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Re: Trail Running gear

I'm just getting into trail running and besides a good pair of shoes, what is your other must have piece of gear for a beginner? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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A running vest! Get fitted for one or you might deal with chafing (REI can probably help with that!), but a running vest makes you self sufficient on long runs in the woods! You can carry your food of choice, water, extra clothes, your cell phone, etc!

That's a great idea @MollyG , and I'd feel really legit 🙂 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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I would also say good bug spray and sunscreen.  Pick one that will repel ticks and make sure to test on your skin a day before for allergies.  Also some type of head gear to keep bugs out of your hair, Buff's are great for multi-purpose use.  And finally, a small light to put on your back so people can see  you.  The trails can be dark even during the day and if you would fall it's nice to have that flashing. 

The great thing about running is you really don't need much.  Depending on the difficulty of the trails, road shoes and road gear are perfectly fine...that said, I do love my Buff.  

Sorry, wrong thread.

Agreed.  Running is an inherently minimalist sport, and that is part of what makes it good.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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I second the vest idea - it gives you options for changing conditions.  I also like a light pair of gaiters just to keep the trail-dust and hemlock needles out of my socks.  In winter I have a heavier pair (made by Ice Bug) that is better for snow and slop.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I started running trail races in 2010, beginning at the half marathon distance. I've now completed four 100 mile trail races. In that time, like most trail runners, my "go-to" gear choices have changed a lot. Like others have mentioned, I'd say a good vest/running pack is pretty important. While I've sometimes gone to running primarily with handheld water bottles, the vest is always indispensible for weekend long runs as there is no other way to carry enough water, especially in the summer.

This pic is me at the finish of the Mohican 100 two weeks ago wearing my Nathan Vapor, purchased from REI.

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Running vest for sure. Even better if it has a reservoir for water. 

Anyone have tips on how to stash bear spray so it’s readily accessible but not distracting while you’re running?