by Alli Scheumann

It’s no secret that Wenatchee has excellent access to trails, so if you have been thinking of getting involved with trail running and do not know where to start, stay tuned. It can be rather intimidating to show up to a trailhead and see others “geared out” with the latest and greatest, especially if you’re just starting out. Luckily, the local trails provide both mild and intense loops, out and backs, and really anything to be desired in terms of trail running.

One mainstay to running on the trails that I have used is a small backpack. This allows me to carry my ID and insurance cards (just in case!), snacks, and hydration. Something I learned early on in running is to pack more hydration and food than you think you will need. Especially now that the weather is warming up, hydration and nutrition during activities is essential. I have used a variety of backpacks throughout the years. I would recommend trying them on before buying, as many have different sizes and fits.

Next up, shoes. Typically trail runners have more support and traction than road running shoes. This helps you keep on your feet up in the hills! Again, I would recommend getting fitted for shoes instead of buying online. Although it can be helpful to have the extra traction, road running shoes are just fine too. Don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money just to get in to trail running.

Clothing and accessories are pretty individualized. I will say, a lightweight hat, sunglasses, and a sun shirt (UPF protection) can go a long way here in Wenatchee. There are great lightweight wool socks that are moisture wicking and keep the dust/dirt and bugs off your ankles. As you get started, you’ll know what feels best on your body. Some prefer tighter clothing to prevent chaffing, some like things loose and flowy.

A watch can also be quite helpful, especially one with GPS and altimeters built in. However, these can be pricey. If you’re unsure about whether trail running will be a lasting hobby, I’d recommend using a free app on your smartphone to track distance, time, and elevation. Strava is my personal preference, but there are a few others available too.

When buying gear, check out the brand’s warranty policy. Many outdoor brands have a lifetime guarantee or will repair your gear for free. So yes, buying an expensive backpack or technical clothing item might be pricy at first, but hopefully it will last years to come.

The last piece of “gear” I’ll mention is community. Like many aspects of life, having a community to share your outdoor adventures with makes getting outside easier and more fun. And yes, I understand the urge to be alone in some pursuits but being able to gather as friends and share in the suffer of a steep hill, laughing while enjoying a snack break, or even assistance if things go awry can make a huge difference in the experience. My experience on local trails has shown me people are friendly and looking for that community experience as well, don’t be afraid to say hi and welcome a new friend!

Wenatchee Outdoors has a new Outings program that is perfect for meeting new and old friends out on the trails. If you are going for a run, head over to the Outings page and create an event, or look for an existing event to join

Happy Trails!

Gear ideas:
Backpack
Socks
Shoes
Clothing Carvedesigns
Clothing Patagonia

Shop local!

Performance Footwear Wenatchee – 24 S Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA

Arlberg Sports – 25 N Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA

Colchuck Consignment – 5653 Sunset Hwy, Cashmere, WA

Editors Note: The writer Alli did not receive any perks in exchange for the gear recommendations she made above. 

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