Ah the trail runner… an undeniably simple being, motivated simply by wide open spaces, natural environments and the pursuit of experiences over worldly goods. They choose mountains, they choose freedom, they choose community… but, for all their lack of commercially driven ideals, they also choose a lot of gear!
So what is on the 2019 list of Must-Haves for the trail runner in your life?
Well, there are some fundamental items that appear on the compulsory kit lists of many trail races, and they are updated regularly as technology improves. You can’t go wrong with any one of these items.
In an effort to reduce the overall waste at events, many leading trail races have made a personal cup part of the compulsory kit. A tin cup bobbing around your back isn’t a great vibe. The best ones fold neatly in to your pack, and should be positioned for an easy scoop of mountain stream water, or for use at an aid station where electrolyte-rich drinks are available. Some can even take hot liquids for a little cup of tea on the trail ...
The Wildrunner Eco Cup is available for sale at events, or anytime from the Elemental Outdoor Trail Store - https://elemental-outdoor.myshopify.com/. These are also available for mass order, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Running on a road under a full moon is a completely different experience to running singletrack trails under heavy tree cover. If you have ever misjudged your timing and exited a trail head in the dark, or attempted such a thing with an inadequate light, you’ll know what a quality headlamp can offer. In general, look for a headlamp that’s capable of cranking out at least 200 lumens on its high setting.
You can’t go wrong with the Petzl Actik Core, available via Takealot for R1 199. Rechargable, up to 350 lumens and weighs only 360g.
Our recommendations when you are out shopping for the most important garment in your mountain running bag:
A Hydrostatic rating of 10 000mm to 15 000mm is suitable for just about all weather conditions but equally at home in lesser ones
A MTVR or 'Breathability' ratio of 15 000mm to 20 000mm / 15 000g to 20 000g would be considered optimal for a quality waterproof running jacket
Made from eVent DValpine™, the Bold Gear waterproof running jacket has a '20/20' rating. R2 200, locally produced, will get you through even the most stringent gear check, and could save your life on a mountain.
And yes, the trail runner is indeed motivated by experiences over worldly goods, so consider helping out with their long list of race entry dreams! The famous Trail Series has evolved to a brand new concept for 2020, and it will meet the bucket-list needs of many trail enthusiasts. The Trail Series® Super League, or the TSSL for short, combines seven of the favourite venues from the original eight, spread further apart into a single, annual, Super League Series. But by far the most exciting change is the addition of an XL route to every race day. The XL distances are all in the region of 20-25km, perfect for those attracted to - and/or training for, longer distance races.
If you and your loved one want a 2020 that changes your outlook on life for the better, then head on over to www.wildrun.com for a range of running holidays that cannot be fully described, only experienced. From the rugged Wild Coast to the remote plains of Botswana, book an adventure that will be the biggest hit beneath the tree, without a doubt.
Sometimes, it’s the little things, right? So every trail runner needs a space blanket (emergency blanket), a safety whistle and self-adhesive taping. They also love odd things like miniature sunscreen sachets and small tubs of anti-chafe balm. It is common knowledge that you can never have too many Buffs, Trucker Caps or colourful (running specific) socks, and if you’re still stuck for ideas, a crate of craft beer will be received with open arms.
Merry merry, and to all, a season of peace and good single track.
Words: Kim Stephens