With November being National Running Safety Month, we wanted to remind everyone (and ourselves) of some tips to help you stay safe on the run.
Run with friends
There is safety in numbers for a lot of different reasons! Running with friends makes it easier for cars to see you. It also prevents attacks or negative behavior. And if you get hurt or have a problem, you have buddies with you to help out. Not to mention, running with friends is fun!!
Wear reflective clothes and gear
Being seen by cars is incredibly important to staying safe. Especially as we enter the darker months of winter, wearing reflective clothing and gear couldn’t be more important. Look for clothes with built in reflective paneling or highlights. We also have a wide assortment of flashing lights, reflective vests, headlights, and reflective accessories that can help you be seen on the run.
Run with a bright light
Running with lights is great for two reasons: (1) you can see where you’re going and avoid falling, and (2) cars have another way to see you in the dark. Lights are a win-win and a must for any runner hitting the streets or trails whenever the sun isn’t up.
Be careful when running with headphones
We all love a good tune or podcast while running. But remember to be considerate of others and mind your surroundings! Keep the volume low so you can hear the people, animals, and cars around you. We strongly encourage runners and walkers to use “open-ear” or “bone conduction” headphones that allow the user to still hear everything around them. Our favorite is the Trekz Air by Aftershokz!
Run with traction devices in slippery conditions
Missoula can get mighty slippery in the wintertime. Falling on ice or snow is no fun at all. Luckily, there are a number of way to make your feet a bit grippier! The store has a wide variety of traction devices to help you stay upright. Whether you’re on steep mountain trails or a slick sidewalk, we have the right traction device to feel safe and comfortable. Be sure to try on your traction devices when purchasing! There are many high cushion shoes these days (like Hokas) that require sizing up from the size range listed on the packaging.
Bring your phone
If something goes wrong, it’s sure nice to be able to call for help! Not to mention, it’s easy to get lost on the trails around Missoula! Try using a mapping app like OnX Backcountry, Gaia GPS, Trail Run Project, Trail Forks, or Strava Routes to help you navigate while out on the roads and trails. Oh, and taking great photos is always awesome as well. Don’t forget to tag @RunnersEdgeMT so we can join in on the fun!
Carry pepper and/or bear spray
It’s very common for runners to carry pepper spray to deter would-be attackers. If you’re running trails outside of the Missoula area (particularly to the north), it’s also a good idea to carry bear spray to deter the possible angry bear. Know the difference between bear spray and pepper spray! Bear spray is in a much larger can, and sprays 30 feet or more in a large plume. Pepper spray is in a much smaller can and has a relatively short range. Pepper spray will not be effective in deterring a bear attack.