled, or tied) at any  times when Teams are in, around, or using kayaks/canoes.
bulletSpare bike inner tube -- MANDATORY at all times - one per Team member
bulletBike repair kit  -- MANDATORY at all times -  at least one per Team (items to be determined by your team, but sufficient to get your bike repaired in the woods and to get you back to the MT safely)
bulletPortable bike pump -- MANDATORY at all times - at least one per Team (in addition to any CO2 inflators you may have)
bulletCompass -- MANDATORY at all times -- one for each Team member. (NEED TO LEARN TO USE A COMPASS? Hold down the Ctrl key and click here to find simple instructions that you can download. Here is another good set of instructions for map & compass: Hold down the Ctrl key and click here OR for instructions and video from REI, click here )
bulletWater bottles or other carriers for fluids -- MANDATORY at all times (can be a Camelbak or other hydration bladder system)
bulletFirst Aid Kit -- MANDATORY at all times - At least one per team. As per USARA sanctioning rules, the first aid must contain the following: (2) 2x2 or 3x3 sterile dressing, (2) 3x4 non adherent sterile dressing, (1) conforming gauze bandage, (4) 1x3 adhesive bandage, (3) knuckle adhesive bandage, (1) tape 1/2"x 10 yards, (1) swift wrap elastic bandage, (Cool 200mg. Ibuprofen, (2) antihistamine (Diphenhydramine), (2) afterbite sting relief, (1) moleskin, (5) towelettes, (3) antibiotic ointment, (1) tincture of benzoin (or other anti-bactial), (3) butterfly closure bandage, (2) pair nitrile gloves, (1) tweezer, (3) safety pins, (1) duct tape, (2) Aloksak waterproof bag (see  to protect your first aid gear. This is all intended for your safety -- you may carry additional first aid gear, but don't skimp. We highly recommend that at least two members of each Team be trained in First Aid and CPR.
bulletGloves -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one pair of your choice per Team member
bulletFolding knife, not more than 3-inch blade -- MANDATORY at all times -- one per Team member.
bulletRope or Webbing -- 8' - 10' length -- MANDATORY at all times -- one per Team member (sufficient to hold up your weight)
bulletWhistle -- on a lanyard -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one per Team member
bulletBandana (dark color) -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one per Team member
bulletCarabiner -- MANDATORY at all times -- at least one per Team member (sufficient strength to hold up your weight)
bulletPencil & note paper -- MANDATORY at all times for recording information on the course, one of each per Team member.
bulletSun Block -- MANDATORY at all times -- each Team member should carry his or her own.

Gear labeled as "Mandatory at all times" may be verified at any time by the race staff. There will be checks during the race for mandatory team and personnel gear. Please plan accordingly.

Kayaks or Canoes: Kayak or canoe, and paddles for the Paddle portion of the race must be provided by your Team. On race morning, Teams will bring their own Kayaks or Canoes, life jackets and paddles to the area designated by Race Managers (disclosed at the Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting on the evening before the Race).  Teams must also bring and use their own life jackets for the Paddle Segment. We will discuss the Paddle Segment during  the Mandatory Meeting.  Keep in mind that our race site is located close to the oceanfront, is not far from the River and the Intracoastal Waterway, and it also includes some lakes. The exact courses will be disclosed the day of the race, as the race unfolds, but Teams should be prepared to paddle on a river, ocean, or lakeFor Rental suggestions, see NOTE below on this page.  

Forbidden Equipment:

bulletG. P. S. (global positioning system, including Garmin Forerunners, Timex Speed & Distance System or similar watch and GPS combinations)
bulletCell Phones or two-way radios
bulletAny maps other than those distributed by The BEAR Race Managers for this event.

Teams found with any of these items will be immediately disqualified from The BEAR. 

Items below are Suggested/Recommended for your Team to consider:

bulletGaiters - to protect your lower legs and keep rocks and sand out of your shoes -- Click here for suggestions
bulletInsect repellent 
bulletLights for use in Main Transition before dawn and after sunset.
bulletSunscreen -- remember The BEAR is in Florida in the Summer
bulletWheeled carrier/cart to portage your kayak(s) or canoe(s). See BEAR Updates page for suggestions 
bulletCamelBaktm or similar water carriers -- Click here for suggestions
bulletSun glasses with "keeper"
bulletEnergy bars -- you may need the fuel
bulletEnergy gels -- quick and handy fuel source -- click here for suggestions
bulletExtra fluid replacement drinks -- more than you think you need
bulletAll-purpose shoes or Running shoes
bulletFanny-pack or backpack to carry Check-in Records, etc.
bulletClimbing harness is allowed, but not likely to be used.
bulletFolding-blade knife (about 2.5 inch)
bulletHat for shade
bulletSwim suit & Goggles
bulletExtra bike repair kit/tools
bulletExtra bike pump
bulletPatch kit for bike tubes
bulletSpare tubes for bike tires
bulletExtra Gloves
bulletRain gear/poncho
bulletExtra compass
bulletWater jug for cleaning off sand and dirt
bulletIce chest with plenty of ice
bulletFood, fruit, sandwiches, etc, to keep at Main Transition
bullet"Quick dry" shorts, shirt, and singlet
bulletLip screen
bulletExtra sunglasses
bulletSocks (extra pairs)
bulletBandana or handkerchief
bulletExtra clothing that's dry
bulletMore Sunblock and more fluids...

NEED TO LEARN TO USE A COMPASS? Click here to find simple instructions that you can download.

When looking for gear and clothing for The BEAR, we recommend that you check out our SPONSORS:

bulletMountaineering -- offers a discount to all of our racers/crew/, volunteers and support staff. Get a discount of 10% off all regularly priced items and an extra 5% off all sale items when you go to the Moosejaw site and simply enter coupon code: "Clocky Radu" every time you checkout -- and your discount will be automatically applied.
bulletARMY NAVY Outdoors -- Located at 127 Monument Road, Jacksonville, FL.  This store has a fine selection of gear needed for The BEAR race -- or your next adventure.  You'll find backpacks, boots, shoes, outdoor clothing, camping equipment, and more from a variety of manufacturers. Call (904) 725-5000 for information about items you need or directions to the store. Here is a suggestion for keeping lots of fluids with you on the race -- click here for Camelbak.

NOTE:  BIKES, KAYAKS & CANOES -- Teams need to bring bikes and kayaks (single or double) or canoes.  All Biking will be done off-road. Be sure to bring an appropriate bike.  Keep in mind that our race site is an oceanfront park -- while it has a large lake, the site is located close to the Atlantic Ocean and is also near the River and the Intracoastal Waterway.  Paddle sections of The BEAR course could include any available local waters. Kayaks or canoes are not provided by the managers of this race. Your Team may choose to use either kayaks or canoes or both (singles, doubles or a combination). Remember that the weather, currents, and waves on large bodies of water, such as the river, Intracoastal, and ocean, can be especially challenging. The choice of the style or combination of kayaks or canoes is up to you and your Team. We would prefer that you use "boats" that are familiar to your Team for safety's sake. Don't forget that you will need a life jacket for each member of your Team.  See The BEAR Rules  -- click here.

Kayak Rentals:  If you are interested in renting a kayak in NE Florida, click here.

The BEAR crew will provide:

Special Tests: All equipment and materials necessary for special tests. These tests are designed to test physical strength, mental strength, and teamwork. The BEAR staff and volunteers will be on hand to help guide Teams with the tests if needed. Tests may include: rock wall climbing, carries, archery, orienteering, low crawl, Tyrolean traverse, swimming, knot tying, negotiating cargo nets, and memory or mental quizzes.

Secure Transition/Storage Area:  There is a fenced,. secured transition area where you can keep your race equipment. Do not leave unnecessary valuable belongings in this area.

Race Officials on Course:  There will be race management personnel at various locations and monitoring along the course to provide check points and to ensure safety in the race activities. Follow their guidance and directions.

First Aid:  If you need help, look for a race management/crew member and they will radio your location to get assistance. The primary EMS station will be near the Main Transition area.

Communications:  To link  Check Points, various points on the course,  and the Main Transition.

Race Management and Challenges:  A thoroughly tested race course, with a great variety of physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging activities that will provide you with more than enough to discuss around the coffee shop, water cooler at work, or among your non-participating buddies. If you do not feel sufficiently challenged upon finishing, please let us know -- click here.

Now Available: Official BEAR Gearhead Hat -- Thanks to a special arrangement with LAVA GEAR Adventure Clothing

The BEAR Gearhead hat -- high-tech, fast-drying from Lava Gear, embroidered with The BEAR logo -- available for our racers to purchase for use in the The BEAR Adventure Race or as souvenirs of the experience and accomplishment. The BEAR Gearhead Hat has a reflective band for your nighttime adventures, adjustable back strap with center-release buckle, mesh side panes for ventilation. It is made of tan, super tough 4-ply taslan nylon and "bomb-proof" poly mesh.
The BEAR Gearhead Hats will be available at the Team Check-in and Team Meeting the day before the race and at the Race Admin area and at the Awards party after Teams finish. Cost for this great hat is only $25, while our supply lasts. We will be happy to ship yours to you -- just add $4.50 for the first hat and $3.00 for each additional hat. You can order by mail just by sending your check and the address for shipping your hats to: Performance Multisports, 365 Charlemagne Circle, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Reserve some for yourself, your team, and your supporters by writing to us -- click here and let us know.


We are pleased to have HAMMER GEL as a product sponsor for The BEAR.  You will get some Hammer Gel and some Enduralytes in your Race Packet at the Mandatory Meeting, the day before the race.   E-CAPS/HAMMER NUTRITION -- Serious Products For Serious Endurance Athletes.  Since 1987, E-CAPS/HAMMER NUTRITION has helped tens of thousands of serious endurance athletes achieve tremendous performance with safe, natural, stimulant free, health promoting products. E-CAPS/HAMMER NUTRITION supplements and fuels are designed to optimize the training benefits of serious endurance athletes. Each and every product is produced using only high-quality, research-proven ingredients; we add no fillers, commercial-grade sugars, sweeteners, or any other additive that does not bear directly on the end result of increased performance. Clean, consistent, long-burning energy -- HAMMER GEL is an easily digested, concentrated source of complex carbohydrates with four amino acids added to enhance performance and prolong energy levels during intense training and competition. Thereıs only a trace of sugar, so HAMMER GEL doesnıt set off wild insulin spikes causing "sugar high" and "sugar crash." You wonıt find HAMMER GEL saturated with cheap, ineffective, commercial-grade sugars, which can ruin health and performance. HAMMER GEL has a syrup-like consistency that mixes easily with water if so desired. Visit E-CAPS/HAMMER NUTRITION web site.

AR Notices: You are invited to be included on our email Notification List, send us your request, specifying sport(s) preferred, your name and email address.

For additional tips for each Team, see The BEAR Survival Guide
Go to The BEAR Info Go to The BEAR Rules

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Performance Multisports promotes healthy recreational opportunities in the NE Florida area. Performance provides athletes of many sports a way to meet, train, and socialize together, while giving back to the community, as it produces sports events for a variety of other non-profit organizations. 

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