VIDEO: Stay Safe With The 10 Essentials for Backcountry Trail Running

VIDEO: Stay Safe With The 10 Essentials for Backcountry Trail Running

Watch and listen to endurance runner Gary Robbins, (notable for his Barkley Marathons performance this year) lists his 10 trail running essentials to stay safe.

The essentials and tips apply to runners of all levels.

The 15-minute instructional video describes what the Salomon endurance runner feels safest with on his runs. In addition to his 10 essentials, Robbins outlines some other items runners should bring on trail and mountain runs. Generally, it depends on the terrain and the part of the country where one is located (bear territory, for example).

Gary Robbins’ 10 trail running essentials

1. Headlamp: Robbins also carries a spare battery and spare light source.
2. Signalling device: One of the most important things you can carry is a whistle, says Robbins. A whistle “can pierce” the air better than simply yelling in case of emergency. Other items include a mirror to reflect the sun and create a signal as well as a flare.
3. Fire starter kit including waterproof matches.
4. Spare clothing. A question Robbins asks is “can you stay warm for 20 minutes in your environment if you were forced to stop moving?” He carries gloves, arm warmers and a head wrap among other pieces.
5. A knife.
6. Shelter, which Robbins says is one of the most important items. He recommends an emergency bivvy.
7. Food. Bring enough food for both the run itself and extra in case the run gets extended. Robbins carried 4,000 calories for a 13- to 14-hour run recently.
8. First aid kit.
9. Navigation. Robbins uses a compass and a map in addition to a GPS watch.
10. Communication. “Your number one tool when you’re in cell range is your phone,” says Robbins. “A phone can save your life.” Without reception, he recommends a spot tracker.