8 essentials for every high-altitude runner

One thing is for sure – running at high altitudes isn’t a piece of cake by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, unless you happen to be an avid runner, you should even consider the option in the first place. As simple as that.

Most certainly not for the faint of heart, high-altitude running is occasionally practiced by athletes who wish to train and prepare themselves more thoroughly than others. You will need to do whatever it takes in order to make sure that you run the exact amount of distance that you need to.

So before you rush out, only too eager to hit the high road, there are a couple of essential items that you will require. Some of them are :-

  • Lightweight jacket: Since there is little doubt of the fact that weather conditions can change in a jiffy, you need to be prepared. Nowadays in the market, there are more than enough options for a nice-fitting lightweight jacket that happens to double up as an emergency layer as well as everyday wear.
  • A proper pack: Now this can be quite the adjustment to make, plus there is also the fact that the aspect of the overall fit has to be spot on. Picking up a piece that has stretchy fabric would be preferable, along with chest strap pockets as well as zip pockets.
  • Powered air purifying respirator: Not only is this essential for long distance hill runners, but unlike other respirators, a powered air purifying respirator doesn’t rely on your exerting more force in order to breathe normally. Since being in the hills normally requires you to double your breathing efforts due to the air being thinner, this is a substantial plus.
  • A pair of gaiters: There are no two ways about the fact that elements like mud, gravel and snow are likely to ruin your chances of having a good run in next to no time. In that sense, gaiters are the best option for keeping all of that muck off of your shoes. Smaller gaiters are just better in most aspects across the board.
  • Socks: Now this is more of a personal preference, but there is little doubt about the fact that they help in the aspect of general comfort. Not just by preventing blisters, but also protecting your feet from the dust and sand as well.
  • Poles: Now this might sound silly to some of you out there, but your terrain may very well be such that you would need them. In that particular case, poles can provide your with all of the stability and balance that you would need. Maybe even a bit of propulsion boost as well.
  • A proper neck gaiter: Chose one made of technical fabric instead of going for an old-school cotton bandana. Not only will you be able to use it as a face cover and protection against the sun, but also as a headband, sweat sponge and a hat as well. Quite the multi-purpose item, to say the least.
  • A Medical kit: Not only is this a must, but it always comes in handy. Although, the real need for this is also dependent on whether you plan to venture far out into the hills. A few essentials that need to be in the kit are anti-biotic ointment, wipes, lip balm, sunscreen and bandage stripes.

At the end of the day, be sure that you pack each and every item in the above list before setting out for the hills. Even though you might have done your homework about the climate up there, the weather in the hills has always been prone to change in a jiffy. So do be extra careful and keep that particular point in mind.

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