Top 5 Trail Running Gear Essentials

Road running gear is fine for new trail runners. But as you get more experienced and start running more and more on trails, you will greatly benefit from getting dedicated trail running shoes, clothing, and gear.

Trail running shoes provide greater traction and protection from rocks and roots. Clothing is more versatile for changing weather conditions. And storage becomes more necessary when you are reliant on carrying all your own water and nutrition.

We’ve rounded up the 5 key pieces of gear you’ll want on your next trail. Here they are in no particular order

1. GPS Watch

With twisting trails, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve run, how far you need to go, and how fast you are running. If you get a top rated GPS watch, you’ll know how far you ran and how fast. The best GPS watches will also help you navigate on the trails. They have maps, compasses, and ways to direct you back to where you started.

2. Trail Running Shoes

When you need traction going uphill and downhill, you can’t beat a good pair of trail running shoes. They have big lugs on the bottom to dig in the dirt and provide traction. They will also provide extra grip on rocks and other outdoor surfaces.

3. Hydration Pack

You already know that you need to be well hydrated when you are running. But on the trails, there are no water fountains, stores, or other places to stop and get water. So you must carry it yourself. The most efficient way to do that is with a hydration pack. These have plastic bladders that hold up to 3 liters of water that carry stored on your back. A tube lets you drink from them. Many have extra pockets for carry other supplies.

4. Running Jacket

A running  jacket will provide protection and comfort from wind, rain, and cold. Depending on where you are running, conditions can quickly change in the wilderness. A running jacket can help with the elements. It can be taken off when you get hot, unzipped for ventilation, and many have a hood for rain protection.

5. Socks

Regular running socks will work fine, but often it’s better to have extra cushioning and socks that go higher up the calf for protection against sticks and other prickers that might scratch you.



4 Benefits of Running in Nature

Trail running has many benefits for both the body and the mind. If you are an avid runner or hiker, trail running is ideal for you. It is something completely different from going for a jog around the block or taking your dog for a walk. It requires so much more and also gives you so much more. Trail running is beneficial as therapy and an escape from the real world.

Trail running…

…gives a more intense workout. Because the trail is not flat, you get a better workout. This is due to your body balancing more, stepping more carefully, lifting your legs higher, etc. You will find that you exercise more and different muscles when trail running compared to running on the road.

…is easier on your joints. Because the surface you run on is softer than asphalt or concrete, your joints get a break. The impact of running on soil or grass is much less than that of running on concrete. It will give your knees, back, and ankles a well-deserved break.

…is good for the brain. It is refreshing to run where you can breathe fresh air and escape the stress and worry of the real world. Trail running requires focus to avoid injuring yourself. It also offers you a unique opportunity to reflect and breathe and allow nature to calm your thoughts.

…is quiet and calm. You can get away from whatever worries you have by simply running. The calm of nature has a wonderful way of calming the human mind and emotions. We are all bombarded with visual and audio stimuli 24-7 and doing a trail run takes all of that away. You only see the beauty and you get to hear what quiet is like.

These are some of the great benefits of trail running. If you are considering taking up this sport, good for you. Be sure that you train and know what your limits are. Most of all, enjoy it!