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Being Safe with Trail Running

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Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  ChasMcG on Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:16 am

I questioned Mike about running on trails and what he carries to protect himself. I think he said he used some super human powers to hold off serial killers or maybe that was bears. Razz

Anyways, I'm curious of what others do if anything. I know we don't have a huge number of trail runners in this community but as I really get into trail running, I want to make sure I'm safe. I've never taken any kind of wilderness survival classes. I typically kissed on the boyscouts not listened to the "how to's".

So what do you do to protect yourself on mountain trails? What do you carry?

Thanks!!

Chas
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Kenny B. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:03 am

I run with my mountain lion. Seems to do the trick.

The trails I run I have to be careful I dont get attacked by a mad squirrel or a blue bird.
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:36 am

@Kenny B. wrote:I run with my mountain lion. Seems to do the trick.

The trails I run I have to be careful I dont get attacked by a mad squirrel or a blue bird.

You have a mountain lion, too??? Shocked

Seriously, I normally do not bring anything along to protect myself. Escpecially during a trail run. I think the worst thing that could harm me would be a rattlesnake and those are far and few in between. There may be a rabbid raccoon or an insane deer, too, but those are even more rare.
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  dot520 on Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:45 am

What are you trying to protect yourself from? Wild animals or wild humans? Seriously, I used to walk my dog with a hand held cattle prod (before the days of tasers) just to intimidate humans and zap the occasional wild dog that caused problems. It would work for running, easy to carry but it's like a very heavy flashlight or club. Now, I just carry a cell phone, run where it's a fairly populated area (ie, run in a state park versus just wilderness) when I'm alone. Ah, best protection, run with a friend.

Be safe!
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Jeff F on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:22 am

Actually, most wild animals will leave you alone as long as they don't have young with them or you surprise them. They will typically stay away. Running mountain trails I would be more concerned about injury or the elements. Given that, make sure you always dress for the weather and carry a cell phone in case of injury.

In March I was running an unfamiliar mountain trail in Arizona. It was a little colder than I planned for and thought when I was over an hour up on the trail that if I fell and could not get myself out, even with my cell phone they may not have been able to get to me before hypothermia may have set in. I was not dressed appropriately and will not do that again.
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:44 pm

When you're getting ready for a long trail run, treat it more like a light hike than a run -- which means the old Boy Scout "Be Prepared" motto works pretty well.

Make sure to have enough fluid/fuel and gear to keep you covered should conditions change. Let people know where you are going and when you expect to return, and bring a cell phone should things go south and you need help.

The most important thing to carry, though, is your brain. Being aware of your surroundings and thinking clearly can get you through pretty much any situation you might encounter.

Making enough noise to let the critters know you're coming can help you avoid unpleasant encounters.
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:55 pm

Chas, I will add to wear a RoadId. If God forbid something were to happen, all of your information: name, emergency contact, birthday, allergies are all listed on there. Also, you can purchase a clip on pepper spray and if for nothing else, it gives you piece of mind knowing you have something that could immobilize a person/animal temporarily as you make your escape.
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Re: Being Safe with Trail Running

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:00 pm

I'll 2nd the RoadID and pepper spray. There have been some "human predator" incidents in Atlanta that have had grisly endings, so having pepper spray at least makes me feel a bit safer. I try not to run alone in areas where this could be an issue which often sucks because those are some of the best places to run. I would also advise against wearing an iPod or MP3 player if you are alone because you may not be able to hear well enough until it is too late. Sorry to be the worry wart, but the incidents alluded to above both resulted in a nasty conclusion for the runner.

Here in NY state, I'm more apt to run into a wild animal or mean dog than a human predator, and pepper spray helps there as well. I also have some dog repellent that I bought at the bike sstore, but I have not tried it.
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