Required Gear You Certainly, Definitely, Absolutely Need

A list of basic and completely necessary items that every trail runner needs for taking on their next endurance challenge.

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

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The weather in these mountains/deserts/uncharted jungle is unpredictable this time of year, and you need to be prepared to handle it all! Your equipment must be suitable for confronting all types of conditions, real or imaginary.  You must carry the required gear with you for the duration of the race, regardless if you’re running 20K or intend on spending the next twenty-seven nights outside. Race marshalls and random passers-by may check your gear at any time. We have also deputized forest creatures to inspect your pack. That unicorn may be a hallucination, or it may be a cop. Pack wisely.

Collapsible Cup

Utensils (salad fork and dinner fork)

1 Liter of Water



Food Reserve, we’ll also have performance-oriented snack options like cured beaver meat, pretzels left over from our nephew’s soccer match last weekend, unpasteurized cheeses previously disallowed by the Geneva Convention, and watermelon. 

Waterproof Jacket with Taped Seams

Emergency Blanket

Baby Blankie (cute name mandatory)

Automated External Defibrillator

Actually, Make That 2 Liters of Water

Bear Spray

Gator Spray

Gates Original BBQ Sauce (Extra Hot also accepted in races above 4,000ft)

Better Yet, Bring 3 Liters of Water

Emergency Snuggie

At Least $600 in Ethereum, or enough to pay for a black-market kidney in the race jurisdiction

Smartphone with our propriety App Downloaded, Notifications On, and Angry Birds on In The Background

Snake Chaps 

Identification Documents, like a passport, and proof in writing that our race series has permission to use your name in likeness in promotional materials, or in funny deep fakes and memes. 

You know, You Might Want To Bring 5 Liters of Water Just In Case.

Beacon, Shovel, Probe

Warm Gloves

Sexy, Fingerless Gloves like Oliver Twist

Plain White Gloves Like a Mime

Fuzzy Handcuffs (only in races of 80K or longer)

One Lock of Kilian Jornet’s Hair

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest 

Honestly, Let’s Make It 10 Liters and Call It Good

Any items missing at checkpoints are subject to a 15-minute time penalty and surrendering your firstborn to the Sumerian shape-shifting god of destruction that runs our corporate office. All hail Gozer, the deity who derives His power from your emergency blankets. Bonne chance!

Want to Know What It Takes to Finish at Western States? Just Ask Hellah Sidibe.

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