Trail running basics ► Ultra-runner tips

Trail running allows you to go to the wild, experience new terrain and really get lost in nature. But to get out of the beaten track safely, runners need to prepare a few basic things for running. Even if you are running in an area you know relatively well, having some items on standby just in case will help ensure that a minor problem — such as a curved ankle or an accidental deviation — does not become a serious problem. Here’s everything you need in your running kit, plus the most important thing about Timothy Olson’s package.

“What I love about running on the trails are the places that take you – both inside and outside. Trail running allows you to see the wildest places, but also allows you to go inside and see the beauty in yourself. “- Timothy Olson

timothy olsen trail running

Everything you need in your Trail running kit

1. Adequate hydration

Bring enough water to support you while running. Dehydration leads to dizziness, muscle cramps and many other symptoms, which may not seem like a big deal if you are within range of a car or public transport, but can become dangerous when you are out in the mountains. If you’re not sure how much water to take with you, use this calculator to find out your optimal water intake. If you can’t bring enough water for the running distance, you’ll need to make sure you have several refueling points with fresh, clean water along your route. You can also invest in a water bottle with a built-in filter to clean potentially dangerous running water.

2. Food

Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, but depending on how long you want to run, you’ll probably need to refuel at some point. Whether it’s gels, granola, gums or fruit, pack a few snacks so you have enough energy to get through the session.

3. Rain Gear

Especially when running in a mountain climate, rainfall is a must. The weather can change drastically in just a few minutes and exposure to the elements will quickly take away your body heat. Rain gear these days is small, packed and light, so there’s really no excuse not to take it with you.

running gear of the trail

4. Online and offline navigation

If you’re heading for an unfamiliar trail, be sure to prepare by bringing a fully charged phone with an offline map and GPS viewer. Of course, a GPS watch is also useful. And as many outdoor enthusiasts will tell you, you should never rely entirely on your electronic devices. A map to print the area in a plastic bag is a good backup plan if you lose a battery, turn off your phone in the cold, etc.

5. Good sneakers

Your gym shoes are probably not the best solution for running in the long run. Invest in running shoes with adequate tread so you have more traction when climbing and more control when descending. Street running shoes probably do not have the tread you will need to safely and comfortably handle the trails.

6. Emergency equipment

When heading to the desert, it’s always best to anticipate a little of the unexpected. A few small items in the emergency kit will make you feel more secure, even if you don’t use them in the end. If you end up needing them, you will be extremely grateful that they are available. There are some items to include:

  • Blowjob
  • Basic first aid items such as patches (convenient for blisters!), Disinfectant and gauze
  • Emergency blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Water purification tablets
  • Cash
  • Identification number or emergency contact number in your bag

If you are heading to serious terrain, consider buying a PLB or a personal locator beacon. This can help emergency personnel find you in case something goes wrong. Also, one of the most critical pieces of safety equipment in your arsenal are your friends. Tell someone where you have gone and when you plan to return – or at least again within the scope of cellular services. If you have created a GPS map with your route, share it with them. It may seem like too much, but things are happening. If you need help, you will be grateful to know that someone will know where to come to look.

The main package of Ultra Runner Timothy Olson

Timothy Olson, who recently found the fastest known time on the Pacific ridge, shared some of the key things he brings in the long run.

Launch a wild banner


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