February 09, 2023
Anyone interested in trail running and hiking will want to get their hands on some reliable running packs. Ultimate Direction offers a variety of affordable running packs, fast packs, and running vests to help keep your essentials on hand during your next outdoor adventure.
In this quick guide, we’re going to be covering everything you need to know about getting started with hiking and trail running. If you’re wondering where to begin, then this article is for you. Keep reading to learn how Ultimate Direction can help you gear up with reliable running packs, as well as how to get started on your next outdoor adventure.
Ultimate Direction is here to help you take to the trails with all your essentials at your back. Hiking and trail running can be thrilling experiences when you have everything you need to help you make the most of your adventure. You can’t go wrong when you rely on our running packs.
Trail running in South Africa is more popular than ever. With a vast array of marvellous trails, it’s no surprise that the demand for decent trail running and hiking gear is as high as it is. Ultimate Direction strives to meet this need with our innovative running packs and trail running apparel. Our running packs are lightweight and well-fitted, allowing easy-going running and hiking over rugged terrain.
With an optimal weight-to-carry ratio, our fastpacks are the obvious choice when picking out apparel and gear for long-distance hiking and multi-day fastpacking adventures. The Ultimate Direction fastpacks are built to fit like a vest, but distribute weight like a pack, making this a comfortable carry-on for all of your hiking essentials.
Keep reading to learn more about our running packs and other gear, as well as how Ultimate Direction can help you get started on your journey. Every outdoor adventure begins with a plan, from packing the essentials to picking your route. We’re going to guide you through the process so that you are equipped with both the knowledge and the gear you need to succeed.
Starting out on your hike or trail run means collecting all the essentials you’re going to need along the way. Depending on the distance and type of terrain, you may need a larger water supply and an extra jacket in case of bad weather. Here are some essentials to remember when planning your hiking trip or trail run:
1. Hydration Is Key: Adequate hydration is one of the most important essentials when traversing the outdoors. Since you’re going to be exposed to the elements and pushing your body harder than usual, drinking water is an absolute must. Be sure to carry enough drinking water in your fastpack or running vest. Consider the distance you plan to travel and determine how much water you’re going to need along the way.
Adequate hydration will not only keep you alert and energised throughout the duration of your run, but it will also improve your overall experience. Ultimate Direction supplies a variety of running vests and running packs with enough space to carry water bottles. Keep your supply close at hand and easily accessible with these useful trail running tools.
2. Pack A Snack: Depending on the distance you’re travelling, you might want to pack some healthy snacks to keep you energised throughout the duration of your hike or run. Our fast packs and running vests boast multiple pockets and extra spaces to keep your snacks at your back..
You might decide to stop and admire the view while munching down on an energy bar, or perhaps pause for a picnic along the trail. Either way, keeping something to snack on with you for the ride comes highly recommended!
FASTPACK 20L AND FASTPACK HER 20L FOR LONGER DAY HIKES AND FASTPACKING
3. Spare Clothing: Trail running and hiking means you’re going to be outdoors and exposed to the elements. While some trails are shaded by trees, harsh weather conditions may call for some extra clothing. With a fast pack or running vest, you’ll be able to carry some spare clothing at your back in case the weather turns.
Running in the rain may be part of the fun, but catching a cold is definitely not, so consider packing a raincoat or warm jacket. This will guard you against storms and windy weather, allowing you to press on unhindered. Ultimate Direction offers breathable, lightweight jackets to keep you warm during your outdoor adventure, as well as balabeanies to protect your face and neck.
4. Decent Footwear: Another incredibly important aspect of decent trail running preparation is acquiring adequate footwear. Your feet are going to be pounding the ground throughout the duration of your hike or run, so you’re going to want to wear comfortable shoes to get you to the end.
Avoid blisters and painful injuries by relying on proper running shoes to carry you over rough terrain. Make sure that these shoes fit you perfectly and won’t fall apart when running over rockier ground. Your feet are the sole point of contact between you and the ground beneath you, so give them some proper protection with decent trail running shoes.
5. Small Essentials: Other essentials you might want to carry with you include gels, cell phones, flashlights, hiking poles, and various other tools to assist you along the way. With a fast pack from Ultimate Direction, you could carry a variety of small essentials to improve your hike. You might want to carry some first aid supplies for long distance trails as well as sunblock and a pair of shades depending on the weather conditions.
Once you’ve stocked up on everything you need for your outdoor adventure, it’s time to choose your trail. There are dozens of gorgeous trails to be found all over South Africa from the immensely popular to the niche gems. Some trails have signage and pointers to guide you in the right direction, while others may require some GPS navigation to get to the other side.
Make sure to do your research on various trails before setting out, and consider the best time to do so. Keep an eye on the weather conditions and consider the effect it may have on your hike or run. While some light rain might not pose a problem on certain trails, others may leave you slogging through mud and slipping down hillsides.
Some trails require a bit of scrambling while others are mostly flat. Which trail you choose depends on your preference and what type of outdoor experience you’re aiming for. Some runners and hikers like a challenge and take to the trails with the steepest inclines and harshest conditions. Others prefer scenic adventures over mostly-flat terrain. Read up on some of the trails near you and make your decision based on your personal preference and skill level. Here’s a quick list of some of the best trails to be found in South Africa to set you on the right path:
Platteklip Gorge: Beginning in the windy city of Cape Town, this trail is located within the national park of Table Mountain. Boasting breathtaking views and a vast array of indigenous flora and fauna. Anyone looking for some truly magical views and an easy-enough trek along the mountainside will appreciate these popular trails.
Burman Bush Nature Reserve: Moving on to the lush green landscape of Durban, the Burman Bush Nature Reserve offers a few simple hiking trails that are perfect for building up stamina and familiarising your body with hiking and trail running. Runners and hikers will be able to spot indigenous birds and velvet monkeys while moving through the coastal bush environment.
This is a great option for beginners to hiking and trail running who would like to get some practice under their belts and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. If you find yourself in KwaZulu Natal and would like to go on a quick outdoor adventure then these trails might just be perfect for you.
Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve: Johannesburg has much to offer in terms of gorgeous trails for beginners. Located within the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is a collection of hiking trails with “escape roads” cutting between paths for those looking to shorten the distance or switch routes. Most of these trails will take runners and hikers past the Bloubos River while others lead through the ruins of the Maris Homestead.
These exciting routes are perfect for beginners who aren’t sure of their overall ability yet. On these trails, you will be able to switch up routes and take the trails at your own pace while exploring the historical surroundings.
Hennops Hiking Trails: Located on the outskirts of Pretoria, these hiking trails are ideal for beginners. Comprising three trails of differing distances, the Hennops area allows for exciting outdoor adventures that are fun for the whole family.
Hike the winding trails past the Hennops River and over the famous suspension bridge nestled within the lush natural surroundings. With hidden caves and fascinating flora and fauna, the Hennops trails offer hours of entertainment for trail running beginners.
Once you’ve got all your hiking and trail running essentials, as well as determined which trail will best suit your skill level, all that's left to do is gear up and get going. Ultimate Direction encourages outdoor activity and aims to provide reliable outdoor gear and equipment to make outdoor adventuring a possibility for everyone.
Take a look through our running packs, vests and vestas as well as a score of other outdoor trail running equipment and pick out the perfect gear to suit your needs. Adventure is out there, and now it’s up to you to take the first step. Kitted out with one of our running packs, with all of your essentials at your back, it’s time to take to the trails.
Not everyone is a star athlete on the first try, so make sure to pace yourself and allow your body time to acclimatise to the outdoor environment. Running over rough, uneven terrain will work muscles you may not even have been aware of beforehand and it will take time and practice to build stamina.
Our team at Ultimate Direction is dedicated to providing high-quality trail running and hiking gear to help you out on your next outdoor adventure. All of our products are designed by athletes, for athletes, with a focus on breathability and comfort. We work tirelessly to innovate and improve the trail running market, bringing the best products to the table for our customers.
Get a running pack from Ultimate Direction and take the first step towards a healthy, active lifestyle. We have the gear you need, and the trails are waiting. Now it’s up to you to step outside and begin your outdoor adventure.