PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Swanevelder

So you’ve been trail running for a while, building up valuable calve strength and endurance and now it’s time for your first long run. By long run, I mean 30km and longer… 5 hours on the legs… in the wilderness… type of long run.

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Here are some essentials that will come in handy on that long run!

  1. Map. If you decide to explore a new route or just to go further, bring a map. There is nothing worse than getting lost on trails especially if you’ve got jelly legs, no water, sunburn and you’re hungry!
  2. Identification. On longer runs you’ll probably be exploring remote trails and areas. Accidents happen, so if you fall or pass out..make sure you have proper identification on you..
  3. Cellphone. Again if you’re lost or not feeling great and in need of assistance, you can phone for help.. that’s if there is a signal..
  4. Extra socks. Going through rivers and puddles you’re sure to have soggy socks and we all know that it leads to blisters. Bring extra socks!
  5. Emergency kit. Trust me these come in very handy. Stock them with plasters, scissors, mercurochrome, pain killers and a emergency blanket.
  6. Bandana / BUFF. A bandana or BUFF is great for wiping those scrapes from potential falls. Also handy for cooling off at a stream.
  7. Toilet paper. Personal preference… but handy!
  8. Food. Running burns calories which need to be replaced!
  9. Hydration. Bring water and energy drinks. Carry at least 2L of water and extra energy drinks on long routes and use them wisely.
  10. Sunscreen. This is Africa and the sun is potent, you’re going to beed sunscreen.
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