When I first started running, I never imagined that I would ever run long enough to need a CamelBak. Now, I have to wear it on most of my runs and all of my mountain biking adventures. I invested in the Mini M.U.L.E version because of the compact size, it fits high on my back, and the pockets. For a while, I wasn’t sure what to put in the silly thing and I carried too much junk along. After several trial and error trips, here are my necessities:
1. Water. I had to put that, because some of you might not know what a CamelBak is actually good for. Several times this past summer, when it was approaching 100, I poured cold sports drink in the bladder to help keep my electrolytes in balance. It did not damage the bladder, but I also washed the whole system out as soon as I arrived home.
2. Toilet Paper. Thankfully, I have never had to use it, but I will not tempt fate and take it out.
3. Energy Gel. I usually pack 2 for every hour I plan on being out on the bike or 1 for every 6 miles I am running. I never actually eat them all, but if I got stranded somewhere I could use them for food until help arrived.
4. Pepper Spray. This is my first line of defense in case of an animal or human attack. I live in a very rural area of Arkansas and we have wild animals and people who love meth. I ride my bike on some very back roads and old logging roads and I do not want to ride up on people doing bad things and not have a way to defend myself.
5. .22 Pistol. I think I just heard a collective gasp from all my readers. I am a woman, running on very rural roads, in the middle of nowhere. You think someone is going to wait for me to bust out my cell phone and call 911 before they rape me in a ditch? I will squirt them in the face with my pepper spray first and if that doesn’t stop them, I will shoot them in the leg. I have five bullets and they have two legs, I think I can slow them down enough for me to get away and call them an ambulance.
6. Cell Phone. You know just in case I get chatty while running around.
What do you carry with you when you go on long runs or bike trips?