Summer Mountain Running Accessories
What to bring on adventurous mountain runs.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Running in the mountains during the summer months allows an escape from heat, plus the beauty of alpine lakes, wildflowers, and snowcapped peaks, depending on where you run. To make your adventures a success, bring the right goods. Here are a few suggestions from among many excellent options on the market.
A comfortable pack that holds hydration, layers, fuel, and your phone is imperative.
Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest | $149
This pack carries two soft hydration flasks in the chest pockets, while separate pockets on the front of the shoulder straps hold necessities like fuel and a phone separately. We love the ease-of-access to items on the go.
Alpine environments mean intense sun exposure. Protect yourself with the following:
Lids like Smartwool’s Trucker Hat ($30) wick sweat from your brow while shielding the sun, and work great to keep rainfall off your face.
A good pair of polarized sunglasses (see review here) will reduce eye fatigue and help you focus on your footing.
Sunblock is imperative. We like zinc-based products like All Good.
Choosing smart accessories—lightweight, functional items that maximize comfort and safety—make a huge difference.
A BUFF neck gaiter ($20) works great for sun- or cold-protection, and alternatively as a headband, a beanie, a sweatband, (even a makeshift tourniquet) and a COVID-19-era mask.
Lightweight, gloves like La Sportiva’s Trail Gloves ($50) stash easily in a pack and keep you comfortable when conditions turn. These feature a wind-blocking mitt that pulls over breathable gloves.
MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE ACCESSORIES
When your mountain runs turn into longer adventures, you need more gear meant to keep you out there longer and keep you safer.
Water filtration systems like the LifeStraw ($20), which allows purified drinking straight from a water source (used like a straw), and the Scout Inline Purifier ($30) that attaches to a hydration bladder allow you to refill from streams and alpine lakes.
First-aid kits—we like Adventure Medical Kits’ Ultralight/Watertight .3 Medical Kit ($9) and Unchartered Supply Co.’s Triage Kit ($50)—curated by outdoor experts keep you covered. The Triage Kit has an emergency blanket included within its super-durable bag. (For shorter runs, at least have a kit in your car at the trailhead.)
For rugged mountain runs with substantial vertical gain and loss, using lightweight trekking poles like the collapsible Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles ($170) help distribute weight to four points instead of two (arms and legs instead of just legs), and can assist with balance.
Suunto 9 | $599
This tricked-out wrist computer’s barometer works with GPS data for accurate altitude readings. The watch also has 80 different sport modes, a weather function, and a battery life that lasts 120 hours.