One of the main reasons trail running has become such a popular sport is that you can do it with relatively little equipment are there isn’t much cost to taking part. Unlike going for a jog on the road, trail running can last longer which is why you usually need to carry a few essential items. Of course, there’s the running shoes, the shorts, and the top. We’ll leave those items as a given. Here are 6 of the essentials you should consider taking with you on your next trail run.
Specifically designed with runners in mind, packs (or vests) are super lightweight and are comfortable for the duration of a long run. They’re the perfect tool to help you carry smaller items like energy bars and gels while feeling stable and hugging your body. If possible, try on a running pack before you buy it to see how it fits and if all of the pockets are easily accessible when you’re on the move. Keep in mind that you’ll be wearing it for extended periods at a time, so aim for maximum comfort.
Especially handy during the winter months when the hours of daylight are shorter, a headlamp can be a savior if you get caught out by the dark. As well as a headlamp, you should consider carrying a small handheld torch as a backup.
Waterproof & Windproof Jacket
Depending on where you live, the weather can change in the blink of an eye. A lightweight and/or windproof jacket is the perfect tool to ensure you stay comfortable if the weather takes a turn for the worse. A windproof layer will help to reduce the wind-chill factor, which can be enough to make it a miserable run.
Considered an absolute essential, compass, map and GPS can quite literally be a life saver. Trail running can lead you to all sorts of new places and your sense of adventure will soon enough get the better of you. So, if you’re heading up the hills or on a new route then you’d better learn how to navigate your way.
It is important to maintain energy levels throughout your run so that you don’t crash and burn halfway through. Aim to take small, carbohydrate-based snacks like energy gels or dried fruit. These will give you a quick release of energy and can be enough to get you over the mental barrier to reach the end of the run.
Depending on the weather forecast, you’ve got two solid options; a cap or a beanie. In cold weather you have to try to retain as much heat as possible, therefore a beanie can help take the chill off the ears and maintain a good overall body temperature. In sunnier climates, brimmed caps help to keep the sun out of your eyes, allowing you to focus on the path ahead.