A Running Striptease : What to pack for a Fell Run
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 to 'a place’ and no need to have a partner or team. I do have a watch to track my runs and I usually carry my phone for photos but otherwise I am unencumbered.
However, this no-faff approach didn't just happen, it took a few trial and errors to get it right and especially when it comes to running up a mountain, you do need to make sure you’ve got a few things sorted before you head off.
So first things first, which fell are you heading up? 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’ Because it’s near to home, I’m not going high, only going to be an hour and it’s a popular walk with a few people around, it’s an easy one. I wear what is going to keep me comfortable with an basic striptease if necessary.
Easy Fell + Warm Day - 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, once you reach the top it can get cooler and catch any breeze that’s around. The other reason I carry a jacket is it gives me pockets for 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.
“BUFF - 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. Comes in lots of different colours. lengths and materials. Many companies have made buffs but BUFF make the best ones with no seams, 3-way stretch and ultimate durability and designs.”
Easy Fell + Cold Day - long sleeve top, long leggings, buff, beanie, gloves and fell shoes with waterproof socks. 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 and leave you absolutely buzzing and exhilarated beyond your wildest dreams - no really, it can be great! However, you don't want to die of exposure so 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’ but if you have a ‘waterproof jacket’ wear it - this means the seams inside the jacket are sealed. If you have waterproof running trousers, wear those as well. 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!
Once you have mastered your buff running striptease routine it can be applied at anytime and will make your fell runs so much more enjoyable. 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 and faff-y than it needs to be.
Find an outfit that works for you and practice your own running striptease. Next blog will be on Harder Fells and taking a bag… faff free style!
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