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Trail Running Gear

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Steve_Holt, May 12, 2010.

  1. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    I started road running last year, and really want to start doing some trail running.

    Normally, when running on the road, I carry nothing at all except maybe an I-pod clipped to my waistband. Wearing shorts, t-shirt, shoes and socks. Water, cell phone etc. are all in my truck, or at home, depending on my starting point, and I am usually never more than 2 miles from my starting point. I should probably carry some pepper spray, but so far I haven't.

    I guess my point is- I like to travel light, and on the road, if I got injured, a car will pass within a couple of minutes. I realize on a trail, I wouldn't have that fall-back position. I will need to have at least a minimum of equipment.

    I'm thinking a small CamelBack with FAK, GPS, Cell Phone, and of course a knife or two. I guess a fire kit and a whistle would be good. I just don't know if I can stand running with a pack. Maybe everything but water in a fanny-pack type rig, and bottle water in hand?

    What do any of you carry? And how do you carry it?

  2. fugawee


    Jul 7, 2008
    I do a little running and might be able to offer
    some helpful tips.
    1st,how are you going to carry water?
    that will pretty much determine how/how much room youll
    have.There are basically 3 ways of carrying water,
    Handheld water bottle,hydration vest,waist belt/pack with bottles.
    All 3 of these have some pockets or pouches to store the essentials.


    I use handheld water bottles. they have little pouches
    on them which you can load with the essentials.
    one of mine has my pills (s-caps,ibuprofen,tums,ginger chews etc) body glide,
    blister bandaid.
    the other has a whistle,razorblade,piece of ferro rod,various stuff.
    Many times I just carry 1 bottle,the one with the med's and then I wear
    a Nathan running vest.
    It has 2 pouches in the front
    for camera,gels etc and a large pouch in the back where
    I stick a light jacket.

    How long will you be out on the trails to start?
    location will dictate many of the items you should carry.
    Here,most of my runs are in heavily populated areas,but
    I occasionally get out where I can blow my whistle
    without the police showing up. :)
    http://www.zombierunner.com/ is a great place to see whats up.
    Anyway,anything in particular I can help with,feel free to pm or email me.
  3. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    Thanks for the info. That's a good link with lots of good stuff.

    I plan to start out at a park nearby with lots of pretty flat trails. I don't run for really long distances, but hope to gradually build up my distance. I'll probably start out with hand-held water and some type of waist pack for a couple of essentials, and maybe experiment with a small hydration pack.

    I'm pretty familiar with the park where I'll be running initially, so I guess a lot of equipment isn't really necessary. As I add other trails to my mix, I can add some more stuff to my kit. I just don't want to be the dumbass that gets into trouble because I wasn't prepared. And although comfort is pretty important, I don't want to sacrifice comfort for safety.
  4. Echo4v


    Dec 10, 2008
    Steve Holt...You might look into a drop leg type pouch. I used a couple in the service and they are much less restrictive and don't hold near as much heat when you are generating a lot of heat yourself. Make sure it's appropriately sized because if the gear is bouncing around it'll be a major nuissance. Being tied to your leg it won't affect your balance nearly as much and it'll always be accessable. I found that the single leg band ones were more comfortable for me because on the double banded ones the bottom band slides down and rubs the inside of my leg. Also, make sure to keep the buckle on the front of your thigh.

    Hope this helps
  5. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    That looks like a good idea, too.

  6. iBlade


    Jul 24, 2008
    I have done a bit of trair running in my time, ran over the southern alps a couple of times, biggest moutain range here but it has a few low places that are not snowy in summer, I reccomend a camel back type set up.
    Basically you want something that will hold water, a mini first aid kit (bicycle shops often sell good little ones), a power bar or two, some food gel is handy too, I toss a survival plasitc silver sheet/blanket thing in there too, a mini LED torch, spare battery and a leatherman. If I aim on going further afield than normal i also toss in a pair of poly pro gloves and a polypro balaclava and a liteweight goretex jacket that fols up very small.
    Cell phone and keys too.
    it does not weigh much nor add much bulk, and with a good amount of starps it locks onto your back like its glues there, does not throw you off on the technical stuff.
  7. MustardMan


    Mar 14, 2009
    I have a lot of friends who are into trail running ultra marathons, and most of them swear by two things - handbottles and gu energy gel. I'd personally prefer a camelbak and some snickers, but I also don't go on 50 mile runs, so what do I know?
  8. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    I'd say... accept the fact that you're gonna run with a light backpack from now on - get used to it. There so many models from Camelbak for running that I'm sure you'll find one that will fit just perfect (or at least you'll be able to mod one to fit well) that it'll move as you move and won't disturb too much.

    Other than that, here's a few options you might also take a look at. These offer enough 'pouch' room for at least a minimalist set up.



  9. Loneriderz


    Dec 1, 2008
    Do you really need the GPS for trail running? Other than knowing distance covered, elevation etc. I feel it's deadweight. You should be doing your runs at familiar trails especially at night. How about adding a headlamp to your kit. Running at night can be really nice and it adds variety to your training schedule. I do 5km every day but increase my distance to 10 sometimes 15km on Saturdays. I run almost exclusively at night though as I do get back from work pretty late.
  10. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    Thanks for more good ideas!

    I don't know that I really need a GPS, but my thought was this: At the park where I am going to be running initially (a national military park) there are lots of trails, and they cross each other in lots of places. I have a pretty good map of the trails with distances marked on it, but I can see that it would be possible to miss a trail intersection and get discombobulated, especially when running. I figured if I got turned around, or on the wrong path, a GPS would help get me back to where I started. And as I hopefully get out on other trails I've never seen, it would be a bit of a security blanket.

    I don't know about trail running at night- at least for me. I'm sure it would be more comfortable, but part of the draw for me is being out in the sunshine and working up a nice sweat. Plus I don't want Old Green Eyes to get me! (He only comes out at night) http://themoonlitroad.com/green-eyes-story-background/

    I ended up running (and walking) about 5 miles yesterday at the Battlefield on a trail I have hiked a few times, and really had to keep my eyes on the ground a lot on parts of the trail due to rocks, roots, etc. I've never worn a headlamp- does it illuminate a big enough area that you don't have to stare at your feet the whole time?

    I ended up taking nothing but a water bottle with me yesterday, but I'm gonna get some kind of kit together ASAP. Judging by the number of spiderwebs I ate, I was apparently the only person who had been down that trail all day. I'd hate to be stranded if I screwed myself up somehow.
  11. Loneriderz


    Dec 1, 2008
    I guess everyone is different... I run familiar trails. Those I know by heart... For unfamiliar trails I'm more likely to be walking than running since I hate losing momentum and looking at maps and GPS does make you lose momentum. My running light is a Petzl Tikka 2 XP. It has a high and low mode, strobe (high), red and red strobe. For running I'm on low which provides a wide enough beam to light the path and any critters at the edge of the path. I has been raining a lot lately and for some reason the snakes are out... I almost tripped on a medium sized python a few weeks ago and saw a few slither away. Most times however the light highlight their eyes allowing me to steer clear from them. God I hate snakes! If you're not training for an ultra marathon I suggest keeping things simple and light. All I have is my MP3 (Creative Zen), keys w/ a Spyderco Dragonfly as keychain, a small tube of insect repellent gel and a small bottle of water w/ some rehydration salt mix; all in a small waist pouch (fanny pack for you). The only other electronics I have on me is my digital watch (time/ split etc.), mobile phone and my headlamp.

    We all run for different reasons... I have mild depression and the running helps a lot. It's great to be outside. Most I spend on this hobby of mine (other than fishing and knives of course) is on a good pair of shoes which is a pair of Asics (Gel Trabuco GT-X); good cushioning is important, age and wear takes it's toll on the knees. I also take joint supplements (glucosamine). Go out and have fun, don't be too bothered about distance.
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  12. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005

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