By: Kristine Iotte
For the next few months the sun comes up earlier, the days are longer and the temperatures warmer, which means it’s time to take those workouts outside! But don’t be too hasty, unless you are Mick Dodge, there are a few things you will need to be prepared to fully enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few simple Outdoor Workout Survival Kits to get you started. No advanced gadgets here, only the must-have essentials to ensure a safe and effective outdoor workout.
The Basics Kit – for outdoor adventures and workouts close to home.
- Water bottle or hydration pack. Even minor dehydration can negatively impact performance when exercising in warm temperatures, stay ahead of it and keep water on hand. While sports drinks can be beneficial they are only necessary during extended workouts. One hour or less, plain water is fine.
- Sunblock. The effects of sunburns can last days, don’t ruin your energy levels for the following days by skipping this easy step.
- Hat or visor. Don’t let the glare of the sun distract you from the task at hand and reduce the chances of others seeing the ever-so-attractive faces made while crushing strenuous workouts.
- Bug repellent. Nothing will destroy your zen faster than a swarm of bloodthirsty mosquitos looking for dinner. DEET has long been championed as the most effective active ingredient in repellents, but can also strip the finish off of a wooden table, so there is likely something to the claim that it’s a chemical you may not want to consistently put on your skin. Search for non-DEET alternatives, there are more than ever out there to choose from.
The Trail Kit – for mountain/trail running or unfamiliar locations with difficult terrain.
(The Basics Kit plus):
- A phone and pre-planned route you shared with others back home. Here is an app that makes this easy. Although most lost hikers are found within 24 hours, some are not—and being lost even a few hours is a strain on rescue workers that should be spending their resources on those that were prepared but unlucky enough to still need their help. Your family will also really appreciate it. Besides, you’ll need it for the epic pictures you’ll get the chance to take while exploring the outdoors. Just don’t get too close to the edge for that selfie
- Proper footwear and clothing. Uneven terrain makes a rolled ankle or fall much more likely. Wear shoes with proper support and stability and leave those open toed sandals at home. A light jacket may be needed if out in the evening, temperatures drop quickly once the sun starts to set.
- Snacks. Go for higher calorie non-junk snacks, such as trail mix with berries instead of chocolate, or protein bars. Try for options that derive a majority of calories from protein, fat and complex carbohydrates instead of sugar.
- First Aid. If you are in an area with snakes or other potentially dangerous critters, you may need a snake bite kit and EpiPen. If there is no threat of this, at a minimum bring a few butterfly stitches or similar bandages that are made to close gashes.
This is not an item. This is a commandment.
Leave no trace! If you pack it in, pack it out.
This may seem like a bit to carry, but the sunblock, hat, footwear and bug repellent will already be on, so water, snacks, first aid, light jacket and a phone are all there is to manage if sticking to the minimum. Most hydration packs such as the Spartan Tactical Pack or the Ultra Pack, have enough storage space for these things, and the fanny pack is making a comeback. Many people head out unprepared, be the one that is prepared so you can get the most out of your workout and time outside, and in case you run into others that may need help.
Next week we will explore Outdoor Workout Safety Tips.