What I carry does vary according to activity (running/skiing/hiking), duration (a short local run on the trails/a full day trip to miles from anywhere), temperature (hot & dry/cold & wet). However as many people in British Columbia Canada know, you can be lost or injured in the forest less than 1km from home, so should always carry enough supplies to survive until help arrives, if something goes wrong.
Below are the basics I ALWAYS carry.
- EMELEE Essentials Kit, Depends how far away from help/road I am. Either the full kit for +10km trips, the standard kit for 5-10km trips or the bare minimum kit for under 5km. To view the EMELEE packs click HERE
- Water (with electrolytes added). How much depends on how hot it is and will there be access to water (streams/lakes) along the way. On a hot day I have drunk over 6 litres of water on trips. At 500g per litre that’s a lot of weight to carry, do your research are there streams/water sources along your route?
- Food Again depends on duration, if a shorter trip I bring more snack food, nuts, gels, chocolate, etc. For a longer day trip I add something more substantial (ie a sandwich/wrap).
Note: I ALWAYS carry more food & water than I need for my trip, just in case I’m out there longer than expected.
- Warm top (in a ziplock bag to keep it dry in your pack). While you are moving you will be warm enough with whatever you are wearing, but if you hurt yourself and have to limp out or have to spend the night out there, will you stay warm enough in what you are wearing? A handy hint is to ask yourself “can I stay warm standing still for 3 hours in what I have”? If not you need to bring extra clothes. Also check the weather/temperature of where you are going (Google weather for the peak/area you are heading too, there’s quite often forecasts available). Depending on where you live and what time of year, you can set off with plus 20C temperatures and experience snow and near/below freezing temperatures, where you are heading. If in doubt carry extra clothing, better safe than sorry. There are additional things in the EMELEE essentials kit to help keep you warm but they are in addition to a warm top.
- Rain jacket can be a super light weight for a summer run, or a bit thicker for spring, fall or winter. Just make sure it is actually waterproof! (see How to tell if a jacket is waterproof blog)
- Light/headlamp (plus spare battery). The essentials kit also has a light as a backup.
- $20 cash – supposedly for an emergency taxi/cab, however this seems to get used more for an emergency beer or coffee!
- Satellite device - In reach or Spot, to call for help when there’s no cell signal or your cell phone battery has died (see tips how to conserve your battery).