We get a lot of questions around kit on IGO challenges, particularly on wetsuits and swimming accessories. Whilst we supply a bespoke packing list for each event we want to share some top tips on dressing for the swim.
Currently, the IGO Montana challenge is the only one to incorporate a swim. That being said, for those participants not wishing to swim, we do offer stand up paddleboards so you can glide over the water. But back to the swim… On the Montana challenge participants will undertake four methods of self-locomotion over four stages:
Stage 1: swim across Whitefish Lake before a 10km run
Stage 2: mountain bike the wilderness trails of the Glacier National Park forests
Stage 3: kayak the slow flowing Flathead River
Stage 4: hike or run
For many, the multi-discipline element to the challenge excites but for others there will always be a specific stage that they feel is beyond their comfort zone or capabilities. The swim can potentially be a little daunting and a barrier for some. The good news is that it is only a 2.4 km swim and the route is straight across the Whitefish Lake from the west to the east shore. Being a lake, it is relatively flat compared to sea swimming and for those who do not fancy donning a wetsuit and speedo hat then there is the option of a paddle board. For the intrepid speedo wearing group who do opt to ‘dive in’ this is the best kit to get the job done.
Wetsuits & Accessories for the Swim / Run
- Wetsuit: As per US triathlon rules, wetsuits must be worn if the water temperature falls below 25°C. The average surface water temperature of Whitefish Lake in September is around 23°C so we advise to wear them. We recommend that you either buy one like Orca’s Openwater One Piece Wetsuit which is made for men and women or rent one in the UK.
- Drybag: to put your tracker, snacks, water (and trainers / clothing if relevant) in whilst swimming. You will need to swim with this attached to you. We recommend a tow float like the 28 litre Swim Safety Buoy & Dry Bag by Zone3.
Whilst some go for specialised waterproof swim shoes, these are generally not required. Focus on the right sized dry bag which holds all your hiking or running gear. The good news is that the camp bags and camp are transported separately enabling participants to get on with the job at hand and travel light.