Equipment for staying in the mountains has evolved sharply over the past twenty years. Part of the credit for this trend lies in the growing development of various sports in the mountains. New formats that have conveyed their tendency not to compromise with the concept of speed of movement on the mountain with the safety that is necessary in harsh conditions. Part of the credit for the development of outdoor equipment belongs to skyrunning.
The basic piece of equipment necessary for a safe stay in the mountains is footwear. In the case of skyrunning these are trail sneakers. Ideally, they should provide protection for the feet from sharp stones and uneven terrain, protect the front of the feet from impact, with good grip on the ground, light and stable. In the past ten years, this type of footwear has evolved in so many different directions that more than in any other sport, everyone can find one ideal pair of trail sneakers that perfectly suits his physiognomy and way of moving. Their main goal is to provide security to the wearer, because not infrequently they can distinguish between a minor or major injury and a beautiful day in nature.
Skyrunning clothing is somewhat close to the equipment used in classic running. Trails by nature are not always perfect landscaping, if they exist, and often involve crossing over fallen trees, ascents and descents from rocks, traversing through low sharp vegetation or branches. All this implies greater resistance of the fabrics from which T-shirts, shorts, jackets, pants or leggings are made. In addition to protection from direct contact with the environment, clothing must also provide protection from atmospheric influences. Each valley, plateau or local peak has its own microclimate and it is often possible to experience several seasons in different places in one day in the mountains. It is very good to compromise between a higher degree of protection or wearing extra layers of clothing at the expense of speed, because a sudden drop in temperature or sudden precipitation can quickly slow down a person after a sudden loss of heat. In addition to speed, this also loses security.
Rods are an extremely popular piece of equipment in Western Europe. They enable more stable movement as well as redistribution of the power of the whole and especially help on ascents. At the same time, they can pose a danger to other participants if they are in the hands of reckless people. As in other spheres of life, rules of conduct exist on the trails as well. Never obstruct other participants with your sticks and accidentally or intentionally block their passage. Your decisions also carry responsibility. If you choose to use sticks keep in mind that you need to allow people who visit you to do so safely for themselves and for you.
Depending on the terrain and the conditions in which the races are held, the organizers can define the mandatory equipment. The goal of race organizers is never to burden participants with unnecessary equipment. Whistles, astro foils, raincoats, hats, extra layers of clothing, mobile phones or defined amounts of liquid that must be worn, if they are provided as a mandatory part of the equipment, are there for a reason.
Outside of races, and in many races, when staying in remote parts of nature, it is necessary to have a map and compass or a modern GPS device with you. The rule of thumb says that technology will always break down, so without a mild knowledge of the terrain you will be navigating and safe means of navigation, you risk a lot every time you go into the wild.
Equipment in the mountains includes not only shoes, clothes and other aids, but also a set of skills that everyone carries with them. As beautiful as they are, the mountains have their temper and can easily turn a perfectly beautiful day into a struggle for survival.
So always think carefully about what to take with you from the equipment to the mountain, in addition to, of course, smiles and positive energy that goes with Skyrunning.