Trail Running Safety Tips

By: Tyson Baker

From seasoned veterans to
beginners, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on some well-rounded safety guidelines to navigate
the millions of miles of trail terrain this summer. We constructed this list to be simple, yet
essential to help protect you while on the trails, so your main focus can be enjoying your time in

Have a plan

Quick tips for route planning-

All Trails is a great place to start to quickly grab and reference route information. It includes information like directions to the trailhead, trail reports, elevation,
etc.—basically everything you need to get started. You can also download trails maps and load
them to your smartwatches or phones. Strava is another great tool to find routes and segments
that are popular in the area. Strava allows users to build their own routes, which can be helpful
when trying to link multiple routes together to create a longer run or loop your run. We use
Strava quite often here at Tanri to build routes and share them with friends when planning a
group running trip. There are a variety of mapping tools out there, CalTopo is another great one,
that makes planning a lot easier and efficient.


Remember to share your route with a friend, a family member, or someone reliable. If something goes wrong, a simple share of your day plans with a companion can end up saving your life! This is also why planning ahead is important, so you have the right information to
share with a trusted individual. This tip may seem excessive to some, but it’s a simple and effective way to provide yourself some extra protection on the trail and save you valuable time in the case of an emergency.


It’s always a good idea to check the weather before you head out on a trail. Knowing the forecast will not only give you a greater chance of avoiding running right into a nasty thunderstorm, it will also help you properly dress for the day and prep your pack with some
essentials to withstand the elements. Weather can change quickly in the backcountry and at higher elevations, so it’s wise to carry along a lightweight rain and wind jacket and some sunscreen. Remembering to carry these little things in your running pack can make all the difference when the weather changes. It's better to be prepared than not!

Quick Tidbit -

When in the outdoors, the UVB rays become more powerful the higher up in elevation you go, so having sunscreen handy is key to keeping your skin healthy and protected. We like to carry Tanri Sunscreen Spray SPF50. It comes with a smaller, travel size, 148 ml
aluminum bottle that's reusable and easy to stow away in your pack for those long days on the

TANRI Sunblock Spray SPF50 5oz Aluminum Bottle-Sun Care-Tanri Outdoors
Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration- This is the most important step to keeping you safe out on the trail all day. Properly hydrating throughout the day will keep you healthy, help you go further on the trail, and keep you from getting overheated. Don't cut corners with this one and be sure to carry more water than you think you will need. It may be useful to carry a compact water filter or purification
tablets with you in case you find yourself running out of water and needing to use a water source along the trail. Again, take time to plan ahead to know where the nearest water source will be. Stay hydrated and stay safe!

Nutrition- Calories, calories, calories–it's all about the calories! We need them to keep our energy up and our mind sharp so we can stay concentrated on the trail. We don’t want to take an unnecessary fall out there due to symptoms of fatigue from lack of proper fuel. Bring whatever food works for you: bars, gels, fruit, potatoes, etc. Whatever excites you to eat and goes down easy and is comfortable to carry.


Make a list and check it twice! Likely you’ve all heard that before, but unlike the list that the man in the big red suit only references during a certain time of year, this list will keep us running comfortably all year around. Running trails is not the same as running on the road so carrying certain equipment can ensure a more successful run. This is a list of our top 13 most important items to carry with you on a trail run:
1. Hydration Vest/Water Bottles
2. Food (Bars, Gels, Etc.)
3. Water Filter or Purification Tablets

4. Sunscreen
5. Wind+Rain Jacket
6. Headlamp
7. Trail Shoes
8. Lightweight Gloves
9. Sunglasses
10. Smartwatch
11. First-Aid Kit (small)
12. Phone
13. Photo ID

Have Fun

This one is self explanatory. Trails are meant for your enjoyment! We hope that this guide will make it easier for you to get out there and have fun confidently, knowing you are prepared for a day of running through the landscapes. Be safe, be adventurous, get outdoors, invite a friend or two, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
The world is full of trails to explore and at Tanri we believe everyone has a story to tell… tag us in a post/story telling us about your favorite trail.


  • Sky T

    This is a nice reminder for runners, both beginner and experienced. Appreciate informative and helpful articles like this one. The writer seems knowledgeable and experienced and has a unique way of presenting the topic. Keep up the good work.

  • Ashley Barrera

    Great article ! I appreciated reading the several starting tips to trail running. The article was easy to follow and I really liked how you included pictures of the products that would be useful.

  • Ashley

    Love this! Very informative and helpful for this newbie to trail running. Definitely will be saving the quick guide and list of essentials for my next time out on the trails!

  • Cameron Weas

    Have always loved hiking but have been wanting to add trail running into the mix. Coming from no running background this article was definitely helpful in noting several things I should be aware of especially when getting into transversing some longer distances outdoors. Great read!

  • Johnny Searcy

    Great article. I recently shifted from road to trail running. This article is perfect – a few pointers that will really help. Plus a couple things I had not really considered. Trail running made easier (well, the planning).

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