Runners can be put off trail running for a variety of reasons. Some don’t like the seclusion, others are worried about getting lost and some people just really don’t like bears. Below are 6 easy tips to staying safe when running those trails to ensure you can keep going back for more, explore further, and set yourself new challenges for the trails.
Take Your Phone – Always have a fully charged phone with you. If you don’t want to take your smartphone I would recommend purchasing a very basic pay as you go phone, they can be quite cheap and the advantages being they are small, have long battery life, and allow you to escape online life if that’s what you love when hitting the trails.
Take Some Fuel – It’s funny but I always find myself staying out running for longer when on the trails versus road running. If you have enough food and drink then it allows you to take that new path, climb the extra hill, to see where it will go, safe in the knowledge that you are not going to bonk before you get home!
Take Some Cash – Carry a note with you or a little change. This can come in very handy if you need to buy an emergency bottle of water or chocolate bar. Or if your day doesn’t quite go to plan due to an unexpected injury or slip this allows you to jump on the bus or train and find a way home safely.
Take a Map or GPS Tracker – When doing longer runs it is sensible to plan a route. Then take a map with you just in case you do miss a key turning due to an overgrown hedge covering the sign! It gives you peace of mind, even if you don’t need use it, and could save you backtracking on yourself.
Let Somebody Know Where You Are – Whether it be your mum, brother, sister, or partner it makes sense to let them know your route and how long you expect to be out for. Safety is important when on the trails, and it will stop your loved ones from worrying about you quite so much.
Go Hands Free – My best advice is to carry all of the bits I have listed above in a backpack (or whatever your preferred choice of carrier is). It is important to have your hands free when running the trails just in case you slip on a some mud, or trip on a tree stump, your hands can help improve your balance if that happens.
A lot of this is common sense but it is easy to forget these 6 little things when you are rushing out the door keen to hit those trails! Stay safe and share with us any other tips and tricks you may have to staying safe when trail running!
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