Top 5 Ways to Stay Safe on the Trails
Running a beautiful trail is an experience like no other. We encounter nature in all its glory and become acutely aware of the peaceful magic running the trails. With early summers mornings and late night sunshine, we’re all itching to grab our sneakers and get running. However before you hit the trails it's important to remember to take extra precautions and ensure you are prepared for any scenario.
To kick off summer running I’ve prepared a list of 5 things we can all do to stay safe on the trails:
1. Route Planning
Route planning is essential ahead of time, especially if it’s a trail you’ve never done before. Use an avalanche site for condition checks and track the distance and elevation of your route with RunGo. You’ll also want to check how long your run will take and make sure you have the necessary supplies for the duration of your run.
2. Safety Measures
A post shared by Jeff Pelletier (@jpelletier) on Jul 23, 2016 at 9:54pm PDT
While most trails offer breathtaking views, it’s easy to get lost in all that wonder. You might take a quick break to take in a spectacular view but before you know it the sun has disappeared and the forest is pitch black. Make sure you always run with a friend or let someone know where and when you will be running. Bring your phone and make sure it’s fully charged for emergencies. I, myself have been saved by the flashlight tool more times than I can count.
When I’m hiking in an unfamiliar place or I want to be a bit more adventurous that day, I use RunGo’s tracking feature which lets you send someone a link so they can track where you are. Getting lost on a trail is not fun at all so having a navigation app like RunGo saves you a lot of stress and energy. I also always make sure I have spot device with me because when your phone fails you it's important your loved ones know where you are at all times.
3. Gear Prep
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You might be more inclined to run with as little gear as possible so that you don’t have too many things weighing you down but if your trail is particularly tricky, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The most important thing to have on the trails are the right pair of shoes. You’ll want to wear ones that have good grip for traction and are comfortable enough to minimize blisters. Bring some extra food with you and hydration packs in case the trails ends up being longer than you planned.
It seems like a no brainer to wear the appropriate clothing for the weather but the weather tends to change up on us out of nowhere so make sure to pack what’s necessary. My must have items are an emergency blanket (always), headlamp, matches, hand warmers, gloves, a good rain jacket and an extra pair of socks to make sure I stay dry all the time. Finally, bring a flashlight because there’s nothing worse watching your phone battery drop to 20% and having to choose between sight and communication.
4. Water Sources
Doing a little research on the waters sources around your trail goes a long way. While running the Howe Sound Crest Trail, we realized soon that there weren't many water sources on the trail. Dehydration is a serious problem that you don't want to come across so pack some water tablets and make sure you have enough water to last for the duration of the run.
5. Enjoy the Moment
Sometimes we get so caught up in finishing our run that we forget to enjoy the moment. Adventure runs are meant to be enjoyed so take it slow and take stops to take in everything around you. Take pictures to capture those moments because some trails are not easily accessible and you might not be able to go there often. I also recommend bringing a ziplock bag so that your devices stay dry, even in bad weather.
Stay safe on the trails and happy running!