Recommended and Mandatory kit for #trailrunning? We got your gearbag covered…

Trail Running is a fantastic way to spend your time running. There is so much to discover and every step leads you to a different view of the world around you.

It can make such a difference to your outlook when you swap your regular route on the roads for one in the trail or hills which very often situated just around the corner. We are blessed in the West of Ireland with some widely varied terrain (you can find out more on about the trails on and to go with that terrain there are some great events up and coming.

Among them is the Gaelforce Mountain Run on March 3rd 2016.

The event organisers have a very handy list of mandatory kit which they are insisting on checking and enforcing so if you are thinking of entering make sure you know what you need first.

The handy thing is once you have invested in this gear it will last you for seasons thus encouraging you to explore further and farther with each and every run! Who knows you may even get involved with Adventure Racing 🙂

We’re here to help you get properly equipped for the outdoors so read on for our suggestions to mandatory kit:

IMPORTANT: Please note the following before you decide to enter the Gaelforce Mountain Run 22km Expert or 12km Intermediate Events: These are events for experienced mountain runners only, ie those who take part in mountain runs on a regular basis. The area where the race takes place is remot



  • VERY IMPORTANT: Trail running shoes must be worn. These must be shoes with an aggressive thread. Large parts of the route have no trail, only soft ground. Anyone wearing road runners will not be allowed to start the race.
Saucony Xodus
Trail running shoes – tons of grip where you need it.

Rugged & lugged, a decent trail shoe will give you grip when you need it going up hill or down, have self clearing lugs and be comfortable for going the distance. Goretex or not is up to you, though my personal preference is with Gortex for winter running = warm toes.

  • Hooded waterproof jacket must be carried with you regardless of the weather. The weather in the mountains is changeable so this item is essential.
    Tempest Jackets feature a Storm hood for weather protection

    A wide range of jackets from DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment outer shell to full tape and welded seamed water & wind proof jackets. Have a browse through our collection, we love the Trail Tempest from Ronhill but other Shell jackets will work too.

  • Light micro-fleece or heavy thermal layer

A perfect excuse for the CRAFT baselayers or something from the 1/2 Zip selection from ASICS & Brooks.


This mid layer is in case the weather changes and you need those extra layers for warmth. If one of these layers is Windproof it will make such a difference to your core body temperature. By cutting down on windchill through damp clothing you can stay warmer for longer with less.

  • Headwear of some description, eg. wooly hat or buff

Got you covered here nicely with a buff or our own neck scarf / beanie combo from Ridge53. Cheap as chips and just as warming! 🙂

  • Whistle to attract attention in an emergency

Have a look at the waist strap on your Tempest jacket, it has a built in pea-less plastic whistle. These two qualifying characteristics are important; plastic so it won’t freeze to your lips and pea-less so it works in the wet.

  • Space blanket

We have these in a little First Aid pack which is ideal for any mountain adventures. The space blanket is surprisingly important in the case of accident when you may have to await recovery off a hill. Wrapping it around your body under your outer layer will help retain your body heat and prevent the onset of hypothermia in cold & wet environments

  • Bottle that can carry minimum 200ml of water.

We’d suggest a little back pack with a bladder as the easiest way to carry your fluids and extra bits of kit.


A bladder leaves your hands free for balancing purposes or pulling on tufts of grass for extra climbing help. The flexihose means your fluids which can be a source of energy too are handy and hygenically stored for when you need it.

  • Food, particularly to provide you with fuel in an emergency (minimum of Mars bar or natural food bar)

No shortage of bars, gels, chews and the like for you though this is very much dependent on personal tastes and nutrition strategies. Read more about fuelling for race day and be sure to test your strategy beforehand.

  • Mobile phone that has the Race Director’s and emergency numbers pre-saved into it plus enough battery to last your estimated race time.

Don’t be using up your battery taking #runselfies and Tweeting #gothewholeway or #runnngmatters, leave it switched off so it is preserved for when needed!

As always if you have any questions or need help sorting through all the choices feel free to Tweet me @RunningMatters_

3 thoughts on “Recommended and Mandatory kit for #trailrunning? We got your gearbag covered…

    1. You’re very welcome Fiona, thanks for stopping by.

      More coming in a few weeks addressing equipment often required for Adventure Races.

      Liked by 1 person

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