10 Essential For Running

I'm not trying to turn ultra-runners into backpacker or even dayhikers with 20 lb packs. However, I think it is absolutely crazy what little gear I have seen some runners head out with. Experiences I've personally seen include:

There really isn't much of an excuse for not carrying some safety stuff with you. It takes a little organizing but the weight for most of the safety gear is next to nothing.


OK, there are not actually 10 essentials but more or less depending on your personal risk level. I wouldn't suggest taking everything on the list below but you can use this as a guide to decide what works for you.

On a typical mountain run, like the Columbia Gorge or running around Mt. Hood, I bring the items shown below every time I go out.


I've learned this lesson the hard way. You do not want to be 2/3rd of the way around Mt. Hood and out of food. It is hard enough to complete these runs even when you have enough food let alone when out of fuel.

An interesting thing I've found is that people are often poor judges for how much food they will need. What seems like a ton of food may be gone in just a few hours on the trail (I've also seen the opposite where someone brings enough food for two days). I'd recommend counting calories. Tailor to your body type but most people will consume about >2000 calories on a 10 hour run. You should be taking along a pile of food like that shown in the picture below.


This section seems pretty obvious. Don't head off without any extra clothing to wear. Conditions will not be the same as they are in the parking lot when you are starting. I always bring at least a lightweight poncho along.


For long runs I recommend the bladder packs. Some of these packs can hold up to 100 Oz of water (great for a run like St. Helens) and up to 1000 cubic inches of storage (great for stuffing your lunch and some extra clothing). I'm using an Ultimate Directions pack now but I've also been very happy with the CamelBak packs.

NOTE: This page contains running information for experienced ultra runners. Experience ultra runners are people who have already completed 50K, 50Mile or longer ultramarathons. The advice on this page is not directed towards hikers or typical 10k recreational runners. No guarantee is made about the accuracy of maps or information on this page. This page is only intended as a starting point for your own research on places to run. Always check route information yourself and be prepared.