a lifelong hiker and camper, i know how to pack a day pack. water, nutrition, first aid, wayfinding – i take pride in being prepared for anything on the trail. just like hiking and backpacking, preparation is critical for trail running. hydration and nutrition are of the utmost importance (by now, you probably know tailwind is my favorite fuel for longer runs, and i love nuun electrolyte tabs for pre- and post-run). but what else does one need to pack? when i’m hitting the trail, i like to bring the following:
· pepper spray: i keep this in the front zipper pocket, easy to grab if needed.
· pocket knife: file this in the “i hope i never have to use” category. i keep a small pocket knife just in case. this is more of a security blanket than anything. i also like having it for good luck - my late grandfather gave me this pocket knife when i was 12!
· map: most of the time, i run in places without cell service (the best part of trail running, if you ask me!). i love having a map as a back up plan, since trails can sometimes be mismarked or tough to follow.
· lilfestraw water bottle: one of my greatest fears is running out of water. i always carry my lifestraw on longer trail runs. i typically carry a full bladder of water, plus bottles in the front vest, but you never know when you might need more. over the weekend, on my 6-mile trek in kings canyon, i finished my water faster than i thought since it was so hot. the lifestraw gave me a final boost of water before finishing my run.
· compass: same as the map, a compass is a must for off-the-grid adventures.
· paracord + whistle bracelet: a million uses and counting! read more about paracord’s many uses here.
· sunscreen + spf lip balm