When it comes to hitting the trails, you can either do the traditional, gear up, get out and smash your time out on the mountains. But sometimes it’s all about being ‘unconventional’ and truly taking in every moment you have. Arguably the most accurate saying goes, memories are better made when there’s coffee involved. Mountains and coffee have become this synonymous combination, one cannot exist without the other, or so they say.
Whether it’s an icy cold morning or a blistering hot day, your adventure is often taken up a notch if there’s the odd coffee stop along the way. Now you may ask, where on earth would you store such a thing. It’s easy, the slight extra weight or discomfort is well worth it in the end. If you’re looking for the title of ultimate survivor, then it’s all about purchasing some fine-grain coffee powder, coupled with your gas burner and mocha pot, as the cherry on the top. However, if you don’t consider yourself that committed to the cause, there’s a simple solution. Wake up 10 minutes earlier, make sure you have some fine-grain coffee powder, boil your kettle, plunge your coffee and throw it in your trusty thermo flask.
The rest is simple. Step 1 find the perfect location – make sure you have an epic view. Step 2 prep your coffee. Step 3 take a couple of selfies. Step 4 enjoy your coffee. Well done, you’re officially a trail running coffee snob.
We all want to go where nobody’s gone before. We all want to discover that secret spot with the epic view, with the gnarly cliff. We all want to be able to share that story with our friends about the unmarked trail we followed that led us to that magical location. We’re all in search of the ultimate running destination.
The truth is, we are all on our own journey, experiencing our own first times and discovering our own trails for the first time. The great thing about running is we get to keep that child-like wonder when it comes to adventure. It’s simple, don’t be afraid to discover your own, first time. Take the path less travelled, follow the unfamiliar trails, run that route that scares you, pause, take it all in, and do it all in the name of finding your own ‘secret spot’.
Some people can’t stand carrying anything when it comes to running. Fortunately, gone are the days of having to run with things in our hands – daypacks and hydration packs are a runners’ gold. Now it’s all about the art of packing smart. You don’t want to over pack because nobody wants to be that person who’s carrying around their body weight in kit for a ‘casual’ run. On the other end of the scale, you don’t want to be that person who thought they were as tough as nails, who ends up borrowing gear from their buddy.
When it comes to gear tips, it’s basic. Be smart and take a look at the weather forecast. Simply staring out your window won’t cut it - know what you’re in for. Whether or not you really are tough as nails and you’re able to brave the weather in the thick of winter, don’t be a smart arse, pack a lightweight windbreaker. Better yet, pack a waterproof jacket. Believe it or not, nowadays they’re able to roll into a ball not much bigger than your fist. Picture it this way, it’s cold, you fall and break your ankle and you’re all alone, unable to walk – ask yourself, what would I need to survive? You’ll thank us later.
Hydration Do’s & Don'ts
It’s the ultimate source of fuel, H2O. If you’re going on a run and you’re not going to pack water, make sure you know if there is going to be water on route. Don’t be that person who realizes that they’re in too deep and spends 20 minutes asking other runners if they have some water to spare. Better yet, just fill up your hydration pack with water if you’re going to be out for longer then 40 minutes. We know it’s easier to run ‘empty handed’ but most of the time it’s better to be over prepared. No, your food does not count as your fuel alone and no, don’t rely on your buddy to be your source of water. Although in winter the rivers are flowing and there is no shortage of fresh water, we all know how quickly a run can go south. Trust us on the H2O.
If there isn’t any photo evidence, did it even happen? Nowadays we’re all budding running influencers and photographers, making sure we capture a glimpse of our run to share on Instagram. We’re all after the next epic shot – Although we’re all on our own journey of firsts, discovering our own trails. We might as well make sure we take selfies along the way. So, this is where the creativity begins. We all love those pre and post run shots – “It’s time to explore” and “Quality session with the crew”. What’s a run without your ‘during run pic’? Don’t forget to mount your camera on a rock, hit record, and attempt to run towards your phone in the most graceful photogenic way – “I’m just doing what I love”. The ultimate shot must be of you with your back to the camera, overlooking the most incredible view with your hands to the sky – “The view is always the best from the top”. No run is complete without copious amounts of photo evidence. So, don’t forget to pack your fully charged phone with ample memory available – remember, quantity over quality. Let the postproduction work begin.