Basic gear list for a long trail run of 40 degress & up

equipment for a long trail run

Like a lot of folks, I was a long-time hiker before I became a trail runner. What really needs to be in my tiny runner’s pack to feel secure in the back country?

Here is my go-to list. Below it I’ll explain the choices.

Basic Long Trail Run Equipment List If Temps Are About 40+

  • Osprey 1.5L or 2L water bladder
  • Osprey Dyna 15L Running Pack
  • Patagonia Houdini with hood
  • SOL Emergency Bivy
  • Trango Piranha knife
  • Climber/athletic tape (not the whole roll)
  • lip balm with at least 30 spf
  • maxi pad (guys too)
  • Sawyer Squeeze System
  • whistle (not shown)
  • food (not shown)
  • iPhone 8 (taking the picture) with GaiaGPS and Strava

The over-arching logic is that when trail running you are moving faster and more efficiently than when you are hiking. You are almost always moving so you don’t get nearly as cold. You’re on the trail a fraction of the time. You dont’ stop for long periods of time–you have places to go!

Here are some specifics of why these items are on the list.

  • Climber tape and the maxi pad are the first aid kit. The pad is a highly absorbant bandage that can be cut down if needed. It weighs nothin and is super cheap. The climber/athletic tape holds the ‘bandage’ in place and can be used in dozens of other ways for first aid as well as repairing gear.
  • If I’m heading out on a trail where I know there will be regular water sources, I take only about 1L of water and refill as necessary using the Sawyer Squeeze System. If there is ANY DOUBT about the water sources, I bring up to two full liters depending on temps and where i’m heading.
  • There are dozens and dozens of packs avalable. Pick one that fits you. I like the plethora of pockets and expandable space that cinches down nicely.
  • The Houdini works well as a extra breathable layer for warmth, a wind barrier, and deflecting light rain or snow-it is NOT waterproof. I have other waterproof jackets for potentially raining outings.
  • The bivy is the key safety tool. If you have to stop or slow to a walk due to injury or illness, your body temperature will plummet. The bivy will keep you warm enough until help arrives or as a wrap for a slow walk out. I never go far from a trailhead without it.
  • The knife is about as tiny a knife as you can buy. A knife is always handy.
  • Lip balm with a decent spf is sunscreen if you are out too long and need to reapply.
  • A whistle s standard emergency gear that weighs nothing.
  • Food will vary depending on your outing.
  • Your smart phone is endlessly useful. More on that another time.

In a future post I’ll cover cold weather adaptations and extra gear. Till then…

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