The Trail Runners Kit
The trail-runners kit is important because to go out on any length of trail requires considerably more
equipment than the visor and water bottle you take with you for a run around the block. You’ll need a
kit of gear that is designed not only for performance and comfort, but on longer runs, the gear that
gives you the confidence to tackle whatever you may find out on the trail, including, if you find
yourself in an emergency situation. Here is a list of gear every trail runner should own and take out
with them every time they run a trail. If you would like to browse our great range of Trail Runners Gear,
to check out The Gear Shop, proudly sponsoring endurance and trail running events across Australia, including;
The Kokoda Challenge, The Wild Earth Coastal High 50, and The Suunto SEQ Trail Running Series.
Here's a quick rundown on some of the gear you need to get out there, and how to choose what best suits you.
Select shoes that meet the specific need of running on trail instead of regular road running shoes.
Trail running shoes can be identified by their aggressive knobby soles, and the shoes themselves
are generally more rigid than road running shoes to avoid twisting. Better quality shoes will have an
EVA compound midsole that contains a lightweight, flexible plastic layer that is designed to protect
feet from puncture wounds from rocks or other any other sharp objects. Trail running shoes are also
available in water proof variants that provide you with protection against wet grass, mud, and shallow
creek crossings, keeping your socks and feet warm and dry.
No matter if it’s hot or cold, you’re going to sweat. Sweating for long periods of time in the wrong
clothing can be extremely uncomfortable. Make sure you choose garments that have moisture-wicking
qualities designed to draw the moisture away from your body and evaporate through the garment.
Staying dryer, longer, means you’ll be more comfortable, and you’ll stay warmer anytime you stop
for a break.
Seamless shorts are best. The fewer seams, the less chance they can rub against you. Choose
something that is loose fitting or with stretch to ensure the best performance when youare running,
doing long strides or climbing over obstacles.
These are great for comfort and for protecting you against the elements. Because they have few
seams you can be almost guaranteed not to chafe, plus you have the added benefit of extensive
sun protection and protection from foliage scratching you as you run past.
If you are going to be out on the trail for a long time, or training at night, or if the weather is doubtful,
the best thing you can carry is a lightweight outer shell. Choose something that compresses into
a small size (like it’s own pocket) and that has moisture wicking qualities to draw moisture away from
your body. Don’t skimp on this item, if it gets cold, or the weather turns ugly you’ll be glad you
bought a good quality jacket.
You should always carry water with you, but when you start to run over 10km you’ll want to start
thinking about using a Hydration Pack. With bladder capacities from 1.0L – 3.0L there is an option
for every runner and distance. To go out for a few hours you may only require a small Hydration Pack
with room for your keys, phone and a snack. But when you start going out for longer periods, you will
want to consider a larger pack that you can fit all your kit into. The best part about carrying a
Hydration Pack is that you have everything you need on your back, and your hands are always free
to help you balance, grab holds, and move down the trail faster.
Headlamps are an imperative piece of equipment for any time that your run might take you out of,
or into, the darkness. Being able to see the trail ahead of you, and the terrain at your feet makes
night running a safer and more rewarding experience. Ideally choose a waterproof headlamp with
about 150 lumens and infra-red mode for checking maps, and for anytime you require close quarters
light. And always carry a spare set of batteries!
Not essential but definitely handy, gaiters slip over the top of your shoes to stop sticks and rocks
getting inside. On some trails they can be a real life-saver.
Always carry enough nutrition (gels, energy & protein bars) to suit the length of your run. Ideally test
it before you go so you don’t end up having to eat something that tastes like _____.
Foldable, full brim hats are great, or legionnaire peak caps with the flap covering the neck. Two
hours with the sun on the back of your neck in summer will feel like a day in the desert. Cover up!
Light, comfortable, with wrap around lenses that protect your peripheral vision. Make sure they fit
well so they don’t shake off everytime you bow your head to check the terrain directly below you.
Choose a sunscreen with a high UV protection rating and ideally designed for sport and sweating.
You’re going to need to re-apply it every 2 hours or so.
Don’t foget….Slip, slop, slap……at the end of the day you’ll always be glad you did.
Check out the great range of Trail Runners Gear in our Coastal High 50 Gear Shop
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