Trail Running Mandatory Gear Guide

Whether you are a seasoned trail runner competing in the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB), or just running your local trails, it’s important to be aware of mandatory gear.

Mandatory gear is a list of items you are required to carry with you to keep you safe. Think worst case scenario. Whether you have fallen over and have injured yourself, or you have gotten lost. It could take hours for search and rescue to locate you and get you out.

What mandatory gear you need for your event will depend on the event you are competing in.

With events like UTMB you will be required to carry more gear than say Surf Coast Century. Also, check your event guide and the event website for a list of required gear.

In some events like UTA, failure to comply with mandatory gear checks could mean time penalties or disqualification.

If you have ever participated in a trail running event, you would be aware of the required gear you will need.

Depending on your event, the distance, and the location, you may only need some or all.


  • Waterproof Jacket and/or Waterproof Pants to keep you try and warm.
    • Temperature and weather can change dramatically whether you are in the mountains, forest, or beach.
  • Long pants or tights (can be worn)
  • Additional warm layers
  • Thermal long-sleeve top
  • Hat, beanie, or buff
  • Gloves
    • When it comes to the material used for thermals look specifically for merino (natural) or polypropylene (man-made). These materials are quick-drying and will keep you warm.
Mandatory Gear
Wearing a long sleeve thermal and gloves during Wonderland Rosea Radness


  • Pack
    • You will need a pack large enough to carry all your things
  • Lighting
    • Required for events where you are going to be running during the night

Hydration & Nutrition

  • Supply of water
    • For most events, you will be required to carry a minimum of 500ml of water
  • Cup/bottle
    • A cup to use to get drinks from aid stations that’s not water.
    • Collapsible bottles to refill at add stations with either water or electrolytes.
  • Food reserve
    • This is your emergency backup food, and not to be consumed during your event.


  • Snake bandage
  • Whistle
  • Compass
    • Higher-end GPS watches have a compass feature integrated into the watch.
  • Survival blanket
  • Identification
  • Phone
  • Hi-vis vest
    • Check to make sure that it meets Australian requirements, as not all hi-vis products do.
  • Personal beacon
    • While this item isn’t required for events, I like to carry one when I’m out training on my own.

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