The 8 Must-Have Items in an Overnight Trail Runner’s Emergency Kit

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Trail running is a great way to soak in the environment while also getting in plenty of exercise. But, if you’re taking your trail running activities into the night, there are several things you’ll want to pack in your emergency kit so you’re prepared for anything that may come your way.

Here are 8 must-have items in your overnight trail runner’s emergency kit.

1. Plenty of Snacks & Water

After spending hours outdoors, you’ll be quite hungry and thirsty. To maintain your health along your trail running journey, it’s important that you bring the necessary snacks and water with you to keep your energy levels high. Since you’ll be on the move for hours, it’s important to pack energy-boosting and performance snacks including:

  • Trail mix
  • Performance gels
  • Portable snack bars
  • Jerky

Aside from food, it’s also important to bring plenty of water with you along with a water reserve. While on the trails, you’ll want to stay hydrated to prevent cramps, dehydration, and a loss of energy. Drinking performance drinks with electrolytes is another way to stay hydrated and fueled.

2. Natural Teeth Cleaning Product

After eating energy-boosting snacks all day to keep you going, it’s important to remove any harmful particles that may be lingering on your teeth and in your mouth. When putting together your emergency kit, one product you must bring is something that will effectively clean your teeth. Since store-bought toothpaste contains all sorts of ingredients that are harmful for you and the environment, you’ll want to bring along a natural teeth cleaning product.

Bringing a natural tooth powder with you will provide natural teeth whitening when you’re on the go. It will also keep your teeth clean and free of harmful bacteria that cause decay and even gum disease.

By taking care of your teeth when trekking a new trail, you’ll have peace of mind that your smile isn’t at risk when you’re away from home.

3. Proper Clothing

For an overnight trek, it’s important to have the proper clothing for your journey. If you’re running during the summer months, be sure to have quick-dry and moisture-wicking clothing that will draw sweat away from your skin and keep you cool all day long. In the heat, it’s also important to have plenty of sunscreen and a hat for maximum protection.

If you’re venturing out in the cold, you’ll want to have plenty of cool-weather clothing. This includes long-sleeve shirts, insulated clothing, running gloves, and a hat to keep your head warm.

Be sure to pack extras in the event that the weather changes or you trek for longer than expected.

4. Map or GPS

Even if you know the trails you’re running like the back of your hand, it’s important to have a map or GPS handy in the event that you get lost. Once the sun goes down, it’s easy to lose your sense of direction. To ensure that you’re able to safely finish your trail blazing journey, don’t set out without a map or GPS.

While you can use your phone for navigation, it never hurts to have a paper map of the trails you’ll be running. This way you can easily identify where you are and where you need to go to get back home.

5. Flashlight

As the sun starts to set, you’ll want to have light handy to guide your way. A small flashlight can help to illuminate your path so that you can safely run during the night. Since running while holding something can be difficult, you may want to invest in a headlamp. This light can be comfortably strapped around your head, keeping both of your hands free.

6. Tent or Hammock

We all like to think that we have an endless amount of energy, but the fact is that after hours of trail running, you’re likely to be quite tired. Don’t leave yourself with no option but to sleep on the ground. Instead, be sure to pack a portable tent or hammock that gives you a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Be sure that the tent or hammock you bring is fully enclosed to keep away bugs and other pests.

7. First-Aid Kit

No matter how careful you are when running, things happen. In the event that you trip and fall or get bitten by a bug, you want to have the necessary items handy to take care of yourself. Be sure that your first aid kit includes bandages, band-aids, antibacterial cream, alcohol wipes, compression wrap, and allergy relief medication.


While you may be tempted to head into the great outdoors and just start running, if you’re planning an overnight trip, you’ll want to take the time to pack a proper emergency kit. Be sure to include these 8 must have items to take good care of your health during your trek.

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