You’re almost ready for your trip on the trails. There’s only one tiny problem: you are short a few supplies. Even if you think you’ve got everything, odds are you don’t. Most people forget to take important items like energy-dense food, good quality dry clothing, and even enough water. Sure, food and water is always on the checklist – but quality counts.
Bring Plenty of Water
Water is something you can never have enough of when you’re out hiking or trail running. When you’re jogging, you lose water quickly through sweat. It’s your body’s defense mechanism against overheating. The problem is that water can get heavy, adding unnecessary weight to your backpack. Here’s a tip: bring a few bottles of water and a non-potable water filter.
Companies like Seychelle make high-quality filters that you can use while you’re out in the wild. Non-potable water is typically not filterable by cheaper water filtration systems. However, filters designed specifically for non-potable water can easily filter spores, bacteria, and even viruses, making it safe for you to stop at a stream and pick up some water – even when you’re unsure about the quality of the raw water.
Find yourself a good filtered water bottle that you can fill up with non-potable water. That will save you money on bottled water and you won’t dehydrate.
Speaking of dehydration, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a drink. By that time, it’s usually too late. Periodically sip on water throughout your run. Don’t drink so much that you get stomach cramps. At the same time, don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Find a nice middle ground. Not gulping also helps.
Bring Nutritious Snacks
Reputable online stores like www.SportPursuit.com sell a wide variety of sports-oriented snacks that pack high energy with good-quality carbs and protein. You need this when you’re out running long distances. As you place stress on your body from running, the body starts to break down. Muscles experience micro-trauma.
Protein helps stave off catabolism, while sugar or carbohydrates will provide quick fuel for your body. Choose high-quality and complex carbohydrates in your snacks.
For example, a trail mix might be fine, but opt for honey or dried fruit as a sweetener instead of refined sugar.
Fats are also important for slower, longer, energy. The body is capable of using all three macro nutrients for energy, but fat provides a whopping 9 kcal per gram as opposed to carbs and protein, each supplying just 4. So, a snack that has 20 grams of fat provides about 180 calories compared to just 80 calories for protein and carbs. That means fat gives you much more energy gram for gram – a wise choice when you have limited space in your backpack.
Pack Dry Clothes and Rain Gear
You never know when it will rain and, when it does, you want to be prepared. If it starts pouring down on you, two things can happen. First, you can get wet. This isn’t always such a bad thing. But, and this is important, it can cool off significantly. If it does, your body temperature could drop dramatically which could be a problem.
Bring a change of dry clothes, water-proof gear that you can wear in the rain, and even a small collapsible makeshift shelter if it really starts coming down and you can’t continue to run on the trail.
Ronald Walker is a veteran hiking guide. He enjoys blogging about hiking activities and safety concerns.
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