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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are Hi Tech® boots allowed?
A. Yes. They are encouraged to help prevent foot injuries.

Q. Do I have to wear a uniform if I'm entering a military category?
A. Yes, participants in military categories must be in uniform.

Q. What does "service recognized" boots or equipment mean?
A. It is the footwear and equipment your military organization authorized its personnel to wear as part of the uniform.  For instance, U.S. Army personnel may not wear U.S. Marine Corps desert combat boots.

Q. Are BDU shorts allowed in the military categories?
A. No. Although several services have theater specific provisions for the wearing of BDU-type shorts, they are not allowed in the military categories. This is in in the interest of keeping external advantages to a minimum since several services have no such provision.

Q. Can I use a CamelBak® instead of the LBE with canteen?
A. Yes. Military participants may carry either the LBE with a minimum of one canteen or the CamelBak® instead of the LBE with canteen (no LBE required at all).  If you want the LBE but your service doesn't issue it, we suggest contacting local installations with issue points and working with them for equipment. Many Army central issue facilities have provisions for this sort of event and may work with you. Also, most services have components (pararescue, SEALS, etc.) that use this equipment and may be able to identify sources for you.

Q. Does military heavy have to wear an LBE with the rucksack?
A. No. Although the LBE is usually considered part of the combat gear associated with the rucksack, the rules do not require them for the military heavy categories of this march.

Q. I am in the heavy category, what is an acceptable way to reach the 35 lbs for my backpack?
For the heavy category we would like to encourage you to bring beans, rice, non perishable items, cans, macaroni, pasta, cat/dog food to use as weight in you backpack. At the conclusion for the march, you can drop your items in the bin and it will be donated to the Community Action Agency Food Bank. For those of you traveling, you may buy these items at the White Sands Commissary, AAFES or local grocery store once you arrive. No need to pack extra weight in your suitcases. You may not pack logs, water, rocks, sand or anything that can be replenished along the route (unless the bags are sealed to the satisfaction of march officials). Each backpack will be inspected at the finish line upon completion of the march. 

Q. Are desert BDUs authorized on the march?
A. Yes. Official issue desert style BDUs are authorized, and encouraged, to help prevent heat injuries.

Q. What categories may I enter?
A. Civilians may participate in the civilian categories. Certain military ID card holders may participate in their appropriate military categories or in civilian categories. For further clarifications call (575) 678-4654 (DSN prefix 258).

Q. What are the requirements for entering the team categories?
A. Teams will consist of 5 members - no more, no less.  All members must cross the finish line within 20 seconds of each other.

Q. Are team members required to attend the team representatives' meeting?
A. No, only the team captain is required to attend.

Q. Can someone else pick up my packet for me on Friday or Saturday?
A.  Yes, you may have someone else pick up your packet. They will be asked to sign for it. For teams, only the Team Captain should pick up the packets for the entire team. If he/she cannot do this task another team member may be selected. If you are picking up a packet for another participant, please make sure they are aware, so as not to create confusion by them coming in later and asking for their packet. This will save time and confusion on everyone's behalf.

Q. Is there a team category for the 14.2-mile route?
A. No.

Q. What is the weight requirement for the heavy divisions?
A. Ruck plus frame must equal 35 pounds.

Q. For JROTC/ROTC entries in the team categories, may the instructors march with the cadets as a team member?
A. Yes.  Any JROTC/ROTC instructor assigned to the entered unit's team may enter with the team and march as a member of that team. This is due largely to the fact that many JROTC teams require chaperones to march with their teams because of the participants' ages (minors).

Q. I'm entering a non-military category - what type of shoe/boot do you recommend?
A. It really depends upon your goal.  If you are running for time, you want a solid running shoe.  If you are walking, you might consider a lightweight hiking boot.  What ever type of footwear you decide to wear, train in the shoes/boots you intend to use on the march. You should have at least 100 miles on your marching footwear.  This ensures your gear is broken in and will minimize the chance for blisters.  You might also consider wearing gaiters to keep sand and rocks out of your shoes/boots.

Q. Is water and first aid available along the route?
A. There are 12 water points along the route. There are also several first aid stations. 

Q. Are there portable toilets along the route?
A. There are 180 portable toilets along the route. We do suggested that you bring a bottle of hand sanitizer and/or baby wipes.

Q. Can I get first aid supplies from march medics before the march?
A. No. First aid (and necessary supplies) are administrated by trained medics along the route.

Q. I have a timing chip from another race, can I use it in the march?
A.  No, you must use the Bataan Memorial Death March timing chip you receive at this event.

Q. I've never used a timing chip before, how do I wear it?
A.  For details visit the ChampionChip
® website for more information.  But remember, you must use the Bataan Memorial Death March timing chip supplied to you at this event.  Each Bataan Memorial Death March race has its own commemorative chip.

Q. Do I have to turn in my timing chip at the end of the march?
A. The timing chip each marcher receives during in processing is theirs to keep.  It does not have to be returned.

Q. What about food?
A. Each marcher will receive a lunch on the day of the march.

Q. Can spectators go out on the route to watch?
A. Because of the rugged nature of the course (much is along trails and washes), spectators are not allowed on the route.  The safest and most comfortable place for spectators is at either the start or finish line.

Q. How old must you be to participate?
A. Minimum age to participate is 9 years old providing the individual is registered and marching with a parent/guardian or a member of the family 18 years or older.

Q. Are strollers allowed on the route?
A. No. This includes jogging and baby strollers.

Q. Are pets allowed on the route?
A. No. Pets are not permitted on the course or at the march site.  Exceptions are made for working dogs.

Q. What is the maximum time allowed to complete the march?
A. ALL Marchers must be off the route at 8:00 p.m.

What is the difference between light and heavy?
A. A light category does not carry a pack. A heavy category carries a 35 lb pack.

What is the difference between military and civilian categories?
A. If you do not have a military ID card you enter the civilian category if you are military and want to wear your uniform you enter the military category. If you are military and do not wish to wear your uniform then you enter the civilian category.

Q.  What is the date for the 2016 Bataan Memorial Death March?
A.  March 20, 2016!