What To Pack To Stay Safe On The Trails
Packing a few basic safety essentials can go a long way on the trails in case of a mishap. Here are the items that we never leave home without along with helpful tips on how to use them.
Click on the images or text below to learn more about each product
Be sure to check out our Trail Safety Essentials video too!
- Keep it in the bottom of your race vest as it’s an emergency bit of kit you’re not expecting to use.
- Using it will keep the wind off you, keep you dry and help keep you warm if you’re stationary for long periods of time (for example if you are injured and waiting for help).
How to use
- To use it, pull it out of the bag, unravel it, get into the bag (fully clothed and with all your warm layers on) and pull it up around your head. Always leave a space to allow air to come in. Try to minimise your contact with the ground by sitting on your race vest, map or anything else that will provide some insulation.
Call for help
- If you need others to help you then the Emergency Survival Bag also has a whistle on the carry bag. Remember the international distress signal is 6 blasts of a whistle every minute. The recognised reply is 3 blasts every minute. If you are calling for assistance and hear a reply, KEEP blowing the signal until rescue appears in sight, otherwise your rescuers will not be able to find you if you stop too early.
- Don’t be tempted to take a foil blanket instead of a bivvi bag. You can’t get into a foil blanket and it won’t shelter you from the wind!
- There is some really useful information on hypothermia on the Fell Running Association website:
- When packing it away after use it’s important to make sure it is well dried and, if possible, free from most dirt. Fold it neatly into the width of the bag and then roll it up from the closed end (so the air flows out the open end).
- Contains the essential kit you need to deal with small first aid situations in remote places.
Plan in advance
- First aid kits are very personal and so you need to think about what additions you might need to make to this kit. Just make sure you know and carry exactly what works for you.
- There is no substitute for doing first aid training or a formal qualification. It could save your life or someone else’s life.
How to pack
- Always pack your kit in a dry bag first before putting it in your race vest.
- Use our handy printed checklist on the front of the Dry Bag to make sure you have all the essentials packed for your run.
- Whilst your race vest may provide some resistance to rain it will almost certainly not be waterproof.
- Dry bags are also a great way of organising your kit inside your race vest. Try using our different colours for different bits of kit and or writing on your dry bags (with permanent felt tip or similar) what they have in them!
- Dry bags also don’t only keep dry kit dry, they can also be used for keeping wet kit away from everything else in your race vest!
- See our Dry Bag video about which capacity to go for and how to use them
A great all-rounder
- This is a bit of kit that is worth taking with you whatever the weather. It can protect you from the sun or help keep the cold off you!
- Try to keep this easily accessible in your race vest, a pocket or wrap it round your wrist when not using it as a head scarf or neck warmer. That way you can easily put it on if you start to feel cold.
- Keep in mind that this is not a hat. It won’t keep you as warm as a beanie hat and it won’t pass a kit check for most fell races. If in any doubt take this and a hat as both can be useful (either as a double hat, a neck warmer or the beanie can be an emergency you don’t plan to use!).
- We all know that people lose a huge amount of heat through their heads. A good beanie hat is the best way of insulating your head and preventing this heat loss.
Keep it easily accessible
- Having a beanie easily accessible allows you to manage your temperature through a run. It may be that simply putting on a beanie will mean that you don’t have to stop and put on extra layers or taking off a beanie allows you to cool down without taking off layers!
- Try to have the beanie easily accessible in your race vest or in a pocket. This means that there is no excuse for not using it if you are starting to get cold!
Conserve your battery
- When running in remote places, your phone is primarily a safety device to be used in emergencies. Avoid using it as your primary navigation method, to watch videos or post lots of things on social media. If the battery runs out and you don’t have a power pack, you’ve lost your main method of calling for help if something goes wrong.
- Storing it in a case can also stop you mindlessly using your phone – this not only saves battery but also stops you getting distracted away from enjoying the amazing views/places/company you have on your adventure!