A Running Striptease : What to pack for a fell run

Fell running. Have you ever heard of it?

It’s kinda like trail running…but not.

Traditionally a British sport, fell running is running and racing off-road, climbing significant gradients, often in remote + rugged terrain.

It sounds pretty fun to us...but how does one start? 

Listen up as Rachel Kearns, an avid fell runner, shares with us her approach on being prepared in the hills.

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Part of the joy of running for me is the ability to throw on a pair of shoes and run out the door.

No equipment, no protective gear, no head phones, no driving and no need to have a partner or team. 

However, this no-faff approach didn't just happen; it took trial and error to get it right and especially when it comes to running up a mountain, you want to make sure you are prepared.

The two questions that I ask myself are which fell am I heading up and what's the weather like?

Easy Fell + Warm Day

If I’m literally heading out my back door and up our nearest and smallest fell, Latrigg, it’s a simple straightforward ‘what’s the weather like?' approach. As it’s a relatively short, easy and popular run that is near to home, I simply wear what is going to keep me comfortable with a basic striptease if necessary.

This is usually a short sleeve top, ¾ leggings, buff, hat, lightweight cushioned socks and fell shoes (lightweight, good grip with flexible sole).

However, I do still carry a lightweight windproof jacket because even though it is warm and dry on the bottom, it can be much cooler on the top. The other reason I carry a jacket is it gives me pockets for my phone, dog lead and poo bags.

The striptease is easy, the jacket comes off and gets tied around my waist so the pockets are easy to get to and I can, if needed, get it back on quickly.

The only other outfit adjustment is moving my buff from my neck to my head.

PS. what's a buff? It's a stretchy tube designed to be worn around the neck, as a headband, as a beanie, as a pirate scarf or as a hair tie. Buffs come in lots of different colours. lengths and materials. Many companies have made buffs but in my opinion, Buffwear make the best ones with no seams, 3-way stretch and ultimate durability and designs.

Easy Fell + Cold Day

If the temperature is cooler, I wear a long sleeve top, long leggings, buff, beanie, gloves and fell shoes with waterproof socks. So basically, I am all covered up!

Again I have my lightweight windproof jacket for it’s pockets and will often start off wearing it, strip off during the uphill and then back on at the top.

The buff, beanie and gloves are other items that can be added and removed to help keep me comfortable. As we lose most of our heat through our heads, being able to cover and uncover my head is a very easy way to manage my body temperature. If I’m overheating I take my beanie off, slip my buff up around my ears and partially unzip my jacket. Once the temp drops again I just reverse that process, beanie on, jacket zipped up, buff back around the neck.

Gloves and waterproof socks can also make a big difference keeping your extremities warm can help with your overall comfort levels.

Easy Fell + Cold, Wet, Windy Day

This, my friends, is a game changer and can be the right time to stay low and avoid ‘the tops’...BUT if you do decide to go, it can still be worth it! I can leave you absolutely buzzing and exhilarated beyond your wildest dreams.

However, you don't want to die of exposure so here are a few things to consider; you will get wet, you will get cold and you will most probably be the only one out! So be extra careful; let someone know you are going, wear all the stuff you would for a ‘Cold Day’, as above, and add a rain jacket.

 If you have waterproof running trousers, wear those as well.

And this might be the run to make sure you have a real waterproof phone case - a poo bag can do a fairly good job in light showers but if you're heading out in a deluge, it might be time to ramp things up a bit!

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And there you have it! What I wear for a fell run under 3 different scenarios.

Constantly stopping to take off or put on jackets and mid-layers or taking gear in and out of bags can be frustrating and make the whole running process more time consuming than it needs to be.

Once you have mastered your fell running striptease routine, it will make heading out the door so much easier and more enjoyable.

So find an outfit that works for you and practice your own running striptease. 

Happy running!

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