What equipment do you need for trail running ?
Have you found a good pair of trail running shoes ? Are you used to your running apparel and do you know how to use your GPS cardio watch ? When trail running, only bring the essentials to remain light without neglecting your safety. Here's our advice for preparing your safety kit !
The choice of your trail pack or vest is very important. It should hold all your trail equipment without getting in the way when you are running.
Choose a volume that suits your distance and the equipment carried. It is generally between 2 l for short-distance trails and 10 to 15 l for long-distance runs and ultra-trails.
The many pockets will allow you to access your equipment without having to stop running. A zipped pocket can keep your keys or papers safe.
What equipment should you bring trail running ?
Here's a checklist of the essentials:
- Water / Energy drink
- Food, bars, gels
- Headlamp if required (recommended)
- Safety blanket
- Windproof jacket
Carrying your water
You generally use soft flasks placed on the shoulder straps. There's no need to take them out to drink when you're running or to remove the pack when refueling.
It is also possible to use a water bladder on the back or a simple water bottle cage for short distances.
Water or an isotonic energy drink? Figure it out during training and stick to this when running.
Food when trail running
You will undoubtedly need to eat during your trail run. Bring a few energy bars or gels in pockets that you can access when running.
Once again, try out your food during your trail running training to be sure that you can tolerate the taste and digest it well.
It is difficult to eat when running, especially during a race at a fast pace. Therefore practice eating when you are running so that you can eat properly during the race.
A headlamp is required when you are setting off early in the morning or if you may cross the finish line in the evening. Essential for a night-time trail, you do not need to bring one for every race.
When training or during a mountain race, we recommend that you always place it at the bottom of your pack for your safety.
For certain races, a safety blanket is a must in your backpack. It can protect you from the cold or heat if you have to stop.
It is ultra-light and represents a safety item that, in our opinion, you should always keep at the bottom of your pack.
Cell phone when trail running
A pocket is usually provided for a cell phone in your trail pack. It is good to be able to access it easily in the event of an emergency... or to take photos of the landscape!
If your cell phone is not waterproof, remember to protect it in a plastic bag or a pouch. Some runners use a waterproof armband.
Bring a windproof jacket in the event of bad weather. You can adapt it depending on the weather: minimalist, ultra-light and breathable or extremely waterproof. Softshells can also provide some warmth in cold weather.
Put your jacket on over your pack without stopping running.
A list of compulsory equipment is drawn up for certain trails. So remember to find out and make your checklist accordingly. Define the right equipment for you when training and concentrate solely on the race on the day of your trail run.