Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trail Running Kit, v1.0

Lately, I've been doing a bit of trail running. With any activity, comes the requirement of packing the perfect kit. The goal: have the essentials, but don't overdo it. This is especially true for trail running, where the whole point is to stay in motion.

So here it is, my Trail Running kit v1.0:

  • Handkerchief. For blowing my nose, keeping the rest of the gear quiet and about 100 other things
  • Mylar Blanket. Useful for treating shock, providing cover from the rain, or staying warmed up during a break.
  • Ibuprofen. These get crammed into the core of the athletic tape and are basically invisible.
  • Athletic tape. Lots of uses for this on the trail, from helping with sprains to leaving messages.
  • Utility Key Chain. This is my standard key chain full of goodies. The compass, knife, flashlight and whistle are especially handy to have on the trail. The USB drive, less so. But it's attached, and I don't bother removing it.
  • Buff. This serves as a hat / neck warmer / balaclava. Useful for runs where it's kind of iffy as to whether or not it'll be chilly. For the weight, the Buff provides quite a bit of warmth.
  • Galaxy S3. For me, trail running is often an excuse to get out and take pictures. Plus, I'll use My Tracks to track interesting runs. Who knows, maybe this device will keep me from getting lost.
  • Amphipod AirFlow Microstretch Belt. This little belt-pack is key. It expands to hold all of the above stuff without issue. I have a SPIBelt that looks to hold the same amount of volume, but the Amphipod holds quite a bit more. I didn't want to go with a full size backpack or even a large fanny pack, as that would clearly be overkill for the relatively short-near-civilizations runs I do. This Amphipod pack is perfect.

This probably seems like a lot (it does to me), but it packs down quite compactly. In fact, my original goal was to just take along the emergency blanket and tape. Those two items should handle most first aid scenarios. I had enough room to toss in my key chain, which provides me with another round of useful tools. Finally, the handkerchief keeps stuff from jiggling around and is useful in its own right. The Buff gets added to the belt as needed.

By the way, I only schlep this gear when trail running. When doing usual road running I try to bring nothing but my phone, a key and maybe a handkerchief. There's something about the woods, and a trail strewn with rocks and roots that just urges me to carry stuff. Must be the Boy Scout training.

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